One visit may not be enough to comprehend the vastness of Russia. But it is certainly enough time to take in – and marvel at – the national treasures that are Moscow and St Petersburg.

Talk to Richard French – one of our team of Russia specialists – and you will be guided by a true enthusiast. Richard can recommend a tour that includes the two prime cities of this extraordinary land.

In St Petersburg you will be enchanted by Dutch-style canals, spanned by charming bridges and palaces with over-the-top fountains. You will wander along streets lined by grand 18th century houses, on your way to one of the most extravagant buildings to be found anywhere. The Winter Palace, built by Peter the Great, is an astounding white, blue and gold confection that houses The Hermitage - and one of the most extensive art collections in the world.

Stand in Moscow’s Red Square and – again - prepare to be stunned. Photographs just do not do justice to the incredible domes of St Basil’s. Everywhere you look there are great buildings with golden domes glinting in the sunlight, contrasting with the old tenant buildings made famous by dissident writers of the Stalin era. And contrasting again with the world class ballet and opera for which Moscow is famed.

Take Richard’s advice. Pack suitable clothes, and plenty of memory cards for your camera.

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