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To limit the spread of the coronavirus, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please consult government travel advisories before booking. The WHO is closely monitoring the coronavirus and more information can be found here.

Ways to Beat the Crowds in St. Petersburg

Ways to Beat the Crowds in St. Petersburg

With more than six million annual visitors, St. Petersburg is no stranger to crowds, and wait times for top attractions can be long, especially in summer and early fall. From skip-the-line tickets and early access tours, to off-the-beaten-track attractions—here are our top tips to help you beat the crowds in St. Petersburg.

Plan Ahead

Ticket queues can take more than an hour for attractions such as the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, and State Russian Museum. Prebooking skip-the-line tickets helps you avoid the crowds, while early access tours grant entrance before anyone else. Plan which day you visit to avoid the crowds—for example, the Hermitage offers free entrance on the first Thursday of each month, but it’s by far the busiest time to visit.

 

Explore the City by Night

St. Petersburg is a 24-hour city with many shops staying open until 10pm and most restaurants and bars staying open much later. An evening sightseeing tour offers the best chance to enjoy an unobstructed view of the Winter Palace or the St. Peter and Paul Fortress. This is also the time to see St. Petersburg’s famous bridges rising—join a boat cruise or stroll around Neva Lake for the best views.

Get Walking

Despite its large size, St. Petersburg is pedestrian friendly, and all the central sights can be reached on foot. A half-day walking tour takes you from Nevsky Prospect to Palace Square, over to Vasilievsky Island and the Peter and Paul Fortress, before continuing to the Field of Mars. If you take the metro, avoid the main rush hours between 7 and 9am, and 5 and 7pm, when it can be unbearably crowded. 

Visit Out of Season

St. Petersburg can be bitterly cold in winter, but landmarks such as the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral are even more enchanting beneath a dusting of snow. Winter visitors benefit from far fewer crowds at the main attractions, plus you can enjoy seasonal activities such as a troika (horse-drawn carriage) ride through the snow. Just don’t forget your winter woollies.

Hire a Local Guide

First-time visitors to St. Petersburg won’t want to miss a tour of the Hermitage or a photo stop on Palace Square, but if you want to escape the throngs of travelers, take the time to discover some of the city’s less well-known sites. See the city from a different perspective on a rooftop tour; hire a local guide and uncover hidden gems; or visit quirky museums such as the Museum of Bread or the Museum of Soviet Arcade Games.

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11 Tours and Activities | All St Petersburg Tours

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Small-Group St Petersburg Hermitage Museum Tour with Skip-the-Line Entry

Small-Group St Petersburg Hermitage Museum Tour with Skip-the-Line Entry

star-4.5
Avoid the main lines at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to see its best-known artworks. With an art-loving guide, gain fast-track entry, and from May to September, get the privilege of early access, beginning your tour in a crowd-free environment. If traveling between October and April, a complimentary ticket to the Impressionists' Collection is included in your tour package.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$51.29
Price varies by group size
From
US$51.29
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

St. Petersburg Walking City Tour

St. Petersburg Walking City Tour

star-5
Discover beautiful St. Petersburg by foot on a 3-hour, small-group walking tour of its architectural treasures. With a guide, set out to explore the signature sights of this spectacular city, Russia’s capital during the 1700s and 1800s, as you uncover its history. See top St. Petersburg attractions including St Isaac’s Cathedral and Palace Square, walk along Nevsky Prospect, and learn about the city’s present-day culture and life. Numbers are limited to 12 tour for a more intimate experience.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$56.00
From
US$56.00
Taking safety measures

Private Evening Canal Cruise in St. Petersburg

Private Evening Canal Cruise in St. Petersburg

star-5
Slow down in style after a day’s sightseeing in St. Petersburg on a private evening canal cruise experience. Admire the stately palaces, churches, and bridges from your own private canal boat as it navigates the Neva River and other waterways. Pass landmarks like the Peter and Paul Fortress and Vasilyevsky Island, and enjoy live onboard commentary. Upgrade to include a glass of Champagne for added sparkle and hotel pickup and drop-off.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$110.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$110.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Early Access Tour to Peterhof Grand Palace and Gardens from St Petersburg

Small-Group Early Access Tour to Peterhof Grand Palace and Gardens from St Petersburg

star-4.5
Escape the tourist crowds and delight in the imperial majesty of the Peterhof Grand Palace and Gardens on a half-day tour from St. Petersburg. With a professional guide, explore the opulent chambers and ornamented halls of Peterhof, declared the ‘Russian Versailles’, and delve into the rich history of the regal residence. Stroll amid the botanical grandeur of the garden, roaming past more than 100 fountains and swathes of exotic flowers. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to eight people.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$112.83
Price varies by group size
From
US$112.83
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: Hidden St Petersburg Evening Small Group Tour

Lonely Planet Experiences: Hidden St Petersburg Evening Small Group Tour

star-5
Experience some of the secrets of St. Petersburg on this evening walking tour. Meet your guide and leave the tourist trail behind to explore the city’s hidden neighborhood spots. Discover metro station art relics, see the city’s oldest and most beautiful railway station, and sip on vodka at a local haunt. This tour is limited to 12 people for a more personalized experience.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$56.00
From
US$56.00
Taking safety measures

The rooftop tour in St Petersburg

The rooftop tour in St Petersburg

star-4
Enjoy a bird’s-eye view of St. Petersburg on this unusual tour, which takes you around the rooftops of the historic area. View the city and its attractive buildings from high above, and take pictures from this special angle. Your guide will keep you safe on the rooftops, which do slope slightly but have guardrails and fences along them. A fun tour for adventurous travelers.
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  • 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$35.29
Price varies by group size
From
US$35.29
Price varies by group size

Saint Petersburg CityPass

Saint Petersburg CityPass

star-4
The St. Petersburg CityPass is the ultimate in flexibility for your sightseeing in the city. Choose which museums and attractions to visit when you want. The CityPass includes admission to more than 20 different museums. Use the pass for complimentary bus tours, walking tours, or sightseeing excursions on the water. You also receive deals and discounts at participating restaurants. An included guidebook and city map help plan your days. Choose from 2-, 3- or 5-day passes.
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  • 2 to 5 days
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$85.18
From
US$85.18
Taking safety measures

Catherine's Palace with Amber Room in Tzars Village Skip-the-Line Private Tour

Catherine's Palace with Amber Room in Tzars Village Skip-the-Line Private Tour

star-5
Head beyond St. Petersburg's city center for a visit to Tsarskoye Selo and its most famous attraction: Catherine Palace. Learn about historic sights en route to this famed former Imperial family summer residence, including one of the area's only remaining statues of Vladimir Lenin. Skip the entry lines and enjoy a private guided tour of the late-Baroque palace, including the private chamber of Alexander I and the opulent Amber Room, painstakingly recreated after Nazi soldiers looted the original during WWII. Afterward, spend some time exploring its surrounds—where photo ops are plenty.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$94.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$94.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Hermitage Museum Tour with Priority Access

Hermitage Museum Tour with Priority Access

star-5
Mini-group (max 8 people) 3-hour overview tour of the State Hermitage Museum with an art- expert guide. Priority access to the Hermitage museum main complex.   During the Hermitage tour you will see the most magnificent interiors and the most famous art masterpieces:   * The Imperial Reception halls * The Hanging Garden of Catherine the Great * Italian collection (Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian) * Flemish collection (Rubens, Van Dyck) * Dutch collection (Rembrandt) * Knight hall * Living quarters of the Romanov Family at the Winter Palace   Enjoy detailed explanations and exciting stories from our art-expert guide. Small-group format ensures a personal experience.   Why do travelers choose this Hermitage tour?   The Hermitage tour is given by experienced art experts. They not only know art in depth but all of them are great guides who speak perfect English and are very much enthusiastic and passionate about showing the Hermitage to their guests.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$60.84
From
US$60.84

St Petersburg at Night Sightseeing Tour

St Petersburg at Night Sightseeing Tour

star-5
St. Petersburg at night is very different from St. Petersburg during the daylight. We suggest to use every minute of your St. Petersburg visit to the full and see our city beautifully lit at night. This one-of-a kind St. Petersburg at night sightseeing tour will add to your impressions of the city. You will enjoy interesting narration and superb after-dark photos. Night-time tour of St. Petersburg will surely be the highlight of your visit.
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  • 3 hours
From
US$116.93
Price varies by group size
From
US$116.93
Price varies by group size

Saint Petersburg Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Saint Petersburg Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Get to know the city through the eyes of a passionate local. With no set itinerary, you can customize the tour or leave it up to the local for an insightful introduction to the city. Make travel about the people you meet not just the places you see.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$37.44
Price varies by group size
From
US$37.44
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures


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