Looking for Tour Guide in St.Petersburg. Please help!

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#1
20 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
My friends did a three-day tour of St.Petersburg with a guide called Elena Goumenaya and were absolutely thrilled with the tours. It’s been six years since they took the tour but they still keep talking about it and refer to Elena as the best tour guide they’ve ever had.
How can I find her?
Will appreciate any advice.
#2
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,420 Posts
Joined May 2000
Unless you can find her with a simple internet search, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are many licensed guides in St Petersburg and nearly all work for one (or more) of the licensed tour companies. If your friends remember which tour company they used, you could simply e-mail that company and ask if she is still one of their guides. Otherwise, you might want to try sending e-mails to several of the larger more popular local tour companies (i.e. Alla, TJ, SPB, etc) and make an inquiry if she works for any of those companies. They may or may not respond...but you have nothing to lose.

Keep in mind that you must work with a licensed tour company in order to be included in their Group Visa. You just cannot walk off the ship and meet a private guide...unless they are licensed by the Russian government and have the ability to cover you under a Group Visa (the tour companies e-mail you the Visa documents...after you book). Otherwise you would need to obtain personal Visas which is somewhat difficult and quite expensive.

Hank
#3
Greece
4 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Hope you will find her. Perhaps the last name is written somewhat inaccurately. Our friends gave us a card of their guide in St. Petersburg - Elena Semenova ( [email protected]). They admired her! You can ask may be she knows your Elena. I think guides in St. Petersburg can know each other.
#4
20 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Thank you for your advice, Hank.
I did do an internet search but no luck…
My friends used Best Tours, but I haven’t been able to find them either.
It does look like looking for a needle in a haystack.(
#5
Virginia
1,213 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by Lovetotrrravel
Thank you for your advice, Hank.
I did do an internet search but no luck…
My friends used Best Tours, but I haven’t been able to find them either.
It does look like looking for a needle in a haystack.(
Perhaps your friends used "Best Guides" not Best Tours. Used Best Guides last year and they were great . Here's a link to their website: http://www.bestguides-spb.com/

<<<Karen>>>
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#6
North Carolina
126 Posts
Joined Feb 2014
Do check with Best Guides.
We had a fabulous tour of the Hermitage Museum with their guide Elena. She was outstanding.
The company does live up to their name.
#7
New Cumberland,PA, USA
26,420 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by DennStann
Do check with Best Guides.
We had a fabulous tour of the Hermitage Museum with their guide Elena. She was outstanding.
The company does live up to their name.
Maybe its a coincidence, but our guide (last August) with TJ tours was also named Elena....and she was a terrific guide. We know that many of the licensed guides work for multiple tour companies....so who knows...maybe it was the same person.

Hank
#8
20 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Thank you, Hank, wing, GKKAPP and DennStann.

I presume Elena should be a common Russian name.
I agree that writing foreign names is intricate, and will start with contacting Best Guides.
#9
2,174 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by Lovetotrrravel
Thank you, Hank, wing, GKKAPP and DennStann.

I presume Elena should be a common Russian name.
I agree that writing foreign names is intricate, and will start with contacting Best Guides.
Yes, Elena is a common Russian name. Alla Tours also has a wonderful guide named Elena.
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#10
Franklin, MA USA
6,786 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Maybe Russian spelling will help you.
By what you provided it should be

Елена Гуменая
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#11
Williamsburg VA
1,780 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
We went with Alla Tours.....had an excellent time. Since we were docked overnight, we arranged with Alla to go to an evening brew pub. She arranged for us to meet up with a nice collage student and we ended up taking a car slightly out of the main town to a wonderful outdoor brew pub...actually it was German and we had great food, conversation and music. So Alla did good by us. The collage student was just as thrilled to meet us as we were to converse with him.
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#12
Buffalo, USA
240 Posts
Joined Apr 2014
I’d start with checking with Best Guides.
We took a tour operated by Best Guides two years ago. It couldn’t have been better.
Our guide spoke perfect English and her knowledge of St Petersburg was bottomless! She engaged everyone in conversations, and adults and youngsters were thrilled to do things she suggested.
I highly recommend Best Guides and I will use them again when I return to Russia.
#14
Europe
57 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Elena Gumennaya (Елена Гуменная) is really an outstanding guide. It's not surprising your friends liked her so much and were so thrilled with the tours. I'm sure you will enjoy her tours as well. As most of St. Petersburg guides, she is a freelancer and could work for any company but she mostly works for Best Guides.

The easiest way to get in touch with her is through Tripadvisor. She is a very active member of St. Petersburg Forum and you will easily find her.
#15
California
524 Posts
Joined Oct 2013
I have quite similar difficulties: we had a tour with the Best Guides company in 2014 and our guide was amazing! The thing is that I cannot remember her surname, I only know that her name was Svetlana and that she provided us fantastic children-friendly tour. I suppose that there could be other guides with the same name, so how can we find the right Svetlana? I've tried to find her on TripAdvisor and on company website but without knowing her surname it appeared to be confusing. Any suggestions please...