In our series of articles about traveling around Russia, it is impossible to ignore St. Petersburg – a city where Joseph Brodsky is culturally quoted on the fences and the words curb, greek and chicken are used.
In this text, we have collected the best excursions around St. Petersburg and the region (with links, prices and tips for visiting – we have tried many!) so that your acquaintance with the city will be informative, not boring and will be remembered for a long time.
Prices and description to the best excursions in St. Petersburg
In St. Petersburg, we completed the obligatory program: we rode along the canals and climbed on the roofs!
For an aperitif – a modest but informative sign, what are the best excursions in St. Petersburg in general, guides offer and how much your wallet will lose weight during vacation. The choice of routes is huge, many walks are quite budgetary, even if you are traveling with the whole family (but we also included options with a personal driver in a luxury car).
|Name||How much?||Short description of the tour|
|Sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg< /strong>||$7||A traditional option for those who are in St. Petersburg for the first time and do not yet know how the Eliseevsky store differs from the Singer's house.|
|On the boat along the rivers and channels||$8||That wonderful type of sightseeing tours on the water, which is not in every city! Be sure to add it to the list if you find yourself in St. Petersburg in the summer season.|
|Night bridges||1000 rubles||Goosebumps romantic — admire the drawing of bridges not just from the side, but literally swim under them. An excursion worth going to St. Petersburg in the second half of June, when the white nights come.|
|On the roofs of St. Petersburg||$10||Why Why not climb onto the safe roof of an apartment building and see the city from above? And under a light story about the sights, take atmospheric photos against the background of red-red roofs.|
|Leningrad communal apartments from the inside||Lots of stories and… stucco, the same as in palaces with museums, but in a completely different setting – apartments of the era of compaction.|
|To Peterhof||2100 rubles||A popular excursion to an equally popular place outside the city. You can get there by bus, but you can, of course, also by water – it’s even more interesting that way.|
|Along the front doors and courtyards-wells||900 rubles||If you ever wanted to turn into the mysterious St. Petersburg courtyard, hidden behind the gates, then this walk is a legal pass without the sidelong glances of the residents, after which, in the local manner, you will begin to call the entrance front door.|
|Petersburg bars||2400 rubles||Peter is the restaurant capital, and this tour will show that it is also a bar capital. Take a look at the establishments where St. Petersburg residents themselves relax, taste shot drinks in each, feel the atmosphere of nightlife.|
|Scary Stories of St. Petersburg||$49||All the most chilling of the soul, but without the banal urban horror stories about the revived Bronze Horseman, brownies and the ghosts of Pushkin and Dostoevsky. Oh, we would go!|
|Non-tourist quest||2200 rubles||Hiking, quest and exploring the city in one bottle without standard sightseeing locations.|
Below – everything about the best excursions in St. Petersburg: prices in 2022, how long they take, what they write in reviews about the route and guides, how to dress and shoes for a trip to the roofs and how many cocktails to order before the voyage by bars.
Where is it better to buy excursions in St. Petersburg?
In Russia, there are two major sites for booking excursions – both inside and abroad. Guess which city is the MOST popular and offers the most leisure options? Petersburg is a cultural and, apparently, a sightseeing capital. Everything related to excursions in St. Petersburg is exactly mentioned on:
- or Sputnik
There are also excursions, which are usually invited to shout in the squares and other places where tourists gather, and author's walks with local residents who really like to tell and show their city. It’s easy to navigate: type the name of the city and now you are already choosing sightseeing, new, discounted, active or any other excursions around the city or within the region. It remains only to choose a convenient time for the right dates and book. You can also pay immediately on the site or make an advance payment, and pay the remaining amount to the guide in cash, transfer online or attach a card to the terminal on the spot.
St. Petersburg overview
On the overview you will see the whole scale of St. Petersburg – from the 115-year-old Cathedral of the Savior on Spilled Blood to the modern Sevkabel Port
The case when you come for the first time and don’t know what sights of St. Petersburg to see first, who built it all and why it’s so beautiful here (especially at the beginning of summer on white nights).
Honestly, from +100500 The routes offered by professional guides are also dizzying, so we figured it out ourselves and selected the best options based on the reviews of enthusiastic tourists. These excursions in St. Petersburg from Tripster and Sputnik are not boring, like Friday, and include the main points in the city center and differ only in the ways of transportation:
👟 do not save your feet and sneakers and go for a walk like a Petersburger
🚌 load up with other tourists and ride the bus around the city
🛴 turn our face to the sun and rush through the sights on an electric scooter
🏍️ add some audacity and watch Peter on a motorcycle
🚘 repeating “what's life like” while traveling in a business class car
Prices:group – 700-2000 rubles depending on the mode of transportation (on foot, by bus or scooter), individual for 1-4 people by car costs 8500 rubles, individual for 1-2 people by motorcycle – 1500 rubles.
Duration: from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Reviews: not a first date.”
Water along rivers and canals
Our rating is 10 out of 10 !
In front of you are all the main places worth visiting in St. Petersburg, but from a different angle – from the Neva, Fontanka and Moika. On the pier, you jump onto the ship, sit on the open deck or in the salon with panoramic windows and listen to the audio guide about the classic business cards of the city: the Winter Palace, the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral, palaces-estates-bridges.
It will be aesthetically pleasing, informative and stress-free – the cruise is short, and you don’t even have to go. And we have collected a lot of information and a huge range of St. Petersburg water excursions in a separate text.
Prices: group – from 800 rubles, individual (for example, we rented a boat for six) – 6000–7000 rubles.
Tip: water navigation continues from April to November.
Duration: 1.5–2 hours.
Our review:No matter how much we see the facades of historical and simply beautiful houses on the opposite side of the embankment, looking at them from the water is a completely different thing! And to swim between the old and new buildings of the Mariinsky Theater and listen to tales about the house where Boyarsky lives and who else is famous …
A little hint for you in the photo 🙂
An evening tour of St. Petersburg, when traffic jams and crowds of pedestrians disappear, atmospheric lighting turns on and, most importantly, bridges are raised. By the way, this doesn’t happen every day, so it’s better to find out the real-time schedule in the Bridges of St. Petersburg app (available in the App Store and Google Play) or on the mostotrest-spb.ru website. And, yes, get a good night's sleep, because the bridges are raised closer to midnight.
We have selected two radically different options:
- Group boat trip in St. Petersburg on a boat with an audio guide. Everything according to the classics: the Hermitage, the cruiser Aurora, photographs against the backdrop of drawn bridges are standard, but no less beautiful for this
- Private night sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg by car. The guide-driver will pick you up in a convenient place, rush along the main monuments, take pictures in front of the bridges and, if desired, drive you to non-tourist corners and to the roof on the Fontanka with a gorgeous panorama
Note: navigation along the Neva begins in April and ends in November. The most interesting is during the white nights, in 2022 it lasts from June 11 to July 2.
Prices: group – from 1000 rubles, individual for 1-4 people – 10,000 rubles.
Duration: 2–3 hours.
Reviews:“Definitely delight. True, blankets are not provided on group tours, so dress warmly. ”
On the roofs of St. Petersburg
Our rating is 9 out of 10!
A short and easy (intricate historical digressions will not be) walk in the daytime on the roofs of St. Petersburg. It’s better to dress and put on comfortable, but beautiful shoes – without replenishment in the “Photo” folder on your phone, you definitely won’t go down to earth. Here is a group and the most inexpensive route, during which you can snap a selfie with St. Isaac's Cathedral behind you.
There is a completely different calico – an individual walk with a professional photographer as a great option for a romantic Love Story or a photo shoot in the style of “Leg et!” for your beloved. There is only one observation deck in it – in the Sky and Wine restaurant (keep in mind for an independent visit), the rest are in recognizable St. Petersburg locations. Retouched images (20-50 pieces) are included in the price and will be ready within a week.
By the way, we published a personal review of our trip to the rooftops with links to several different excursions, prices and a couple of good tips here .
Prices:group — 800 rubles, individual for 1-4 people — 3000 rubles.
Duration: 1 hour.
Reviews: It doesn't matter what time this happens in St. Petersburg, but everyone should climb onto the roofs! It's such a soul-stirring and exciting experience. We liked that safety comes first, and there are non-slip walkways and railings on the roofs.
Leningrad communal apartments from the inside
We descend from heaven to earth to look at a separate type of art – St. Petersburg communal apartments. There is such a combination of the incongruous that will bring the old schools together: pompous stucco, marble, fireplaces, 5-meter ceilings side by side with Soviet life, pot-bellied TVs, gramophones and shared kitchens. The program includes 3 old apartments, in one of which the writer Sergei Dovlatov once lived and Joseph Brodsky was a guest. The guide's stories contain tales of port wine stains on the floor, a bright (tell me later) apartment, memories of some residents of these communal apartments.
Prices: group, 900 rubles.
< p>Duration: 2 hours.
Reviews: “Informative about history, but unconventional. It will be of no interest to teenagers and children – they simply do not know and will not understand this communal world.
St. Petersburg is beautiful not only from the outside, but also from the inside, with a guide Alexei you will be convinced of this once again.
And inside inconspicuous courtyards, behind closed entrance doors, real pearls are sometimes hidden: funny stories of famous residents, pre-revolutionary spiral staircases, monograms and, of course, stucco molding (where without it). There is a walk only along the front doors, you can choose the option of visiting Dovlatov's apartment. And, yes, the guide will give an answer to an unexpected question – is it true that a pig lived in a shared bathroom in a communal apartment (I would not want such neighbors).
Prices: group, 900 rubles.
Duration: 2 hours.
Reviews: “Unusual, beautiful and impressive – even experienced tourists are delighted.”< /p>
In the words of a classic – drink in St. Petersburg! You won’t be able to sit with a glass of dignity on this tour of St. Petersburg at night: in a rich program with a guide, there are 10 establishments from a cocktail bar to an underground club, where you yourself might never have gone. You will listen to interesting stories about the non-museum side of the city, dance, joke and joke. Take 10 glasses at once – the tinctures are not strong, you will not get very drunk. Boyarsky, Barsik (meow!) and Horseradish on beets are worth tasting just because of the name.
Note: held on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and public holidays.
Prices: per person — 2400 rubles for 5 shots, 3200 rubles for 10 shots.
Duration: 6 hours.
Reviews: “Ho-ho-ho, a thousand devils!”.
Scary stories of St. Petersburg
An unusual tour for those who want to hear about something really creepy: a house with the first crematorium in Russia, a building made of tombstones, the owner of a brothel, a man who became an exhibit of the Kunstkamera. Just not Peter, but a source of inspiration for a Hollywood horror screenwriter or REN TV channel. It sounds creepy and gloomy, but it will be exciting and unequivocally fresh – this is not written in the history books.
Prices: individual for 1-4 people – 4900 rubles.
< p>Duration: 2 hours.
Reviews:“A charismatic guide (a joker-joker and a storehouse of facts rolled into one) – 50% of success, the remaining 50% is a non-standard route when the main tourist points have already been trampled.”
Quest to non-tourist places
< p>Another non-standard walk-game, but without horror stories. It will be aesthetically pleasing (like almost everywhere in St. Petersburg, of course): filming locations, well-yards and patterned front doors, creative art spaces and all sorts of other noteworthy locations from a local resident. The guide at the start hands you a map with puzzles, on which you move on your own, and meets you only at the finish line. Therefore, you can choose a comfortable pace with pit stops for a bite to eat or even split the tour for a couple of days.
Prices: individual for 1-6 people — 2200 rubles.
< p>Duration: 5 hours.
Reviews: “Discover new sights of St. Petersburg, even if you have been living in the city for a long time.”
About besieged Leningrad
The photo shows one of the air defense towers
A tour with a touch of bitterness, but in a city with such a sad page in history, you can’t get around it attention, in our opinion. Find out how people lived during the war years, blocked from the rest of the country.
- The first option – about everything and everyone, is well adapted for both adults and children – the guide will interest them in a playful way with the help of airplanes, poems and crossword puzzles.
- The second route is about children and about how they coped with the tragedy, the guide engages even schoolchildren and husbands stuck in smartphones in a conversation.
Prices: individual for 1–10 people, 2500–5400 rubles per depending on the option chosen.
Duration: 2-3 hours.
Reviews:“Meaningfully and emotionally to impress yourself and interest children in history.”
What is worth seeing on your own in 1-2 days?
This is the view from the observation deck of St. Isaac's Cathedral
Running around St. Petersburg on your own in a couple of days is a task for Tom Cruise from the Mission Impossible series of films, which requires too much attention. To make the task easier, we have written a separate large (and beautiful) article, where we have collected everything to visit in St. Petersburg, if:
- you are a beginner and want to be imbued with art, history and pomposity
- want to get 10000++ steps outdoors on a pedometer
- set out to feel like a native Petersburger and look into corners that are not the most obvious for tourists
For each program there is a description, a detailed and convenient route on the map with a start and finish. Also gave some delicious hipster cafes and fragrant bakeries 🙂
By the way, you can (and even need to) come to the northern capital not only in summer for white nights, but also in winter, especially on the eve of the New Year holidays and Christmas. Yes, there will be a billion many tourists, but the sub-zero temperature is felt differently than in Moscow. Only the main city Christmas tree on Palace Square is worth something, and the rest of St. Petersburg's New Year's decorations are immersed in the atmosphere of The Nutcracker. Before the trip, you can familiarize yourself with our author's guide to winter St. Petersburg.
Where to go from St. Petersburg?
When we walked around every corner in the city center on the Neva, a reasonable question arises: where to go from St. Petersburg? Of course, it depends on the amount of free time: there are interesting options both in the suburbs and a little further away. You can go to each of them both independently and with excursions, now we will give links to the necessary recommendations.
So, first of all, routes closer to St. Petersburg.
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The first place that comes to mind is the magnificent residence of Peter I. The easiest way is to jump on the meteor yourself. Get the best deals here:
Meteor Tickets >>
A fast boat departs every half an hour and flies in 45 minutes, bypassing traffic jams and a stuffy subway, and when paying online it costs only 1,000 rubles (offline – 1,200 rubles). While driving, you can read the guide to Peterhof published on our website from a local resident with a convenient route for a leisurely walk.
If you want to spend an informative day listening to the abstruse stories of the guide, there are good one-day excursions from St. Petersburg two in one: start in Kronstadt and finish in Peterhof. These are group bus and walking routes for 2000–3000 rubles per person.
Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo)
Another no less popular destination to visit from St. Petersburg is the chic shine of Tsarskoe Selo. How to get there on your own and what to see in one day (hello, Tom Cruise!) We have already written in a detailed article about the residence.
There are an almost infinite number of offers from guides, so we selected the best excursions in St. Petersburg, reviews from five stars are included:
- Group trip for 5–6 hours for 2,500 rubles per person to see all the essentials: the park, the palace and the Amber Room
- Individual tour for 1–6 people for 8,000 rubles (admission tickets are paid separately) to Pushkin and Pavlovsk: meet already on the spot and walk for 5 hours around two summer imperial residences
- Group bus and walking route for 10 hours for 2100 rubles per tourist (entrance tickets for a fee) for 3 in 1: Tsarskoe a village in Pushkin, an English forest in Pavlovsk, silver in Gatchina
People come here for the sake of the Konstantinovsky Palace, which was built like the Russian Versailles. Here is a comfortable group tour for 5 hours: there are not many people on the trip, so there will be no crush, shouting and haste, and there will be plenty of time for inspection and photography. It will cost 2100 rubles per person.
And now (drumroll sounds here) – 4 interesting points on the map are not near St. Petersburg itself, but within a radius of 300 km. For independent travelers, we have selected interesting options where to stay for the night, for those who are not independent – high-quality bus excursions.
Vyborg – distance 136 km
A town with a medieval touch: cobbled streets, centuries-old houses, its own castle and all that in the spirit of old Europe. This is not surprising, because the city was founded by the Swedes, then the Finns lived here, and now it belongs to Russia. By the way, the Soviet film “D'Artagnan and the Three Musketeers” was filmed here.
There are no chic hotels, but a good range of apartments:
- A small studio in the historical part of the city with a fresh renovation , from 5400 rubles per day
- More spacious apartments in the center, from 4000 rubles
- Studio house with a private terrace overlooking the lake, from 4500 rubles
If you don’t plan to go on your own or stay overnight, take a one-day excursion from St. Petersburg for 2000 rubles.
Veliky Novgorod — distance 197 km
The complete opposite of Vyborg, where it smells like Russia: Kremlin, golden domes of churches, carved wooden huts, windmills. During the tour, see the masterpieces of white stone architecture and ancient frescoes of the pre-Mongolian period.
If you plan to stay for the weekend, here are 3 excellent locations in the center with good reviews and high ratings:
- 3 * History — from 3700 rubles
- 3* Karelinn — from 4200 rubles
- 4* Bianki — from 5400 rubles
Karelia (Ruskeala) — distance 290 km
We went to stunningly beautiful Karelia on our own and published a detailed report from there with all the passwords. Of course, one day in these places will not be enough, so we recommend that you stay for a couple of days and experience complete zen. For maximum unity with nature, we picked up super-glampings (but then it’s better to choose excursions in the summer so as not to freeze at night):
- Smorodina — on the shore of the bay (you can grab a fishing rod), from 8900 rubles
- Parkonmaki Village – where you can check in with a pet at no extra charge, from 7700 rubles
- Hygge – with a bathhouse and free accommodation for tailed ones, from 4000 rubles
If you are not afraid of a long round trip (4-5 hours from St. Petersburg one way), take a look at the bus tour, it costs only 1650 rubles per person, and there will be a lot of emotions.
In general, it would be nice to go to Karelia as part of an author's tour – when an inspired and knowledgeable person organizes a trip for you from and to:
Pskov — distance 294 km
During the tour, visit 3 oldest cities of Ancient Russia at once: Pskov, Izborsk, Pechory. The trip will appeal to those who are passionate about religion: the program includes many churches, monasteries, holy springs. Prices for the route start from 2500 rubles.
Without breaking the tradition, we give links to places with comfortable beds where you can relax after long walks if you come on your own:
- Darling studio in the historical part of Pskov, 2300 rubles
- 2-room apartment on the river bank, 4000 rubles
- 4* Cozy hotel “Pokrovsky” from 6000 rubles
Where to go with children in St. Petersburg?
So that children stop yawning at the sight of museum exhibits and complain about endless walks, go see the inhabitants of the Leningrad Zoo or Oceanarium. To communicate with our smaller brothers, you should also look at the site “Forest Embassy” or in the cat cafe “Republic of Cats and Cats”. You can ride the rides all day at Disneyland St. Petersburg – amusement park “Divo-island”, or you can spend a couple of hours on the deck and in the compartments of the cruiser “Aurora”. And cool children's performances are organized by the Skazkin Dom theater and the LabyrinthUm science museum.
For dessert – the best excursions in St. Petersburg in 2022, which focused specifically on girls and boys:
- turn into a young archaeologist, play a scene in front of your parents, hear about Peter I and complete the quest in the Summer Garden
- learn about history and architecture in a playful way with riddles, legends and making a last wish
- a walk through the Peter and Paul Fortress with a casual story and unusual facts
Where can a tourist stay in St. Petersburg?
Hotels are comfortable, but we love staying in St. Petersburg classics: duplex apartments in historic buildings. I really liked this one!
The range of hotels in St. Petersburg is no less than excursions, it's easy to get lost. Our concise table has collected the best hotels according to three criteria:
- in the very center and a stone's throw from everything
- with good repair and without grandmother's bedspreads
- with high ratings and satisfied reviews
— 3* Meadow — conveniently located near all major attractions. The rooms are clean, new and dilute the urban drabness with colorful design; from 7500 rubles
— 4* Kaleidoscope Gold is a brand new and stylish hotel, a 2-minute walk from St. Isaac's Square and a 5-minute walk from the Hermitage. Breakfasts deserve special attention – you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality; from 9000 rubles
— 4* Wynwood is a convenient location with its own internal parking. There are many restaurants under the windows – a bit noisy at night, but you don’t need to go far; from 12,000 rubles
— 5* Lotte is a chic hotel in the style of Peter I in an old mansion, but without going overboard with monograms and stucco, the interior is classic and tasteful. There is an indoor pool and a restaurant on the roof with a view of St. Isaac's Cathedral – you will swing; from 25,000 rubles
And even more cool options can be peeped in our separate article – there are not only hotels, but also apartments in the best traditions of Pinterest!