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Help on Itenerary--are we alotting enough time and enough of the highlights?

Help on Itenerary--are we alotting enough time and enough of the highlights?

Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 11:05 AM
  #1  
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Help on Itenerary--are we alotting enough time and enough of the highlights?

My family (ages 29-67) is going on a Scandinavian cruise June 2004 and we are spending 2 days in St. Petersburg. We are thinking of booking private tours with Red October but need help with the itenerary as I am not sure if I like there suggested 2-day itenerary. So here it goes...
Day 1:tour of St. Petersburg by car(1.5 hr)
tour Hermitage incl. Winter Palace (1.5 hr)
lunch at Adamant Restaurant (45 min)
1 hr tour Yuspov's Palace (1 hr)
Drive and tour Peterhof (1.5 hr)
Ballet that night

Day 2epart and tour Pushkin et. al (2 hrs)
Visit St. Issac's Cathedral (45 min)
lunch at Our Petersburg (1 hr)
shopping at Red October (30 min)
Peter-Paul Fortress (45 min)
Savior of the Blood Cathedral (30 min)

What about a canal ride? Russian Tea?
kahplayground is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2003, 03:28 PM
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After spending well over a month in St. Petersburg last fall (third trip) and over 20 trips to The Hermitage, I would be inclined to drop the Yuspov Palace and extend your stay at The Hermitage. One musuem that is highly underrated is the Russian Ethnographic Museum which is located right next door to the Russian Museum (Russian Art). This museum depicts the culture and life of the Russian peoples with folk costumes, furs, etc. and I think would give you a better glimpse of the country on such a short stay. If you have to make room for something else I would be tempted to drop The Peter and Paul Fortress. A trip on the canal should be considered highly. All of these things I would prefer are MY taste......you will have to choose.
Such a short time and so much to see.......enjoy your visit. It is a great city.
goldwynn is offline  
Old Dec 3rd, 2003, 10:31 AM
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I really enjoyed the visit to Yusopov Palace. It's a little off the beaten path but I thought it was interesting to see how the rich folks (besides the tsar of course) lived. The Moorish room was fabulous and you will get the guide telling you the story of Rasputin's death. If I were to shorten anything from that day it would be the drive by tour of the city, most of which you should be able to see as you are visiting the sights. The Hermitage is fabulous but the guide should be able to show you the highlights in a couple of hours.

Make sure you are at Peterhof when the fountains are on, we've been there both when they are off and on and it's much better when they are on.

We did a tour from a cruise ship just like you are doing and it included a visit with a Russian family which I thought was one of the most interesting things that we did. I would skip having the fancy lunch on one of the days and see if that option is available. The food wasn't all that good but it was interesting seeing where the real people live.

Red October is probably a more expensive tourist oriented shop. I would rather go to the tourist market near the Church of the Spilled Blood.

If you want to do a canal trip, you could drop Peter and Paul Fortress, I think it is the least interesting thing on the list.
Kristi is offline  
Old Dec 7th, 2003, 03:45 AM
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Kahplayground: You will get more response to your query if you have Russia in your subject matter. Might be an idea to post again as I know there are other travellers out there who frequent St. Petersburg.

The Church of The Spilled Blood which the previous poster mentions is the same as the Saviour of The Blood Cathedral and there is a tourist market there. It is perfectly positioned to catch all the tourists and all tour groups will direct you to this market. However, their prices are sometimes double.....if you are not into playing the game of haggle, then right on Nevsky Prospekt a 10 minute walk from that Church is a large covered shopping centre called Gostinyy Dvor which has been around in one form or another since the late 1700s. Almost immediately inside the front entrance to the right are quite a few shops that deal in Russian crafts and tourist related goods. Prices are fixed and in my judgement are quite reasonable. There are also small food shops scattered throughout the complex. The whole centre gives a peek into the "new capitalism".
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 07:03 AM
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So much to see, so little time!

I, for one, would find 1.5 hours for the Hermitage not nearly enough, even for a cursory visit. If you're not interested in the art and only want to see the state rooms, then perhaps it would suffice.

For Pushkin and Peterhof, bear in mind that they are some distance outside St. Petersburg, and that if travel is included in the times you have given, you will be very rushed indeed. The palaces are very much worth seeing though, and I would not miss them. if your tour guide can arrange it, you could do one way to or from Peterhof by hovercraft, which would give you a good appreciation of St. Petersburg from the water.

I would drop the Yusupov Palace for more time at some of the others. I'm not sure what the 1.5 car tour of St. Petersburg includes, but you'll see plenty anyway going from one attraction to another. You should also know that traffic can at times be quite heavy in St. Petersburg and that might affect your schedule.

I don't know how interested you are in shopping, but the palaces have good gift shops with quality items. For cheaper souvenirs, street markets abound, particularly near some of the more frequented attractions.
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Old Dec 7th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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A small correction to my previous post. It's a hydrofoil, not a hovercraft, to and from Peterhof.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Dec 12th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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We were in St. Petersburg (first visit) over Thanksgiving. The old part of the city is pretty compact and you can see a lot just walking around. I would probably skip the 1.5 hr car tour (my preference) and beef up the time at the Hermitage/Winter Palace. We saw the special collection (gold room) and that piece of the tour was an hour by itself.

We had dinner at Adamant. It was my least favorite of all of the restaurants we visited. If your at the Hermitage anyways, dine at the Hermitage Restaurant instead. It's just across the Palace Square from the Hermitage/Winter Place and the food is outstanding. They have different menus in each room and a Russian specialty menu. The zucchini pancakes w/ country sour cream and the sour cabbage soup w/ veal & mushrooms were exceptional.

We didn't make it to Peterhof (since the fountains were off), but with the summer crowds, I think you'll be hard pressed with your itinerary and make it back in time for the ballet. We went to the Kirov (Mariinsky) for an opera and it started at 7pm.

We had a private guide take us to Pushkin and Pavlovsk--It took us 5 hours to drive out, see both palaces, and return. We went straight through the lines since we had a private guide, but she told us in the summer the lines, especially at Pushkin, are crazy. St. Isaac's is easily doable in 30-45 minutes depending on if you just do the museum or add the colonnade. The Church of the Spilled Blood is just incredible. I'd also just the Kazan Cathderal which is right along Nevsky Prospekt. We also enjoyed the Russian Museum (very little "Russian" art is in the Hermitage--its been moved here).

Also, while still more expensive than the shops at Gostinyy Dor, the gift shops at Pushkin, St. Isaacs, Russian Museum, etc. are much more reasonable than the tourist "souvenir" shops. The shop in the Hotel Angleterre is triple or more the prices we saw elsewhere.
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Old Dec 16th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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I have seen the word Peterhof, and also the palace of Peter the Great. Is this the same thing?
Lolo is offline  
Old Jan 13th, 2004, 05:49 AM
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yes, it is the same place.
kahplayground is offline  
Old Jan 14th, 2004, 04:48 PM
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Red October is the priciest way to do this. There are dozens of other licensed tour guides you could book.
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