St Petersburg and Helsinki
- Fly into St Petersburg and maximise your time in this historic Russian city
- Speed across to Finland and its exciting capital Helsinki
- Catch a ferry to Stockholm and continue by train to Copenhagen for an overnight stop
- Travel by train through Northern Europe, breaking your journey in Cologne on the way home.
- Flight from London to St Petersburg
- 8 nights’ handpicked hotel accommodation with breakfast
- Standard Class rail travel with seat reservations
- Ferry crossing from Finland to Sweden
- Clearly-presented wallets for your rail tickets, hotel vouchers and other documentation
- All credit card surcharges and complimentary delivery of your travel documents
PLEASE NOTE: YOU WILL NEED A RUSSIAN VISA FOR THIS HOLIDAY
Fly from the UK to St Petersburg and make your way into the city, checking in at the Domina Prestige Hotel (or similar), where you have a 3-night stay.
ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: If you would rather not fly, you can travel out to St Petersburg by train. Have a look at our Moscow and St Petersburg itinerary for more information on the best route, or call us for more details.
Enjoy two full days in historic St Petersburg. Founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703, the city boasts a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed centre, full of grand buildings and canals criss-crossed with Baroque bridges.
You can also spend a full day exploring one of the world’s largest art museums, the Hermitage, or tour the magnificent Peterhof Palace, commissioned by Peter I in direct competition with the Palace of Versailles.
You have a leisurely start this morning, before you check out of your hotel and make your way to St Petersburg Finlandsky station to catch a direct Allegro train service to Helsinki. When you reach the border, there will be customs checks before you continue through Finland to capital Helsinki.
On arrival, check in at the Solo Sokos Hotel Torni (or similar) where you will stay for 2 nights, before heading out, perhaps for a late lunch at one of the city’s cosmopolitan restaurants.
With a history dating back to the mid-16th century, Helsinki has a stunning setting on the Gulf of Finland and has regularly been voted one of the world’s most liveable cities.
The city centre is very walkable, with shops, galleries, bars and restaurants to discover. During the summer you might also like to relax in one of the city’s lush green spaces or enjoy a stroll along the seafront promenade. If you have time, it’s well worth taking a ferry from Market Square out to the island of Suomenlinna with its imposing fortress, catacombs and historic buildings.
At lunchtime today board one of the regular Pendolino trains that take you the 100 miles or so, in a westerly direction to the port city of Turku. Here, you check into the 4-star Scandic Plaza (or similar) to leave yourself in a prime location for the ferry departure the following morning.
Board your vessel this morning and marvel at the views as you weave through the inlets and islets of the Finnish coast and soon approach the Åland Islands, with a brief stop at the city of Mariehamn. The Åland Islands are an autonomous region of Finland that are almost exclusively Swedish-speaking. After departing from here you continue onto the open sea before winding through the extensive Stockholm Archipelago, docking at the centrally-situated Stadsgården port within sight of the city’s stunning waterside setting.
Make your way along the shoreline of the island of Södermalm, to the Hilton Slussen (or similar) for an overnight stay.
After a morning strolling around Stockholm, not missing the quaint old town of Gamla Stan and the spectacular Vasa Museum, its time to take a train in the afternoon across the southern half of Sweden and over the famous Oresund Bridge into Denmark.
You’ll arrive into Copenhagen in the evening and check in for an overnight stay at the Hotel Absalon (or similar).
There’s plenty of time for breakfast in your hotel and a leisurely stroll around the Tivoli Gardens opposite the station before you continue your journey west, via Hamburg to Cologne. Here, check in at the centrally located Mondial am Dom MGallery (or similar), where you have an overnight stay.
The main station in the Rhine city of Cologne is right in the centre of town, opposite the city’s famous twin-spired cathedral, which makes it very easy to get around.
Spend a free morning exploring Cologne. Perhaps pay a visit to the Cathedral or enjoy a cruise along the Rhine.
At lunchtime, head back to the station and catch a train to Brussels. An easy change takes you to the Eurostar departures lounge where you can stock up on some Belgian chocolates before your final rail journey back to London.
Typical hotels on this itinerary
All the comfortable rooms at Domina Hotel feature extraordinary design with air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi and tea/coffee-making facilities, a safety deposit box and a satellite flat-screen TV. Arcobaleno Restaurant serves Italian cuisine as well as fusion specialities created by the chef. Guests can rest and sip a cocktail in the elegant bar.
The Hotel Torni has dominated the Helsinki skyline since the 1930s. When the hotel opened, it was the tallest building in the city. Located within easy walking distance of the main station, the hotel offers stylish bedrooms with Wi-Fi internet access, an on-site restaurant and a rooftop bar with stunning city views.
This family-run hotel is positioned in the heart of Copenhagen, a short stroll from the railway station, the Tivoli Gardens and Nyhavn harbour. The colourful interiors and bedrooms are designed by Designers Guild and there is a also a bar and terrace. Bicycle hire is available from reception.
Hotel Mondial am Dom Cologne MGallery by Sofitel is located right in the centre of Cologne, close to the famous cathedral and the main station. All of the modern bedrooms feature air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar and satellite TV. The hotel also boasts a restaurant overlooking the cathedral, a sauna, a steam room and a fitness room.
Upgrade your accommodation
The Corinthia St Petersburg is located on Nevsky Prospekt and features a grand façade and rooms with a classic design. All rooms have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a luxury bathroom. A breakfast buffet with champagne and caviar is served in the elegant Imperial restaurant. Drinks can be enjoyed at the Nevsky Bar.
Occupying a great location opposite the famous cathedral in the centre of Cologne, the Excelsior Ernst is one of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’, with a history dating back to 1863. The Michelin starred Taku restaurant has an Asian-inspired menu and innovative French cuisine is served in the Hanse Stube restaurant. Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the property.