To Russia With Love: 8 Weeks

Duration
56 Nights
Transport

This route is an 57 day trip which travels all the way through Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics, up to Russia and back. You’ll spend most nights in your accommodation with a few spent on night trains. Otherwise, you’ll travel by train, ferry, or coach during the day. Prefer to fly out and back rather than taking the Eurostar? No problem, just request a price and reply to the email to let us know – we’ll adjust the price for you. 

Route
  • London
  • Brussels
  • Amsterdam
  • Hamburg
  • Copenhagen
  • Berlin
  • Krakow
  • Warsaw
  • Vilnius
  • Riga
  • Tallinn
  • Helsinki
  • St Petersburg
  • Yaroslavl
  • Moscow
  • Kiev
  • Prague
  • Cesky Krumlov
  • Vienna
  • Paris
  • London
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Trip Style

This route is the perfect way to experience Europe by rail in all its forms. You’ll start off in Western Europe, with enough time to enjoy the sights in every city, before winding eastwards and North all the way to Russia. Spend 2 weeks in this vast and intriguing country before heading back via the Ukraine and Central Europe. This trip is perfect if you’ve seen a lot of Western Europe and fancy a big adventure… Go on this trip to see the continent from one edge to another, with enough time to explore deeper and really get to know each destination.

Trip Description

Want to explore Europe from West to East?

If you’ve always dreamed of Europe’s Eastern frontiers, this trip is to you. You’ll start off from home, in London, before heading on to the Belgian capitalCheck out Europe’s most impressive square, taste silky Belgian chocolate, and let’s not forget about that beer…

Continue on to Amsterdam, home of world famous nightlife and sometimes questionable past times… but also plenty of fascinating museums and historic art galleries too!

Take a comfortable train to the heart of Hamburg in the morning. 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 with a local beer. Get back on the train because 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.

You’ll continue your journey eastwards via Berlin. Seek out the city’s famous street art at the East Side Gallery, head to a biergarten to sample the local brew, walk across the buzzing Potsdammer Platz or visit the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Travel on and stop off in the cultural heart of Poland – Krakow – to sample as many pierogis as you can manage before moving on to the city’s famous nightlife. Don’t miss a day trip out to Auschwitz – a sobering and important sight for any traveller. Next 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 after the conflict that almost destroyed the region.

Here it’s time to kick off the Baltic part of your trip. Riga and Vilnius – although they might often be known as stag-do destinations – play host to a huge number of Baltic cultural centres, from museums explaining the role the Soviet Union played in the history of this region, to galleries featuring local artists. Next up is Tallinn, where the Old Town has plenty of Russian influence, as well as Scandinavian style – think a mixture of Stockholm and St Petersburg. It’s also full of trendy cafes and bars, with a blossoming foodie scene to check out.

Hop across the sea for a brief, second wind in Scandinavia before you head on to Russia’s vast rural expanses and glorious cities. First up it’s St Petersburg, which will blow you away with its sheer glamour. Think gilded palaces and ballrooms, immaculately dressed people and expertly-mixed vodka cocktails. Yaroslavl gives you a taste of something a little more understated, with a slower pace of life – the city is a Unesco World Heritage centre, famous for its Orthodox cathedral and traditional Russian architecture.

Head on to Moscow to discover the grittier side of Russia – on the one hand, check out the impressive Kremlin and Red Square, and on the other, notice the enormous number of Soviet blocks which still dominate the capital’s skyline.

Head back towards Western Europe and make a pitstop in Kiev, the beautiful capital of Ukraine, before you continue your homeward journey via Prague for some fresh chimney cake and crisp Pilsner Urquell! Seek out the city’s famous street art at the John Lennon Wall and explore the charming pastel-coloured Old Town before you move on to the incredibly quaint walled city of Cesky Krumlov.

Next nip down to fascinating Vienna to explore the palaces and gardens of one of Europe’s great cities. Explore the rides at Prater Park or hire a pedalo on the Danube. Heading back into the heart of Western Europe, finish your trip in the City of Light. Paris needs no introduction, so what better place to finish your trip than on the banks of the Seine…

Finally, you’ll hop back on a relaxing train back to London, and onwards back to wherever you started in the UK.


This route requires a Russian tourist visa.  You can apply for a Russian visa 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. For further 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). Check out Portia’s blog on travelling in Russia for more tips and advice on getting your paperwork sorted! 

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.

What's included?

  • 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.
  • Access to your itinerary, tickets and documents on the Euroventure App.
  • Access to our 24hr emergency phone number while you’re away.

The Route

Itinerary

This is a long slower-paced trip offering a once in a lifetime chance to experience the best of Western, Northern and Eastern Europe – as well as Russia. Journeys are mid-length to long, usually at least 3-4 hours each and involving some full days or nights of travel, but we’ll always ensure that you arrive in good time to make the most of each city. Your travel to and from the UK is included, so you can relax safe in the knowledge that everything’s sorted in advance.

London

Start your trip from London, or your nearest UK station. Why not stay a few nights in London if you’ve got time?

London Guides
Highlights

  • See world-famous landmarks, like the Big Ben
  • Watch a show at one of many West End theatres
  • Experience the quirky nightlife of Shoreditch

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 bureaucratic alter ego as capital of the European Union itself. Come for the delicious beer, waffles, and moules frites.

Brussels Guides
Highlights

  • Visit Mini Europe in the capital of the EU
  • See Europe’s most beautiful square the Grand Place
  • Explore nearby cities such as Ghent and Bruges

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
Highlights

  • 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
Highlights

  • 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
Highlights

  • 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
Highlights

  • 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
Highlights

  • 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

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
Highlights

  • See the imposing Soviet Palace of Culture
  • Visit the entirely reconstructed Royal Palace
  • Have a drink at the fashionable old town bars

Vilnius

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.


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Vilnius Guides
Highlights

  • Take a sobering tour of the former headquarters of the KGB and learn about Vilnius’ important role in WW2.
  • Explore Gedinimas Castle on the hill, which overlooks the beautiful old town
  • Take a trip up the TV tower for awesome views – there’s even a revolving restaurant!

Riga Latvia

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
Highlights
Tallinn church

Tallinn (2 Nights)

Tallinn looked set to become the next cheap stag party destination but the city has shunned this in favour of presering the fairy-tale medieval charm of its streets and spires, and whilst is still has its fair share of watering holes, Estonians have not forgotten their rich heritage.

Tallinn Guides
Highlights

  • 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 Helsinki. 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
Highlights

  • 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
Highlights

  • 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)

Yaroslavl is the perfect place to wind down in between the fast paced metropolises of St Petersburg and Moscow. With glorious cathedrals, ornate architecture and plenty of excellent museums to explore, this 12th Century town is part of the “Golden Ring” of ancient Russian cities. Here you can get a taste of true Russian life in the surroundings of a Unesco World Heritage site.

Yaroslavl Guides
Highlights
  • Explore the the golden-domed Transfiguration Church with its 16th-century frescoes.
  • Discover the various animal sculptures dotted about – e.g. “Monument to Bear”.
  • Relax by the side of the Strelka Fountains on a summer day.

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
Highlights

  • 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.

Kiev (3 Nights)

Ukraine’s capital is a stunning city with a history as fascinating as it is turbulent. The large number of students gives the city an unexpectedly progressive and young outlook – you only have to look to the 2014 riots to see what its population is capable of. Learn more about the city’s past and present by checking out the excellent museum and art scene.

Kiev Guides
Highlights

  • Take a craft beer tour to discover Kiev’s awesome underground brew-houses
  • Explore Caves Monastery with it’s stunning golden rooves
  • Feeling daring? Travel out to Chernobyl to check out the exclusion zone.

Prague (2 Nights)

Prague is beautiful, with no better word to describe it. On whichever side street or square, the intricate architecture prevails, with every building unique and full of colourful detail. The Czech Republic is also the home of Pilsner beer, with no lack of establishments to sample it.

Prague Guides
Highlights

  • Cross the enchanting Charles Bridge
  • Marvel at the curvy design of the dancing building
  • Try all the Czech Pilsner beers in the old town pub

Cesky Krumlov (2 Nights)

Cesky Krumlov is often sighted as the “undiscovered” Prague. We’re not sure how undiscovered it really is, but it certainly makes a great value addition to your stay in the Czech capital. Enjoy the pretty pastel buildings, slow pace of life and quieter (but just as quaint) old town.

Cesky Krumlov Guides
Highlights
  • Try out Night Rafting – head out with a trained guide and discover the river after dark
  • Head underground to discover the old mines which made Cesky Krumlov rich
  • Visit the Eggenburg Brewery to see how their tasty Pils is made.

Vienna (2 Nights)

Vienna is crisp, clean and chic with its biggest draw factor being the multitude of classical palaces and grand imperial buildings. Whether you’re into your royal history or not, the sheer scale of it here will be encapsulating for all, whilst not forgetting the great bars and eateries.

Vienna Guides
Highlights

  • Visit the Spanish riding school of Vienna
  • Eat real Apple Strudel and Wiener Schnitzel
  • Go to a classical concert in a city renowned for music

Paris (2 Nights)

Paris is a byword for romance, a synonym for style and the epitome of elegance. The pride of France and one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris needs little introduction, from the Eiffel Tower to the Pont Neuf, bedazzling visitors and oozing charisma at every turn.

Paris Guides
Highlights

  • See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre museum
  • Watch a cabaret act the famous Moulin Rouge
  • Experience the colourful nightlife of the Marais

London

Finish your trip back in the UK after an adventure from West to East and back!


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London Guides

How to get there

No stress! All your transport to and from the UK is included so you don’t need to worry about anything else.

Optional Extras

Reviews

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4.89 Average

395 Reviews

Overall Rating

2 weeks ago

The team at Euroventure was outstanding! Not only were they knowledgeable and helpful, but they were always quick to respond, very accommodating, and made every part of our trip personal and meaningful. Highly recommend Euroventure and would definitely work with them again.

Dannah Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

3 weeks ago

I have just returned from my 1 week interrailing trip! Me and my boyfriend went on the “Iron curtain” package and it was amazing. Euroventure organised everything and made it so easy. I would highly recommend anyone that wants to see more of Europe to go with this company.

Anonymous Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

3 weeks ago

My sisters and I had the best trip, we did a variation to the 4 week eastern traveller route and Euroventure were so helpful in making the trip suit our needs. Each hostel was great and in a good location. The info pack was such a great help and an amazing keepsake. The fact all of our travel was booked and set out meant we could spend all our efforts on experiencing everything! We truly had the best time and would 100% recommend to anyone. We’re already looking for our next trip! Thanks again for all your help - Alice, Kailey and Harriet :)

Alice Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

1 month ago

The trip was amazing. The organisation and selection of hostels and type of travel was exceptional allowing for an outstanding memory

TYNE Govier Verified Reviewer

Overall Rating

1 month ago

OB14844 Absolutely amazing trip. Took alm the hassle out of booking trains myself. The travel pack is really good too.

Amy Elizabeth Verified Reviewer

Questions & Answers

Don't see the answer you're looking for?

Question:
Are transfers to Europe included?
Answer:
Our packages do not include flights to the start and from the end of the trip. We have plenty of trips however that do include Eurostar trains from London, and with most of these you are able to start from any mainland UK train station at no extra cost, as well as return there at the end of your trip. We just need to take into account the amount of time it takes you to travel from your UK home station to London to catch the Eurostar to Paris or Brussels, and your onward connections if necessary.
Question:
Do I travel as a group or with somebody from Euroventure?
Answer:
With our independent Interrai packages, you’ll travel on your own or in your own group of friends. We don’t add other customers to your trip and you won’t have a guide with you. That’s not to say you won’t meet people – travelling in hostels you’re bound to meet loads of cool people, but by travelling with us you’re free to do that at your own pace. Euroventure trips are all about independence – you just follow the itinerary and do your own thing, knowing that we’re only a phone call away if you run into difficulty. If you'd prefer to travel with a group, we also run group tours in Europe and Asia. For these trips, you'll travel with a group of likeminded backpackers and at least one guide from Euroventure. With these tours, we'll travel in a group and stay together in hostels, however in each location you will have some free time to explore independently.
Question:
Do you schedule in night travel?
Answer:
Sometimes, yes. Some packages have one or two night trains in order to cover big distances such as Prague to Krakow. In this case, the extra charge for the night train will be covered by us as you won’t be requiring a hostel. Details will be provided when you submit a quote request for a route. If you choose a Loop package these are designed to cover as much distance as possible in the shortest space of time, so on those you might find that most journeys if not all involve night trains or night coaches.
Question:
What are the night trains like?
Answer:
The night trains are a great way to save time by travelling overnight in a comfortable environment. As far as availability allows, we try to get our customers into individual bunk beds in mixed lockable compartments of 6 people, with bedding included. If you want to travel in single-sex compartments or with fewer people this can be arranged as well at an extra cost. There are toilets located at one or both ends of the carriage and there is a guard that will supervise the corridor, check your tickets and let you know when you’re arriving. Sometimes the guards will take your passport and ticket off you when you get on – don’t panic – this is a safety precaution and they’ll always get them back to you in the morning.
Question:
What are the hostels like?
Answer:
For a detailed article about what travelling in hostels is like go to our hostels guide It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare to arrive in a foreign city with nowhere to stay – that’s why we book and all your accommodation in every city in advance. Booking with us means no nasty surprises – you won’t have to worry about hostels being full or even just being a bit dodgy! All our handpicked hostels are centrally located and within easy reach of public transport.  We only use the best, most modern and sociable hostels along the way which we have personally visited to make sure they’re suitable. Most travelers stay in dorms with other backpackers, unless you’ve specified that you want private rooms, with all the facilities you would expect from a top hostel. Most will have free wifi and lockers. Breakfast is often free and you can also get involved in various activities put on by the hostels, such as pub crawls and city tours. Once you’ve booked your package, we will send you your travel pack, which includes all the information on the specific hostels and how to get to each one.
Question:
What happens if I miss a train?
Answer:
We usually offer a couple of trains that you can take in the day. However, sometimes we need to reserve specific trains, so if you miss them, or there are no more trains that day, then you will have to get a new reservation for a train later in the day or, occasionally, the next day in order to catch up with the itinerary. In any case, if this happens, call us and we will try and help you.
Question:
When do I receive my tickets?
Answer:
Once we receive your final payment we will get to work on purchasing your train tickets which don’t become available as early as the accommodation. In some cases, we can’t get hold of tickets until four weeks in advance, so we normally say you should expect your travel pack around 2-4 weeks before you depart.
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