7 best sightseeing tours in St. Petersburg
Walking around St. Petersburg is definitely the best solution for a weekend or vacation. If you want to see more interesting places or dive into the history of the city, you should choose sightseeing tours that cover several sights at once. You can see and learn a lot of interesting things in one day. We tell you about the best sightseeing tours that will allow you to explore the city and see a lot of sights.
In this article
Classic city tour
A city tour of St. Petersburg usually takes about 3-4 hours. You will see the historic center of the city with its beautiful palaces and cathedrals, and hear about the history of the city. In the most picturesque places you can take stunning pictures. The tour includes:
- Nevsky Prospect – the main street of the city, where every building has its own history.
- Spit of Vasilevsky Island – one of the most beautiful places with a magnificent view of the Neva, Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace.
- Peter and Paul Fortress – the place where the city began. An 18th-century fortress with the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul, which is the burial place of the Russian tsars.
- The cruiser Aurora, a historic ship that is a symbol of the October Revolution and the entire Soviet era.
- The Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood is a memorial church that was built to commemorate the death of Alexander II.
The tour includes quite a lot of sites and will take about 4 hours.
Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin)
The city of Pushkin, originally Tsarskoye Selo, was named after Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, one of the greatest poets of Russia and founder of modern Russian literature. Born in Moscow, the poet studied for several years in Tsarskoye Selo. You can learn more about him at the Pushkin Memorial Dacha Museum in his former home.
Pushkin is about 25 kilometers south of St. Petersburg. Trains run regularly between St. Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo. Visiting this place as part of a tour, transportation will already be included.
You can see the Catherine Palace and the rest of the area in just half a day. The one-day trip includes visits to the three imperial palaces (Peterhof, Catherine Palace, and Pavlovsk Palace). A visit to the Tsarskoye Selo Amber Workshop, responsible for the restoration of the spectacular Amber Room of the Catherine Palace, will also be fascinating.
Sightseeing tour of museums
On this tour you can visit three museums at once, which will impress any tourist. The sightseeing tour will take at least half a day, but it is worth it.
- Sergei Kirov Museum is one of the unique monuments of the city of Stalin’s period. It is the largest museum dedicated to the leader of the Communist Party in Leningrad. Kirov’s five-room memorial apartment is notable for its collection of authentic personal belongings and almost entirely intact interior elements. From 1926 to 1934, Kirov was head of the Leningrad Communist Party organization. He was Stalin’s closest friend and associate. The museum features displays that reflect the social, economic, political, and cultural aspects of Leningrad life in the 1920s and 1930s.
- The State Museum of Political History of Russia was the first museum in Russia to attract the public to historical and revolutionary issues. By the mid-1920s, it had a unique collection of revolutionary banners, an extremely valuable collection of leaflets of various political parties, posters, and objects of the time. For anyone interested in the Soviet Union, political movements and philosophy, this museum is a must.
- Museum of the Siege of Leningrad is the first military museum in St. Petersburg. The museum documents the 900-day siege of Leningrad and the Second World War. Visitors can see and learn about this extremely difficult period in the history of the city and how people managed to survive in these harsh times. There are many exhibits from that period, including outfits, photographs and themed displays related to the siege and war.
Jewish Heritage Tour
The tour includes several locations that will be important to people interested in Jewish culture. It should be noted that at all times the history of the Jewish peoples in St. Petersburg has been complicated, and many facts now remain unknown. The tour includes the following places:
- Cheap airline tickets: Aviasales.ru
- Interesting tours from locals: Tripster.ru
- ⚡Tours to Russia for all tastes: The Big Country
- Hotel reservations, train tickets, tours: Yandex.Travel
- Hostels and apartments: Ostrovok.ru
- Cruises on Russian rivers: Cruise.online
- The Great Choral Synagogue, built in the late 19th century and richly decorated in Moorish style. It is now the second largest synagogue in Europe and certainly very impressive. The synagogue has an area of about 3,200 square meters, and its domed tower rises 47 meters. The majestic great hall accommodates 1200 worshippers. The synagogue also has a small synagogue, a kosher restaurant and even a souvenir store where you can buy rabbinical nesting dolls.
- Kolomna is one of the oldest districts of St. Petersburg, located between the Moyka and Fontanka Rivers. The district is traditionally associated with classical Russian literature. Here lived the heroes of Pushkin, Dostoevsky and Gogol novels. In the 19th century this area also became the center of Jewish life in St. Petersburg. The Great Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg is located in this district.
- Jewish section of the Russian Ethnographic Museum. In 2007, the St. Petersburg Museum of Ethnography opened a permanent exhibition entitled “The History and Culture of the Jewish People in Russia”. This exhibition is considered to be the first step towards establishing an independent Jewish Museum in St. Petersburg. The exhibition consists of 2 sections, historical and ethnographic. The historical section provides information about the establishment and development of the Jewish community. It includes such exhibits as Torah scrolls, Torah crowns and shields, a seven-beam Menorah, as well as ancient religious books and portraits of prominent Jewish cultural figures. The ethnographic section consists of items related to Jewish culture. Of particular interest are various kinds of amulets, which were supposed to protect the owner from evil spirits, as well as traditional Jewish clothing made from local materials.
A boat tour along the canals of St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a city of canals, and watching it from the water is an unforgettable experience. During the hour-long journey, you’ll sail from the Singing Bridge over the Moyka River to the Fontanka and Griboyedov Canal. You will see ancient mansions and palaces and hear about their former inhabitants: tsars, nobles and princes. The tour will take you under more than 30 bridges, each of which has its own story worthy of telling.
Please note that boat trips are only from May to October. The city’s waterways may be closed on public holidays and due to inclement weather.
Motorcycle sightseeing tour
Want to see more interesting places in St. Petersburg and at the same time get a sharp and unforgettable experience? Then our motorcycle tour through the center of the city is specially for you! During a motorcycle ride you can see all the important sights. Delight and vivid impressions will leave a tour that starts from Palace Square and ends near the Smolny Cathedral. This type of tour will allow you to see with their own eyes St. Petersburg from a completely different perspective. During the stops, the guide will tell about all the historical places. The tour includes all the necessary equipment. Before the trip is a briefing, aimed at passenger safety.
Peterhof Park and Palaces of St. Petersburg
Peterhof – a monument of world architecture and palace and park art. Includes a palace and park ensemble of XVIII-XIX centuries – the former royal country residence. Peterhof – the city of fountains – has 173 fountains and 4 cascades – is located 29 km from the city on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Every year, up to 3 million people come here to enjoy the splendor of numerous fountains, unique parks and pavilions of Peterhof.
A typical tour of Peterhof takes about 4 hours. However, you can spend there a whole day. You can visit the following attractions:
- Catherine Palace.
- Monplaisir Palace.
- The Hermitage.
- Marly Palace.
- Palace “Cottage” of Nicholas I.
Entrance to the territory is not a problem at any time, but if you are going to visit the palaces in high season, be sure to book a guided tour in advance.
Sightseeing tours of St. Petersburg will allow you to cover several sights in one day and explore the history. Each tour will be fascinating and unforgettable. Experienced guides present the information so interesting that you will not notice how time flies by.
7 of the best tours of St. Petersburg
With the Northern Capital is a pleasure to get acquainted with the northern capital, as well as to travel with a guide. We will tell you about the most popular excursions in St. Petersburg, which have many good reviews and high ratings among tourists. Choose what you like!
See St. Petersburg by minibus.
A great solution – to see the interesting places of St. Petersburg from the bus window! Group tour is suitable for parents with children, tourists who came to the city for the first time and all those who are just tired and do not want to walk. The group includes up to 18 people.
During the one and a half hour trip, the bus makes stops so you can take memorable photos. See Nevsky Prospect, the majestic St. Isaac’s, the picturesque Church of the Savior on Blood, Senate Square and other sights in the historic center of the city. A minus of any sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg by bus is traffic, but that’s as luck would have it!
Цена : 1700 рублей за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect. Photo: Skif-Kerch / flickr.com / CC BY-SA 4.0.
Tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress
A private walking tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress, a political prison. The guide will tell interesting stories about famous prisoners, show prison cells and solitary confinement, and teach the alphabet of tapping – the language of prisoners. The tour lasts 1.5 hours.
Цена : 3900 рублей за 1-20 человек. Уточнить цену >>
A wonderful individual tour of St. Petersburg will help you understand if the city was really founded on bones, and where the marble from the Alexander Column disappeared to. The walking tour begins near the Nevsky Prospect metro station. You will walk from the Griboyedov Canal to the Admiralty and Palace Square, walk along the embankment to the monument to Peter on Senate Square and finish your journey near the huge St. Isaac’s Cathedral. All the classics in 1.5 hours!
Цена : 15600 рублей за 1 человека. Уточнить цену >>
View from the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral.
Night St. Petersburg and the drawing of bridges
If you are an incorrigible romantic, take a sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg by bus and ship. From the bus you will see the classic views of the city, but the highlight of the tour – the exciting spectacle of raising bridges!
Цена : 1700 рублей за человека. Уточнить цену >>
Sightseeing bus tour of the city with a visit to the Hermitage.
From the bus window you will see remarkable views of St. Petersburg, make several small stops and end the route near the largest museum in the city – the State Hermitage Museum. Two pleasures in one – you can get to know St. Petersburg better and walk through the glittering halls of the imperial palace with a guide. The tour is designed for 3 hours.
Цена : 1500 рублей за человека. Входные билеты в музей входят в стоимость. Уточнить цену >>
Myths and Legends of St. Petersburg
An unusual view of the city will give a walking individual tour of St. Petersburg, which is dedicated to urban legends and mysteries. You will hear fascinating stories from a cheerful and charismatic guide.
Цена : 1620 рублей за 1-2 человек. Уточнить цену >>
St. Petersburg Night and Bridges
It’s tempting to take a sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg at night, because the city looks different at night than it does during the day! Original tour in a comfortable sedan will allow you to admire the spectacular lighting of avenues, squares and get to the architectural monuments, which stand apart from the traditional sightseeing routes.
Цена : 10000 рублей за 1-4 человек. Уточнить цену >>
The draw of bridges during the White Nights in St. Petersburg. View of Strelka and University Quay.
Going on a tour of St. Petersburg, prepare photo and video equipment. For the dark wells of St. Petersburg yards better take a camera with powerful optics and a large sensor.
If you are traveling with young children, choose individual tours or trips with a small group. It will be easier for the guide to adjust to your pace and needs.
Bus tours depend heavily on traffic on the city streets. Consider whether you are willing to be delayed. If you get caught in traffic, the trip will take longer than planned.