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If it is not already on there, put St Petersburg on your bucket list. If possible read something about the Romanov dynasty before you go. We had 3 quite remarkable days visiting the principal sites in and around this remarkable city. The history of this city goes back to Peter The Great who built the city on a swamp. Nowadays it is testimony to other great Tsars, particularly Catherine the Great who established the Hermitage museum and built a quite remarkable collection of fine art. The opulence of the palaces and gardens is amazing. For me, the best by far was the Peterhof, which is about 50km north of the city. Their gardens span over 200 acres, complete with fountains and other smaller palaces.
This tour was absolutely exceptional. Our guide, Svetlana Lana, was beyond outstanding. Her knowledge went way beyond what anyone had a right to expect. She somehow got us through queues while others waited, and knew where to go first to avoid the long lines that later developed. Her command of English was fabulous it helps that she also teaches English, I suppose!. I'd give this tour 6 stars if it were possible.
One other thing -- compared to the prices charged by our cruise line, we saw twice as much for half the cost. This 3-day tour was the highlight of our entire cruise. If there's any way you can get Lana for a guide, do it.
St Petersburg is astonishing and this tour shows the very best of it. Our guide Ekaterina was knowledgeable, friendly, interesting and interested in making sure we got the most out of our time in the city. The ticketing arrangements were good and easy. No need to pay over the top for a cruise tour.
Our St. Petersburg tour was more than we could ever imagine. Our guide Svetlana of Alla tours was the most knowledgeable guide that we have ever experienced.
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