St Petersburg to Istanbul Overview
Explore the heart of Eastern Europe - Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and Bulgaria
Join us on a journey to discover the splendours of St Petersburg, the iconic Kremlin in Moscow and ancient Novgorod, the birthplace of history and religion in Russia. Travel onwards through Ukraine by train and head to Kyiv, elegantly situated along the glorious Dnipro River. Take time out to explore the majestic Carpathian Mountains before crossing stunning countryside to arrive in romantic and cosmopolitan Budapest. Continue this epic Eastern European adventure past the haunted castles of Transylvania and across stunning mountains to Bulgaria and beyond. Be enchanted by medieval monasteries, old-world towns and the warm hospitality of this region before ending the journey in magnificent Istanbul.
What's included in this trip
St Petersburg to Istanbul SummaryAdd to Shortlist
Arrive in St Petersburg, Russia, and be dazzled by a multitude of palaces, museums and galleries.
Travel to Novgorod on the banks of the Volkhov River. Explore the graceful Kremlin with a local guide before joining a local family for a Russian tea party.
Arrive in the enigmatic city of Moscow and grab some pirozhki - Russian pastries - to fuel explorations of the Kremlin, Red Square and Lenin’s mausoleum.
Roam the cobbled streets of Kyiv, the 'Mother of Slavic Cities' and gain valuable insight into Ukraine's tragic history with a visit to the Chernobyl Museum.
Travel deep into the stunning Carpathian Mountains and join in a cooking class, learning to make traditional Ukrainian delicacies. Appreciate the Carpathian’s eclectic mix of Eastern European culture, discover lovingly decorated Hutsul houses, complete with private chapels and ornate wells, and soak up the immense natural beauty of this region while hiking.
Be captivated by the crumbling facades of Lviv's old town.
Head out on a cycling tour to uncover what Budapest, the ‘Pearl of the Danube’, has to offer.
Sip on ‘Bull’s Blood’, a red wine native to Hungary's Eger region, while exploring wine cellars in the evocatively named, 'Valley of the Beautiful Women'.
Discover one of the last peasant cultures in Europe on a visit to rural Maramures, the heart and soul of Romania.
Travel through pastoral fields to Sighisoara before crossing into Transylvania, a magical place that conjures images of haunted castles, gothic churches and vampires – it doesn’t disappoint!
Enjoy a home-cooked dinner with a local family in Viscri.
Why not change things up with a night out in the lively medieval town of Brasov.
Travel on to Bucharest, where a guided tour visits the expansive Piata Unirii Square and prodigious 12-storey Palace of Parliament, supposedly the largest civilian administrative building in the world.
Cross the Friendship Bridge into Bulgaria and travel to scenic Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the Tsarevets Fortress that looms impressively over the town, tread the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter or relax in the cafes or vinarnas and people watch.
Make tracks to Sofia. Marvel at the gold-domed Aleksander Nevski Church.
Be a guest of a local family during a stay in the Rila Mountains.
Stretch legs on an invigorating hike through alpine scenery and try the local cuisine at night.
Wander among impressive Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv and take an optional trip to a nearby hot springs before an overnight train to Istanbul.
Finish up among a myriad of mosques and a bevy of bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey's eclectic and very beautiful capital.
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