COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Two Days in St Petersburg

Old Mar 11th, 2008, 11:20 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
Two Days in St Petersburg

I'll be in St Petersburg with my wife for about two days in early August. Can you suggest what we should realistically try to see/do with such limited time?

Thanks
Prof Plum
ProfessorPlum is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2008, 11:25 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
St Petersburg, Russia BTW
ProfessorPlum is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2008, 02:47 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Within two days, you can see almost everything - at least if you hire a private guide with car and driver.

Some of the most spectacular palaces are out of town and you need about an hour to go there. You can also hire a taxi.

A rather inexpensive way is to hire a guide for the first day, using the hotel concierge or an agency, and then to hire the guide privately for the second day. It will cost you a fraction of the first day. Be prepared that entrance fees are outragously high.

What you can see:
Downtown:
- Strolling through the city and seeing the wonderful architecture.
- The Saviour on the Spilt Blood church.
- St. Isaac's Cathedral.
- Yusupuv Palace.
- Peter and Paul's Fortress.
- The Hermitage.

This is possible in one day (albeit tight).

In the evening, see the performance (ballet or opera) in the Mariinsky Theatre. It is a highlight!

Out of town (the next day):
- Peterhof Palace (the park is the main attraction).
- Catherine's Palace.
- The rest of downtown which did not squeeze in your first day.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:16 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
Thank you so much for the excellent advice. Can you recommend a guide or a website?
ProfessorPlum is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 12:42 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
We will be in St Petersburg, Russia for 2 days with Holland America and plan to use the tour company Red October (private minivan for 6) to tour. If you know anything about them, please let me know. Thanks, [email protected]
albprof is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 01:15 PM
  #6  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,984
Treveller1959 wrote: "Within two days, you can see almost everything - at least if you hire a private guide with car and driver." I spent about 4.5 days in St. Petersburg, and did not see everything I wanted to see, so I must respectfully disagree. I didn't have a car and driver, but I can't imagine seeing everything there within 2 days! Unless that really means just passing by. . . .
kja is offline  
Old Mar 13th, 2008, 01:35 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 704
Is this a port visit on a cruise or an independent visit? If it is a port visit you will need a visa or set up your visit with one of the agencies that handles cruise ship passengers. With only two days you will only brush by the sights.
Garfield is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2008, 03:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Okay, kja, just the highlights and, I admit, we spent only two hours in the Hermitage - you can spend there easily four days. But within two days, you can see a lot (we did).

On our first visit (py plane), the hotel concierge hired a guide for us for the first day. The second day we hired the same person privately for a fraction of the cost.

On our second visit (by cruise ship), we hired Anastasia and had an outstanding tour:
http://www.anastasiaworld.com/

I can strongly recommend Anastasia which is slightly less expensive than Denrus, Alla, Red October.
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2008, 03:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 22
Of course it is always a question – how to organize the limited time when you travel to the new place. St.Pete accommodates thousands of cruise passengers who spend here two days only. Unfortunately most of them visit the city only once in the lifetime so for these people it is important to see as much as possible in the limited time. It is rather stressful but if the trip is well organized – with professional guide and car – it is possible to see a lot and still enjoy the city. Usually such extensive tours start early in the morning – at about 8.00am. Here is the sample two-day itinerary (just to get an idea):
First day
8.00 meet with the guide (near the ship or at your hotel)
8.00-12.30 city tour with inside visits of Peter-and-Paul Fortress, St.Isaak’s cathedral and Savior-on-the-Blood church
12.30-13.30 lunch in the local café
14.00-16.00 visit of the Hermitage
16.30-17.30 walk along Nevsky avenue, possible shopping, roaming around…
18.00 – 19.00 boat ride along rivers and canals
20.00 dinner or return to the ship (hotel)

Second day
9.00 meet with the guide
9.00-10.00 – drive to Tsarskoe Selo
10.00-11.30 – tour of Catherine’s palace and park
12.00-12.30 drive to Peterhof
12.30-13.30 lunch
14.00-15.30 tour of Peterhof grounds
15.30-16.00 hydrofoil back to the city
17.00 return to the ship (hotel)

Of course you will not have enough time to enjoy every room at the Hermitage or every fountain in Peterhof. But you will get a general impression of how the museum looks like. I personally think that one needs at least w eek in St.Pete to adore the city but unfortunately so many people don’t have this extra time.
Kempinsky_Eugenia is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2008, 04:28 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,421
I disagree that with only 2 days you will "Brush By" the sights. You'll be able to see plenty. But, you'll have to prioritize, such as determine whether you want to venture out of the city (to Peterhof, for example) or stay within.

Also highly recommend a licensed private guide, for skipping the lines at venues and touring in English. Otherwise, you will find yourselves in long lines behind huge tour groups. I found the one we hired here on Fodor's and she was excellent in every way (and can also help with Visa support).

http://www.tourservice.sp.ru/

Not to be missed is a "canal cruise".
djkbooks is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2008, 11:57 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
Thank you all for the incredibly helpful advice. It is much appreciated. I visited the web sites that you suggested but I can't find any mention of price. What does a private guide with car cost for a day?

Garfield --- This is a first time 2-day port visit on a cruise.

Thanks
Prof Plum
ProfessorPlum is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2008, 04:13 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 22
In general the full day (8 hours) of guide and driver is about 200 Euro. This does not include any museum fees or boat ride or port admissions (as you arrive on the cruise).
Kempinsky_Eugenia is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2008, 11:32 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 84
We used the services of Red October, and I cannnot praise them too highly. I was sent a preliminary itinerary, and then was able to modify it to our desires.
Brit is offline  
Old May 13th, 2008, 05:00 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 26
Thanks Brit

Do you have a website for Red October?
ProfessorPlum is offline  
Old Jul 1st, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 46
Eugenia: Could you tell me if your "sample two day-itinerary" for 200 Euros per day, is for each person, or the fee for the guide, car and driver per day and what size car/van is used?

You also mention museum fees, port admission and boat ride would be extra. Could you give an approximate cost for these?

ProfessorPlum: Did you finally decide on a private tour guide?

Thank you.
OldeBrit is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Smeagol
Europe
20
Jul 26th, 2014 01:31 PM
Pamo2
Europe
7
Oct 27th, 2008 11:55 AM
pachet
Europe
6
Jan 28th, 2008 09:16 AM
IKA55
Europe
9
Nov 5th, 2007 11:36 AM
poss
Cruises
6
May 23rd, 2005 12:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO