Greetings, fellow travelers,
In researching St. Petersburg, LP says that anyone spending more than a few days should consider renting a short-term apartment. My husband and I, along with another couple, (all seasoned travelers in our late 50s) are planning on spending a week to 10 days in St. P. in late June/early July next summer. The more I read about St. P.,the longer our list becomes of where we want to go. Any suggestions on if 7-10 days is appropriate? I see some people going for just a few days, or a week. I figure it's a long way (from Oregon), and we want don't want to shortchange ourselves. Do people get museum/art/history overload?
Responses to a previous post of mine here on TripAdvisor a few months ago convinced me that it's possible to travel independently in St. P. The guidebooks appear to assume that this is fine too.
Our friends want a full-time guide, however, thinking that navigating our way through a big city--in Russia!-- is too daunting to do on our own, as well as we'd have better access to the heavily visited musuems with a guide. I'm taking a "Russian for Travelers" class at our local community college this fall, but I don't expect to get beyond the basics.
I'd really appreciate some input on how best to visit St. P. on a "moderate" budget, knowing that we're going during the peak season and that St. P. is an expensive city. Our thinking is a hotel would have a concierge to help with questions, but if we have a guide, or have done our homework thoroughly, maybe having a concierge wouldn't matter. I've seen references on this forum to guides, but really don't know how to find one. Any suggestions or recommendations would be most appreciated.
We plan on staying in the city center, to be close to the places we want to go to, but LP advises to also consider access to public transportation. I have read about how bad vehicular traffic can be. So is it better to take public transportation (i.e. the Metro), and if with a guide, do they typically have their own cars, or how do guides work in St. P.??
Thank you all for your help!