Red Square – Lenin’s Mausoleum – Monument to the Victims of Political Repressions – Metro Ride – Lunch featuring USSR cuisine – All-Soviet Exhibition or Space Museum.
Touring Russia is not only churches, cathedrals and palaces; the Soviet Russia left behind an impressive and tangible heritage. The USSR was a huge and ambitious state, an empire covering one-sixth of the Earth, a true superpower with many global achievements on the list. The most visible landmarks commemorating this period of the Russian history are pompous Stalin-era buildings, lavishly decorated Metro stations heavily laden with Soviet propaganda, WW2 monuments and museums, and the tokens of the Soviet space exploration programme.
Back to the USSR Tour includes most of the above: a ride on the metro, a tour of VDNKh, or the All-Soviet Exhibition of Socialist Economic Achievements, possibly coupled with a visit to the Museum of Space Exploration; this programme also allows you to explore the controversial past – a visit to Lenin’s Mausoleum and the Monument to the Victims of Political Repressions.
Back to the USSR Tour Itinerary
9.30 am Meet your guide at the hotel. Proceed to Red Square for the Tour of the Necropolis by the Kremlin Wall and a visit inside Lenin’s Mausoleum. Learn fascinating stories about Vladimir Lenin, the mastermind behind the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and the first head of the Soviet State, see the grave of Joseph Stalin, pay homage to the great people of the Soviet Union such as Yury Gagarin, the first man in space.
Please note that Lenin’s Mausoleum is open only on certain days of the week (except of Monday and Friday) or can be closed for maintenance. Admission is free, but during peak season there could be a line up to 30-40 minutes.
ca. 11.00 am Leave Red Square, walk ca. half a mile to the Monument to the Victims of Political Repressions opposite the KGB headquarters. Learn the facts, finally uncensored, about the foundation of the Extraordinary Committee to Fight Counter-Revolution, Red Terror policy and the masterminds behind it such as Felix Dzerzhinsky, and how the Soviet regime was established through coercion and outright terror, and how Joseph Stalin pushed industrialization using forced labour and a system of GULAG camps.
ca. 12.00 pm Continue the programme with the tour of the Moscow Metro and ride to VDNKh Station, your next destination.
ca. 1.30 pm Lunch featuring USSR cuisine.
ca. 3pm Tour of the All-Soviet Exhibition of Achievements of the Socialist Economy (or Tour of the Museum of Space Exploration)
The All-Soviet Exhibition of Achievements of the Socialist Economy is a sprawling, 783+ acre landscaped park with alleys, lawns, fountains, and exhibition buildings among them – but do not be misled by the name, these building looks no way near modern exhibition halls – these are pompous, intricately decorated structures designed in the so called Stalin Empire style. It starts with a huge arch topped with a statue of a Worker and a Peasant (represented by a young man and woman, holding hammer and sickle respectively), and continues with the main alley leading to the main structure, a tall Art Deco building with a spire and a star on top, complete with the golden state emblem of the Soviet Union; a mandatory Vladimir Lenin is, or course, in the front. Behind you will find another marvel – the Friendship of Peoples Fountain with 16 golden figures of young women representing the republics of the Soviet Union and dressed in national costumes. Complete with the Soviet-era music broadcast through the loudspeakers, this park does really create a back-to-the-USSR ambience, and recently renovated Soviet-style monuments and structures look great in pictures.
ca. 4.45 - 5:30 pm ride back to your hotel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Total duration of the tours: ca. 8 hours. Please note that this tour involves a lot of walking, as we will visit pedestrian-only areas. All transfers are by metro. A convenient minivan can be arranged to cut down walking and for some of the transfers.
Hired vehicle and/or lunch can be included on a special request. Additional sights/museum visits (such as Gorky Park, GULAG Museum or Cold War Bunker) can be included on request. Please ask for a quotation.
Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and other foreign languages.