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Day Trips, St. Petersburg

Category: Private Tours





Day Trips, In & Around St. Petersburg, Russia

Maximize your time in Russia's cultural Capital 



Known as the Venice of the North due to its extensive canal system, St Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, who made it his capital city.

Now it is the 2nd largest city in Russia after Moscow.


It is one of the most elegant cities in Europe and boasts famous palaces such as Peterhof (in Russian: Petrodvorets) and Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo), world class ballet and opera in the Mariinsky Theatre and one of the world's largest art collections in the Hermitage.

The city is now becoming a must for travelers looking for a city break or even a two-centre holiday in combination with Moscow

Historical Palace Square with Alexander Column next to Hermitage, St. Petersburg Russia


City Sightseeing Tour

The enchanting city of St. Petersburg offers some of the most grandiose relics of the czarist days

This excursion provides a comprehensive orientation of the many famous landmarks from both sides of the Neva River, including the world famous Nevsky Prospect lined with marble palaces of Russian royalty and aristocracy.

You will also take in the views of the extravagant St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Admiralty, the Church of the Spilled Blood, the Statue to the Bronze Horseman and the historical Peter-&-Paul Fortress, where many of Russian Romanov rulers are buried.

Also enjoy a fascinating view of downtown across the Neva river, from the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, with the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns.

This is an orientation tour, no entrances included


The Hermitage Gallery & Winter Palace 

The Hermitage is unquestionably one of the finest art galleries in the world, housed within the magnificent white and gold rococo fantasy of the baroque Winter Palace. 

Being one of the world's greatest museums, the Hermitage requires more than a Sunday afternoon. 

Founded on Catherine the Great's original 18th century collection, it now consists of more than 2.7 million works, a diverse range of art and artifacts from all over the world.

This impressive collection contains the works of masters such as Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Rubens and Rembrandt as well as many contemporary pieces by Kandinski, Matisse and Picasso.

The Winter Palace, originally inhabited by the royal family, is part of the complex.
Consider taking the overview tour and then return on your own to explore. 

Highlights of an overview tour include:  
    - State Rooms of the Winter Palace 
    - Old Masters of the Western European art collection & 
    - French I
mpressionists (now housed in a separate building; entrance ticket required)

A half-day tour of the highlights encompasses four vast interconnecting palaces and some 365 rooms of displays. It can be done in three hours, or can also be extended to a full day.  

Be prepared for a lot of walking.    
Camera and video fees for the Hermitage apply. Flash photography is not allowed at the Hermitage.
Duration: within 3 hours. 
The museum is closed on Mondays


Gold Room, the Hermitage  

The Gold Room - located on the first floor of the Museum - is an unsurpassable highlight of the Hermitage. It holds unique and priceless treasures, among them Peter I's collection of ancient Siberian gold ware; the astonishingly masterful Scythian, Sarmatian and Greek adornments from pre-Christian burial mounds; north of the Black Sea; and some opulent Indian jewelry. 

Intours-Canada makes arrangements for a special guided tour to visit this room. The Gold Room tour is recommended as an add-on to our overview tour of the Hermitage Museum. Must be booked in advance (no less than 30 days prior)



The Russian Museum  

The Russian Museum (formerly the Russian Museum of His Imperial Majesty Alexander III) is the first state museum of Russian fine arts in the country.

It was established in 1895 in St Petersburg by a decree of the Emperor Nicholas II.

The Russian Museum is dedicated to Russian art and is among the most outstanding cultural gems of St. Petersburg.   

Over the past twenty years, the museum complex has grown to include the Stroganof Palace, St Michael's (Engineers) Castle and the Marble Palace.
The complex also includes the Mikhailovsky Gardens, Engineering Gardens, Summer Garden (including the Summer Palace) and the House of Peter the Great.

The museum houses a spellbinding collection with over 400,000 pieces of art that date from the 10th century to the present day.

The main building is known as Mikhailovsky Palace and as you walk through it with your guide, see art from just about every genre, including paintings, sculptures and graphics, as well as some of the world’s finest Russian avant-garde creations.

The State Russian Museum is the next best sight to take in after the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg

The museum is a great place to learn about Russian history and culture


It chronologically moves you through the centuries of Russian history.

A visitor moves from Old Russ times (10th century icons on display) to the  Imperial Russia represented by European style displays and on to the best samples of Soviet art.

The Museum is closed on Tuesday 


St. Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral (1818-1858) is among the key landmarks of St. Petersburg, and is the third most visited sight in Russia.
St. Isaac’s is the largest orthodox basilica and the fourth  tallest cupola cathedral in the world with a breathtaking design. It is six times more costly than the Winter Palace.

And it is the wonderland of semi-precious stones. The observation platform on the colonnade provides a magnificent view of the city. 

Be ready to climb several hundred steps of the spiral staircase to get there!

After 1991 perestroika, regular worship activity has resumed four times a week, in the left-hand side chapel of the cathedral.
The main body of the cathedral is used for services on feast days only



Peter-and-Paul Fortress 

  City's original nucleus 

Peter-and-Paul Fortress, original nucleus of St. Petersburg

The historical Peter-and-Paul Fortress was designed by Peter the Great a
s the city's original nucleus and remains one of his greatest masterpieces.

Located on the north side of the Neva river, on a tiny island, the fortress overlooks downtown's Palace Square with the Hermitage Museum.  

The fortress contains the notable Peter and Paul Cathedral, city's first stone church.

All Russia's czars since Peter the Great are buried here including Nicholas II and his family, the last czar of Russia and the last of 300-year-old Romanov dynasty.     

The cathedral is also famous for its magnificent baroque interior 


Church On the Spilled Blood

This multi-domed dazzler, partly modeled on St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, is St. Petersburg's most elaborate church.

It was built between 1883 and 1907 in memory of reformist Czar Alexander II, who was attacked on this spot in 1991 by a terrorist group known as the People's Will.  
Officially called the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, it is far more striking colloquial name has become its de facto one



Yusupov Palace

Standing on the Moika River this was once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family.

It is also the location of the one of the most dramatic events in Russian history - the murder of Grigory Rasputin. Whilst you wander around the beautifully refurbished interior of the palace the story of Rasputin will unravel


Menshikov Palace

Branch of the Hermitage Museum

Menshikov Palace, the first monumental residence built from stone in St. Petersburg, Branch of the HermitageThe Menshikov Palace, situated on Vasilyevsky Island in downtown, was the first monumental residence built from stone in St. Petersburg.

The Palace was built for Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov who was a Prince of the Russian Empire and the very close associate of Peter the Great.

Due to his significant influence, in 1703, Prince Menshikov was appointed Governor-General of Ingria, i.e. a region of Russia that was later renamed the St. Petersburg Governorate.


In simpler terms, he became the first Governor of Saint-Petersburg, the new capital of Imperial Russia.

The Menshikov Palace was built in Peter the Great's Baroque style. The so called Petrine style is known for its extravagant luxury and opulence of decoration. 

Unlike Peter I, who preferred to live a modest life, Menshikov was fond of luxury and lived on a grand scale.

His palace was the largest and the most magnificent building to be constructed in the city thus far, superior even to the Czar's residence.


The Palace looked really impressive: the interiors of the Palace were decorated with gold, silver, marble, expensive types of wood, scenic paintings and moldings, painted Dutch tiles, antique and modern Italian sculptures, large Venetian mirrors, crystal chandeliers and Chinese silk wallpaper and tapestries. 

The furniture of the Palace was no less luxurious. 

The Palace featured the richest art collections of the time. 

The Revolution in the early 20th century had a detrimental effect on the interior of the Palace. 

Restored to its original shape, in 1967, it was eventually handed over to the State Hermitage exhibition dedicated to Russian culture of the early 18th century. It first opened its doors to visitors in 1981.  

The Palace has preserved most of its original look and possesses architectural value, being one of the very first constructions of Peter the Great's time



Peterhof (Petrodvorets) 

Just 22 miles outside of St. Petersburg is the magnificent summer residence of the Russia czars of the 19th c. Designed to the specifications of Peter the Great to rival Versailles, this remarkable palace defies imagination. 

The tour will take in not only the palace’s interior but also allows time to explore the fabulously beautiful gardens, pavilions and water cascades contained within this 300-acre park on the shores of the Gulf of Finland

12 km along the coast from Peterhof, there is another exquisite palace ensemble worth visiting, perhaps within one day tour. This is Oranienbaum Palace and Park Royal Ensemble located in town Lomonosov. 

Originally, The Oranienbaum Palace was intended to outdo Peterhof Summer Palace in terms of scale and grandeur. 
Oranienbaum is the oldest of the Imperial Palaces around St. Petersburg.

The Grand Menshikov Palace is the highlight of the estate.

It was founded by Grand Duke Menshikov, Peter the Great's closest adviser


Oranienbaum Palace and Park

The Grand Menshikov Palace, Residence of Prince Menshikov, closest associate of Peter the Great, in Oranienbaum , west of St.Petersburg

Oranienbaum is situated 40 km west from St. Petersburg.

This remarkable country residence finishes the sequence of maritime residences of the Peterhof road, being on the way after Peterhof. 

So if you travel to Peterhof (Petrodvorets), you are going to be only 12 km away from Oranienbaum.

Drive west another 20 minutes from Peterhof, along the Gulf of Finland coastline, and you will reach the town of Lomonosov where Oranienbaum Ensemble is located 


Catherine's Palace and its famous Amber Room, in Pushkin

Lunch at a premiere restaurant (optional  

Catherine's Palace in suburban town of Pushkin outside of St. Petersburg Russia, UNESCO World Heritage list

Otherwise known as Catherine Palace, this stunning baroque-style palace is considered one of the world’s top architectural masterpieces. 

The sumptuous interior of the palace’s many rooms and grand halls are lavishly decorated to symbolize the extravagant mood which dominated the time.

Perhaps the most opulent is the newly unveiled Amber Room which is adorned throughout with precious amber.
A trip to Pushkin can be complemented with a mouth-watering lunch at a superior restaurant with dishes of traditional Russian cuisine

A tip:
"... This is a beautifully restored palace with equally beautiful gardens, best visited with a guide on a pre booked tour as individuals are only admitted at certain times and queues are long..." 

A full Day trip to medieval town Novgorod Veliky 

UNESCO World Heritage site 

Medieval Town of Novgorod Veliky, Northwest Russia, UNESCD World Heritage List


Novgorod Veliky is often called the birthplace of Russia. 

Just two hours to the south east of Saint Petersburg is charming Novgorod, one of the oldest towns in Russia.

The ancient city of Novgorod Veliky, the daring and rebellious northerner, was always known for its free thinking and independent character of its people. 

It is the place where you can touch the living history more ancient than Russia itself, and see for yourself  'from whence the Russian land came to be': its Orthodox beliefs and practices, literacy, democracy and statehood. 

You will be taken ten centuries back in time, and enjoy the old famous hospitality of Novgorod.

The region boasts beautifully adorned Slavic-style cottages, the stunning Cathedral of St. Sophia and a pretty grouping of 12th to 16th c. churches on the bank of the Volkhov River.

Novgorod is well supplied with good hotels and restaurants. So you might consider making it an ideal overnight program when combined with one of the palace excursions


Mariinsky Theatre 

Most days, except touring season

The Mariinsky Theatre under the artistic and general director Valery Gergiev, is home to the famous Kirov Opera and Ballet. They have premiered many of the world’s most famous productions including the Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty, the Queen of Spades and Prince Igor. The building is one of the most beautiful and historic theaters in Europe, adorned with gilded figures, glittering chandeliers and its famous blue and gold interior.

The Mariinsky Theatre is not to be missed on a visit to St. Petersburg. It is advisable to pre-book theater tickets before departure to avoid disappointment



Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Lavra *)

with Tikhvin & St. Lazarus Cemeteries

*) Lavra means: a monastery of the highest ranking 

Built by Peter the Great, city's founder, in 1710 and named after the 13th century Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, increasingly voted by today's younger generation in Russia as the national hero.

Originally known as the leader who defeated the Swedes in 1240 in a decisive 1240 battle. Alexander Nevsky's remains were brought to the Monastery.

His grave was later joined by that of Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky, Russia's leading cultural figures, whose gravestones are works of art themselves.  

Also buried behind the walls of A. Nevsky Monastery: fellow composers Rimsky-Korsakov, Glinka, and Mussorgsky; the architects of St. Petersburg's key monuments; the brilliant and remarkable founder of Russia's first universities, Mikhail Lomonosov.

Alexander Nevsky Monastery is a functioning monastery. It holds the name of a Lavra which means 'a Monastery of the highest ranking'.


Grand Maket Rossiya Museum

 Russia in Miniature
 The 2nd largest display of moving miniatures and action figures in the world

Ever wanted to see all of Russia in one go? In St. Petersburg there is a place where you can visit Moscow, Sochi, Vladivostok and Murmansk.

The Grand Model of Russia is a new private museum in St. Petersburg (2012) that represents generalized images of cities and regions of the entire Russia. 

The national show-museum «Grand Maket Rossiya» is a scale model of Russia (1:87) covering the country on the layout area of 800 square meters (over 8,600 square feet) of permanent interactive exhibition in St. Petersburg.

This is a perfect place to discover hidden and unusual parts of Russia scaled down and gently spiced with humor in details.  


The exposition is divided into geographical zones: 

The scale map of Grand Maket Russia showcases Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad region, Russia's North-West and Central regions, and subtropical Sochi. 

Also represented here are the Ural Mountains (i.e. the natural border line between Russia's Europe and Asia), Siberia, Arctic and northern territories, as well as Russia's Far East, on the Pacific.


It is the largest model layout in Russia and the second largest in the world

Interestingly enough, this scale model bubbles with life - the time of year and the time of day are constantly changing, the highways blaze with light, trains race along rails, and the tiny inhabitants are all busily occupied.









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