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Optional Tours

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Boston...
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Optional Tours

My daughter (30) and I (60's - but adventurous) will be with Vantage travel company and they are offering several optional tours (for which there is a fee). Can anyone tell me if they are "must sees" or ones we could do on our own? A rivers & canals tour (if it's at night I would want to go because we are there during The White Nights), Pavlovsk, a folkloric show (Cossack songs etc. I think), and Peterhof. Any better suggestions we could do on our own?

St. Petersburg...
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1. Re: Optional Tours

Peterhof is a must-see, definitely. Pavlovsk is nice, worth visiting, but may be bypassed if you're fed up with the two major parks&palaces suburbs (Peterhof & Tsarskoe Selo). Rivers & canals - depends on price, may be well worth taking if money requested is reasonable. If not, you can easily find a boat here.

St Petersburg Russia
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2. Re: Optional Tours

How long are you going to be here? If more than 2 days, Peterhof would be considered by most as being one of the highlights, as the canal cruise is. The canals offer a different view of the city, one more as intended in the first century of the city when canals were the most reliable transportation routes.

Tsarskoe Selo is the location of Catherine Palace, another major attraction which the majority of visitors think is a must see.

Normally all these activities are included in any normal tour so I am surprised they are saying they are options for a fee. The canal cruise, about 1 hour is about $15 and well worth it.

Pavlovsk is a local favorite, a wonderful part formal and mostly wild vast park with miles of walks and beautiful scenes. It is what I would consider an option since it is time consuming to explore and could use up more time than you have.

If you can give us an idea of how much time you have, we can suggest things to do. Much of the city center can be explored easily on foot alone but the suburban estates are best visited through the tour company since they will arrange transportation. You will likely be within walking distance of most things you want to see such as the Hermitage, St Isaac Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, and Russian Museum.

Boston...
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3. Re: Optional Tours

Much thanks to both of you. Our tour includes 1/2 day tours of the Hermitage, Catherine's Palace, Church on (of?) the Spilled Blood, Peter & Paul Fortress and something I can't remember right now. We are there for 4 days staying at the Corinthia on Nevsky. We have all our lunches, afternoons, dinners and evenings on our own, We have read about the usual on Nevsky Prospect (eg. Gostiny Dvor, etc.), but are looking for others too and good restaurants (but not too much money) near things we should visit, so any and all suggestions are really welcome. I have definintely included St. Isaac Cathedral and the Russian Museum and a canal cruise (on our own - they want much more money) and we will probably do Peterhof with the tour since we might not have a chance getting there on our own.

Again - thank you so mych.

Moscow, Russia
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4. Re: Optional Tours

Hi, Petergof is a must see, you need a separate day for it, because it's outside SPB. The ship"Aurora" is a must see, river boat is fun + you'll see a lot. St.Isaac, Spilled Blood, Peter&Paul are must see. Staying on Nevskiy is a good idea. And don't worry about food, there are plenty of restaurants for every taste and wallet around. To have a look at Hermitage is also a good idea if your guides make a smart short introduction. Because to see the whole Hermitage you need 2 years :)

St. Petersburg...
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5. Re: Optional Tours

Concerning Peterhof - you can do it if you have some financial freedom. In the summer, there is a speed boat link between city center and Peterhof park. Tickets for the boat are rather pricey, and you have to pay the usual fee for park entrance upon arriving to Peterhof, but it really is a much better way to go to the suburb than by bus, even with an arranged tour. In the city, hydrofoils start from pier right beside Hermitage entrance. Last year, price for the boat was 500RUR (about 17USD) one-way (transportation only, park tickets aren't included). Trip time is some 35-40 minutes.

Orlando
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6. Re: Optional Tours

Hi Stan J - I have been reading several posts about visas for Russia. I will be on a cruise ship arriving St Petersburg at 8:00am September 18 and leaving at 6:00pm on September 20. I would like to go to Moscow for the day on September 19th, travelling by high-speed train. When arriving in Moscow I will have a tour guide pick us up for the day and return us to the train station for the ride back to St. Petersburg. Will I be able to get to the train station in St Petersburg and board the train to Moscow without having to have a visa? Will I be able to pre-book a taxi to take us from the ship to the train station in St. Petersburg? I don't want to purchase train tickets and pay for a guide in Moscow to find out I can't do it because I don't have a visa...Thanks Valerie

Moscow, Russia
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7. Re: Optional Tours

You can't go to Moscow with no visa.

8. Re: Optional Tours

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