St Petersburg to Istanbul Itinerary

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    • Total price tool tip
      USD $5,340
      CAD $5,395
      AUD $5,620
      EUR €3,895
      GBP £3,365
      NZD $6,665
      ZAR R51,165
      CHF FR4,820
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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later St Petersburg to Istanbul.
St Basils cathedral, Moscow

Lviv at sunset

Wild horse in the Carpathian Mountains

Budapest at night

Colourful horse with red flowers in the window, Sighisoara

Russian tea

Opera house, Lviv

Days 1-2 St Petersburg

Arrive in St Petersburg and uncover a magnificent city, bursting with lavish palaces, churches and canals. Realise the depth of the city’s beauty on a boat tour. In free time, choose to climb up the colonnade of St Isaac's Cathedral for exceptional views or head to Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra and the Necropolis of Masters of Arts, the final resting place for some of Russia's great musicians and writers like Tchaikovsky and Dostoyevsky.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 3-4 Novgorod

Discover how Novgorod, a city that is over 1,000 years old, is often referred to as the cradle of modern Russian civilisation. On arrival, join a local family for a traditional tea party. Later, venture down the town's riverside Kremlin to gain an appreciation of the nation's turbulent past before a refreshing steam at the public banya (bath house). Settle in for the night on a train bound for Moscow.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 5-7 Moscow

Experience the mighty heart of Russia. Visit the Kremlin to wander through grand halls, peek at imperial treasures and enter Lenin's Mausoleum. While here, why not snap up souvenirs at Izmaylovo Market, admire the work of esteemed artists in Tretyakov Gallery or enjoy a moment of solitude inside St Basil’s Cathedral.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 8-10 Kiev

Arrive in the Ukraine after an overnight train journey. Roam the cobbled streets of Kiev, the 'Mother of Slavic Cities'. Gain valuable insights into the country’s tragic history with a visit to the Chernobyl Museum. There’s also the option to see mummified monks at the Caves Monastery, amble through the Museum of One Street or take in a classical music performance.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 11-12 Carpathian Mountains

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.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 1

Days 13-14 Lviv

Continue the adventure in historical Lviv. Work up an appetite for delicious Ukrainian borscht on a walking tour through the Old Town, and then perhaps head up to High Castle or stop for coffee and cake in a Viennese-style cafe.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Days 15-16 Budapest

See how the grand architecture and beautiful boulevards of Budapest offer visitors something of an outdoor museum to explore. Take to the streets by bicycle and, in free time, discover monuments from the Iron Curtain era at Statue Park. Or perhaps learn from a local guide about the Soviet era in further detail on the Urban Adventures’ Hammer and Sickle tour. Perhaps cap off the adventure with a soak in a thermal bath.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 17 Eger

Investigate Eger Castle in the lovely Baroque town of the same name. Sample excellent local drops at a wine tasting and perhaps have a singalong with local folk musicians.
ACCOM: Pension - 1

Days 18-19 Maramures

Call into the attractive city of Debrecen before hopping across the border into Romania. Gain a firsthand experience of peasant culture in provincial Maramures.
ACCOM: Pension - 2

Day 20 Sighisoara

Be spooked by the bloodcurdling myths that surround Transylvania, perhaps enjoying a meal at Casa Dracula or venturing up to the clock tower.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 21 Viscri

Arrive in Viscri and learn about the Sock Project, a warming initiative which supports the local community. Dine with a local family and try to pick up a few tidbits of the Romanian language.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1

Days 22-23 Brasov

Head to medieval Brasov, a town flanked by mountains and city walls that boast a collection of ornate buildings including the impressive 14th-century Biserica Neagra.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2

Day 24 Bucharest

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 25-26 Veliko Tarnovo

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.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 2

Day 27 Sofia

Walk along tree-lined boulevards in the city of Sofia and see the Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church. At night, why not dive into the happening nightlife.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 28 Gorno Draglishte

Journey into the Rila Mountains and explore the most important of Bulgaria’s orthodox monasteries. Join a family as their guests overnight.
ACCOM: Guesthouse - 1

Days 29-30 Bansko

Unwind in charming mehanes (stone taverns) in Bansko and feast on local dishes like filet elena or kapama.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 31-32 Plovdiv

Travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city. In free time, check out the underground crypt at Bachkovo Monastery or visit traditional craft workshops. Wander among Byzantine ruins and be sure to visit the ancient Roman Amphitheatre.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight sleeper train - 1

Day 33 Istanbul

Arrive in Turkey via overnight train and set off to explore enigmatic Istanbul city. Get happily lost in the Grand Bazaar, visit a Turkish bath, marvel at the awesome Aya Sofia or perhaps take a boat ride up the Bosphorus to cap off the adventure.