This route is a 43 day trip taking you all the way from London, through Northern Europe, to 3 of Russia’s most popular cities. You’ll spend 41 nights in your accommodation, and 1 on a night train, with all other train, ferry, and bus travel taking place during the day.
- St Petersburg
This trip only creates 367.3 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 1423.7 ♻️
If you’ve covered most of Western Europe already and are looking for a little bit of a challenge, why not venture East? Head to some of Europe’s lesser-visited areas, including the Baltics and Russia, to catch a glimpse of what not many people get the chance to see. On this trip, you’ll leave London to check out 3 of Russia’s most beautiful cities, as well as big cities and rugged landscapes in between!
Go East and experience the wonders of Russia!
Start your Northern Europe holiday by hopping on the train in your local town or city and heading straight for London for your Eurostar to the Belgian capital of Brussels. Check out Europe’s most impressive square, taste silky Belgian chocolate and let’s not forget about that beer…
Then, you’ll continue onwards to Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands is home to a liberal atmosphere, friendly people, world class cultural heritage and incredible architecture. Hire a bike to cruise around amazing museums (our favourites are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum), before hitting up its trendy bars, famous coffee-shops and the (in)famous Red Light District. Amsterdam is unique and endlessly fascinating – all the more reason to come back time and time again.
Next up, you’ll head to Hamburg, where you’ll have a hard choice to make as you decide whether to explore the arty dock quarter, or settle down on the main square for a historical local beer. Soon after, Copenhagen awaits; a stylish and modern city with a liberal and relaxed attitude. Join the students relaxing in the parks with a chilled beer, hire bikes and make the most of the city’s excellent cycle paths or visit the fascinating world that is Freetown Christiania.
Then, hit the ground running in bohemian Berlin, one of Europe’s most historically rich cities. With more incredible museums than you can shake a stick at, you’ll have plenty of the city’s history to explore! Wander around its streets and pass what was the border between Eastern and Western Europe before the Berlin Wall fell. Counter-balance the culture and history lessons with bar-hopping and partying at the city’s many clubs – from the edgy to the downright bizarre. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get into Berghain…
On to Poland, first, you’ll spend some time in Krakow! Packed with imposing and impressive architecture, homely eateries and luscious green parks – there’s plenty to fill your days with. With the city’s natural beauty, it’s hard to believe that it’s also bursting at the seams with amazing and vibrant nightlife. Whilst there, be sure take an unforgettable day trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau. We guarantee that it’ll be one of the most moving experiences you’ll ever have on your travels. Before you go, you’ll also stop off in Warsaw, the Polish Capital. Often overlooked, this is the place to go for traditional Polish food and crafts at cheap prices. It’s also a treasure trove of fascinating WW2 history with the city being almost totally destroyed and rebuilt.
Vilnius will surprise you with it’s grand and ornate buildings – reflecting more of the old Russian influence that has played such a big part in this region’s history. Orthodox churches with colourful frescoes, beautiful market squares and pavement cafes make this small city the perfect place to unwind before venturing further into the Baltics.
Head to Riga next; its distinctive Soviet influences feel much more Eastern European, with plenty of architectural and cultural contrasts between the old and the new. Be sure not to miss Riga TV Tower which is the tallest tower in the whole of the EU and the third tallest in Europe. Be sure to take a trip up to the machine room near the top (over 300m high) and admire the incredible views of the city and beyond.
Tallinn is next on the agenda to round off the Baltic part of your trip, although the city’s Old Town has plenty of Scandinavian influence, as well as Slavic style – think a cross between Stockholm and St Petersburg. It’s also full of trendy cafes and bars, with a blossoming foodie scene to check out, rivalling that of any other European hipster capital.
You’ll continue on by night ferry through to stylish Scandinavia to explore Helsinki’s galleries and parks. Take a day trip out into the Baltic sea to explore some of the surrounding islands, or visit the Finnish folk museum with live actors… Next, hop aboard the train and start the Russian portion of your adventure!
Explore the spires and palaces of St Petersburg, and lose yourself in the fairytale landscapes of the City of the Tsars. Discover the beautiful National Ballet, Winter Palace and Catherine Park – we couldn’t think of a better way to escape reality for a while! Walk along the harbour in the midnight sun – during May and June the legendary “White Nights” play host to a huge variety of concerts and shows throughout the city.
Next you’ll explore Yaroslavl – it’s a world heritage city and sits at the heart of the “Golden Ring” of Ancient Russian cities which have all played an important historical role in the region. This winter wonderland is a haven for snow lovers – the Volga river freezes solid every winter as temperatures drop well below freezing. In Summer explore the beautful spires and traditional architecture of the city’s old town.
A quick train journey and you arrive at your final stop – Moscow. The iconic power house of Russia is home to some of the country’s most famous landmarks. Red Square, with its neighbouring St Basil’s Cathedral as well as The Kremlin is a must. But don’t miss out on the more underground aspects of the city – from its stylish coffee houses to the famously exuberant nightlife. Moscow’s hipster culture is alive and thriving, so you shouldn’t struggle to find a stylish brunch joint to sooth any resulting hangovers.
This route requires a Russian tourist visa, not included in the price. You can apply for this up to 6 months before your trip. Once you have the visa, you MUST enter Russia within 6 months otherwise it will expire.
Euroventure is not able to provide visas, however we can supply supporting documents for your application for a fee of £3 per hostel/hotel. For information on how to apply, please go to your nearest Russian Embassy website and look up the entry requirements for your nationality. Make sure you allow plenty of time to process this (at least 2 months).
Our partners at Real Russia are the experts in Russian tourist visas, and can process your visa for a set fee. Learn more about their visa service.
- All overland transport tickets from the first to the last city, as shown in the key.
- Any Interrail or Eurail passes if required, based on the best value for you.
- Compulsory seat reservations on high-speed rail, night trains or ferries.
- Accommodation in top-rated, centrally located hostels or hotels, tested by us.
- Walking directions between the stations and your booked accommodation.
- Optional walking tours, pub crawls and other activities at our partner hostels.
- A personalised travel booklet with maps, language guides, top tips, and more.
- Exclusive discounts on attractions across Europe.
- Peace of mind with alternative travel included if there is a strike or similar disruption.
- Access to our 24hr emergency phone number while you’re away.
If you’re looking to explore a fascinating and often-overlooked part of the world, our Russia trip is perfect for you! You’ll visit all of Northern Europe’s main cities, the Baltics, and three of the country’s most beautiful and popular cities, travelling on a mix of day and night trains. Please note that you’ll need a tourist visa to enter Russia!
London is home to the UK’s biggest and best known museums, sights and attractions – why not add a few nights here if you want to make the most of what the city has to offer?London Guides
- Check out the country’s top museums, all of which are free!
- Explore the alternative markets at Portobello road and Camden.
- Try all the international foodie delights in Brixton Village or Brick Lane
Brussels (2 Nights)
Belgium’s biggest city accommodates an eclectic mix of old and new, from Europe’s most beautiful square lined with guild houses and continental cafes to its bureacratic alter ego as capital of the European Union itself. Come for the delicious beer, waffles and moules frites.Brussels Guides
- Visit Mini Europe in the capital of the EU
- See Europe’s most beautiful square the Grand Place
- Try to find the fountain statue Manneken Pis
Amsterdam (3 Nights)
Despite being credited with certain recreational pastimes, there is actually a lot more to the city than the stereotypical picture, with its abundance of engaging museums, beautiful townhouses and canals. Find out what makes Amsterdam the beating heart of the Netherlands.Amsterdam Guides
- Visit the Van Gogh Museum
- Discover Europe’s biggest historic centre by pedal
- Take a tour of the red light district
Hamburg (2 Nights)
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany, but you can still expect a green environment mixed with a maritime spirit. Check out the cool music scene which hosted the Beatles in their early days, as well as the bustling Reeperbahn district, the historical St Michaelis Church, and the famous Fish market. Hamburg has an eclectic feel that’s hard not to love.Hamburg Guides
- Visit the Tierpark Hagenbeck
- Go to the Fish market – either very late or very early
- Explore the 800-year-old harbour
Copenhagen (4 Nights)
Copenhagen is a place where equal rights and liberal attitudes take precedence, a land where the atmosphere incredibly safe and remarkably relaxed. Make sure you visit the hippie commune of Christiania where squatters’ rights still hold sway.Copenhagen Guides
- Visit the little mermaid
- Go to one of the world’s oldest theme parks
- Sample the fruity beers at plenty of microbreweries
Berlin (4 Nights)
Berlin is the alternative, cool kid of Europe and a pro at being edgy. It’s how people dress, their liberal attitudes, the graffiti, the skaters and BMXers, the art, the clubs and the food. Berlin is also crammed full of fascinating WWII history around every corner.Berlin Guides
- See a section of the old Berlin Wall
- Climb the dome of the renovated Reichstag
- Discover the nightlife of Schoneberg and Kreuzberg
Krakow (3 Nights)
Krakow escaped being reduced to rubble in WWII, preserving the postcard-perfect Old Town and the cellars housing its famous bars and clubs. That’s not to say it doesn’t share a chapter of history in the nearby Auschwitz concentration camp which demands a humble visit.Krakow Guides
- See Europe’s largest medieval market square
- Take photos of Poland’s best preserved city
- Find one of many gothic cellar bars open until late
Warsaw (3 Nights)
Known as the ‘Phoenix City’ after having risen from the ashes of so many ruinous wars, Warsaw is home to an abundance of Polish art, vibrant nightlife and wholesome cuisine. A plate of delicious dumplings and soup will keep you nourished around the stunning rebuilt Old Town.Warsaw Guides
- See the imposing Soviet Palace of Culture
- Visit the entirely reconstructed Royal Palace
- Have a drink at the fashionable old town bars
Vilnius (2 Nights)
Vilnius is home to one of Europe’s largest Baroque old towns. The spires and coloured facades have a distinctly continental feel – not surprising since you’re only a few hours away from the North of Poland. Enjoy exploring the hub of Lithuania’s culture and arts scene – and don’t forget the hearty local cuisine once the sun sets.Vilnius Guides
Riga (2 Nights)
Riga may be austere and gracious on the surface but dig deeper and you’ll discover awesome nightlife and a wealth of Baltic culture. Wind your way around the cobbled streets by day, come evening go underground to seek out some of the Baltic region’s best music venues.Riga Guides
- Learn about the varied and fascinating history of Latvia in a walking tour of the old town.
- Dance the night away, Latvian style, at Folksklub Ala Pagrabs
- Marvel at the Art Nouveau style buildings – like famous building at 2a, Alberta Iela
Tallinn (2 Nights)
At once a modern, stylish city and a medieval maze of passageways and cobbled streets, Tallinn is a great combination of old and new. Recently the city has become a centre for contemporary art and design, with loads of independent boutiques and ateliers springing up – perfect for whiling away slow summer days.Tallinn Guides
- Visit the museum of (both) occupations
- See the sumptuous Aleksander Nevsky cathedral
- Drink at numerous pubs with local Estonians
Helsinki (3 Nights)
For an important harbour town it only seems right that you should take a ferry to or from Helisnki. In summer Finnish people enjoy their open parks, relaxed atmosphere and quirky cafes before they all disappear indoors for winter as temperatures plummet.Helsinki Guides
- Visit the Finnish folk museum with live actors
- Stroll through the magnificent Sibelius Park
- Take a boozy sightseeing tour on the red pub-tram
St Petersburg (4 Nights)
Saint Petersburg is the city of the Tsars. From glorious opera houses to underground music scenes, classical masterpieces to street art – immerse yourself in kaleidoscopes of Russian colour and culture. When you’re done, make the most of the city’s famous White Nights to party into the early hours – you can sleep when you’re dead.St Petersburg Guides
- Marvel at the incredibly ornate “Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood”, Pushkin and Catherine Palaces.
- Join local residents for all night parties in June – during Summer’s “White Nights”, the sun barely sets.
- Discover authentic bargains at Udelka flea market on the weekend
Yaroslavl (2 Nights)
Check out traditional Russian Hospitality in Yaroslavl – one of the “Golden Ring” cities famed for their beauty and historical importance. Explore the gorgeous cathedrals and churches, with golden domes and elaborate frescoes. Make sure you get a pic of the grand Cathedral of Assumption!Yaroslavl Guides
- Join Yaroslavl’s locals and kiss for good luck by the Volga River
- See the UNESCO heritage area of the city which is teeming with museums and churches.
- Head to Pivoteka Pinta and drink the best beer in town.
Moscow (5 Nights)
Russia’s Capital, home to the grand treasures of the Tzars, Russia’s modern political hub (The Kremlin) and more cultural heritage than you can shake a stick at; it’s clear that any trip to Russia starts with Moscow. For this particular journey, it’s also your gateway to Siberia. Here is the starting point of the Trans Siberian Express – one of the World’s most iconic trains journeys.Moscow Guides
- Check out Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedrals – arguably Russia’s most famous sight
- Eat your way through delightfully stodgy cuisine – potatoes, Borscht, any kind of meat you can imagine and plenty of local beers (and maybe vodka) to wash it down.
- Sweat out all the toxins you’ve acquired in a classic Russian Banya, or bath house.
How to get there
The quickest and cheapest way to get to and from the UK will be to book a budget flight. Use a search engine such as Kayak or Skyscanner to do this. Alternatively, if you want to travel from the UK to Russia and back by train, why not have a look at our Northern Loop.
3 weeks ago
I had the most amazing time on the Iron Curtain Tour! We managed to fit so much into the week, with so many great recommendations by our awesome tour leader. Any difficulties as a cause of current travel situations were resolved without issue, and I always felt safe. Euroventure tours are to the best places, with the best people, and I cannot recommend them enough. Please do yourself a favour and book with them!
3 weeks ago
I had an amazing time on the iron curtain tour which was well organised so I could see a lot in a short space of time. Our tour leader was great; very knowledgeable and made good recommendations in each city. I was also pleased with the quality and location of the hostels. I will definitely consider booking with euroventure again.
3 weeks ago
The Iron Curtain Tour I went on was a great adventure! Euroventure was responsive with communication and on the tour the hostels were wonderful! My group was affected by the pandemic closures, but we made the most of it and Euroventure kept us updated throughout the week. No issues during travel!
3 weeks ago
Can't Fault Euroventure team for everything and creating the trip of a lifetime! Even with the current coronavirus issues, they are flexible, understanding and dealt with any concerns of the virus to reroute the trip. Will definitely be using them again!
1 month ago
Had a wonderful trip organised with Euroventure. All hotels fab and instructions on how to get to places spot on. No issues at all and I definitely recommend. Hil
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