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A brilliant way to see the highlights of St Petersburg. We were picked up from the cruise ship and, on the first day, visited St Isaac's Cathedral, Catherine's Palace, The Grand Palace in Peterhof and took a Metro ride.It was a long but really enjoyable day. Day 2 was a shorter day - but we still got lots in - a trip on the river to see the sites from a different perspective, visited the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, and the Hermitage Museum, and even had some free time to stroll around St Petersburg and sample the pyrogis! Our guide, Ana, was fantastic - really knowledgeable, very helpful and pleasant, and gave us an insight into life in St Petersburg.
I would thoroughly recommend this trip to visitors to St Petersburg
We as a group of eight organised to spend our two days in Saint Petersburg. I cannot commend this company enough for the superb organisation of the tour. Our tour guide Olga was outstanding in her knowledge, professionalism, punctuality and commitment to ensuring we made the most of our time in Saint Petersburg. Olga has excellent English skills and was happy to adjust the tour to our needs.
Just a few of the inclusions: Catherine's Palace, Peterhof Park, Canal Tour, city hotspots , The church of the Spilled Blood and in depth The Hermitage.
The driver Andrew was excellent in all respects.
Thank you so much Olga and Andrew for an unforgettable experience.
Our tour guide Elena and driver Alexander were absolutely brilliant. Cannot praise them enough and they helped to make the tour so successful. I have already recommended the tour to friends and I know they have already been on their excursion with you. I will not hesitate to recommend this tour again if I get the opportunity.
Not what we expected. We enjoyed the initial boat tour, but overall this tour jams too much in and yet still did not fulfill the tour description in my opinion. It was exhausting to be shuffled from one crowded museum to another - impossible to actually appreciate the beauty around you when you are being pushed through like a herd of cattle. Our tour guide seemed to know everything there is to know about St. Petersburg, but it was information overload. She never stopped talking so there was no way to absorb anything she was saying. She wanted to stick to her script and did not seem to want to answer questions. The biggest disappointment was that the tour description specifically said that there would be independent time for shopping and strolling along the Avenue Nevsky we picked this tour after reading the descriptions of 30 tours because it was one of the few that allowed for some free time. After we complained about not getting the free time on Day 1, our guide took us to a souvenir location on Day 2 where the prices were twice as high as we had seen elsewhere needless to say we did not purchase anything. We practically had to mutiny at the end of Day 2 to get 30 minutes of free time - I would probably give 5 stars if we had been given 2-3 hours of free time. Having said all of that, the museums and churches were impressive.
A few things to consider before booking this tour: We did not have the correct tour company's information on our printed tickets through Viator and we could not get through passport control. It is very strict getting into St. Petersburg and you have to have the correct information. The other discrepancy we had is the tour description on Viator's site and the description our tour guide had did not match. We specifically chose this tour so we could have some time to shop, but it was not on the schedule and caused some tension with our tour guide. I would recommend calling the tour company directly after you get the information to confirm those details. We did not realize Viator was just a tour broker and that we would not have contact with them once in the country, it was somewhat confusing and unclear.
Once we got those details sorted we were an hour late getting to the tour group. We had to have a separate car take us to join our group and the tour guide was not very understanding and was at times downright rude. She had an agenda and was not flexible at all with our group.
The tour also stated we would have a smaller van to take us around which was true, however it was not in great condition and had a broken seat. The visibility out of this van was not as good as a larger bus and if you get stuck in the back, forget it, you will have the worst view.
The redeeming qualities of this smaller tour is that you get through the sites quicker than a larger group and it is definitely more manageable.
Be prepared for the crowds at some of the sites, they were enormous and at times stifling! At one point at the museum we felt like herded cattle. We all just shuffled through the rooms packed in like sardines and got some great photos of the back of peoples heads with the artwork in the distance.
The subway ride was a huge waste of time. Was nothing special to see, I would save that for Stockholm.
Overall, i'm glad we were able to see what we did. It was a good overview of St. Petersburg but I would not go back and definitely would not do this tour again.
Make sure you are totally clear on all the details and have all the correct information before landing in Russia!
The overall tour was great and the group was limited to 12 people. Anna, our guide, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the city of St. Petersburg and impressed us with her ability to keep us informed at all times. A highlight of the tour was our short excursion into the St. Petersburg Metro. The boat ride through the city's canal and river system was another highlight. We really went into palace overload, though, with our visits to the Summer and Winter Palaces and the Peterhof Gardens. All three sites are fantastic, but very crowded and it is difficult to appreciate them. All in all, I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to get an overview of St. Petersburg.
On the downside, our van's air conditioning was not working properly on the first day, but was promptly repaired for the second day of the tour. Lunch was rushed due to the sheer volume of things to see. We were blessed with outstanding weather with cloud free skies and temps in the 60's both days.
Our tour guide, Ksania, was great! She was friendly and knew the city and history very well. Our cruise ship arrived late on the first day and she was able to flip-flop the days so we didn't miss anything. We were not able to get to the Peter and Paul fortress due to a traffic jam earlier in the day on the drive to Peterhoff which threw off the day's plan. I researched many tours before booking this one. I chose this one because it included all the highlights. Because it was a small group, we got to know each other which made it more enjoyable. We had a traditional Russian lunch. Over all, this tour was great. The only drawback was there was little time for souvenir shopping.