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Christmas in St Petersburg

Christmas in St Petersburg

Christmas in St Petersburg Overview

Spend Christmas in one of Europe’s most enchanting cities. Three guided visits exploring the Hermitage Palace Museum, to include the Diamond Treasury. Visits to the Yusupov Palace & the famed Fabergé Museum . See Tsarskoe Seloe & Pavlosk - the most enchanting of the country palaces. Many opportunities to attend Christmas ballet, opera & concerts.

Sugar Plum Fairies: Christmas in St Petersburg

Tour Lecturers; Tom Duncan, Co-founder CICERONI Travel

Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, was premiered on 18 December 1892, at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. The ballet was not a success, though the suite made up from some of the more famous movements was widely appreciated. It is only since the 1960s that the full ballet has again come to be widely performed and is now a staple of Christmas celebrations throughout the world, none more so that in St Petersburg itself. So, why not join us in the former Imperial capital this coming Christmas and see this wonderful ballet performed on its home stage, together with many other excitements - musical, operatic, architectural and artistic?

Travellers who have been to St Petersburg are often overwhelmed by a visit to the city, the Hermitage Palace Museum and the Imperial Palaces outside. Huge in scale, lavish in decoration, extraordinary in terms of the number, range and quality of contents, they can seduce and frustrate in equal measure – particularly so if visited during the ‘peak’ summer months. Our visit is designed both for someone who is planning a first visit and equally for those who may have been to St Petersburg in the past and encountered these places on an ‘introductory’ basis. If you would like to spend time discovering them without crowds, in an unhurried and scholarly fashion, this may very well be the visit for you?

The Hermitage, originally built as a ‘Winter’ Palace, dominated the city. It was built for the Empress Elizabeth by the Italian architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, between 1754 and 1762, and Catherine the Great added an adjacent hermitage so that she could house her fast expanding art collections in a building almost separate from the more formal state rooms of the main palace, though with easy access between the two. Thus, palace and museum came to be combined on the same site. In the nineteenth century even more space was set aside for the display of the ever growing Imperial art collections – a treasure trove which we shall explore over three visits.

The Russian aristocracy also built and furnished some amazing palaces, none more so than the Yusupovs, whose palace we shall visit. The Russian Art Museum and the Fabergé Museum will also be included.

Once established in and around their new capital, the Romanov family built several country palaces at Tsarskoe Selo, the so-called Tsar’s Village. These offer a more personal insight into the daily lives of the Imperial family and we shall visit the gloriously opulent Catherine Palace; while in contrast we shall have a private guided tour of the nearby neo-classical Pavlosk when closed to the public.

We shall stay at the 5* Astoria Hotel, a member of the Rocco Forte group of hotels, ideally located a few minutes walk from the banks of the River Neva and the Hermitage. Sitting on one side of an impressive public space with the magnificent St Isaac’s Cathedral in its centre, the city’s main shopping street, Nevsky Prospekt, is nearby.

Find out more about Christmas in St Petersburg

Reviews of this holiday

Christmas in St Petersburg by FredP, 5 Dec 2018
Traveller rating:

A Focused, educational visit to St Petersburg and surrounding places of interest. This was enhanced by the Knowledgeable ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Rosie, 30 Nov 2018
Traveller rating:

The week not only gave us a fascinating view of St Petersburg; its social history - past & present, its palaces and architec... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Elisabeth Black, 21 Nov 2018
Traveller rating:

Very well organised, with private visits in the company of curators or experts in their field, in a small group. Hotel and ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Snowmaiden, 3 Mar 2017
Traveller rating:

Everything ran like cloclwork, from being picked up at the airport, arriving at the hotel which was lovely , our rooms were ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Sparrow, 16 Oct 2016
Traveller rating:

We had an extremely interesting and informative visit to this amazing city. The Palaces are beautiful with so much gilding ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Beachside, 15 Oct 2016
Traveller rating:

6 days spent visiting the wonderful museums and palaces of St Petersburg led by a serious expert in Tom Duncan and very ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Fascinated, 4 Oct 2016
Traveller rating:

I had a marvellous time. Everything was very well organised. The Tour operator and the local guide are both excellent, ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Jane G, 3 Oct 2016
Traveller rating:

My Husband and I had an amazing holiday with Ciceroni to St Petersburg. We started our arrival into St Petersburg with a ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Matron, 3 Oct 2016
Traveller rating:

A week spent visiting all the main Palaces, three visits to the Hermitage, a production of Swan Lake, eating in delightful ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Lottie, 8 Oct 2014
Traveller rating:

We flew to Saint Petersburg in Russia with BA- the best airline, as it is reliable and comfortable and one feels in 'safe ... read more

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Reviews Submitted: 15
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Christmas in St Petersburg by FredP, 5 Dec 2018
Traveller rating:

A Focused, educational visit to St Petersburg and surrounding places of interest. This was enhanced by the Knowledgeable ... read more

Christmas in St Petersburg by Rosie, 30 Nov 2018
Traveller rating:

The week not only gave us a fascinating view of St Petersburg; its social history - past & present, its palaces and architec... read more