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Help with trip to St Petersburg

Old Jul 4th, 2014, 07:28 AM
  #1  
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Help with trip to St Petersburg

We (two couples) ae off to St Petersburg Russia, late August for a long weekend and I wondered if anyone could help with the following:
Airport transfers - we will be staying at the Corinthia, however their transfer rates are pretty steep doesd anyone know of a taxi/airport car service they could recommend.

Guide - we are thinking of having a guide for 1 or 2 days again, does anyone know of a good guide they used and would recommend, if so can you post email/web details.
(we are considering self guiding but i do find it an efficient way to see a city when someone is taking you round. ) I have contacted the hotel but currently they are quoting arounf £350! (i have no idea if this is the standard in SP!

Any other hints and tips gratefully received.

Thanks in advance
S
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 08:47 AM
  #2  
 
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Sorry - we have done independently - so can't reco a guide. And we had 6 days - but we always prefer doing it ourselves.

I would do enough research up front so you know exactly what YOU want to see to be sure the guide includes it. Your choices will be very limited with so little time - and you may not be able to see any of the palaces outside the city.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 09:10 AM
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Anything arranged by the hotel will be very expensive. I don't know of a company in St Petersburg personally, but I would use an official taxi company, for example this one from the Pulkovo airport websitebr />
http://www.pulkovoairport.ru/en/transport/taxi/

St Petersburg is a really easy city to walk around, a guide to take you around is not necessary. If you want a guide to take you around the Hermitage for example, you will find official ones outside. I have never taken a guide, but I have taken a car and driver to take me to excursions outside the city.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 09:19 AM
  #4  
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OK great, thank you both ,maybe I will hire a car/driver and then just get a guide outside the Hermitage. we have roughly 3 full days - (plus the friday evening) i was hoping we could squeeze in Petehoff Palace (sp?)
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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kja
 
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"we have roughly 3 full days - (plus the friday evening) i was hoping we could squeeze in Petehoff Palace (sp?)"

3 full days is very little for St. Petersburg. You would do well to think through your priorities in advance.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 07:14 PM
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Alla Tours is terrific but may be booked by now.

http://www.alla-tour.com/tours/

If you get a booking with them they will take you wherever you want, or they will take you to the main highlite places,
so better to know ahead of time what you want to see.
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Old Jul 4th, 2014, 10:27 PM
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KJA- yep planning to figure out the main things we want to do. I realise more time would be better but it's all we have.
Percy- thanks for the link I'll check them out.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 02:47 AM
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I have used this company in St Petersburg, they have been around for many years. They also do airport transfers and city tours.

http://www.baltictravel.com/

Another way to see St Petersburg is a bus tour, handy if you are tired of walking.

http://citytourspb.ru/
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 04:42 AM
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Percy, thank you for the link but a group tour is not what we are after...
If we did just hire a driver and car, what would your suggestions be to see using him ( obviously we can cover off the city sights ourselves)

Odin, many thanks for those links, I'll check them out. A bus tour could be the way to go, especially if we have to much vodka the night before
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Smeagol:
You are 4 people , are 4 people not a group.!
This will be your own private tour..just the 4 of you, you will not be with others.

Better that the four of you all go together, it is cheaper that way.

If you have a list of places to see...just tell Alla's guide.

If you can do the city by yourself, then you better know where you are walking and where all the places are.
Like:

Hermitage/ Winter Palace
Winter Canal and Hermitage Theatre
Palace Square and Alexander Column

General Staff Building
The Admiralty
Bronze Horseman
Victory Columns
St. Isaacs Cathedral
Nicholas I Column
The Blue Bridge
Mariinsky Palace
Astroia and Angelterre Hotels ( across from St. Issacs' Cathedral)

Marble Place
Field of Mars and it's Eternal Flame.
Summers Gardens
Summer Palace of Peter the Great
Russian Museum and Pushkin Statue
Mikhailovsky Castle and Peter the Great Statue

Then you have to

get across the Troiskiy Bridge ( Trinity Bridge) to reach
Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral on the Island.

After visitng here , which takes a while.....

Now off the Island which way are you going to go..!?
East to see:
1. Trinity Chapel
2. Peter's Original Log Cabin
3. Naval academy and right across is Aurora Cruise , the one that fired that shot started the Russian Revolution.

Shot was fired on the Hermitage on October 25 1917..the shot was blank !!

or from the Island do you go west to see:

1.Pushkin House
2. Rostral Columns
3. Kunstkammer
4. Academy of Sciences
5. Menshikov Palace ( He was Peter the Great's best friend and siphoned a lot of money for himself.)

I could go no but , this is too much walk for your group of four.
You might want to walk all the way down Nevesky Prospekt which is the main street for shopping etc, and there are sites to see along here.

Like

1. Stroganov Place ( on the corner)
2. Kazan Cathedral
3. Grand European Hotel
4. Catholic Church of St. Catherine
5 Armenian Church Blue and white very quaint)
across from the church is
6. Gostiny Dvor..big shopping mall

7. Catherine Monument and Pushkin Theatre
8 and finally the Anichkov Bridge with the four nice horse statues.

You will not want to walk further than this.

Then there is Yusupov's Palace.

No I think a private guide ( like from Alla , not cheap but how many times are you going to visit St. Petersburg) and have a list of place that YOU want to see and Alla will make sure you see them ALL.

Enjoy St. Petersburg.
The Faberge' Building where those famous eggs were made.

You will want to see Catherine's Palace and Peterhof also of course.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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I've walked to most of the above sites and others not mentioned. It is a long walk esp over some of the bridges. But they don't have to be seen on the same day. The metro is also interesting because it is so deep. St Petersburg is for walking, you won't get the same feel for the city by going on a tour. There are always guides outside St Isaacs or the Hermitage, you don't need a tour guide to see the Grand Hotel Europe, Angleterre or Astoria (they are interesting to see), nor Gostiny Dvor or Kazan cathedral. I would recommend picking and choosing a tour for things you cannot get to yourself easily, like Peterhof (I took a car & driver for that.)
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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Wow Percy, fantastic info thank you. Maybe I misread the link as I thought it meant it was a group tour.... Although at the minute the cost looks to be $218 each so the hotels cost of a private guide may not be that uncompetitive BUT I will properly read the website

SP is only just over a 3 hour flight for us, s if we love it and we run out of time we can always go back sometime... I'm sure we will only scratch the surface of what SP has to offer!
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 10:44 AM
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Hi, Sméagol!

Do you know about Greeters?

SPB Greeters is a part of a Global Greeter Network:

http://www.globalgreeternetwork.info/

I'm a greeter from St.Petersburg,
and we all will be happy to show you sightseeings and uncommon spots of Saint-Petersburg.

http://saintpetersburggreeters.com/

Feel free to ask me!
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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Smeagol. It is good that you are only 3 hours flight away.
You can go back at anytime.

Your private tour will include admission to all the major places like the Hermitage, Peterhof, Catherine's Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaacs Cathedral.
and to the Church of the Spilled Blood.

We started each day at 8 AM until 6 PM.

So we went to see place that did not have an opening time like
The Narva Arch... to commemorate victory in 1812 over Napolean
Then to St. Nicholas Church

Askk to see the Russian National Library, the Stalin Building, Chesme Church ( very nice and very different),
then

Lenin Statue and Soviet Building and Victory Square.

Don't worry all of these are in a row along the same avenue and on your way to Catherine's Palace IF you ask the driver to take you this way.

Getting quickly from point A to point B was great with our private tour guide.

Try walking from the Hermitage to the Rostral Columns and nearby site...then to Peter and Paul Fortress ...then across another bridge either back to the Hermitage or to the Aurora..

and then across the Troitskiy Bridge to where the Monument of
Suvorov is ..then what do you want to do ..walk across the Field of Mars....stop at the flame...then where.??

This is no easy walk, I have walked a lot in St. Petersburg..BUT I saw all the major sites first AND I also knew where places were and what to see.

That is the key to walking on your own.

Oh yes the best tourist gift shops are at:
Hermitage
Church of Spilled Blood
Peterhof.

Another thing, at the major tourist places like say, Catherine's Place, there will be Russian guys selling you post cards etc.

Don't shoo them away.
Where else can you get 16-18 postcards for $3.00 of the major places in St. Petersburg done professionally.!!

Enjoy your Trip

At Peterhof tell Alla you want to see the Montplaisir Place, which is on the grounds of Peterhof.

Peter the Great preferred this place to Peterhof.!

From Montplaisir looking across the water you can make out the dome of St. Isaacs Catherdal...wave over in St. Petersburg.

St. Isaacs is the 3rd largest Dome in the world.
The other two are _______ and ________
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 11:14 AM
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Taxis are ubiquitous in St Pet and all the drivers speak/understand basic English. We walked - or took cabs - to and fro every place in the city (and got a guide at the door of the Hermitage).

We did take a train to see Tsarskoe Selo and a boat trip/tour to see Peterhof.
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 11:33 AM
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Well, tips from local ))
Some interesting places in SPb:

Grand Maket museum (metro Moskowskie vorota):
http://www.grandmaket.ru

Faberge museum (Fontanka riv. emb, 21):
http://fabergemuseum.ru/

Good Russian cuisine cafe with reasonable price
Pelmenia (Russian dumplings - pelmeni and vareniki)

Kvartirka (solyanka, borsch, kotlety)

Stolle - pirogi
http://www.stolle.ru/en/menu/saint-petersburg
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 12:14 PM
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about Airport transfer - taxi from the airport Pulkovo to the center costs not over 1000 rubles (800 rub. is good prise)
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Old Jul 5th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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http://www.saint-petersburg.com/attractions/index.asp
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Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #19  
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Greeter SP and alias thank you for your replies... ( greeter sorry I don't notice your response earlier)
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Old Jul 23rd, 2014, 01:07 PM
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> It is unusual to get a taxi driver from the street that speaks English, in my experience.
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