- Private car/public transp
- Cultural heritage
- Photo stops
- From 4 hours
- Tour guide
What to visit in St. Petersburg in April?
To answer this question, I will start with the weather and climatic features, because it is the weather that often determines the pleasure or displeasure of a particular excursion.
So, in April in the city on the Neva, the average daytime temperature is +8 degrees Celsius, mostly without precipitation, but windy. From my own experience, I can say that it is even more sunny than in May, although the statistics say otherwise. Thus, you can book outdoor excursions much more actively than in winter.
However, it is worth considering some features of the functioning of urban spaces, so as not to be unpleasantly surprised. So, for example, at the end of March, a large number of parks and gardens are centrally closed for drying in order to keep them in good condition, as well as to put them in order for the summer season. Some may be closed for two weeks, and some for a whole month. This is, first of all, the Summer Garden and the Mikhailovsky Garden under the jurisdiction of the Russian Museum.
At the same time, the good news is that admission to the most magnificent parks of the famous country residences of emperors – Peterhof and Tsarskoe Selo – remains free until April 22-24, however, fountains and small palaces / pavilions remain idle until April 23. And also the opening of the Neva navigation season annually from April 10, so that a boat trip along the rivers and canals becomes possible, but hydrofoils (boats with air wings) do not go to Peterhof and Kronstadt in April yet.
Based on the foregoing, we offer you the following excursions in St. Petersburg in April:
1. Sightseeing tour of the city center with a visit to the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's and Kazan Cathedrals, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood (except Wednesdays).
- The tour can be on foot or using public transport/taxi. You will see all the most iconic places of the historical part of the city:
- The Peter and Paul Fortress with the prison of the Trubetskoy Bastion and the cathedral-tomb of the Emperors
- Spit of Vasilevsky Island with the buildings of the Stock Exchange and the Kunstkamera
- Drawbridge Palace Bridge across the Neva and Palace Embankment
- Palace Square with the Winter Palace, the Alexander Column and the Arch of the General Staff Building
- Admiralty building and Alexander Garden
- Senate Square with the Bronze Horseman
- St. Isaac's Square with St. Isaac's Cathedral, hotels Astoria and Angliter
- Nevsky Prospekt with Singer House, Kazan Cathedral and Gostiny Dvor
- Arts Square with a monument to Pushkin and the Russian Museum
- Griboyedov Canal with a fair, street musicians and artists and the Savior on Spilled Blood church
- Moika Embankment and Millionnaya Street with Pushkin's House, Winter Canal and Atlantes of the New Hermitage building.
The tour is designed for the whole day (6 hours) with lunch and rest in the middle. Wear comfortable shoes, take an umbrella or raincoat just in case, dress for the weather and enjoy our magnificent city and its impressive history!
2. River cruise along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg on a private boat, yacht or motor ship.
The rental price and capacity depend on the chosen type of boat with a captain. For a large company or several families, especially with children, a motor boat is more suitable, they come with both open and closed parts of the deck or with sliding panoramic roofs. There are options with seating on sofas around the perimeter and tables nearby or there are tables and chairs around them. The boats have a toilet room with a sink. For a more intimate walk, but faster and more entertaining, we choose a boat or yacht for 4/6/8/10 people. Unlike motor ships, they are more maneuverable and can park at small berths, the most convenient for guests to continue walking around the city. On boats up to 5 people, as a rule, there is no toilet, but there are almost always tension awnings in case of a sudden rain. Several options for water excursions:
- On the rivers and canals "Northern Venice"
The route includes a walk along the Fontanka, the Kryukov Canal, the Moika, the Winter Canal and the Bolshaya Neva. Duration 1.5-2 hours. You will see the most interesting places of the historical center, including the famous palaces, bridges and embankments with theaters, museums, temples, shops, parks, public spaces, government institutions, etc. As well as the front Neva, its most impressive and wide part with the main panoramas of the city - the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island, the Winter Palace, the Palace and Trinity bridges, the Summer Garden and the cruiser Aurora.
- Bolshaya Neva - the main thoroughfare of St. Petersburg
Once Peter the Great built the city on the basis that all communications through it would be only by water, and the Neva was conceived as the main transport artery. Also, the embankments were to become the main showcases of the new city for guests from abroad, this principle was preserved under the following rulers. Buildings, squares, monuments, churches, parks, everything was supposed to surprise and delight. So on this tour we see the most brilliant architectural ensembles, luxurious palaces and mansions, grandiose temples, unique monuments. Among them are St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Bronze Horseman, the Admiralty, the Academy of Arts, the Menshikov Palace, the Kunstkamera, the Winter Palace, the Rostral Columns and the Exchange building, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Cathedral Mosque, the Marble Palace, the Summer Garden, etc. The duration is 1-1.5 hours. You can make it with access to the Gulf of Finland by increasing the duration.
- Northern Islands
Currently, Peter is located on 42 islands, separated by rivers and canals and connected by an infinite number of bridges. The largest island is Vasilyevsky, the previous route runs along its southern coast. And now you will see its northern embankments and bridges Birzhevoy and Tuchkov to the next largest island, Petrogradsky, on this excursion. We will also pass by Petrovsky Island and Decembrist Island, once industrial centers, but now built up with luxury real estate, then we will go around Krestovsky and Elagin Islands - the main recreational areas of the city with huge regular and landscape parks, an amusement park, sports facilities, including the main stadium Gazprom Arena. Next, we will go to the Gulf of Finland to the 300th anniversary park and the Lakhta Center tower and finally return to the center along the Bolshaya Nevka past Kamenny and Aptekarsky islands.
- Excursion under drawbridges
There are many cities in the world where beautiful drawbridges are built for the passage of various ships, but nowhere has this process, like the opening of bridges, especially during the white nights, become a hallmark of the city and one of the main attractions. Every night during the navigation period from April to November, nine bridges across the Bolshaya Neva and two across the Malaya Neva are opened to allow commercial ships with various cargoes to pass from the ports of St. Petersburg towards Lake Ladoga. However, this process has long become not only practical, but festive and touristic. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people watch the draw process from the embankments, panoramic restaurants and cafes, as well as from ships, boats and yachts. On the tour you will see the moving of several bridges, 4-6, depending on the duration. We start from the most famous Palace bridge at 1 am from the side of the Winter Palace, immediately move to Troitsky bridge, return along the opposite embankment to Blagoveshchensky bridge and continue at Liteiny bridge. Further options: return to the starting point and finish - duration 1 hour; go to the Bolsheokhtinsky bridge, see the opening and land there - duration 1 hour; reach the Alexander Nevsky bridge, see the opening and land there - duration 1.5 hours; see everything and return to the beginning point - duration - 2 hours.
3. Tour of Kronstadt
The city of Kronstadt is an administrative unit of St. Petersburg, an intracity municipality. Kronstadt is an island city, it occupies completely Isl. Kotlin on the border of the Neva Bay and the Gulf of Finland, thirty kilometers west of the city center. Since 2011, the island has been connected to the southern and northern outskirts of St. Petersburg by a dam with a road laid along it. You can get to Kronstadt by car, public transport from metro the station Chernaya Rechka or Begovaya, as well as from the city of Lomonosov and on a meteor (hydrofoil) from the central pier. Unfortunately, the navigation of meteors starts only from May 1. As part of a sightseeing tour to Kronstadt, you will see and get acquainted with the following historical and cultural sights:
- Anchor Square with the Nikolsky Naval Cathedral located on it (including an observation deck if desired), a monument to Admiral Makarov and an eternal flame, Makarov Bridge, a cast-iron pavement and the Dock Admiralty Park;
- Summer Garden - the first garden in the city with a deep history, a dock pool, monuments and a magnificent fence;
- Embankment of the Middle (Petrovsky) harbor with the Winter Quay, Navy ships and Petrovsky Park;
- Makarovskaya Street with a complex of houses of the time of Peter the Great, a museum of lighthouse service and a square where Popov invented the radio;
- Petrovsky Canal with Petrovsky Dock, an operating swing bridge, an exposition of the Patriot Park and a wooden lighthouse;
- Embankment of the Merchant Harbor with a beautifully restored building of the former Dutch kitchen, which houses an interactive multimedia space about the history of Kronstadt and an exposition of models of Kronstadt forts (visit of your choice);
- Embankment of the Italian Pond with the Italian Palace, which houses the Naval Museum and the A. Popov Museum-Apartment (visit at your choice), Kronstadt footstock and mariograph.
The walking tour lasts 4 hours. This sightseeing route can also be supplemented and extended by prior agreement: a boat trip on a private boat through the forts, a visit to the Island of Forts park, a visit to the fort of Vl.kn. Konstantin”, visiting the Museum of the History of Kronstadt.
4. Tour to Peterhof and Tsarskoye Selo
What is Peterhof? This is a city within St. Petersburg at the southern tip, an hour's drive from the city center. Also called the former magnificent royal residence, and now a park with fountains and palace-museums (Upper Garden, Lower Park, Grand Palace, Small Palaces and Pavilions), located in this city. This is the Peterhof Museum-Reserve, which combines, in addition to the already mentioned Peterhof Park, also the Alexandria and Kolonistsky Parks with palaces and pavilions in the city of Peterhof, the Road Palace of Peter 1 in the village of Strelna and Oranienbaum Park with palaces in the city of Lomonosov. So, based on the fact mentioned above that in April the fountains are not yet turned on - the main thing that visitors to Peterhof Park seek to see, we will focus more on the interiors of the palaces and during an individual tour you will get acquainted with:
- Upper garden
- Great Peterhof Palace
- Lower park with fountains, sculptures and pavilions. The lower park belongs to the regular or French parks. They are characterized by straight parallel and perpendicular paths, geometric shapes of trimmed tree crowns, symmetry in the arrangement and patterns of flower beds. The park is divided into two parts by a canal running from the Grand Palace to the bay. You will see both parts with palaces located there:
- the Hermitage
- Catherine pavilion
- Bath pavilions
- Alexandria Park with palaces and pavilions:
- Palace Cottage
- Farm Palace
- telegraph station
- Gothic chapel.
From Peterhof we go to Tsarskoye Selo. Until 1918, this was the name of the city with the summer royal residence presented with the Catherine Palace and the Alexander Palace with extensive parks, as well as Babolovsky Park and Fedorovsky Town. In Soviet times, the city was renamed into Pushkin, and the imperial residence Tsarskoye Selo became a museum-reserve, which it is to this day. You can get from Peterhof by taxi, about an hour, or by public transport with transfers, about an hour and a half. In Tsarskoye Selo we will visit:
- The Catherine Palace with its magnificent interiors of state and private chambers, including the famous Amber Room and the Great Hall with an area of more than 800 square meters
- Ekaterininsky park consisting of a regular one with ponds and pavilions:
- Cameron gallery
- Agate rooms
- Bath buildings
- Hermitage pavilion
- Hermitage kitchen
As well as a landscape park with many sculptures, park architecture and small architectural forms:
- Hall on the island
- Chesme column
- Marble bridge
- Turkish bath
- Gothic gate
- Ruin tower
- Orlov Gate
- Fountain "Girl with a jug"
- Concert hall
- Ruin kitchen
- Creaky gazebo
- Evening hall
- Cast iron gazebo
- Alexander Park, the area of which is twice the size of Ekaterininsky and is 200 hectares. Therefore, together we will examine the most picturesque part of it, the New Garden with ponds, bridges, pavilions, and park architecture:
- Curtain "Fungus"
- Mount Parnassus
- dragon bridge
- Chinese theater
- Great Chinese Bridge
- Cross Bridge
- Small Chinese bridges
- Chinese village
- Big whim, Little whim
And also the part where the Alexander Palace is located, namely:
- White tower
- Feodorovsky Cathedral
- Armory Chamber
- Imperial farm
We will finish the tour with a visit to the Alexander Palace (optional). The duration of the tour is 7-7.5 hours. The area of the parks along which the excursion route extends is more than 400 hectares, so be prepared to walk a lot, or rent an electric golf cart / cart with horses, on which it is possible to move around the parks. You will definitely get a lot of unforgettable impressions, a lot of wonderful shots and knowledge about the origin of these unique places on the planet, analogues that have not existed for 300 years!
5. Tour of the metro of Leningrad - St. Petersburg
Why is there the Soviet name of the city of Leningrad in the name? Because the vast majority of sights in St. Petersburg are the creations of the masters of the 18th - early 20th centuries, i.e. pre-revolutionary, i.e. pre-Soviet. The metro in St. Petersburg, as well as in Moscow, appeared already in the era of the USSR in 1955, although the projects of the underground railway were developed already in the first half of the 19th century and were implemented in London. The first metro line, which is also red, from the station Uprising Square to st. Avtovo is designed, as well as the recognized world masterpieces of the Moscow Metro in the Stalinist Empire style with rich decor, huge chandeliers, mosaics, monuments and bas-reliefs. However, according to many authoritative Russian and foreign magazines, the most beautiful metro station in the world is St. Petersburg's Avtovo.
At the same time, the later lines of our metro are of no less interest, since they differ technically and artistically from the usual Moscow ones, and even more from foreign ones. So, for example, among a small number of St. Petersburg metro stations there is one cross-platform one, when you can switch from one line to another simply by moving to the opposite edge of the platform. There is also a two-story metro station, where trains in different directions come to different floors. Well, quite unusual stations with the so-called horizontal elevator systems, when the rail area is separated from the platform by a blank wall with doors that open along with the doors of the approaching train. This principle is now applied in many modern metro systems of the world, but our stations were innovative for their time - the 1960s - early 1970s. And, of course, the main thing is the St. Petersburg metro - the deepest in the world in terms of the average depth of the tunnels - 60 meters underground. The deepest station we have is Admiralteyskaya (85 meters), although the world record for the depth of the foundation is st. Arsenalnaya in Kyiv (105 meters).
Now you know exactly what we will watch as part of the St. Petersburg metro tour, and that it will not be boring and unlike what you may have already seen in Moscow or other large post-Soviet cities. Duration 2 hours. I provide radio equipment for this walk, otherwise you have to constantly wait for the sound of trains coming and going to die down in order to speak. Our subway is very loud.