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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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  • Reviewed September 2019
    Alison Bone

    Experience Russia

    Just returned from this trip. It was fast paced, covering Moscow, Novrogod, Pushkin and St Petersburg, all in a week. Our tour guide Artem met us at the airport and was always on hand, from making sure we knew when and when we needed to met for each activity to giving advice on what to do during our free time (its limited on this trip), he also took us to some great restaurants which catered for those who wanted to taste the local cuisine and those wanting a more European choice. He was always on hand to help translate, which was needed. All the hotels we stayed in were clean and comfortable and well located close to attractions. Some didn't have tea & coffee making facilities so take a travel kettle if necessary. The trip covered most of the must see sights so days were full on, so comfy shoes are a must! The highlight for was Red Square at night and Catherine Palace but nowhere disappointed. All in all a good trip, giving us a real taste of Russia. I'd recommend adding a day before and after the trip as there's loads to see if both Moscow and St Petersburg which isn't covered.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Rec Square at night

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Great. Artem was very helpful, keeping our group of 16 on track. He took us to some great restaurants and was always on hand to give advice on optional activities. A credit to Exodus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a travel kettle and comfy shoes.
  • Reviewed August 2019

    Fascinating trip!

    I absolutely loved this trip and found it incredibly rich in culture and history. It was a lot to take in and rather fast paced at times, but by the end of it the whole group was up to speed on the different leaders and monarchs or Russia through the ages and had a good insight as to how the country/cities have developed to what they are today. Our leader, Artem, was full of passion and love for his country and shared his views and hopes for the future which made the trip even more insightful and interesting. Get ready for a lot of gold, chandeliers and palaces!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was so full of history and our local guides were brilliant story tellers and sharers of information that it inspired me to continue reading about Russia and it's history... and to come back one day! The incredible craftsmanship that went in to the opulent palaces and works of art were mind-blowing as well!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring comfortable shoes to walk in! We found most places took card for payments so you don't need to take much cash with you and the food was great and diverse!
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Janet Wilson

    From Russia with Love

    This is a fast-paced tour covering 4 cities in 7 days with almost as many modes of transport. The whirlwind of Moscow and St Petersburg is tempered by the quietness and quaintness of Novgorod and Pushkin. I had no idea what to expect of Russia and you can almost be put off by the visa application process alone, but what I found was a friendlier, cleaner and much greener country than I expected. This trip gives you an ideal mechanism of seeing the key tourist sites plus a little of the country and leaves you wanting to go back to sample more.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first time I saw Red Square had the sun just starting to set, with clear blue skies. The image of St Basil's and the GUM department store being lit up will never leave me. And who knew that a trip around the Moscow underground could be so impressive?

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Artem was patient, entertaining, informative and constantly ensured that we got the most out of our trip and our free-time. There were 16 of us on our trip and I'm sure he often thought he was herding cats. Our group got on really well and Artem definitely ensured we had fun as well as culture during our trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This may be classed as a leisurely/moderate trip but trying to see everything you can means pounding the pavements and museums for an easy 12 miles per day. Although the trip notes advise purchasing opera/ballet tickets several months in advance, our experience was that (in June) any site you may wish to do in your spare time, E.g. Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg, also needs to be booked a long time in advance. And if anyone offers you horseradish vodka - run!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm veggie and had no problems getting food during the trip - we tried Russian, Georgian and Armenian throughout, with some nods to Asian and pizza in between. There is so much to do in St Petersburg that I'd recommend having an extra 1 or 2 nights to give you time to see more and just do some people watching - but beware that in June there are gazillions of cruise ship passengers.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Christine Mcdougall

    Amazing trip

    This trip is an excellent introduction to Russia. It is fast paced but this ensures you are able to see as much as possible. It was interesting to visit smaller towns of novgorod and Pushkin as well as Moscow and st. Petersburg.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole trip was interesting but highlights were the hermitage, the faberge museum and the Moscow metro. All surpassed expectations.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Artem was very good at organising us and in taking us to good places to eat. Very friendly guide with excellent English ( all our local guides were very good and knowledgable about the places we were visiting). I was surprised we did not have a tipping kitty on this trip as it makes everything so much easier.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take comfortable shoes for walking and don’t pack too much.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very good first trip to Russia. Hotels and restaurants were better than expected. If you have time to add a few days do so. It is easy to get around st petersburg and hotel staff are very helpful. Unfortunately I couldn’t do this as there was so much more to see.
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Christine Mcdougall

    Fabulous tripa very

    A very good trip to a fascinating country. Trip covers Moscow, novrogod, Pushkin and st petersburg and is very busy. Great to see so many places in one trip. It was all fascinating

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all fascinating but the Hermitage and faberge surpassed my expectations. Trip on Moscow metro also fascinating.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Artem was very good. Trip was well organised and he selected a variety of good restaurants for us to try. The food was better than I expected. Very pleasant guide with excellent English. We didn’t have a kitty for tips (which I have had on past trips). I think this would have been a good ideal I really

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take comfortable shoes as lots of walking. You don’t need lots of clothes and avoid a heavy suitcase as you are on the move between towns.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really enjoyed this trip. I have wanted to visit Russia for a long time. It is a good introduction to the country. If you can add a few days in st petersburg do so. I couldn’t do this on my trip but several members of our group did. Most restaurants and hotel staff speak English and you can get around on your own
  • Reviewed June 2019
    Jane Howard

    25/05/2019

    This trip packs a lot into a short period of time. Be prepared to walk a lot and see a lot of art - all amazing. The overnight train trip is an experience, I didn't get a lot of sleep but I didn't expect to!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The faberge museum was fantastic, as was the Hermitage.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide, Artem, was knowledgeable and keen to ensure we had the best experience in Russia.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be warned that on some days the lunch stop is late - 2-2.30pm - so packing a few muslei bars to keep you going might be an idea. Travel light - with all the moving around lugging lots of luggage is hard work.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Andrea Minney

    Two wonderful cities

    I loved the trip, just the right length for me, very busy with lots of walking but that was what I was expecting. Nice balance of free time and group excursions. Minimal additional payments required. Not too many early mornings. I was very impressed with the standard of accomodation. We ate as a group most nights and I enjoyed all of the restaurants selected, although we did not have to eat with the group I found it easier than researching my own places. The only part I would do without would be the overnight train, having done many overnight train journeys, I find they just make people tired, it is not an experience I ever enjoy. I would recommend staying longer in both cities before and after the tour, something I wasn't able to do, there is simply so much to see and do.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I loved St Basils Cathedral, well worth going inside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I liked Eugene, he was very organised and tried his best to keep our group together which was difficult at times. It was easy to say that you were going to do something alone rather than with the group and Eugene was helpful with suggestions of where to go. I liked this as we did not always want to go with the group. He was one of the best tour leaders I have had. He managed to get us around the majority of the sights despite the public holiday and road closures making it very difficult for him to arrange our schedule. The local guides were good but I found it very difficult to hear what they were saying as well as taking photos, it was impossible to do both, so I found I missed a lot of information. We used ear pieces in The Hermitage, which was much easier.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a lot of walking, there is a lot to see in a short space of time and walking is the best way to see most of it. Avoid booking around the Russian public holiday on May 9th, there are many road closures around the centre of Moscow on three days for practicing military parades, then for the actual parade on May 9th. Red Square is also closed at these times, it means that some attractions are not accessible making planning of the tour very difficult. St Petersburg also has road closures over this holiday, meaning we took a different route into the city missing some key sights and activities had to be crammed into a shorter time period. I would have avoided these dates had I known.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    sandeep sahi

    Moscow to St Petersburg

    Thought it was a very enjoyable trip. So much to see and so much history. Russia isn't everybody's idea of a vacation, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought a week was just about the right time considering the distances covered.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I really enjoyed both Moscow for the Kremlin and Red Square are places I've wanted to visit from a young age and St Petersburg is a beautiful city - it's hard for me to decide between the two. If I had to decide, I did go the theatre in Moscow, which was fantastic.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Eugene was a very good group leader. Conscientious and helpful at all time and engaging. Members of the group can wander off at times, so he had to be on his guard!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This was mentioned in the trip notes that it would be advisable to spend extra time in St Petersburg - it's such a big city and so much to see.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Mike Grady

    Cultural excellence

    Exciting tour of Moscow, Novgorod, Pushkin and St Petersburg. Great architecture, fascinating museums, splendid churches and friendly people. Weather was kind and walking in Moscow strenuous. Good hotels and restaurants.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summer Palace at Novograd and the Hearmitwge and Russian Museum in St Petersburg not to mention trips to Bolshoi and mariinsty ballet in Moscow and St Petersburg.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very helpful and affable The pace of walking tour was demanding and more attention needs to be given to group cohesion and mixed abilities. Made great efforts to engage and with better and timely communication has potential be be a really good tour guide.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check weather forecasts before trip and pack to cover as many scenarios as possible.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Fantastic trip, learned a great deal about Russia and its history and culture.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Gillian Wright-Dixon

    Great country

    What a great place to visit. Seeing the Kremlin and St Basil's cathedral in Red Square, and the architecture of St Petersburg. Two completely contrasting cities and all within 8 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Kremlin was a huge part of the trip I wont forget, especially seeing Lenin's tomb. Also walking around St Petersburg and marveling at the buildings.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was a joy to oversee our tour. Julia was exceptional as a tour leader and met all of our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take around 40,000 ruble (as of 2018 and if your not one to buy souvenirs). I took 56,000 and had 23,000 left over as I wasn't sure how much I would need. If you travel in early October the weather was very mild so you don't need many jumpers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just what a great country to visit. Very interesting. If you get the chance, go snd visit the cold war bunker in Moscow.