Grand Kremlin Palace, Faceted Chamber and Terem
The Grand Kremlin Palace dating to the 19th century was once used by the Romanovs and now is the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation where protocol events and receptions of foreign dignitaries of the highest level are held. The opulent and majestic beauty of the palace is unrivalled in Europe. The Faceted Chamber and the Terem Palace - the historic part of the complex - date from as early as the XV century and stood witnesses to the times of Ivan the Terrible. The Grand Kremlin Palace complex is strictly off-limits to public and used for official events and ceremonies only. As an Exeter guest we invite you to visit the Palace.
Hermitage Storage Rooms
While touring the Hermitage many wonder: “Where they keep these 2 million items which are not on permanent display?” Exeter is ready to answer this question and take you to the Hermitage Storage rooms - a contemporary, technology-filled scientific center, created for the needs of art historians and restorers.
We can open this heavy fire-proof door for you to see the collection of painting and sculpture, imperial carriages and furniture from numerous St Petersburg palaces concealed from the eye of general public.
Lost during the Second World War the Amber Panels of the Catherine Place are being meticulously restored. For this purpose an actual amber workshop was set up near the former Imperial property.
As Exeter guests you are invited on an amber master conducted tour of the workshop, where besides the history of the Amber Chamber of the Palace you will get to know amber working techniques and types of this stone, see amber masters at work and, if you wish, try working amber yourself.
Matryoshka Painting Master Class
Make yourself a souvenir! Visit with us the Matryoshka (Russian stacking dolls) museum to learn the history of this popular toy, its symbolism, different designs, patterns and philosophy of the craft.
At the end of the tour a professional artist from the Academy of Folk Crafts and Arts will teach you how to paint a matryoshka doll yourself – a truly hand-made souvenir!
Private Tour of Christ the Redeemer
After touring the cathedral, a very special guide from the cathedral will join you for a private visit to the dome of the church. After ascending to the top via elevator, you will have the opportunity to view the city of Moscow at 360 degrees, from all four sides of the dome. Standing at 300 feet above the city, the dome provides a fantastic view of the city’s most significant sites including the Kremlin, St. Basil’s, Pushkin Museum, Red October Chocolate Factory and the Moskva River. Turn a corner and you are awarded with views of several of the Seven Sisters buildings. You may even witness the ringing of the bells in the Bell towers located just above your head! It's the ultimate Moscow city tour from the top of the highest peak of central Moscow.
Private Tour, Vaganova Ballet Academy
Established in 1738 a visit to the Vaganova Ballet Academy can only be described as a privilege. You will have an opportunity to visit the fascinating museum, and subject to when you visit, you may have the opportunity to see ballet stars of the future during class. Please note that the academy and museum are strictly closed to the public and each request for a private tour is considered on an individual basis.
Private Tour, Cold War Bunker
A visit to the Cold War Bunker will take you back to the era when many civilian buildings in Moscow were there just to disguise military instillations.The Nuclear Bunker reveals the Cold War chapter in the history of Russia, when the country was full on alert and the tension between superpowers had the world fearing a nuclear war.
The bunker was built 200 feet below Moscow and during its construction the residents of the area were told that the metro tunnels were being extended. Its main function was to sustain communication for the government of the state in case of a nuclear attack. More than 2000 people worked here (and of course could not discuss even with their closest family where they worked) some of whom have been back to visit since it was bought at auction several years ago by an ex military civilian and turned into a museum.
Hermitage Early Entrance and Treasure Gallery
You don’t need to fight through high-season crowds to see the Hermitage Collection anymore. We offer you an Exeter way – Early Admission to the Hermitage Museum. Can you imagine yourself walking through the art-filled 19th century rooms alone? – we can draw this image to reality for you. Besides you will be among few who behold the famous Peacock Clock being wound up for the day.
Another fascinating Hermitage experience is a visit to the Treasure Gallery which boasts over 1500 items of jewelry from Europe and Oriental Countries starting from the VII century BC to the works of the XIX century imperial jewelers. Not only you will see the most fabulous masterpieces ever created, but also will follow the chronological development of the art from early times to its flourishing in late XIX century.
Backstage tours of Bolshoi and Mariynsky Theaters
We invite you to explore the soul of Russian ballet and tour with Exeter the backstage of the world famous theaters – Bolshoi and Maryinsky. A local curator will give you a history tour of the theater when dimmed down auditorium is disturbed only by stage-setting workers and rare nervous steps of the show producer. You will become a master of the Tsar’s Box protocol, will learn a lot about ballet stars of the past and present, have a chance to see theatrical artists’ studio, try on tutus which are to be used for Swan Lake the same night. And the lucky ones may see the dress rehearsal of an opera or ballet. Exeter can also take you to choreography schools in Moscow and St Petersburg where theater lovers may enjoy a rehearsal of the will-be ballet stars.
The Palace of the Yusupovs
Started in the early 18th century on the banks of the Moika river the Palace grew into a true gem in the imperial crown of St Petersburg architecture. In 1916 the palace became the stage of dramatic and mysterious events of the last night of Rasputin’s earthly life.
The palace has carried fascinating beauty and noble splendor of its owners – one of the most affluent families of the Russian Empire – through centuries and even today pertains to the authentic flavor of the 19th century luxury.
Private Tour, Faberge Museum
“The House of Fabergé became known across the world, employing 100 jewellers in St Petersburg and 400 in Moscow, painstakingly handcrafting a prolific output, from eggs fit for the tsars to encrusted snuff boxes for dignitaries, to cigarette cases and matchboxes. Examples of all of them are here.” Financial Times. Enjoy a private pre arranged tour of the stunning Faberge Museum, housed in the neo-classical Shuvalov palace which has been painstakingly restored. The collection has over 1,500 pieces including several of the famed Imperial Easter Eggs along with many other items that cover all areas of Faberge’s craftsmanship including clocks, cigarette cases and frames.
Meet a retired KGB Colonel
If you have an interest in Soviet history, why not combine a Soviet walking tour of Moscow with a visit to the Cold War Bunker and end the day with a meeting with a retired KGB Colonel. He will share the history of the Russian Secret Service with you - from it's first incarnation as the Cheka, to today's FSB.
Russian Cooking Class
Russian Cooking Class is intended for those who would like to get acquainted with the traditions of this a truly unique country. Russian cuisine is incredibly rich and diverse! We invite you to plunge into the world full of bright tastes and unforgettable impressions.
At the Russian Cooking Class you will learn to choose seasonal foodstuff correctly, to cook delicious national dishes and, of course, will learn what their real taste should be.