From Helsinki to St.Petersburg by the King`s Route


7 Days / 6 Nights






Separated by the distance of only 450 km., St.Petersburg, the former capital of Imperial Russia in 1712-1918 and its cultural capital up to now, and Helsinki, the capital of Finland from 1917, have very close links in both industrial and humanitarian fields of life. The two-way cultural influence is especially evident in the architecture of both cities, where classically designed buildings on the Senate Square in Helsinki resemble the neo-classical style of St.Petersburg. Owing to long-termed and fruitful contacts between tourist companies of the cities the visits to/from St.Petersburg and Helsinki are among the most popular itineraries in both Russia and Finland, basically because of the rich cultural programs and easy access. In case of a longer stay in St. Petersburg customers have a good chance to broaden their knowledge of the Finnish history, culture and modern life of the neighbouring country’s capital through a two-day trip by bus.

Helsinki The city was founded in 1550 by the Swedish King Gustav Vasa as a port that could compete with Tallinn and other ports on the Baltic Sea. In 1641 the city was moved 5 km off the original location place. The fortress of Sveaborg was built nearby in the second half of the 18th century to protect the port-city, which enlarged considerably the area occupied by the city. From 1812 to 1917 Helsinki was made the main city of the Grand Principality of Finland (as part of Russia till 1917). After the Russian revolution of 1917, when Finland was granted independence by the Bolsheviks, the city became the capital of the new sovereign state.

Vyborg Built in 1293 by the Swedes on the place of the Russian settlement, this border city is also a harbor and a sea port. During the Northern War between Russia and Sweden (1701-1721) the city was conquered by the Russian army under the command of Peter I and appended to Russia. In 1811 Vyborg became the part of Grand Principality of Finland. In 1917 it became the part of Finland. As a result of the Soviet-Finnish War of 1940 Vyborg was appended to the USSR.

Novgorod Mentioned for the first time in the Chronicles in 859, Novgorod (Russian for “new town”) is not simply one of Russia’s oldest cities. This is the city that is related to by Russians as “Novgorod the Great” for the great role it played in the Russian history. The ordinary name given to the city at its foundation proved to be very accurate. Over a long period of time Novgorod was the city renown for the achievements in various fields of human activity, whether it concerned culture, trade, architecture, or social developement. After disintegration of the ancient Russian state Kiev Rus’ into several independent principalities (12th century) Novgorod became the capital of the state with advanced social structure: Republic of Novgorod (1136-1478), which occupying the vast territory stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Urals was one of the biggest countries in Europe. The new form of government granted townsmen and villagers participation in the political life through the local parliament (veche in old Russian), which was a very progressive form of government for the medieval Russia. A very convenient location of the city at the intersection of the main trade routs resulted in development of trade, art and culture. By the 15th century Novgorod grew to a prosperous city known far beyond the borders of the country due to the inspired labour of the local craftsmen, merchants and artists. An absolute majority of the city’s population, including women and children, where literate (the fact unparalleled anywhere in Europe until the modern time). The secular and religious art of Novgorod was very advanced for the time. It was the only Russian member-city of the Hanseatic League of the commercial towns, the most influential commercial structure in the medieval Europe. It was in Novgorod that the psalmbook, the oldest of the Slavic texts, and the most of the 11th - 15th century Russian noted books were written. Built in the late 15th century Russia’s first Italian-styled Kremlin of Novgorod set an example for building fortresses of this type in other rich Russian cities too. With three rows of monasteries and dozens of churches of high artistic value in and around the city, Novgorod was always one of the leading spiritual centers of Russia. The Cathedral of St.Sophia (1050) is city’s most majestic and one of three Russia’s oldest sanctuaries built in honour of St. Sophia. As a result of annexation by the Moscow principality (1494) and rapid developing of St.Petersburg, Novgorod, starting from the early 16th century, began to loose its trading and economic significance. One the other hand it helped to preserve some of the old parts of the city from the modern urban development. The present Novgorod is a big tourist center, famous for numerous historical monuments, and masterpieces of the medieval architecture.

The program of the tour:


Arrival in Helsinki. Transfer to a centrally located hotel. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the city The tour includes visiting the imposing imperial-styled Senate Square, the Dome Cathedral, the Market Square (good chance to taste deliciously marinated trout !) and the Temppeli church built in the massive rock. Lunch. Check-out. Departure to Vyborg by bus. Arrival in Vyborg. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel.


Day 3

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of Vyborg. Lunch. Check-out. Departure to St.Petersburg. The road to it runs through the picturesque part of the Karelian Isthmus, which makes a 3,5-hour ride non-hard and short. Check-in. Dinner at the hotel.


Day 4

Breakfast. Sightseeing tour of the city’s highlights  Tour of the Peter & Paul Fortress. Built to ward off Swedish raids, the fortress was the city’s very first structure. Visit to the St. Peter & Paul Cathedral, the burial ground of the Romanov royal family. Lunch in a city restaurant. Afternoon tour of the Hermitage Museum renowned for the world’s largest collection of the art masterpieces. The fantastic gala and private rooms of the Winter Palace are a part of the tour. Dinner at the hotel.


Day 5

Breakfast. Trip to the former royal summer residences in Pushkin and Pavlovsk. Tour of the Catherine’s Palace in Pushkin. The Palace and surrounding parks were created by Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great, which is why Pushkin was formerly known as “village of the tsars” (Tsarskoje Selo).Designed by a famous Italian architect Rastrelli in the lavish Russian baroque style, the palace, with its famous Amber Room, is an impressive post-World War II reconstruction. Stroll in the park. Proceed to Pavlovsk. Tour of the Emperor Paul’s Palace Though less touristy than the palace at Pushkin, this neo-classical palace and famous for its elegancy and excellent collections of chinaware, furniture and clocks. Lunch in Podvorje Russian restaurant known for excellent cuisine and Russian folk show. Return to St. Petersburg. Time at leisure (stroll along the Nevsky prospect, visit to the farmers’ market downtown, or alike relaxing tour). Dinner at the hotel.


Day 6

Breakfast. Leaving for a full-day trip buy bus to Novgorod. Arrival in Novgorod. Check-in at the hotel “Beresta” Lunch in a downtown restaurant. Afternoon sightseeing tour of the city (the Kremlin, the Yaroslav Court, the St.George’s Monastery, the wooden architecture open air museum). Farewell dinner in a Russian restaurant.


Day 7

Breakfast. Departure to St. Petersburg. Transfer to the airport. Departure.



The price of the tour is quoted by request.