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homestay in St. Petersburg

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Denver, Colorado
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homestay in St. Petersburg

We will be spending four days in St. Petersburg and are considering a home stay through HOFA.ru. Their 4-day package sounds like a very good deal which includes not only the lodging and food but also many tours, including evening performances, such as ballet at the Marinksky, folk show at Nilolevksky Palace, and opera at the the Mussorgski. There will be four of us traveling, so the price works out to about $800 per person. Has anyone had this experience? Will we be staying in the downtown section or far away? We have been working with another tour company that is offering us a mini hotel on the Nevsky Prospect.. We would love to have your thoughts. Thanks a lot.

St Andrews, United...
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1. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

Yikes, sounds quite expensive :S If you are interested in homestays, have you ever considered couchsurfing?

Plymouth, Minnesota
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for Moscow
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2. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

I would be VERY careful with homestays...I seem to recall one of our real adventurous travelers here from Australia (did the whole country) used some kind of home stay at times, and it was a nightmare...

Moscow, Russia
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3. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

> I seem to recall one of our real adventurous travelers here from Australia (did the whole country) used some kind of home stay at times, and it was a nightmare...

Funnily, my recollection is that it was one particular homestay that was nightmarish, others were ok. If we are speaking about the same Jean, that is :)

Denver, Colorado
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4. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

Now you have me worried. How was it was nightmarish? What should I watch out for?

Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

railway-train-travel.com.au/train-trip-trans…

But I think you shouldn't worry, it seems a very different story from yours.

san francisco
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6. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

There's no way to tell whether you'll have a good location unless you let us know the address/vicinity - but I say that a homestay is a very unique opportunity and you shouldn't pass it up. While there is more risk that it could be a flop than if you stay at a hotel, the rewards of staying in someone's home will be far greater than being cut off in a hotel and just doing the typical tourist thing. At worst, you'll have a colorful story to tell; at best, it will be amazing; most likely, it will be just fine; certainly, you will learn far more about Russia than you possible could otherwise - it will be unforgettable. Have a great trip.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

It is situated near the Smolny cathedral, Tavricheski gardens and Suvorov museum. The location is about 15 minutes walk from Chernyshevskaya underground station. It is also easily acceptable by trolleybus No 5 from Nevsky prospect and all the central area. Does this sound like a good location? Thanks so much for your help!

Olga

NE Victoria...
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8. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

Hi Olga, I tend to agree with tdubbSF that it could be a great experience.

We spent our last evening in St Petersburg walking around that area and we liked it a lot - to the point where we thought that we'd like to stay around there next time we were in town. The gardens are beautiful, we saw a lot of restoration work going on in the vicinity of Furshtatskaya ulitsa (quite upmarket, we saw a few embassies around there) and there were some nice places to eat nearby. It was a pleasant place in which to spend our last day in Russia.

For a first time visit, though, I think that it is a bit out of the way in terms of sightseeing. We stayed in an apartment on the Griboedova Canal near Bank Bridge and although we felt like we were in Tourist Central, it was really handy for getting around easily and seeing lots of things over the course of a week. That would be my main reservation as far as your homestay location goes - not ideally placed for first time tourists and not good for walking around the city centre. But the trolleybuses are great, so if you don't mind a bit of schlepping about at the beginning and end of your sightseeing days, it would be okay. And the cultural experience might make up for the shortcomings of the location.

UK
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9. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

Is this a good location? In honesty, Olga, no it is not. The map of St Petersburg can be very deceptive as to the distances between sites in what appears to be the cener of the city (it's in part compunded by the sheer scale of the River, figure maybe 15-20 minutes just to walk across one of the bridges). Just think, if you are 15 minutes walk from Chernyshevskaya metro, you will spend nearly an hour each day just geeting to and from your metro train, on top of the time it will take to get to your true destination at the other end - and remember that there are no convenient metro stations if you want to get to Palace Square.

In additon to tha, it seems to me to be a price on the high side for what you are getting - you could de better.

san francisco
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10. Re: homestay in St. Petersburg

Olga, another thing occurred to me, given your Russian name - is Russia a familiar place to you? Have you lived there or spent considerable time? In that case, a homestay is not as vital - its primary value is to provide you with a window to Russia you otherwise would not have seen...