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Are there tours to join?

London, United...
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Are there tours to join?

Hi! We are coming to St. Petersburg in mid-December. I do not mind exploring the city on my own but my friend says that in St. Petersburg it is be better to join some organized tours. I’ve already checked the possibility to hire a private guide, but I think this is a bit too expensive for us. What I know by now is that there are hop-on-hop-of busses which hopefully run in December still. Are there any other tours to join? My friend is French, so both - French or English would be fine. We would like to join a nice walking tour to see something one usually would not see when on the bus. Also we would like to see the Hermitage, the Catherine Palace and Peterhoff. Maybe something else as well. All the information and advice you may give will be appreciated!

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Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Are there tours to join?

> my friend says that in St. Petersburg it is be better to join some organized tours

Does she say why?

St. Petersburg...
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2. Re: Are there tours to join?

>>hop-on-hop-of busses which hopefully run in December

it does run but the question is - is it worth it....try to find a review for HOHO bus, I doubt you'll find any

>>would like to join a nice walking tour to see something one usually would not see when on the bus.

try this one http://anglotourismo.com/walking-tours

>>in mid-December....we would like to see the Hermitage, the Catherine Palace and Peterhoff.

depends how many days you have but if not too many I'd skip Peterhof in mid-December with the fountains down and possible slushy alleys (unless it would be well covered with snow) ...

Keep in mind that the day light-time is short in December so plan your outside activities for the first half of a day.

Some things are open late:

- the Hermitage museum open till 9pm (21:00) on Wednesdays

- Peterhof Grand Palace open till 21:00 on Saturdays (ticket office till 19:45)

- Cathrine's palace in Pushkin open till 21:00 on Mondays (ticket office till 20:00) except for the last Monday of a month

- State Russian museum open till 21:00 on Thursdays (tickets till 20:30)

Bethesda MD
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3. Re: Are there tours to join?

This website's travel guide, and its smartphone app version, includes information and maps for three self-guided walking tours.

4. Re: Are there tours to join?

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St. Petersburg...
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5. Re: Are there tours to join?

>>but Hop-on-hop-of buses doesn't run now.

not true, they do run but on a different not regular schedule so it's better to check with their web-site ON THE DAY of travel

>>Angloturismo regular walking tours are closed until May,

yes, but they can arrange individual tour(s) any day

Dereham, United...
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6. Re: Are there tours to join?

Hello Nanty Darling

I was in St Petersburg in July 2012, a solo woman traveller in her mid sixties. I visited all the things on your list except for Catherine's Palace and did it with the help of a guidebook, audioguides and advice obtained from this forum. I had a guide for the Hermitage as I knew it was going to be very crowded at that time of year but if I were going in winter I would use the plan provided and an audio guide.

I really enjoyed the Yusopov Palace, State Russian Museum and the St Peter and Paul Fortress and then there are the Cathedrals and Churches. Plus the time to sit in cafes and just people watch. The Singer Cafe opposite the Kazan Cathedral is great for this.

I used the hop on hop off bus on my last day, after a week of walking my feet were feeling a little tired and it was also drizzling. I really enjoyed the tour as it gave me a different perspective on the city and as I hadn't used guides it also gave me extra information.

Whatever you decide you will have a great time and you can definitely save money by doing it yourself. It's a super easy city to navigate and signs are written in both cyrillic script and English.

London, United...
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7. Re: Are there tours to join?

Thank you everybody for your advice! I checked the HOHO bus and it really looks a bit confusing, but at least it exists. We'll see. As for the walking tours Best Guides seems to be what we were looking for. And 20 euro is not such a big deal.

I'll also skip Petehoff. This peace of advice will save me at least half a day for something more suitable for this time of the year!

Thank you Pauline for sharing your own experience. You must be a very experienced traveler to do everything yourself! I am not sure we would manage. But the State Russian Museum is a very good idea. It was not on my list but I think I must include it. I'll keep the Singer Cafe in mind as well.

London, United...
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8. Re: Are there tours to join?

>> my friend says that in St. Petersburg it is be better to join some organized tours

>Does she say why?

No, HE doesn't. But he is positive it is better.

Men do like women to listen to them, but do not always like them to ask for explanations :).

9. Re: Are there tours to join?

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