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I was the only person booked on the tour, so turned out to be a private tour! The guide and driver were really nice, and because it was just me, a lot more time was spent checking out the different areas around the palace and gardens. I even got a mini tour of the historic metro on the way back to St Petersburg. I would absolutely recommend this tour!
Olga R United States of ...
Wow! this is a most see place. This place and all the history involved about Peter the Great. So much gold and history! I highly recommend it!
This was an excellent tour. Avoided lines and got to see all of the Palace and grounds.
Irina met us at the hotel, took us to Peterhof with one other guest and the driver was great. All very efficient, friendly, relaxed and knowledgeable. Would not have wanted to do this trip with a large group. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Would recommend.
Our very knowledgeable and friendly guide Valeria from the Marina Lawson agency picked us up by car at the agreed time from our centrally located hotel and drove us to Peterhof Palace . We had purchased early access/skip-the-line tickets but despite being there at approximately 09.30am, there were still quite a few big groups from ocean cruising ships, river cruising ones and international agencies. Valeria navigated us efficiently and promptly through the crowds, all the time providing informative comments on each room of this exquisite Palace. One is not allowed to take pictures or remain for too long a period of time in each room but Valeria's explanations were concise and to the point and covered the few minutes we were allowed to stay and admire the contents of each room, one more beautiful than the other. At 10.50 hours she positioned us in front of the Grand Cascade of 168 fountains that operate without a pump and its centrepiece, the Samson Fountain. We had one of the best views when the Musical Fountains show began at 11.00am promptly. Once the 10 minute show was over, Valeria took us to stroll through the French-style formal gardens. The Grand Cascade divides the park into east and west, each side having its own smaller cascade. Valeria pointed to us the most interesting fountains - the Sun Fountain, the Pyramid Fountain, the Mushroom Fountain, the Eve Fountain, the Roman Fountain, the Dragon Cascade and the very amusing but perhaps not as well known or visited the Favourite Fountain which is an illustration of La Fontaine's fable about a dog trying to catch ducks. Whilst strolling in the park, two very friendly red squirrels approached us expecting some nuts. I was very sorry to be unable to give them anything! We then visited the pebbly beach on the Baltic Sea front and had an exterior view of the Monplaisir Palace, Peter the Great's favourite abode this one-storey building is where he used to go for relaxation and to view the shimmering waves of the Baltic Sea. There are a lot of golden statues and colourful flower parterres everywhere in this huge park and Valeria provided us with enough time to take pictures, just as she allowed us enough time to pay a visit to the toilets at the start of our visit. I would highly recommend the visit of Peter the Great's grand and elegant palace often called the Russian Versailles. Just ensure you dress up in layers, have an umbrella, raincoat and comfortable walking shoes with you as the weather in St Petersburg is notoriously unsettled.
Great tour. We bPicked up promptly at our hotel in a comfortable minivan and three of us were given a tour by Katya. She informed us about the buildings as we drove out of St Petersberg and did a wonderful job at Peterhof both with the palace and the gardens. We could not have been happier and recommend this tour highly with no reservations.
The tour was outstanding and certainly exceeded all our expectations. Our tour guide is a wonderful lady with pleasant attitude. Her English is fluent and her deep knowledge of the site and area helped us to appreciate more of what we are seeing. Highly recommended!
Our guide was on time and whisked us swiftly away through the crowded streets of St Petestburg heading for Peterhof. You need the early start to go around the house before the crowds from the cruise ships arrive. Our guide took us to front of the line and we deposited our coats and bags at a check in that the cruise people did not seem to know. The only problem with looking around the Grand Palace is the room guides keep pushing you through, never giving you the time you want to see the rooms. Our guide though managed to walk us very slowly around and explained in detail the use each of the magnificent rooms were put too. Once out of the Palace our guide lead us through the mounting throng of Chinesse visitors to a perfect spot to see the fountains being switched on. These are a sight to behold with the sun shining on the wet gold statues. A amble around the gardens with its many fountains completed our visit when we were taken back to our hotel by our delightful guide. Highly recommended as with a very small group you get to see so much more.
Despite the rain, a very enjoyable trip with excellent commentary from the guide. Fantastic interiors and beautiful gardens and fountains. Pick-up and drop-off was on time. A relaxing way to see the palace.
Having early access and a small group allowed us to bypass the long line of tour groups and go right inside the palace. Katharine was our guide and she was excellent! She obviously knew the history of Peterhof and the Imperial family like the back of her hand. I liked that she shared personality traits of the Imperial family members too which was quite interesting. What we really enjoyed was talking to her about life in St Petersburg. We had some extra time on the way back to so she even took us through a few of the beautiful subway stations. I've already recommended this tour to friends and coworkers.
Well worth every penny. We had a private tour with Anastasia, who was very well informed on Russian history and politics. As we were ahead of time, she took us to a traditional Russian church and 3 beautiful metro stations. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone.
Guide was wonderful. Excellent structure if the tour, able to relate to guests and was kind enough to answer question from guests relating to St. Petersburg.
Wonderful tour with the very knowledgeable guide. Definitely a must see if you one is visiting St. Petersburg
Our tour guide Valerika was very informative and made the tour a lot of fun. If you are going to do this tour, I would recommend that you ask for her. Ps after the tour finished, she kindly dropped us of at our next destination the Russian Museum and she also recommended an excellent nearby cafe for lunch. Great Service.
Douglas M New Zealand
Anna was an excellent guide. We were the only people on the tour. We had early access to Peterhof before the tour groups and it was great to have the time to appreciate the rooms. We left the palace in time to see the fountains being turned on and performing to music. We then enjoyed walking around the beautiful gardens.
The palace is amazing! Obviously we have no idea what it would have been like without the early access, but the whole process was super smooth. Me and my wife had a great time and the tour guide was very knowledgeable, it wasn't rushed at all and the pacing was perfect. Would definitely recommend. :
Carl T United States of ...
Outstanding in every respect. Again, we had Irena from Marina Wilson Tours as our guide on what became a private tour for me and my wife. Despite some rainy weather, Irena covered all the areas outlined in the tour summary. The fountains are breathtaking. The videos we shot are among the highlights of our stay in St. Petersburg.
The tour was fantastic! Definitely worth beating the crowds. Olga was great and very knowledgeable. Would absolutely recommend it.
Olga, our tour guide was pretty thorough and knowledgeable. My main issue is as the title of the tour states, EARLY ACCESS, and the description states visit or entry before the doors open, but it was already very crowded with a long line when we arrived. There was also a small museum within the grounds that we could not access as we did not have tickets. The tour company should inform clients of this option as unless one does thorough research, one would not know about it. Given all the sightseeing options in all of St. Petersburg, it is easy to miss small items such as this.
The tour guide was knowledgeable and very pleasant, the van was comfortable.
My feeling was that the tour was designed to time more then designe to quality, so I did not has the time for fully impresse from the impressive palace and it gardens.
More free time in the gardens was required.
The tour company, Marina Wilson Tours, and our guide, Valeria, were both professional and courteous. Hotel pick-up and drop-off was handled without problem. This is a must-visit site while in St Petersburg and has many interesting fountains and gardens. Early entry did not seem necessary for this site at this time of year and the amount of time at this location seemed a little short. We seemed to miss some relaxing time enjoying the gardens and grounds this location does not seem impossible to navigate without the help of a guide. Also, during September the site was preparing for the closing ceremony and the main fountain offered little for photographic opportunity because of scaffolding and lighting arranged around the main attraction.
The guide was terrific and the timing was wonderful. Early access does not mean getting in before other large tours. It poured rain but it did not matter. The experience was breath taking. The only problem was the driver in the min van had the worst BO and it made the other guests sick, We needed air but the circulation of air made the BO was sickening. Viator needs to have a hygene policy.
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