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Need reassurance about St Petersburg


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Help!!

 

I already posted over on the princess board but I thought I would do it here since I might get more replies here. 

 

i am thinking about booking an excursion with princess cruise line in St. Petersburg. I have never booked an excursion with any cruise company before and we like to do things on our own.  But the port in St Petersburg seems quite far from what we want to see and I will be traveling with a 6 year old and I still have to worry about car seats. I guess with a ship tour, we will have a large motor coach?

 

the tour we are looking at is the hermitage museum and then 3 hours on your own in center of the city. Has anyone done this excursion? I have never been to St Petersburg before so I am looking for some insight especially with traveling with a small kid. I rather just do a visit to the hermitage museum but the hubby is keen on doing a long tour that includes being three hours on your own in st Petersburg. I guess I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with planning a day trip in St. Petersburg. And my kid is a great traveler but kids are weird and who knows if she will be having an off day.

 

so just Hermitage Museum or Hermitage Museum + 3 hours of on your own in downtown St Petersburg.???   What advice would you give me???

 

and to be honest I am finding the city of St Petersburg to be a bit daunting which is weird since I am a seasoned traveler. So any reassurance there will also be nice. Thanks! 

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We did this tour with a 3.5 year old, and you can view my signature line to see some things for children.  It's a great itinerary for a family.  My strongest recommendation for a small child if you can afford it is a private tour for just your family.  It's more expensive, but you will have complete control over the itinerary.  Because we could take breaks whenever my son needed to, we made it through two complete days of touring and saw all of the major highlights of St. Petersburg.  With a private tour, you can skip through the lesser parts of attractions (the interior rooms of Catherine's palace are not the highlights - the beginning and amber room are, and you can skip through the lesser rooms quickly if you have a small group.  You can also stop and feed your child whenever she gets whiny or hungry.  Stolle is a chain of very good sweet and savory pies, and is very quick and a great place for a break.  Please figure out exactly which timeperiods you'd like to focus on in the Hermitage, since you might not have a lot of time there.  

 

In addition to the places we visited in my review, please note that the Exploretoreum in Copenhagen has been renovated since we visited, and there's a train model place in st. Petersburg that is supposed to be very impressive, and please also note that Best Guides are highly regarded with children.  https://www.bestguides-spb.com/children-page.html

 

 

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A private tour with just your family would be your best bet if you are concerned about touring with your 6 year old.  Many companies can gear their tours to attractions that would especially interest a child. One such company that gets favorable family-friendly reviews is  Beat Guides.

 

If the cost of a private tour for just your family is outside of your budget, look to booking a group tour with a private company such as SPB Tours, Alla Tours or TJ Tours.  These group tours limit the number of participants to a maximum of 16 people.  They include a variety of attractions such as a hovercraft ride to Peterhof and a walk through the water gardens there (both things  a 6-year-old would love). 

 

The last option I would choose is a ship’s excursion because the groups are too large.  Also, a tour that includes only the Hermitage and 3 hours on your own is a waste of your time and money.  Where can you go and what can you do on your own?  The best attractions in St. Petersburg require transportation and a guide to explain what you’re seeing. 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, GradUT said:

A private tour with just your family would be your best bet if you are concerned about touring with your 6 year old.  Many companies can gear their tours to attractions that would especially interest a child. One such company that gets favorable family-friendly reviews is  Beat Guides.

 

I believe that GradUT meant Best Guides.

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7 hours ago, GradUT said:

A private tour with just your family would be your best bet if you are concerned about touring with your 6 year old.  Many companies can gear their tours to attractions that would especially interest a child. One such company that gets favorable family-friendly reviews is  Beat Guides.

 

If the cost of a private tour for just your family is outside of your budget, look to booking a group tour with a private company such as SPB Tours, Alla Tours or TJ Tours.  These group tours limit the number of participants to a maximum of 16 people.  They include a variety of attractions such as a hovercraft ride to Peterhof and a walk through the water gardens there (both things  a 6-year-old would love). 

 

The last option I would choose is a ship’s excursion because the groups are too large.  Also, a tour that includes only the Hermitage and 3 hours on your own is a waste of your time and money.  Where can you go and what can you do on your own?  The best attractions in St. Petersburg require transportation and a guide to explain what you’re seeing. 

 

 

Hello 

 

thanks for the insight. My biggest issue is private tour=smaller vehicle and then I have to worry about car seats. I have some bad experience with private car service and the car seat they bring. Princess coach will be with a motor coach.

 

i live in Europe so I imagine that we will do another Baltic cruise when my child is older so I am not worried about seeing it all. Though the palace visits seems more interesting but The tour provided by the cruise ship is 9 hour plus of tour and that is too much for anyone. 

 

Is there really nothing to see downtown?

 

 

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1 hour ago, dulcemariamar said:

Is there really nothing to see downtown?

I have not participated in any tours organized by cruise ships but I have visited St. Petersburg multiple times. I assure you that there is plenty to see in the center of the city. A Google search will give you some ideas of sights which may be of interest to you. One suggestion that I believe both you and your child would love visiting is conveniently located on Nevsky - Eliseyev Emporium (the pastries are works of art and the Art Nouveau building is amazing).

Edited by dogs4fun
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We were a group of 8 and there were 2 kids in the group. They enjoyed the hydrofoil ride to Peterhof gardens, they enjoyed the gardens and with the agency we used Anastasia Travel, yo could tailor the tours to your own liking. There are plenty of activities for kids included in the tours like Matryoshka painting, The Hermitage might be a bit boring for the 6 year old though.

Don't feel scared by St.Petersburg! It is a great city with special vibe in the air, and has a lot to offer. For the three hours you have on your own you could is either going to the Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood, the planetarium for the kid (it's the largest planetarium in the world), or visit the Railway museum....Again, for some you need to pay entrance, and you need to get transport too. If you don;t want to rush things, Nevsky Prospekt is 4.5 km long and you will easily spent 3 hours walking, exploring, eating pancakes from the Teremok found all over the city.... Have fun!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Book a private tour. It’s an amazing city , and you will gain so much insight from a private tour, and it’s easier with kids. We loved our guide so much I almost cried when we had to say goodbye. It was really unforgettable and worth the splurge

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I would take Hermitage plus 3 hr city centre. We were there last Friday and Saturday (Brilliance of the Seas) and I think the Hermitage all day would be boring for a 6 year old.

The shopping street looked good I wished we’d have done that part but we didn’t get time.

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On 5/11/2019 at 2:53 PM, dulcemariamar said:

I will be traveling with a 6 year old 

Is it possible to book a private tour? I think that your 6 year old would enjoy a visit to the Grand Maket.

 

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On 5/28/2019 at 2:00 PM, Alohaaloha said:

I would take Hermitage

 

visiting the Hermitage with young children is a real test for them. There are a lot of people in the Hermitage, endless Chinese groups, very stuffy.I do not recommend visiting the Hermitage.

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4 hours ago, Marselpo90 said:

 

visiting the Hermitage with young children is a real test for them. There are a lot of people in the Hermitage, endless Chinese groups, very stuffy.I do not recommend visiting the Hermitage.

 

I got bored in the Hermitage, and I'm 60+.  The most exciting part to me was getting yelled at by an old Russian woman because I sat down in a chair in one of the rooms.  Apparently, her only job was to sit there and yell at tourists.  I can't imagine a young child enjoying any of it.

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1 hour ago, FredZiffle said:

 

I got bored in the Hermitage, and I'm 60+.  The most exciting part to me was getting yelled at by an old Russian woman because I sat down in a chair in one of the rooms.  Apparently, her only job was to sit there and yell at tourists.  I can't imagine a young child enjoying any of it.

Haha! They are in every museum in Russia and LOVE yelling at museum goers. I remember bringing my than fiancee to Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and his utter shock at being yelled at for standing in front of one painting for too long, and that was 20 years ago! Some things dont change...

I am trying to convince DH that we really dont need to see Hermitage, but it is a no-go so far. I am hoping it will be too stuffy and crowded and we can bail out early (before DS gets extremely bored). Thankfully we are on private tour, so if we want to skip or leave early, it wouldnt be an issue.

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7 hours ago, nattie said:

Haha! They are in every museum in Russia and LOVE yelling at museum goers. I remember bringing my than fiancee to Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and his utter shock at being yelled at for standing in front of one painting for too long, and that was 20 years ago! Some things dont change...

I am trying to convince DH that we really dont need to see Hermitage, but it is a no-go so far. I am hoping it will be too stuffy and crowded and we can bail out early (before DS gets extremely bored). Thankfully we are on private tour, so if we want to skip or leave early, it wouldnt be an issue.

I feel the Hermitage is a 'must see'. For you to travel with a child, I imagine he is well-behaved or you wouldn't be doing it. I suggest you visit the Hermitage, but keep the visit fairly short. When we went on our tour (SPB Tours) we were able to skip the long line of independent visitors waiting to enter. We just had to wait a few minutes while the guide organised our tickets, then we went straight in.

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DS actually normally really likes museums, just not the art ones! That said, I remember being around his age (10) and going to Hermitage for the first time and being in absolute awe of the grandiosity of it, so hopefully he will feel that too. 

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The Hermitage is one of the greatest art museums in the world.  If you have any love of art and don't visit the Hermitage you are cheating yourself on a visit to SBP.   The Hermitage has a great website and I recommend visiting it before you go.  Pick the art or artists that you most want to see.  Then tell your tour guide in advance your selections.   Almost all of the guides from the major tourist companies (TJ, Best Guides, Alla, SPB Tours, Denru, Red October) know the Hermitage well enough to get you to your favorites.  While one could spend a month at the Hermitage, you can experience a lot of your favorite type of art in only a few hours.  On my previous tours of SPB, the Hermitage ranks among the most memorable with the Gardens at Peterof, Catherine Palace and the Church on Spilled Blood. Regardless of what else you do, these sites should not be missed!

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9 hours ago, Dukefan said:

The Hermitage is one of the greatest art museums in the world.  If you have any love of art and don't visit the Hermitage you are cheating yourself on a visit to SBP.   The Hermitage has a great website and I recommend visiting it before you go.  Pick the art or artists that you most want to see.  Then tell your tour guide in advance your selections.   Almost all of the guides from the major tourist companies (TJ, Best Guides, Alla, SPB Tours, Denru, Red October) know the Hermitage well enough to get you to your favorites.  While one could spend a month at the Hermitage, you can experience a lot of your favorite type of art in only a few hours.  On my previous tours of SPB, the Hermitage ranks among the most memorable with the Gardens at Peterof, Catherine Palace and the Church on Spilled Blood. Regardless of what else you do, these sites should not be missed!

👍 I agree with these comments.

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