St. Petersburg: Peterhof Fountain Park Half-Day Tour
- Skip the line through a separate entrance
- Duration: 5 hours
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Anna picked me up from my hotel, I was the only one in attendance so it was a private tour. She drove me to Peterhof in her car, pointing out Stalinist architecture along the way and chatting to me about imperial and Soviet history. We toured both the palace interior and gardens, except it was winter, so we spent less time in the gardens. The ability to "skip the queue" was very helpful as we bypassed several large tour groups and it was cold outside. Anna was very knowledgeable and engaging when it came to touring the palace staterooms. I asked her for recommendations for Georgian cuisine, and she dropped me off at a restaurant close to the city centre on the way back. The tour was 4-5 hours in total, including travel time, and I think it would have taken me much longer had I decided to visit Peterhof by myself (and would have been less informative - audioguides are great, but a poor replacement for a real, live guide). Would recommend. Pro-tip: message the guide to confirm meeting
We met Alla our guide at the hotel and she was very pleasant. The drive out to the Palace felt very short as Alla provided us with lots of Russian history related to the various landmarks. The tour of the palace was amazing - Alla was so knowledgeable and could answer all of our questions. Her english language skills are exceptional and we were able to develop an easy rapport with her. The walk in the grounds was spectacular and Alla was most accommodating, answering all our questions about Russian life and culture. At the end of the tour we were so impressed that we requested if she could take us on another tour the next day - she organised this without hassle and made sure we had her for the tour. My mother was on the tour and had an interest in Russian poetry - Alla graciously went out of her way to send my mother translated versions of Pushkin's poems. You wont find a better guide - Thank you Alla you were a highlight of the trip.
Visiting in February we didn't really need the skip-the-line part of this tour as there were no queues, but we did get the benefit of a private tour, as there were just two of us on the tour and the expertise and knowledge of our tour guide. We'd met our guide, Olga, the previous day during our visit to the Hermitage and were looking forward to the tour of Catherine's Palace with her. The Palace is beautiful, breath-taking and stunning. Again Olga's love and passion for art came across during the tour. Olga also pointed out buildings of interest on our journeys, both too and from the Palace. The journey takes about 40 minutes by car, longer by public transport. I booked a transfer as I didn't feel confident in travelling by public transport. After travelling around the centre of St. Petersburg by bus I would consider making my own way there if I were to visit again.
This was a private family tour of Catherine the Great's Summer Palace, the Hermitage and the Winter palace with hotel pickup and drop off in a clean late model minivan The tour was efficiently run with punctual pickup and drop off at the various locations. There was a seperate driver and tour guide. The guide gave an oustanding background to the Romanov family which resembled the detail of a Russian novel. This was as well as information specific to various exhibits. We had teenage children and our guide initially sanitised parts of the story but we indicated we were happy to tell it as it was and she happily complied. Our children were not upset.
A fabulous tour that covered all the main attractions. Our guide Stan was incredibly knowledgeable and looked after us extremely well. We would highly recommend the tour and Stan in particular.