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Need Suggestions Please!

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Henderson, Nevada
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Need Suggestions Please!

We will be in St Petersburg this summer. I contacted a private tour company and they gave me the following itinerary.

What am I missing? Anything important?

Departure for the Tsarskoye Selo (Tzars' Village)

Tsarskoye Selo tour (City of Pushkin).’

Transfer to the downtown with the metro tour on the way. Metro trip.

Savior on the Spilt Blood.

Back to the ship

Departure for the Peterhoff

Peterhoff PARK tour (or Petrodvorets).

Transfer to the downtown.

The Hermitage tour

Peter and Paul Fortress

St.Isaac’s Cathedral

Walking/shopping time

Back to the ship

1. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

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Removed on: 15 February 2010, 11:26
Russia
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2. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

The second day seems to be quite impossible. Peterhoff will take at least 4 hours, + two hours in the Hermitage just to look around. An hour or two for Peter and Paul Fortress, the same for St.Isaac’s Cathedral. And you'll have to walk a lot or lose your time in traffic.

Mykonos, Greece
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3. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

It sounds like you only have two days in St Pete, is that right?

If so, I would suggest that you do Peterhof OR Tsarskoe Selo; the main attraction in Tsarskoe Selo is the Catherine Palace, which is very similar in style to Peterhof. Between them, I would choose Peterhof since the trip by hydrofoil is neat, and the fountains at Peterhof are AMAZING, which Catherine Palace doesn't have.

The second day I would spend in the city; you can do St Isaac's, Hermitage, Kazan Cathedral and Church on Spilled Blood easily by walking (that alone would fill a day). Peter and Paul Fortress is across the Neva; it's very historic and has the burials of all the Tsars, but could be skipped if you are low on time.

If you are comfortable with doing it on your own, you certainly can do the above without a tour guide. The hydrofoil to Peterhof leaves directly adjacent from the Hermitage, and everything else is walkable; if you read a good guidebook (the Eyewitness series is very informative and easy to navigate) you can do it on your own no problem.

Springfield...
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4. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

Luggage_Tags makes a very good point. If you have only two days to spend in St. Petersburg, seeing both Peterhof and the Catherine Palace is overkill. In a similar situation four years ago, I chose Catherine Palace and never regretted it.

That said, I *would* recommend engaging a guide for the two day trip, especially if this is your first time in St. Petersburg. Handling the crowds and the alphabet and the logistics one's self is not impossible, but the effort of doing so could detract from your enjoyment of the experience.

Besides, chances are you'll find that two days in St. Petersburg is nowhere near enough, and you will have to return. With a guided tour experience under your belts, you will have a much better idea how to go about your second visit!

St Petersburg Russia
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for St. Petersburg
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5. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

The tour is not balanced between the two days.

Day one of your arrival, unless one of the few ships that arrives after 10a.m. will mean getting back to the ship very early. The trip to Puskin including driving will be 4 hours. You will probably leave the port at 8a.m or even earlier so the metro ride and Church on Spilled Blood will take 1.5 hours if the traffic is bad. That means getting back to the ship very early, before 2pm.

The second day is much too rushed in the afternoon after returning from Peterhof.

My not move Peter and Paul Fortress to the 1st day and when done take the canal river cruise back to the Palace Embankment for the close by visit to St Isaac.

That would give both Catherine Palace and Peterhof( to save time you can skip the interior of the Grand Palace and concentrate on the Fountain Park and maybe one of the smaller palaces in the park. The interiors of Catherine and Grand Palace's were designed by the same man who also designed much of the ornate portion of the Winter Palace which you will also see.

Move Church on Spilled Blood to the 2nd day so you have everything concentrated in the afternoon to 2 blocks..Hermitage/Winter Palace, Church on Spilled Blood and Shopping/walking around Nevsky pr. and still get back to the ship on time for departure.

Is this an experienced tour company, the itinerary seems awkward and uneven.The first day you will start earlier and end later normally because you have more energy, the second day often starts a little later to rest up because most people go to evening performance of ballet, folkloric shows etc and do not return to the ship until 11pm.

6. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

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Removed on: 03 May 2011, 14:40
Loveland, Colorado
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7. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

Wow. I'm in the same situation. I have 2 days in port (in May). The "see it all" excursion is $600! Includes Catherine Palace, Peterhof Palace, Hermitage (& Gold Room), St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul fortress, (going into all of these places, not driving by outside)canal cruise, as well as some photo stops. Looks like 2 12-hour days! So is this major overkill?

From what I understood, if you don't arrange a tour through the ship, you have to get your own visa or you can't even get off the ship. Elsewhere on this site, it said a VISA is about $300?

There are other excursions from the ship which go to one place or the other, but seems like it leaves out stuff we'd like to see. So, are there really "MUST SEE" places and others that should be left out (if I never go back?).

Looked like even arranging a car & guide would be $400 for half a day...I am SO inexperienced at this, I am really stumped. I need help/suggestions, too, please!

Moscow, Russia
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8. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

> From what I understood, if you don't arrange a tour through the ship, you have to get your own visa or you can't even get off the ship

No, any licensed tour operator will do. "The ship" is not a licensed tour operator, by the way, they just resell (with a markup) tours from licensed local operators.

> Elsewhere on this site, it said a VISA is about $300?

No.

9. Re: Need Suggestions Please!

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