➤ Day at leisure
➤ Optional tour to Catherin's Palace
➤ Optional tour to Veliky Novgorod
➤ Optional tour to Faberge Museum or other attractions
If you'd like to travel outside the city, consider the Catherine's Palace. This stunning Rococo palace located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 30 km south of St. Petersburg, was the summer residence of the Russian tsars. The residence originated in 1717 when Catherine I hired German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. Construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress.
Veliky Novgorod is one of Russia's most ancient cities and was Russia's first capital. No other Russian city can compete with Novgorod in the variety and age of its medieval monuments. It was founded by the Viking King Rurik in the 9th century who became the first King of Russia and founder of the Rurik Dynasty which ruled the Russian lands until the 16th century. In the 12th century, the Novgorod city-state controlled most of Europe's North-East, from today´s Estonia to the Ural Mountains making it one of the largest states in medieval Europe.