St. Petersburg & the Baltics 12 days
89.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
About This Experience
From medieval Baltic beauties to Russia’s imperial capital, this corner of Europe is full of delightful surprises. Start your journey in Vilnius, Lithuania, a multicultural city with a timeless historic center. Head north to Riga, Latvia, where you’ll find medieval castles alongside Art Nouveau gems, then continue to the lovingly preserved landmarks of Tallinn, Estonia. End in St. Petersburg, the city of the czars and Russia’s “window on the west.”
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
10 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine
Private deluxe motor coach
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
The Baltic capitals’ forward-thinking vibe
Fresh seafood straight from the Baltic
Atmospheric Vilnius Old Town
Riga’s colorful Art Nouveau architecture
Photogenic Town Hall Square in Tallinn
The Hermitage—grand palace-turned-art museum
Overnight Flight1 night
Vilnius2 nights - hotel info
Eat, drink, browse, wander, get lost and get found in Vilnius
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to Lithuania! A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to begin acquainting yourself with Vilnius. At an included dinner this evening, meet your fellow travelers.
Explore the narrow alleys and ancient architecture of Old Town Vilnius
Embark on a guided tour of the Lithuanian capital today. You’ll visit Vilnius’ Old Town including Gediminas Castle, Vilnius Cathedral, St. Anne’s Church, Vilnius University and the ancient Gate of Dawn, home to a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn. This afternoon is free to explore at your leisure. Consider joining an optional excursion to Trakai Island Castle, set in the middle of a lake a short distance from downtown Vilnius.
Must be booked 20 days before departure
Trakai Island Castle $55* pp
Discover Trakai Island Castle, located in the middle of Lake Galve, on this excursion. The red-brick castle has defended the western approaches to Vilnius since 1409. The castle fell into disrepair in the 17th century but has been lovingly restored, and today, it serves as both a cultural landmark and a scenic weekend escape for residents of Vilnius.
Riga3 nights - hotel info
Take a pilgrimage to the hill of crosses
This morning, depart Vilnius for Riga, stopping en route to visit the hill of crosses, a Lithuanian pilgrimage site. From there, continue onto Rundale Palace, the largest baroque castle in the Baltics. After settling in to your hotel in Riga, join your fellow travelers at tonight’s included dinner.
Something old, something new—experience Riga’s medieval and modern sides
Get the insider’s perspective on today’s guided tour of Riga, once the headquarters of the Livonian Order and now the center of Latvian politics and culture. Walk through Vecriga (Old Town) and take in medieval sights like St. Peter’s Church and Riga Castle, which date back to the 13th and 14th century. Then head to the New Town for a look at the Freedom Monument, erected in 1935. The highlight of the tour is the city’s striking Art Nouveau district, recognized by UNESCO as the finest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe. The rest of the afternoon is free to continue exploring on your own, or opt to join an excursion to discover the Cultural Traditions of the Latvian Countryside.
Cultural Traditions of the Latvian Countryside $65* pp
From Riga, travel to the open-air Ethnographical Museum, located on scenic Lake Jugla. A tour guide leads you through the 100-acre museum, whose displays showcase the details of 18th-century rural life through more than 100 reassembled traditional Latvian buildings. From farmsteads and churches to windmills and fishing villages, the museum’s exhibits bring Lativian history’s everyday scenes to life with stunning accuracy. After spending some time exploring, make your way back to Riga.
Stroll right through masterpieces of Art Nouveau architecture
Riga is yours to discover on your own. Options include the markets and shops of the New Town, the Jewish quarter of Maskavas and the fascinating Riga Motor Museum. Alternatively, join our special optional excursion to Old World Latvia: Castles, Valleys and Villages.
Old-World Latvia: Castles Valleys & Villages $65* pp
Experience the rural beauty of the Latvian countryside on a journey to the town of Sigulda, called the “Switzerland of Latvia” for its rolling green scenery and famous caves. Upon arrival in Sigulda, embark upon a sightseeing tour, including a visit to the 13th-century ruins of Sigulda Castle, destroyed during the Great Northern War. Continue toward the picturesque Gauja Valley, home to the Gutman Cave, the largest cave in Latvia, extending more than 62 feet into the rock. Lastly, travel up to Turaida for a visit to the majestic Turaida Castle, built in 1214 by Albert of Riga. Take this time to explore the grounds and exhibitions at your leisure, and grab some lunch before returning to Riga.
Tallinn2 nights - hotel info
Stroll the Main Street and soak in the mud baths in Pärnu
This morning, motor through the countryside on your way to Tallinn, Estonia’s historic capital. En route, stop in the resort town of Pärnu. Continue on to Tallinn. The city’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back to the 12th century and is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Enjoy free time before an included dinner.
Discover the castle amidst Tallinn’s cobblestone streets
Meet your expert local guide this morning for a tour of Tallinn by motor coach and on foot. Pass through the ancient stone gates of the Old Town and into a world of cobblestone streets, Gothic cathedrals and town squares. You’ll see Toomkirik Cathedral, a Lutheran church founded in the 13th century. Also view Toompea Castle, where the Estonian parliament meets, and Town Hall Square. Then visit Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, a 19th-century Russian Orthodox church with a beautiful mosaic interior, and the Estonian Art Museum, housed in an 18th-century noble’s house. The rest of your afternoon is free to explore the city on your own. We suggest walking through the streets of the Old Town or taking a trip to Kadriorg Park, built for Peter the Great. Later, opt to join tonight’s succulent Traditional Baltic dinner.
St. Petersburg3 nights - hotel info
Ogle the dazzling art and architecture in St. Petersburg
Peter and Paul Fortress, Alexander Nevsky Monastary, Hermitage Museum
This morning, meet your local guide for an extensive tour of St. Petersburg. You’ll see Palace Square, one of Europe’s great meeting places, which saw victory over Napoleon in 1812 and all-night vigils for democracy in the 1980s. Continue on to walk through St. Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral Church, and view St. Isaac’s Cathedral from the outside. Drive down the Nevsky Prospekt, a tree-lined boulevard that resembles Paris’ Champs-Élysées and visit the Alexander Nevsky Monastary. Later this afternoon, you’ll enjoy an included entrance to the famed Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage features more than 3 million pieces of art and sculpture ranging from ancient Greece to Renaissance Italy and modern times. Highlights include works by Leonardo and Caravaggio, as well as priceless jewelry in Catherine the Great’s Treasure Gallery. Your tour director will advise you on how best to tackle this giant attraction—a map and guidebook are essential to navigating this enormous museum.
Immerse yourself in the watery wonderland of Peterhof
Join an optional excursion to nearby Peterhof, also known as Peter’s Palace, a stunning ensemble of palaces, dining halls and summer homes that rivals Versailles. View fountains, gardens and art galleries—most of which were completely restored after Soviet and Nazi bombings during World War II. Alternatively, spend a free day in St. Petersburg however you wish. Dinner is included tonight.
Peterhof $99* pp
Journey to the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland to visit Peterhof, Peter the Great’s summer residence. On a guided tour, you'll explore the opulent palaces and gardens of Peterhof and learn how this former retreat of the czars has changed throughout Russian history.
Extend Your Stay
Add Moscow $799*
Moscow offers a glimpse into the complexities of modern Russia. In every corner of the city, ancient monasteries stand next to towering skyscrapers and Russia's new millionaires walk down the street alongside pensioners. It's a city where Western influences rub elbows with the religions of old, and where beautiful cathedrals once abandoned under the Soviets are undergoing meticulous and loving restorations. To understand Russia, one must experience Moscow.
Moscow3 nights - hotel info
Go metro—art exhibit, history lesson and transportation all in one
Enjoy a free day in Moscow. Visit the Tretyakov Gallery and Sculpture Park, or browse through the Izmailovsky Park and Market, where you can bargain for a wide variety of already reasonably priced souvenirs. This evening, opt for our Moscow by Night excursion to tour some of the cities exceptional Metro Stations.
Moscow by Night $39* pp
Discover Moscow's landmarks on an evening tour of the city. Drive down Tverskaya Street and Novy Arbat Avenue, pass by Red Square and visit the Metro stations on the Ring Line, which house outstanding examples of Stalinist art and architecture. Be sure to bring your camera—the Metro at night offers up outstanding opportunities for photographers.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Lithuania, Russia, Estonia and Latvia, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of your return home. A visa is also required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders to enter Russia. You can obtain an individual visa through our recommended provider VisaCentral (www.visacentral.com/goaheadtours) or by applying directly through the Russian consulate. If you opt to apply with the Russian consulate and require additional assistance and/or documentation from Go Ahead Tours, a special arrangements fee of $95 per person may be charged. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks at your destinations. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in Vilnius and depart from St. Petersburg (or Moscow for the extension). Included transportation on St. Petersburg & the Baltics is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the cities by public transportation and on foot.
St. Petersburg’s metro system is the easiest way to get around the larger city. It’s ultra-fast. There’s rarely longer than a three-minute wait. Buses, trolleybuses (electric trams) and trams are also available and efficient. Tickets can be purchased from major kiosks and, sometimes, from the drivers.
Clothing & Packing Tips
Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis).
The Russian ruble, the Lithuanian lita, the Latvian lat and the euro (in Estonia) are the currencies you’ll be using on this trip. Better rates of exchange are usually available in your destination countries, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly suggest bringing a combination of cash, ATM/debit cards and credit cards with you to make purchases. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. At this time, it is extremely difficult to exchange U.S. traveler’s checks in Russia. We suggest that you bring U.S. currency in small denominations to spend during your stay there. U.S. currency is most likely to be accepted for exchange if it is brand-new and clean. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Russia.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
One of the best-preserved Old European Towns on the continent, the Estonian capital of Tallinn holds treasures such as Toompea Castle and 19th-century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. Drama unfolds here, too. This was the center of Estonia’s 1988 Singing Revolution, when thousands gathered to sing previously banned national anthems.
Get a taste for medieval Latvian life at Riga’s Open-Air Ethnographic Museum, a small restored village featuring craftwork, windmills, traditional Latvian cuisine and plenty of pints at the old tavern.
89.3% of reviewers recommend this tourRead Reviews 
To Russia and beyond with love
Latvia, Estonia and Russia were just fabulous. It was a tremendous trip. The subway stations in Moscow are worthy of special attention and a local guide. They are so unexpectedly beautiful.
Off the bucket list
Listed as a 2, should be a 3. Visa costs and hassles getting it a real ordeal,added fuel costs!a dinner cut. 2nd hotel room microscopic, had to,put suitcase in hallway. Welcome dinner, plain rice, cut raw carrots, slice of turkey? Not the best..traveling with a 91 and 78 year old sisters! Poorbtourguide was more of a babysitter, and the endless miles on a mini bus... I must say the city tour guides were terrific.
Imaginary Dream comes True
I had always been fascinated by tales of Peter the Great, Ivan the terrible and Rasputine. At one time I would not ever have dreamed that one day I could ever go there . This year I was able to take this tour. I need only say that Russia and the Baltics tour was more than I expected.. I loved the whole tour. It was awesome.The sights, smells and fragrance of it's gardens and Cathedrals were beautiful and the people so cordial. I walked Red Square like I had always imagined and I closed my eyes imagining that I was once again a child reading a fairytale. I do wish however that We could have had more time in Moscow as there was so much to see and time ran out before we could see more of this beautiful city.
The Baltics and St. Petersburg
The tour of the Baltics and St. Petersburg (plus the Moscow extension) was wonderful. These were countries I never would have expected to visit in my youth when the political situation was so different from what it is now. Although it poured a great deal, we were most fortunate to have a guide who was always cheerful as well as informative; her sunny disposition made all of us feel better during the grim weather and she never lacked for activities of an interesting cultural nature. Extra activities included a magnificent concert of Russian folkloric music at the Nikolaevsky Palace in St. Petersburg, an extra trip to Red Square and the Kremlin in Moscow, and a visit to the Moscow Circus on an evening when there was no planned activity.
St. Petersburg and the Baltics
* BIG factor in selecting GoAhead: airfare included in package price. Lufthansa best European airline hands down. * Accomodations very good. Radisson is an excellent chain. All hotels well located. *As we moved through the various countries, breakfasts changed accordingly - Vilnius heavily influenced by proximity to eastern Europe, while Tallinn was like being in Scandinavia. Most dinners were fine, though people complained about the optional seafood dinner in Tallinn. Two of us went to O; the restaurant is on its way to Michelin 3 srar rating. *I've read numerous reviews of this trip where people say do one day less in Riga/Tallinn and add it to the time in St. Petersburg. My recommendation: add a day to the tour in St. Petersburg. I spent the entire last day visiting World Heritage sites and it was fantastic. *I was amazed at what little research fellow travellers had done on the cities we toured. Emphasize in your guidelines the importance of this. I had with me Lonely Planet books for every area and found places no one else knew about, particularly anything and everything associated with the Holocaust and Nazi occupation. *Don't lose LaLa!. Seven languages tactful, sense of humor, flexible, ALWAYS ahead of the game, she is quite simply the best I've ever encountered in my travels. *Inform clients that they should be aware of days when a given site may be closed. For example, I wanted to see the Lenningrad Blockade Museum in St. Petersburg. It is closed on Wednesdays, but in addition it is closed the last Thursday of the month, which was my last day in St. Petersburg. Again, Lala made arrangements to have the limo taking me to the airport on Friday leave early so I could visit the memorial. It was a nice way to end. To sum up - THANX for a wonderful memory filled time. Paul Clarke
St Petersburg and The Baltics
Just came back from a great tour. What made this a great tour and not just a good tour was our tour director. Our tour director was extremely knowledgeable,caring to each persons needs, remembering our names and even went well beyond what we expected in a tour director. The tour directors name is Lala. Ask for her to see if she is doing your tour if you book with Go A Head. Our next trip is to China with Go A Head and we just hope there is a Lala in China.
St. Petersburg and the Baltics
Not worth my time and effort to write a review, because, apparently, Go Ahead Tours, only wants favorable reviews.
Cross the Border
I became a little bit nervous when we came to cross the border to Russia. Tour director recommended us , No photo, No smile, No joke! But finally we could break through the border smoothly because of our tactful driver. After we crossed the border, we toasted to our good luck with wine. One of members prepared wine and cheese for this very opportunity. I love such kind of sense of humor!
The countries we visited were wonderful, the tour was not well organized. The tour director was excellent
I've done better
Very bad tour director. Good local guides. Very interesting countries. It helps to read about these countries ahead of time which almost no one on the tour had done.