St. Petersburg Nugget
Day 1 St. Petersburg
Transfer to the hotel and check-in
Day 2 St. Petersburg
Meet your guide and driver in the morning for a City Tour of St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is one of the most fascinating cities in Europe. You will drive by the elegant buildings on the Nevsky Prospect, stately palaces on Palace Embankment along the Neva River, Palace Square with Winter Palace and Alexander Column, Bronze Horseman - the famous monument to Peter the Great, Admiralty, Schmidt Bridge, Strelka with Stock Exchangeand Rosstral Columns, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Canal Griboyedova, Fontanka, Kazan Cathedral, Church on Spilled Blood and other finest architectural, historical and cultural landmarks. During the tour you will visit Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
Peter-and-Paul Fortress was built in 1704 to defend the city from naval attacks; however it never served its purpose. Instead its history is rather gruesome: thousands of laborers died while building the fortress, many political prisoners, including Peter's own son Alexi, were kept and tortured in its cells, and the tombs of the Romanov family are in its Cathedral.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the world’s largest Cathedrals and can accommodate an audience of about 10,000 people. It was designed by then unknown architect Auguste de Montferrand and opened in 1858. The Cathedral is beautifully decorated inside with marble of 13 colors, malachite, lapis-lazuli, paintings, mosaics and stained glass made by the most famous Russian artists.
Day 3 St. Petersburg
Today you will enjoy a private tour of one of the nation's main glories - the State Hermitage Art Museum. It occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the Neva River, right in the heart of St Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars built according to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62. This ensemble is extended by the eastern wing of the General Staff building, the Menshikov Palace and the recently constructed Repository. Put together throughout two and a half centuries, the Hermitage collection consists of over 3,000,000 works of art and presents the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. In the afternoon you are free to continue exploring the Hermitage on your own or enjoy St. Petersburg.
Day 4 St. Petersburg
After breakfast tour to the Petergoff (formerly known as Petrodvorets), located on the southern shores of the Finnish Gulf 14 miles (29 kilometers) away from St. Petersburg. The history of Petergoff began in 1704 when Peter I built a wooden house on the Gulf while overseeing the construction of the nearby Kronstadt Fortress. In 1713 he began transforming the area into an imperial residence. The Grand Palace was inaugurated in 1723 and later expanded by Empress Elizabeth. The Palace is surrounded by a beautiful park famous for its fountains. There are 144 of them, all operating without the use of pumps by a combination of naturally generated water pressure and magic. Each fountain is unique and once you step in the kingdom of fountains you will be surprised by this splendid beauty created by a man.
Day 5 St. Petersburg
All day tour to Pushkin located 25-30 km from St. Petersburg. Pushkin's palaces and parks were created under Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great between 1744 and 1796. The main landmark is the Catherine Palace designed by Rastrelli and named after Elizabeth’s mother, Peter the Great's second wife. Pushkin's original name is Tsarskoye Selo (Tsar's Village). It was renamed in 1937 after Russia’s famous poet who used to study here. Free afternoon.
Day 6 St. Petersburg
Transfer to the airport.
TRIP DETAILS AT-A-GLANCE
6 days / 5 nights
5 nights in St. Petersburg
Private Sightseeing Tours with an English speaking guide
Transportation by private car
Arrival and Departure transfers by private car
All admission and Entrance fees
Tax and Service Charges
City Tour of St. Petersburg
St. Isaac Cathedral
Peter and Paul Fortress
Private Hermitage Tour
Tour to Pushkin
St. Catherine Palace and Amber Room
Tour to Petergoff
Grand Palace and Fountains
Per person [double occupancy]:
$899 - $1199 *** [Tourist]
$1099 - $1599 **** [Deluxe]
$1399 - $1999 ***** [Superior Deluxe]
Thank you setting us up with Maria Ganina as our guide in St. Petersburg this past September. Not only does she speak excellent English and have a wealth of cultural and historical knowledge to share, but she is a warm-hearted person whom it is a pleasure to hang out with! Please convey our sincere thanks to her for making our time in Russia so memorable.
Also, the Rossi Hotel was good. (We just had to keep getting firm with them - changed rooms twice - until they finally gave us the double room with river view we had paid for.) Otherwise, you were right on - it is charming, a good value (what a yummy big breakfast) and in an excellent location.
As Sherrill and I look back on our trip (including time in Prague and Paris), Petersburg was the highlight. Whether walking through the forest from the magnificent Peterhoff palace to stand on the Gulf of Finland, driving past the glum Kruschov era apartments, or watching charming little girls enter the neighborhood ballet school, it was all memorable.
Attending a ballet at the Mariinsky Theater and dinner at the Tsar restaurant were additional highlights.
You are welcome to share these comments with any future travelers. We were so pleased with the service we received from you Dora, here in the U.S. and to dear Masha in St. Petersburg - you made the trip great!
Sincerely, Constance Alexander, Ashland, Oregon