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St Petersburg tours and excursions

St Petersburg tours

River tours

Many operators run boat tours along the river and canals of St Petersburg, visiting famous sights like the Church on Spilled Blood, but most are in Russian. The best English-language operator is Anglotourismo, which runs several tours daily (May to September) from its jetty on naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki. Other boat tours leave from the Griboedova canal, the Moyka River, the Fontanka River and the channel that runs around Zayachy island.

Tel: +7 921 989 4722.

Walking tours

From April to September, Anglotourismo offers free, daily English-language walking tours of the city, leaving from Diner (27 naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki) at 1030. However, you can see most of the famous sites by strolling along the 5km (3 miles) of Nevsky prospekt, from the Admiralty to Anichkov Bridge, and making small detours along the way.

Tel: +7 921 989 4722.

St Petersburg excursions

Kirovsky Islands

Located north of St Petersburg's city centre, the Kirovsky Islands (Kamenny, Yelagin and Krestovsky) are popular outdoor escapes for city dwellers. Many wealthy St Petersburg residents have fabulous homes here, but ordinary folk come to picnic in the parks, walk along the leafy avenues and boat on the lakes. It's particularly popular during the White Nights of midsummer. Kamenny is across the bridge from the Chyornaya Rechka metro, while Krestovsky and Yelagin are accessible from Krestovsky Ostrov station.

Petergof (Peterhof)

Situated 32km (20 miles) west of St Petersburg, the Grand Palace of Peterhof was constructed by Peter the Great and extensively remodelled by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. This stunning Versailles-style palace is one of the grandest relics from the time of the Tsars and a splendid example of the Russian baroque style. Other palaces are dotted around the 600-hectare (1500-acre) estate, including Monplaisir, Peter's original seaside residence at Peterhof. Trains go from Baltisky vokzal to Novy Peterodvets, from where buses 350, 351, 352, 353, 354 and 356 go to the palace. Closed Mondays.

Tel: +7 812 450 5652.
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Featured Hotels


Soul Kitchen Hostel

Budget hotels are thin on the ground in St Petersburg, but Soul Kitchen impressively fills the gap with boutique rooms, comfy dorms and communal areas you'll actually want to spend time in. The impressive list of perks includes free Wi-Fi, free phone calls and a shared kitchen. It also has a lovely canal-side location, a block from St Isaac's Cathedral.

Hotel Dostoevsky

This tidy, contemporary hotel has a great location, across from the Cathedral of Our Lady of Vladimir, in the bustling Vladimirskaya district.. The hotel offers in-room internet access, cable television, IDD phones, a fitness centre, plus the three must-haves for any Russian hotel – a restaurant, bar and sauna.

Pushka Inn

Set in a stately 18th-century mansion overlooking the Moyka River, the Pushka offers tastefully decorated rooms at a reasonable price. A boutique atmosphere pervades, and rooms have wooden floors and fabrics and furnishings in subtle colours. Wi-Fi access is complementary and, unusually, a buffet breakfast is included in the room rates.

Corinthia Hotel St Petersburg

With an enviable location on Nevsky prospekt, the Corinthia offers sleek modernity in place of the usual historical flourishes. The hotel features a grand 19th-century frontage, but inside everything is stylish and contemporary, with designer furniture, LCD TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi. There’s even a Russian restaurant, a Viennese café and two bars.

Kempinski Hotel Moika 22

It would be hard to find grander facilities than at the Kempinski Hotel Moika 22. Minutes from the Hermitage, it combines 21st-century facilities with touches of imperial grandeur. Rooms have high-speed Wi-Fi, 24-hour room service, and goose-down pillows and duvets. The hotel also boasts two restaurants, a bar and lounge, an English-style tearoom and a famously well-stocked wine cellar.

Matisov Domik

This small and peaceful hotel is set in a quiet residential neighbourhood, 10 minutes from the Mariinsky Theatre. The hotel runs regular shuttle services to Nevsky prospekt and the 46 rooms range from modestly sized singles to family sized studios, suites, and apartments. A breakfast buffet is included in the price.