Start your great Russian journey by discovering ‘Moscow’s Greatest Hits’ from a local perspective!
- Explore the charming and serene parks and buildings of Yasnaya Polyana, better known as the Leo Tolstoy Estate, with a local by your side.
- Enjoy a picnic in a meadow, soaking up picturesque views and tasting pirozhki pastries and pryanik.
- Eat as the locals do at a traditional local cafeteria, where we sample pelmeni or vareniki dumplings and drink mors.
- Take a walk around historic Tula, from Lenin Square to the Kremlin, and learn more about the city’s past.
- Shop for locally made, sustainable products in the old town of Tula.
- Get six-months free access to Lonely Planet’s Guides App and unbeatable discounts to Lonely Planet Guidebooks.
- Adults (Ages 12+)
- Children (Ages 6-11)
Explore the Estate of Leo Tolstoy
Take a literary pilgrimage to the countryside estate of Leo Tolstoy, one of the world’s most celebrated writers. Discover the delights of the nearby historic city of Tula and enjoy an authentic lunch at the locals’ favourite cafeteria. This full-day tour offers a glimpse into the illustrious life and works of the man responsible for War and Peace and a welcome opportunity to escape the capital for the day and explore a different side of Russia.
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this city adventure hand-picked by the world’s leading travel publisher. Lonely Planet Experiences powered by Urban Adventures bring stories to life in the best-loved cities around the globe.
Inclusions: Local, English speaking guide, return train tickets to Tula (please remember to email us a copy of your passport so that we can buy these in advance: [email protected]), all public transport, entry to Yasnaya Polyana, picnic at Yasnaya Polyana, lunch at a local cafeteria in Tula (including pelmeni or vareniki and one drink), one pryanik (local treat)
Exclusions: Additional food and drink, shopping and items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide.
- Duration: 10 hours plus 5 hours of travel
- Meeting point: Main entrance of Kursky Railway Station (Entrance #1), Kurskaya metro station.
- Google map link
- Starting time: 7.50 am
- Ending point: Kursky Railway Station
A guide meets you at Kursky Railway Station to hand you your train tickets for the journey to Tula. Please note that you must share your passport details with us in advance so that we can purchase your tickets in advance. You can do this by emailing us at [email protected].
Your guide leads you to your train carriage before departing. During the two-hour journey, you see some spectacular Russian countryside scenes and have the opportunity to take a nap to prepare for the busy day ahead.
Your local Tula guide meets you when you get off the train. Together, we hop into a taxi towards Yasnaya Polyana. During our 40-minute taxi ride, your guide gives you an introduction to the area, discussing its history and regaling you with interesting facts and stories about the locals over the centuries.
We also talk about Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, better known as Leo, often cited as one of the world’s greatest authors. He wrote many novels and short stories in the 19th century, but he is most famous for the ultimate literary beast of a read, War and Peace, and the sweeping romantic epic, Anna Karenina. Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana and spent a lot of his life there, drawing inspiration for his most well-known works from the peaceful surroundings of his family estate.
Yasnaya Polyana is made up of one thousand acres of forests and meadows, apple orchards, lakes, and parks. Tolstoy’s house has not been touched since the day he left in 1910, and because of this, it genuinely feels as though you have been transported through time. We spend some time exploring the house, hearing stories about the famous Tolstoy family. We visit the Chief’s grave, enjoy a picnic made up of local products in one of the many picturesque meadows on the estate, and take a stroll through the beautiful English park.
On our way back to the city, we make a stop to sample delicious local honey blended with different berries and nuts.
Upon arrival in pretty Tula, we head to our favourite cafeteria for a taste of some authentic Russian flavours. Together we try traditional pelmeni or vareniki (Russian dumplings with meat or potato) and mors (a traditional berry drink).
After filling our bellies with local treats, we take a walk through the city centre to the most ancient place in Tula — the Kremlin — to hear about its amazing history and to take some postcard-perfect pictures. As you admire the shiny gold domes above you, hear about the dramatic events that took place here. We check out nearby Lenin Square, too, where a statue of the former leader of the Bolshevik Revolution still stands.
After soaking up all that captivating Russian history, there is time to enjoy some authentic souvenir shopping with the help of your local guide.
If you’re still feeling peckish, we make one last stop for a coffee and a dessert at a popular café within the Kremlin walls.
Then we take a local bus back towards the train station, where your tour guide leaves you once they have helped you locate your carriage. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your guide any burning questions that you’ve not had answered yet. If you require some advice on how to get back to your accommodation once you arrive back in Moscow, now is the time to ask!
Local Impact: How you will help the local community by joining this tour:
- During the tour we spend a lot of time in Yasnaya Polyana, a small village around Leo Tolstoy’s estate. People who live here produce homemade jams and other treats as well as handmade souvenirs. If you choose to buy anything, your purchase will support local producers and vendors.
- You will enjoy a picnic with products from a local market and everything purchased is locally produced, which helps the local community.
- Leo Tolstoy’s Estate is a significant part of Russian cultural heritage and in 2011 Tolstoy’s personal library was included among 45 new cultural-heritage landmarks by UNESCO. Admission, included in your tour price, helps to keep this estate in good condition to let future generations see what inspired the world famous author to write his novels.
Dress standard: Please make sure you dress appropriately depending on the season. Much of the tour is spent outside.
Your trip: To confirm this trip, each traveller must submit a copy of their passport to Urban Adventures. This is required by the transport authorities when purchasing your train tickets, which we pick up for you in advance. Please forward a copy of your passport once you have booked the tour to [email protected]. Train tickets must be bought in advance to guarantee departure; if you don’t supply us with the passport copy, we will be unable to purchase your train tickets. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: Note that we must receive copies of your passport at the time of booking so that we may buy your train tickets. Please email us at [email protected]. Please also provide an email address and telephone number so we can get in touch with you for trip details.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you are bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
We can accommodate vegetarians and some other dietary restrictions. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests. You can do so in the ‘Additional information’ box at checkout, or by emailing us at [email protected].
Office phone number: +7 495 414 2994
Email address: [email protected]