The New York Times
Tours in St. Petersburg, Russia
By FLORENCE STICKNEY
Published: July 10, 2005
My mother wants to go to St. Petersburg, Russia, this summer to
see the palaces, Hermitage, etc. The tours I've found seem to include
just three days there. Any suggestions of tours of the city for
a week? - C. Q., Arlington, Va.
There is much to see in the fascinating city of Peter the Great
- with more than 500 palaces and the vast Hermitage museum among
the draws - but most tour companies combine St. Petersburg with
Moscow, devoting just three or four days to each in the usual itinerary.
The exception is during the White Nights Festival in June, when
some tour companies offer trips exclusively for that event, too
late for your mother this year.
However you go, with a scheduled or custom trip, you can find a
knowledgeable guide once you arrive. For example, you might look
into one of the guided tours given by Peter's Walking Tours, based
in St. Petersburg, with a team of eight English-speaking guides.
Morning tours leave every day from the International Hostel. Special
tours include a Rasputin Walk, a Dostoyevsky Walk and Peter's Food
Tour; a Siege of Leningrad tour is offered every Saturday.
Peter Kozyrev, founder of the nine-year-old company, says the walks
emphasize not just the main attractions but also the city itself,
its history, culture and everyday life as seen in its markets, back
streets, public transport and the like. Most tours are three to
five hours and cost $14.25, at 29 Russian rubles to $1; group size
is an average of 10 to 12 people. Tours can be customized (with
less walking, for example). Information: http://www.peterswalk.com