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flowslow

First time cruisers

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On 4/16/2019 at 6:10 PM, John Bull said:

There are plenty of hydrofoils in use in the western world, though they're a lot more pleasant on the eye than these Soviet-designed ones.

This isn't the one, but very very similar.

Beautifully ugly :classic_wink:

 

It's a public ferry service. Departs from the River Neva,  close to the Hermitage, and sails down the river & across a corner of the Gulf of Finland direct to a pier in the gardens of Peterhof.

It was the quickest way to Peterhof, but since a new road was constructed word is that journey time is now about the same by hydrofoil or van.

 

Because of its limited capacity the hydrofoil isn't an option for those on the big bus tours arranged by cruise ships, tours arranged by local tour operators usually use the hydrofoil one way and van (minibus) the other way. 

 

 

Meteor hydrofoil boat

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

Wow, never experienced Hydrofoil before and I am looking forward to trying it out. That you for the info, gives us more reasons to definitely choose a private tour so we can surely try the Hydrofoil to Peterhof 🙂

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21 hours ago, flowslow said:

 

 

 

That seems like a very interesting mode of transport. Are there other modes of transport worth trying other than that? We’d like to get a feel of St Petersburg and experience the city like a local too. Can you suggest any local food we need to try? We’d really like to eat at an authentic Russian restaurant, we haven’t tried that so I am looking forward to the experience . Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thank you! 
 

 

If you are looking for some real life experience, you can take a ride on St Petersburg metro. Most locals use it to go around the city, so you will see a lot of real people there, not just tourists in museums. Regarding the food, if you end up taking a tour, ask your tour manager or your guide to take you to a local restaurant for lunch. They usually know good places. Just don’t forget to tell them if you have any diet restrictions or specific preferences.

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4 hours ago, Lagerta said:

 

 

If you are looking for some real life experience, you can take a ride on St Petersburg metro. Most locals use it to go around the city, so you will see a lot of real people there, not just tourists in museums. Regarding the food, if you end up taking a tour, ask your tour manager or your guide to take you to a local restaurant for lunch. They usually know good places. Just don’t forget to tell them if you have any diet restrictions or specific preferences.

 

 

Wow, thanks! I’ll take note of the metro. I think we'd like to see and experience some of the local life too. By the way, we’d like to limit the museum visit to maybe just one or two museums. Which would you highly recommend from all the museums in St. Petersburg?

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7 minutes ago, flowslow said:

 

 

 

Wow, thanks! I’ll take note of the metro. I think we'd like to see and experience some of the local life too. By the way, we’d like to limit the museum visit to maybe just one or two museums. Which would you highly recommend from all the museums in St. Petersburg?

 

Oh, it’s hard to choose just one or two, as there is so much to see! Definitely go to the Hermitage, they have all kinds of different exhibits and you will surely find something of your interest. The buildings are very impressive too, because the main one, the Winter Palace, used to be the home for Russian Tzars. I would also recommend visiting Savior on Spilled Blood church - it is very bright and colorful, with lots of sparkling mosaics. Its story is also fascinating.

IMO, you could make an exception for St Petersburg even if you are not a big fan of museums. There are just too many wonderful places. St Isaac’s Cathedral is also impressive, and the eggs in Faberge museum are fantastic. I probably wouldn’t want to miss them. Anyway, it is always up to you!

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On 4/19/2019 at 6:07 PM, Lagerta said:

 

 

Oh, it’s hard to choose just one or two, as there is so much to see! Definitely go to the Hermitage, they have all kinds of different exhibits and you will surely find something of your interest. The buildings are very impressive too, because the main one, the Winter Palace, used to be the home for Russian Tzars. I would also recommend visiting Savior on Spilled Blood church - it is very bright and colorful, with lots of sparkling mosaics. Its story is also fascinating.

IMO, you could make an exception for St Petersburg even if you are not a big fan of museums. There are just too many wonderful places. St Isaac’s Cathedral is also impressive, and the eggs in Faberge museum are fantastic. I probably wouldn’t want to miss them. Anyway, it is always up to you!

 

Wow, thank you so much for all the suggestions! I’ve read about the Faberge Museum and I was wondering if there is anything special to see there? Do you think museums are the best places to buy souvenirs? Or can we buy them anywhere in the city? We’d like to bring home some souvenirs for the rest of our relatives. Thank you.
 

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On 4/19/2019 at 7:57 PM, Sancho_proudfoot said:

As above, Saviour of the Spilled Blood is amazing - l posted some photos above

 

Yes, thank you! The photos look amazing and I can't wait to see it in person! 🙂

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29 minutes ago, flowslow said:

 

Wow, thank you so much for all the suggestions! I’ve read about the Faberge Museum and I was wondering if there is anything special to see there? Do you think museums are the best places to buy souvenirs? Or can we buy them anywhere in the city? We’d like to bring home some souvenirs for the rest of our relatives. Thank you.
 

 

From what I have seen, the souvenir shops in museums are somewhat overpriced, and most of the stuff they offer can be found in any souvenir store. However, you might have a look at gift shops in museums, as sometimes they have something specific for this particular venue. If you really like something - grab it, as you might not see it again (this is what I am still trying to learn from my travels). General stuff like nesting dolls, replicas of Faberge eggs and books are everywhere.

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3 hours ago, flowslow said:

 

Wow, thank you so much for all the suggestions! I’ve read about the Faberge Museum and I was wondering if there is anything special to see there? Do you think museums are the best places to buy souvenirs? Or can we buy them anywhere in the city? We’d like to bring home some souvenirs for the rest of our relatives. Thank you.
 

 

There'll be street vendors at some of the stops. Limited selection of wares, accept major currencies, prices depend on your bargaining skills.

 

But most tours stop off at a souvenir shop -  our Alla guide (and some other tour operators) used the shop as a base at the beginning of Day Two to take payments for the tour, which gave us about half an hour to browse without being pestered (shop staff on-hand but no hard-sell).

A broad selection from tourist tat to decent stuff, all well-displayed and priced (in euros, IIRC).

Major currencies and cards accepted. Free coffee & clean toilets.

Probably more expensive than the street-traders, but such a civilised way to shop.

Ask your guide on Day One whether you'll be visiting a souvenir shop.

 

JB :classic_wink:

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We did visit an excellent souvenir shop on day 2 in StP. Area didn't look promising - Soviet brutalist architect apartment blocks, graffiti and litter, but the shop was great. We bought an 8-figure matryoska doll and a little exquisite faberge-style egg (see pic). Dont recall what we paid, but l remember doing the conversion stood in the store and deciding it was a good price.

 

One extra good thing - we accidentally left the credit card in the reader machine, and the assistant came running out of the shop after us to return it.

20180526_140148.jpg

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Thank you, everyone, for all your comments and suggestions! I will take note of everything you shared and definitely use these tips when we visit St. Petersburg.

 

I have another question though,  can you also suggest places that are kid-friendly? I’m afraid the kids will get bored with the usual museums, churches, and palaces. We’d like something interactive so they can enjoy and learn at the same time. Thank you!
 

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7 hours ago, flowslow said:

Thank you, everyone, for all your comments and suggestions! I will take note of everything you shared and definitely use these tips when we visit St. Petersburg.

 

I have another question though,  can you also suggest places that are kid-friendly? I’m afraid the kids will get bored with the usual museums, churches, and palaces. We’d like something interactive so they can enjoy and learn at the same time. Thank you!
 

 

How many kids are there in your family? How old are they? There are some fun museums in St Petersburg, and kids usually love them. For instance, there is the Grand Maket Russia, which is basically a huge interactive model of the whole country. The kids can press buttons and see firefighters working, musicians playing etc. A similar activity is Petrovskaya Akvatoriya, which is a model of 18th century St Petersburg. I heard there are different creative classes for kids as well, but that will depend on the age and the interests of children.

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On 4/23/2019 at 10:31 PM, Lagerta said:

 

 

How many kids are there in your family? How old are they? There are some fun museums in St Petersburg, and kids usually love them. For instance, there is the Grand Maket Russia, which is basically a huge interactive model of the whole country. The kids can press buttons and see firefighters working, musicians playing etc. A similar activity is Petrovskaya Akvatoriya, which is a model of 18th century St Petersburg. I heard there are different creative classes for kids as well, but that will depend on the age and the interests of children.

 

We have 3 kids ages 7, 9 and 10. The Grand Maket Russia sounds fun, I think the kids will like it there. I am especially interested in some creative classes, I think the kids will really enjoy participating in it. Do you know any classes the kids can join in? Also, are the classes strictly for kids only? I prefer activities the adults can do together with the kids as well. Thank you. 
 

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18 minutes ago, flowslow said:

 

We have 3 kids ages 7, 9 and 10. The Grand Maket Russia sounds fun, I think the kids will like it there. I am especially interested in some creative classes, I think the kids will really enjoy participating in it. Do you know any classes the kids can join in? Also, are the classes strictly for kids only? I prefer activities the adults can do together with the kids as well. Thank you. 
 

I know some of the local tour companies arrange classes of doll painting, you can check on that. Cooking classes are also popular, so St Petersburg might offer this kind of activity as well. Usually it is interesting for both adults and kids, so you can just ask your family what they prefer.

 

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Once again, I would like to thank everyone who shared tips and suggestions for our St. Petersburg tour. Everyone has been so helpful. After our research and based on your insights, we decided to book a tour with Anastasia! They were very kind and considerate to offer us last minute booking for a customized tour that includes all the places we wanted to visit. I really liked the fact that they made an itinerary that is specially catered to our preferences. Read so much about their exceptional customer service and I can say that they were really professional and always replied promptly to all our inquiries. I am looking forward to an incredible tour with them and learning a lot from our guide. We can't wait! 

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On 4/29/2019 at 11:32 AM, flowslow said:

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who shared tips and suggestions for our St. Petersburg tour. Everyone has been so helpful. After our research and based on your insights, we decided to book a tour with Anastasia! They were very kind and considerate to offer us last minute booking for a customized tour that includes all the places we wanted to visit. I really liked the fact that they made an itinerary that is specially catered to our preferences. Read so much about their exceptional customer service and I can say that they were really professional and always replied promptly to all our inquiries. I am looking forward to an incredible tour with them and learning a lot from our guide. We can't wait! 

 

I am glad to hear that you were able to make a last minute booking. I am sure that you will have a great time and enjoy your visit. By the way, don't forget to share your experiences and impressions afterwards.

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I don't know about SP, but in Moscow the metro stops are tourist attractions, and there are tours of them.  Each one is different, and they are amazing.

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Hey everyone! We just got back from our cruise last week and we had the best time in St. Petersburg! I took note of every suggestion you guys gave in this message thread and we were able to customize our itinerary with Anastasia Travel to include all the places and activities you guys shared. Thank you so much for all your help, we really had a great time! I would also like to commend Anastasia Travel because right from the start they were really helpful and considerate for allowing us to book a tour with them even if it was the last minute. They accommodated us and even helped us create and customize our tour based on our preferences. The tour was well-organized and everything went really well. We saved a lot of time since we didn’t have to line up for tickets and we were able to spend more time to see the sights. Our guide was the best and she shared so much information and insider stories that made us appreciate and understand the places we were visiting. She made the tour very interesting and fun. Overall, the tour exceeded our expectations and I can say St. Petersburg is definitely one of my favorite cities in the world!

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