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Highlights of St Petersburg, Russia, in one day private tour, 5 star service

To tell the truth, it is nearly impossible to explore the city's numerous palaces, spectacular museums and amazing art galleries in one day. However, if you have only one day, use it to the fullest.

Our tours are designed to make the most out of your time in the city of St. Petersburg. If you have just one day, a good idea is to start your acquaintance with St. Petersburg with the sight-seeing tour, a comprehensive overview that gives you a good feel of the city's layout and its most significant sites. A visit to Peter and Paul Fortress will bring you back to the old days of the city. Spend the afternoon in Russia’s biggest museum – The Hermitage. If it’s Monday, the Hermitage’s day off, we suggest going to Catherine’s Palace instead.

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More information on Sightseeing

The best way to do sightseeing is by car or by bus as the city is spread out. The size of the city center protected by UNESCO where the main architectural ensembles are is 4000 hectares (For comparison, in Rome, the protected territory is 1485 hectares; Prague has 866, Paris - 365)

During the sightseeing tour you will get acquainted with the center of the city, its wide streets, spacious squares, famous bridges, majestic palaces, domed churches, grand theaters and numerous monuments.

The tour gives a comprehensive view of the historic city center and acquaints you with the city. Our tour has many photo stops:

  • The Palace Square with the Winter Palace which is home to the Hermitage Museum
  • The Square of Fine Arts with the monument to Pushkin and the Michael’s Palace which houses the Russian Museum
  • The Decembrist’s Square with the monument to the founder of the city - Peter the Great
  • The Theater Square with the number one theater - Mariinsky Theater
  • The Palace Bridge
  • The Admiralty
  • The Summer Garden which is the oldest garden in the city
  • The Palace Embankment
  • St. Isaac’s Cathedral
  • The Field of Mars
  • The Church on the Spilled Blood with its famous mosaics
  • The Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan with the miraculous Icon
  • Peter and Paul Fortress with the oldest cathedral which is the burial place of the Russian tsars.
  • St. Nicholas Cathedral which is one the most popular churches of the locals
  • Nevsky Prospect – the main avenue of the city.

More information on the Hermitage

In the afternoon visit the Hermitage museum. This is a must see site when visiting St Petersburg.

For sheer grandeur, no other museum can touch it. Wandering around the glittering, gilded, frescoed rooms of the great Winter Palace gives a stunning insight into the astonishing wealth and extravagance of the Romanovs. Some, such as the Throne Room, The Pavilion Hall and The Golden Drawing Room, are simply dazzling - with walls covered in gold leaf, floors inlaid with exotic marble or timber and ceilings corniced, coffered or vaulted and dripping with crystal chandeliers.

But these rooms are just a side show to one of the world's greatest art collections, which ranges from little-known masterpieces from antiquity, such as Scythian gold to some of the most famous works of modern art, including Picasso's great Blue Period paintings. So if you are planning a trip to St Petersburg, you need to make sure that you don't miss out on its greatest sight. The museum is housed in 5 buildings; the most famous of them is the Winter Palace where the Romanovs lived.

The museum has an outstanding collection of 19th- and early 20-century painting with Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso. There are also many great works from the Italian Renaissance, and a particularly wide and high quality collection of Dutch and Flemish paintings, most notably by Rembrandt. Just to look at the place is stunning but when you know the history of some of the art, your experience becomes way richer. The museum is huge so the best way to see it is with the guide.

The experts say that if you were to spend a minute looking at each exhibit on display in the Hermitage, you would need 5 years before you’d seen them all. That is why during our visit we show the best of the best. We call our tour of the Hermitage – a tour through time and epochs. Even if you are not an art lover you will find this place fantastic as the collections are set in spectacular buildings, four of which were built as palaces. This year the Impressionists collection will be displayed in a newly restored building of the General Staff opposite the Winter Palace.

More information on St. Isaac’s Cathedral

St Isaac's Cathedral is one of the most impressive landmarks of the Russian Imperial capital and dominating the skyline of Saint Petersburg. It is the third largest in the world. St. Isaac's was designed by a French architect Auguste Montferrand as the city's main church and the largest cathedral in Russia. The cathedral is surrounded by 100 massive red granite columns. The interior is adorned with incredibly detailed mosaics, icons, paintings, and a stunning iconostasis decorated with 8 malachite and 2 lapis lazuli columns. St. Isaac's was closed in the early 1930s and reopened as a museum. Today, church services are held here only on major church holidays.

More information on Peter and Paul Fortress

The Fortress was the first building constructed in the city. The fortress was founded on a small island in the Neva delta on May 27, 1703 and that day became the birthday of the city of St Petersburg. The Fortress houses the Cathedral of Peter and Paul where all the tsars are buried from Peter the Great to the last Tsar Nicholas II. The bell tower of the cathedral makes it the tallest building in St. Petersburg. On top of the cathedrals’ gilded spire stands a magnificent golden angel holding a cross. This weathervane is one of the most prominent symbols of St Petersburg.

More information on the Church on the Spilled Blood

The magnificent Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of St. Petersburg's most memorable landmarks. The church, built at the end of the nineteenth century, is constructed in a classical Russian style decorated with colorful domes and glazed tiles. It was built to honor Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who was assassinated at the site where the church now sits, hence the reference to "spilled blood". The church contains over 7,000 square meters of mosaics (more than any other church in the world) each representing a biblical scene. It is truly stunning to see both from the outside and inside, and it's located in the center of the city so there's basically no excuse to not fit it into whatever itinerary you have!

More information on Catherine’s Palace

30 kilometers south of St. Petersburg lies the town of Pushkin known as Tsarskoye Selo. It was the summer residence of the tsars from the beginning of the 18th century to the end of the monarchy. Catherine’s Palace is one of the best examples of Russian Baroque architecture. Sparkling above the palace at the northern end are the golden cupolas of the Palace Church.

The famous Amber Room which is considered the eighth wonder of the world plundered during the World War II, has now been restored and should not be missed. The former country residence of the Russian emperors is now the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint Petersburg.