In the morning your tour takes you outside of the city to the historical town of Pushkin. The drive will take you to the Egyptian Gates, the entrance to the Tsar's Village in Pushkin. Catherine's Palace in the Tsar's Village ranks as one of the masterpieces of world art. Peter the Great presented the estate to his wife Catherine in 1710 and the architect Braunstein built a small palace here. From this time until the time of the last Russian Tsar, Pushkin was used as the summer residence of the Royal Family. In 1756, Bartelomeo Rastrelli expanded the palace in Baroque style. Its grandiose, white and gold facade stretches 978 feet. During World War II, the palace was damaged severely, but since then it has been restored and stands now in its original glory. The palace tour takes you through the series of magnificent rooms, including the famous Picture Gallery, the Great Hall and the world-famous Amber Room. The parks of the estate add to the splendor of the palace, and several of them are embellished with a number of charming pavilions. The town of Pushkin is famous not only for its remarkable palace and parks, but the man it was named after – Alexander Pushkin, the most celebrated poet in the country and a resident of this town at the beginning of the 19th century. The lyceum, where he studied, is connected to the palace by an arch. After the tour you'll continue to one of the dining venues for lunch after which, you'll drive back to the city for a tour of the Hermitage Museum, the largest art museum in Russia and the most prestigious museum in the world. The Hermitage Museum occupies the Winter Palace, the winter residence of the Russian Tsars, and four more buildings.
Note: This tour is not recommended for persons with walking or climbing difficulties. There are long walking distances through the gardens of Pushkin. Catherine's Palace is not wheelchair accessible due to the steep staircase and no elevators. There is extensive walking between different parts of the Hermitage. Expect congestion and waiting at attractions. The Russian government charges a nominal fee to use your camera and video inside various palaces and museums of St. Petersburg. Fees are payable to your guide and exact change is required.
(2 Reviews) 2
Rating Snapshot(2 reviews)
2 of 2(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
Can't say enough about how great this tour was. The architecture is amazing, there's gold leaf applied to just about anything that doesn't move and the collection of art work rivals any in the world.Our tour guide, Katrina, was an excellent historian and art expert as well as a master-mind at getting us through the maze of hallways, stairwells and crowds of visitors. The amber room alone is well worth the excursion price.
Word to the wise, given the crowds, would think twice about paying to take indoor photography (which is difficult to capture anyway) and focus on the sights and where your guide is heading.
Time was allowed for some shopping at the end of the tour with free samples of Russian vodka.
Clearing customs was a bit lengthy, but not a real problem. Hint: the Russians luv it when you say "spascibo" thank-you in Russian.
First day in St. Petersburg. This was a must see visit. So much to see and there is no way you can see all the features at the Hermitage. So much history was there but before going to the Hermitage, you have a half-day in Pushkin and again Wow what a place. Just riding around St. Petersburg on the bus was must. Getting off the ship and going through the Russian passport group was not to bad but still they were not friendly. You will go through them again coming back aboard ship too.