- Private car/public transp
- Cultural heritage
- Photo stops
- From 4 hours
- Tour guide
What to visit in St. Petersburg in May?
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 May in the city on the Neva, the average daytime temperature is +15 degrees, mostly without precipitation, but windy. There are more and more warm and sunny days, so we walk a lot.
All parks and gardens, closed to dry in April, have reopened, including the most important historical Summer Garden.
The fountains of Peterhof, which were turned off for the winter, also began to work, and the sculptures completely got rid of the wooden shields that protected them. So you will be able to enjoy almost all the beauty of the main country parks, with the exception of dense greenery and flowering flower beds. However, the entrance to the summer season becomes paid until mid-October. And along with walks on river cruises around St. Petersburg, navigation of meteors (hydrofoils) from the city center to Peterhof, Kronstadt and Oreshek Island on Ladoga also begins on May 1. So getting there is faster, more interesting and easier, although a bit more expensive than by taxi or public transport.
It is also worth noting that on the May holidays, as a rule, there are many different events, festivals, concerts, as well as parade rehearsals and the parade itself. Although it is interesting to observe all this, it is sometimes very inconvenient due to frequent street closures, exposed fences, erected and dismantled temporary structures.
Based on the foregoing, we offer you the following excursions in St. Petersburg in May. In many ways, they coincide with April, but have their own characteristics:
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. 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 fountains are turned on in May - the main thing that visitors to Peterhof Park seek to see, we will focus on them 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
- Grand Cascade
- Trick fountains
- Chess mountain
- Roman fountains
- The sun
- Lion Cascade
- Golden hill and many others
- 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.
We could not have had better guidance around St Petersberg. Anna brought the history alive with her stories and her knowledge of the architecture, political history and Russian dynasty. We felt very safe and she was so helpful with getting tickets, timing of visits and taxis. We both feel we have learned so much about this beautiful and interesting city. Thank you Anna.
I connected with Anna sometime ago for our dream trip around Russia. Anna immediately assisted me with everything I needed going above and beyond her duties as a tour guide. I am travelling with two young children who are full of energy yet she was patient, kind & understanding. Her vast knowledge of the city was much more than expected. This type of knowledge comes with years of experience and passion for her city. By booking Anna will be the best decision you make with an unforgettable experience. Thank you once again Anna for impressive memories.
My daughter and I have enjoyed a most wonderful 3 day visit to St Petersburg. We engaged the services of Anna for a 2 day private tour and we couldn’t have been happier. To start with she is friendly, warm and accomodating and her knowledge is outstanding. Anna also helped us with restaurant and retail recommendations all of which were spot on. As first timers to Russia we wanted to make the most of our time and thanks to Anna we accomplished more then we ever hoped to. I highly recommend using Anna if your are considering a private tour.
The whole process of booking the tour was very easy, with the date and time being agreed with Anna prior to booking. The tour was very interesting with Anna sharing information about the Metro system and also what we could expect to see when we went to see other places of interest. We learnt a lot about the history of St. Petersburg and Russia. The stations themselves were beautiful and I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the amazing stations and learn about the history of the Metro.
My wife and I were planning a cruise this summer that included 2 days in St. Petersburg. We had already been to St. Petersburg and visited the main sites and wanted something different. I selected Anna because of her great website and the chance to put together a private tour. Over several weeks we worked to put together a great 2 day tour at less than 1/2 the cost of our ship tour. Anna was going to purchase tickets for several sites so we would not have to wait in line, plus get government approval for our private tour, so I send the funds by paypal . Unfortunately with the corona virus, we decided to cancel our cruise. When I told Anna she was very understanding and refunded our funds the very day we let her know we were not coming. It was a pleasure to work with her and put together a private tour. Hopefully one day we will get to go and tour with her.
I highly recommend this tour. Anna showed me many metro stations and gave me insights into the significance of them, how they are decorated and why that is significant. She also took me to a couple of places that I wouldn't have been to if I had just stayed within the standard area of where you would go as a tourist of St Petersburg. A lovely afternoon
We arrived in St Petersburg on a cruise ship and Anna arranged a great 2 day trip of the city for us. She communicated with us in advance to agree what our tour would involve and all timings, and gave us useful advice. When we arrived, she was there on time to meet us and start our tour. It was an action packed couple of days and Anna was full of information about all the places we were visiting. We were whisked to the front of the queue at each place we went to so no standing in line! And on our final day she had us back exactly when she said she would do we were back on board on plenty of time for the ship leaving. For anyone visiting St Petersburg I would recommend Anna as your guide, she was excellent!
I spent a fantastic 2 days seeing the sights of beautiful St Petersburg with Anna as my private guide. The tour was very well organised and managed to cram in all the things I wanted to do in my short time there. There was no waiting in line to get into any of the attractions as Anna had pre booked the tickets and we were able to skip the long queues. She was very accommodating to fit in all the things I wanted to see in my time in St Petersburg including transport options. Anna was always on time with meeting me in the morning and including at midnight when we did the open bridges tour. It was a very informative 2 days and there was not a question I asked she was unable to answer. Her knowledge of the city and history of Russia is second to none and extremely impressive!! Anna is an absolute professional, very friendly and easy to communicate with. It was a pleasure to explore St Petersburg with someone who is passionate about their city and I recommend her services while visiting!!
We did an nice and flexible tour, according to my wishes. Anna impressed often by the great knowledge about Details of the history and art of her City SPB - and you can easily imagine, that she loved SPB.
Anna was extremely knowledgeable and informative. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of the Metro. I couldn't have done it on my own. I would definitely recommend any tour that Anna does if this one was indicative of her ability to provide a wonderful experience.
We spent two fantastic days in St. Petersburg and had the great pleasure to have Anna as our private guide. She planned our visits to all fantastic places and arranged all tickets in advance. Somehow she always got us among the first in line. Anna has a great knowledge about history, buildings and all worth knowing about the city and the life in Russia. We can really recommend Anna if you want to explore St. Petersburg. Best regards
Anna was a fabulous guide today. I really enjoyed how well the tour was planned and having a guide who has a genuine passion for the magnificent culture of St Petersburg. She was also understanding of my interest of having some of the tour in Russian though her English is excellent. I highly recommend her!
It was our pleasure and good fortune to spend time with you in your favorite city. We enjoyed all our conversations with you: historical, architectural, cultural, political and spiritual. Every year on the feast day of Epiphany I will be thinking of you and your sacramental rite of baptism in the Neva River! In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. We were so blessed to have you to guide us in St. Petersburg! I hope you and I can keep in touch a little
Dear Anna, thank you so much for a wonderful time we have spent with you in St Petersburg... We really enjoyed, and had an excellent, joyful tours with you and so many amazing learnings you have shared with us! The whole organization, professional approach and especially positive energy during the days we spent with you were amazing!
Fantastic tour Anna, we cant wait to come again! Looks like we might be doing 2 trips to russia next year. So excited
Dear Anya, It was very pleasent to work with you for trips we recently done to Saint Petersburg. We are not getting proper response from guides for our trips but later we found you. We appreciate your work with professionality and accurate explanation of all places. I personally like to recommend you to other and for sure all future trips for our group, you are the only one we would like to walk at nevskiy. Thanks for making our trip memorable :-) Best of luck!! Regards Gorussia Holidays team
She was excellent, patient and very knowledgeable. She took us to hermitage, Peter and Paul Fortress and Peterhof. We had a great time and she even took interest in the kids and showed them things that would interest then. If I travel back to St. Petersburg I would surely get in touch with her. Her service was affordable and extremely professional. Thanks for making our vacation in St. Petersburg pleasurable.
We got to St. Petersburg for a couple of days, wanted to watch something special from russian history. Our guide Ann suggested to get to Pushkin City. It was really fun!!! We heard lots of things! Amber room is something special! Ann thanks for interesting tour.
Will surely recommend your name to my family and friends who wish to visit st Petersburg.
Thanks so much again for today. You helped make my stay here more meaningful. You are very good at what you do!