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“Private Guide in St. Petersburg”

Tzar Travel - Natalya German-Tsarkova
Ranked #37 of 434 Tours in St. Petersburg
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Private tours of St.Petersburg with professional guides, who have additional training in art and architecture.
Reviewed 9 October 2017

We had two days in St. Petersburg (via a cruise). Rather than using one of the cruise ship tours (which are too large and too impersonal), I used Natalya's company to coordinate a private tour in which our group of six were driven around in a private van and which were able to customize our itinerary. The first day was out at the two large palaces in the countryside. The second day was within St. Petersburg, including stops at known as well as less known sights (at my request). The tour guide was personable, spoke English well enough to get all of our jokes, was smart enough to laugh at all of our jokes, and had extensive knowledge of general history (for the city) but also art history (for individual paintings at The Hermitage). Normally, requesting personalized service would cost more; however, we paid less than what the cruise ship excursions would've cost. Therefore, it was win-win for our group--better prices and better service. I cannot recommend this tour group highly enough, including the pre-planning stages when I was able to communicate with Natalya via email to optimize our two-days.

1  Thank michaelshoop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"art history"
in 14 reviews
"catherine's palace"
in 12 reviews
"two days"
in 24 reviews
"rick steves guidebook"
in 2 reviews
"extensive knowledge"
in 6 reviews
"private tour"
in 12 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 11 reviews
"day tour"
in 16 reviews
"speaks excellent english"
in 4 reviews
"major sites"
in 6 reviews
"experienced travelers"
in 2 reviews
"anyone planning"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful city"
in 7 reviews
"daily life"
in 3 reviews
"covered everything"
in 3 reviews
"visit st"
in 6 reviews
"safe driver"
in 2 reviews

14 - 18 of 122 reviews

Reviewed 30 September 2017

We had high expectations for our cruise-based two-day tour of St.Petersburg, having created a list of places to visit and sending it to ten different, highly recommended companies for their response. Tzar-Travel was the one who not only agreed to organize our tour, but was also enthusiastic about the varied itinerary we desired! That Natalya German-Tsarkova, the owner, came highly recommended by Rick Steves was also a plus, and her communication with us pre-tour was excellent and complete. We put together a tour group of six from our ship using the Roll Call feature on Cruise Critic.

The execution of the tour turned out to be flawless, with Maria (a public school English teacher) and Konstantine meeting us promptly at 9 at the cruise terminal. The first day we visited Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church, Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral, Museum of Russian Political History, and the Hermitage. With some "extra" time during the day Maria worked in some places not on our original itinerary - the Grand Choral Synagogue and Faberge Museum. We had lunch at wonderful Stolle Pies, and dinner at Khochu Kharcho Georgian restaurant.

On the second day, we perused the bountiful Kuznechniy Farmers' Market and took the Metro to see some of the beautiful Stalin-era subway stations. We then drove to Peterhof and toured some of the Lower Fountain park, and enjoyed the fountains even on a rainy day! Lunch was at the Orangerie restaurant on the grounds. From there we stopped to tour the heart-breakingly beautiful Memorial to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad on our way to tour the Church on Spilled Blood and St. Isaac's Cathedral. The finale for our tour was a walking tour in the steps of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment," for which Maria had engaged an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Dostoevsky expert.

While the tour came off logistically without a hitch, the shining star was Maria, whose knowledge of artistic, cultural, and political details was encyclopedic! Her warm and witty willingness to share tidbits about her life in this vibrant city made it feel like we were touring with a friend. Konstantine's driving allowed us to hop our of our mini-van at one entrance to an attraction and slip out on the other side and back into the van. I can't recommend Tzar-Travel and Maria highly enough!

Thank jellystonelover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017

We had an amazing two day tour with Anastasia (and Anton our driver) from Tzar Travel. We were traveling with my 80 year old parents. Dad has a walker. We were on a cruise and wanted to have a tour that could go at dad's pace so we wanted to set up a personal tour for just the four of us. I just told them what we wanted to see and let them schedule it out for us.

Anastasia met us at the cruise ship and it was the start of a lovely day. She took us to the Church of the Resurrection and she gave us so much information about the church and its interior. She helped us select food at lunch so we had some typical Russian food experiences. Then in the afternoon we had one of the most remarkable experiences at the Hermitage. Anastasia was a Fine Arts major and essentially gave us a personal art lesson using the Hermitage paintings. It was such a a memorable experience. It is hard to describe how marvelous this was.

Then on day two we went out to Catherine's Palace and again were given a wealth of information about Russia and Catherine and the palace itself. Afterwards when we were walking in the park she took us to a building on the lake where a quartet of men were singing Russian folk songs. The beautiful voices in a building with incredible acoustics was so lovely. Our family is musical - so this unexpected surprise was just one more experience that Anastasia made sure we had. She so wanted us to enjoy her country and city. She is passionate and it came across in everything she did.

Anastasia went out of her way to provide us with the best two days we could have experienced in St. Petersburg. It was a bit scary to deal with someone in Russia via email but don't be nervous and book with Tzar Travel. You will not regret it.

Thank Boohawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2017

My husband, two lifelong friends and myself booked a two day tour of St. Petersburg with Tzar Travel based on recommendations from the Rick Steves' guidebook. These two days were the highlight of our vacation. We exchanged emails with Natalya to create a customized tour that exactly fit our interests. We were met at the cruise terminal by Nicole, our tour guide, and Constantine, the driver or our very comfortable minivan. Nicole was delightful and her knowledge about the city, history and art was extensive and shared with great enthusiasm. We felt like we were on a VIP tour led by a friend who was flexible and predisposed to make sure we had a great time. Tzar Travel took care of all the necessary paperwork and Nicole made sure we had the necessary tickets for the various museums we visited. Getting into the Hermitage early and having Nicole lead us through the museum in such a way that we avoided all the other early tours meant that we had the rare privilege of seeing most of the rooms and art all by ourselves. And when we needed to move from place to place, there was Constantine with the van ready to go. We highly recommend Tzar Travel for a customized tour of St. Petersburg and consider yourselves lucky if you have Nicole and Constantine as your guides.

1  Thank Mifis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
tasha31, Owner at Tzar Travel - Natalya German-Tsarkova, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2017

Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here! I highly appreciate it.

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Reviewed 11 August 2017 via mobile

One of my friends had used this company and highly recommended it. Everything was set up by email. It was all done very professionally. We were met at the cruise terminal by Anna and our driver. We had a lovely 2 day tour of the highlights of St. Petersburg. We were driven around in a very nice Toyota Camry with bottled water provided. We felt very safe. We were able to get into the busy attractions quickly. Anna our guide was very pleasant and knowledgeable. Our driver did a wonderful job although I cannot remember his name.They were very conscientious about making sure we got back to the cruise terminal on time. All the documents were perfect to get into the country. I would highly recommend this company for a tour of the St. Petersburg area!!

Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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