Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Tour of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) and Catherine Palace. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
The tour was great! Our guide was very informative and spoke very good English. She took us through every room giving us the history down to the age of the wooden floor in some rooms! The amber room was magnificent along with the rest of the palace. Only thing is I don't think it was worth 285 USD.
Ken Williams S
Was a great experience and wonderfull time spend at this tour
I liked the explanations given by the guide about the Russian History and the other people of the group.
We enjoyed this tour. The girl was quite good and went out of her way to help us. There were times that I would have appreciated a break to buy a book or post card. It was a bit rushed.
Great experience. Everything turned out as planned. Outstanding punctuality and efficiency. The agency called twice to our hotel to confirm the event and to announce pick up time. The guide, a russian young girl who spoke perfect English, was very nice, pacient and knew everything about history and facts. The best of all: In a private tour you could avoid all waiting lines. The tourists crowd was huge and our previous reservation made a complete diference saving time. There were lines of people waiting for hours to buy ticketes. I will definitely recommend the tour, specially to mature couples like us. The addition of Pavlov Palace to the trip was a plus. I only regret not having the possibility to visit Alexander Palace, next to Catherine´s. Could not find it in your offers...and it was just next door to the main attraction. It might be a nice idea to include it in your tours because it is not easy to get to it individually. I will certainlly come back to Viator in our next planning. Thanks.
transportation made the trip out of central St. Petersburg a breeze. Okasana the trip was very nice and knowledgable. Only wish there had been a little more time because we are also professional photographers. There was no time for the gift shop. The day was great though.
john and sonja
Great tour with our fantastic guide Okchana. Would suggest to only do Catherine Palace. The other people on our tour stayed at Catherine Palace while we went on to the Pushkin. Would have preferred to walk around the gardens for the extra hour. Otherwise a good tour.
really liked this trip. the tour guide picked us up directly from our hostel and spoke great english and was very polite and friendly. he was extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions. we didn't have to wait in any lines for longer then 2 minutes as our tour guide got us through. be prepared to wear paper covers over your shoes in catherine's palace!
It is not really private - there were some other people added to us.
We left St P at 10.30 and visited Pavlosk first before Catherine's Palace. Pavlosk house is interesting though much more modest than other palaces. We had to queue at least 30 mins to get in the house. An hour to stroll the gardens afterwards would have been a nice option to have but we had to move on to Catherine's Palace straight away. This is a very busy location to visit. We got in after only a 30 minute queue at around 12.30. The sheer volume of visitors makes your time in each room limited. We did not have 'radio' headsets for the tour and so it was difficult to be close to the guide at all times. Given the crowds, headsets would have been helpful. Were we to do this again, we would have asked for a 9am start from the hotel and to do Pavlosk after - to see Catherine's Palace with fewer people. Perhaps even making your way back by train from Pavlosk if the time with the bus and guide was limited... Our guide... was knowledgeable if not so sympathetic or patient - and it would have helped to have radio headsets for her to communicate with us.
We did this tour on a very busy day and had to wait at various stages to move through the palace - although the Amber room is quite something, one had to walk through it so quickly that you cannot really see it all and no pictures allowed inside! I visited Peterhof the day before and expected a bit more from this tour. Although our guide was quite knowledgeable, he did not share as much with us as the other tour guides. If I have to choose between Catherine Palace and Peterhof, I would choose Peterhof.
This was an interesting tour and the palace at Tsarcoe Seloe (Pushkin) was wonderful. However, it was past lunch time when we set off again for the remainder of the tour with not even a break for a cup of coffee. Since the tour started at 10am and finished in the middle of the afternoon, everyone agreed that we should have had time for a snack. On the way back. we enquired about the price of the tour to Yusepov Palace the next day and Marie Rose rang us to say that it was 120 Euros each for the three hour tour. We declined saying that they were far too expensive. We did however take the tour the next day with a personal guide and chaffeur arranaged by the hotel consierge which cost 70 Euros each and was excellent.
The tour was well organised. The guide had a good knowledge and spoke excellent English. We were picked up at 10 and returned to the hotel at 2.30.
The Palace itself however was very disappointing. The rediculous Russin queing system simply doesn't work, only a few rooms of the palace were open, the Amber room is not spectacular and quite frankly the trip was not worth the expense. Spend your time in the Hermitage or Church of the Spilled Blood instead.
We were met on-time by our tour guide and left the city for our tour of Pushkin and Catherine Palace. Our tour guide was very friendly, knowledgeable and eager to help us. However, as we approached our first destination, it was obvious that our driver did not know where to go. The driver and tour guide were frantically conversing in Russian, constantly making phone calls and driving in circles. We saw the same railroad station, intersections and buildings several times. There were even signs in both Russian and English which said "To the Palaces" marked with arrows, but the driver would turn in the opposite direction. Our tour guide explained to us that the driver had never done this route before and sincerely apologized to us fro the delay. We were not concerned or upset, as long as we would see what we had come there to see. After 45 minutes to an hour of driving in circles, we finally found the correct entrance to our first sight. Our tour guide was very nice to us, and knew extremely much about the history and architecture of the palaces we were visiting. However, we felt very rushed, as we had lost so much time because of the unfamiliarity of the driver with the area. We spent very little time outdoors in the park, even though it was on of the most beautiful days you could imagine weather-wise. When we went to the Catherine Palace, I told the guide that I had wanted to visit the Amber Room there for over 20 years. When we came to the Amber Room, there were quite a few people inside and it would require many minutes to really visit properly. However, after less than a minute our guide rushed us out of the room. Again, upon exiting the palace we spent little time outdoors. We were taken to the car and then brought back to our hotel. The entire trip lasted 4 1/2 hours instead of the advertized 5 hours. Also, at least 45 minutes was wasted by driving around Pushkin in circles. We loved our guide, but I was sorely disappointed by spending so little time in the Ambe
Tour was ok. We were the only 2 people on the day. Guide got us through quickly, however didn't give enough time for photos. I believe she was just looking for an early afternoon as she had been quiet busy previously. Was rushed.
Guide had limited English. Spent more time driving than at the sites. No time to see the grounds. Do this on your own, not worth the price.
Excellent driver and car,I appreciated punctuality,beautiful palaces,but...that's all to be pleased about.
First of all,5 hours are not enough to visit propperly these places,taking photos and getting explanations.Our young(too young!) guide gave the impression that she didn't know very well how to deal with the situation,we didn't miss any queue,even we should have had some kind of priority,and the top of the top was that she practically forced us to leave bags and cameras at the lockers at Caterina's palace.We consider ourselves civilized persons,so we didn't argue,but inside seeing all those people carrying huge bags and taking photos from all over the place,and I saw myself taking photos with my Iphone instead of my pro camera,I felt extremely angry and frustrated.I asked her to help get my things and she didn't seem to care at all.
One extra hour for Pavlovsk is deffinetely not enough,this trip is badly organized from this point of view anyway and with this young girl things got out of control even more.We saw less than half of the interiors and she said that tour was over,so at that point we all got very upset.After all,it was not a cheap tour and we had the right to see all that we had paid for.
The palaces are nice,the famous amber room is...I don't know, different from what I expected it to be; Pavlovsk is nicer than Caterina's palace from my point of view and we were so close not to see it...It would have been such a pity.
I don't think I would recommand this tour the way we 4 did it.
The tour guide who assisted me in this tour had no experience at all, didn't speak much and most of the time acted as if we me and a couple were perfectly knowledgeable of the things she was supposed to tell us about the places we were visiting for the first time! Her English was very bad too.