Trip to St. Petersburg

Hermitage museum and golden cathedrals, famous Neva river and the deepest metro under it – all this in the city of 5 million inhabitants, just 390 km from here. Let’s cross the border together for this 4-day trip to the biggest country in the world – Russia.

Check if your passport is with you, if it is valid and we will help you trough the visa application process!

Dates for Spring 2018 trips to St. Petersburg are:

St. Petersburg #1
05.04 - 08.04
Thursday to Sunday
St. Petersburg #2
12.04 - 15.04
Thursday to Sunday
St. Petersburg #3
19.04 - 22.04
Thursday to Sunday

All trips depart  at 7.30am and arrive back at  around 11pm

We would also like to add…

The trips are open to everybody, so bring your friends and family with you! Places for the trips are limited.
Prices will be announced soon.
Get your ESN card for discount.

Day 1
We meet early in the morning in Tallinn city center to start our journey towards St.Petersburg. In some hours we arrive to Narva (the most eastern city in Estonia) where you will get your first experience with Russian border control. It is also time to start to learn new alphabet to understand later how to find for example restaurant (ресторан) or shop (магазин).
We enjoy local traffic and long streets until the hotel. After check-in we eat traditional Russian food – dumplings for dinner and some local dessert. In the evening you have free time to discover the city or to enjoy your time in the hotel.

Day 2
Our second day is called an active culture day with our amazing local guide. During the guided bus tour, we will discover the best and must-see sight-seeing places. We will visit Kazan Cathedral, Peter and Paul’s fortress, Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Isaac Cathedral and you will have a moment to look and buy some souvenirs in a very special shop. We have free time in the evening to discover St. Petersburg by night. Our local guide and your group leader will advise you for restaurants and other places to go. We’ll organize bus transfer back to the hotel in the evening.

Day 3
On Saturday morning, we get headset device for the day to hear all the interesting stories our guide shares and we start the day underground with a guided tour in the beautiful St. Petersburg metro where each station is a piece of art. And who are interested, can take part of an interesting and special Yusupov Palace visit with a guided tour (extra price 15€, will be collected during the trip). After lunch, we go to visit one of the biggest museums in the world: Hermitage where our guide knows exactly, where to bring us and what to tell about the world-famous paintings and sculptures. We enjoy our last free evening in the city to discover more places on our own.

Day 4
This is our last day of travel. We check out from our hotel after breakfast and we start to drive out of St. Petersburg. By this time, you know a lot more about St. Petersburg and the traffic conditions. On the way, we will make a group picture at Lenin statue and we head towards Catherine’s Palace where we can have a walk in the nice park. Those who are interested, can have an individual visit also in the palace (for extra price) where the Eight Wonder of the World – the famous amber room is. Then we start our journey back to Tallinn and after crossing the border we should arrive back home at around 11pm.

The above programme may slightly change according to traffic, queues at the border, weather conditions or other reasons.

 

Included in the price

  • Bus transportation from and to Tallinn city center
  • Accommodation 3 nights in a city center hotel
  • 3 breakfasts at the hotel
  • Dinner at the hotel on the first day
  • Pies and tea on the first day for lunch
  • Homemade chocolate muffins on departure day
  • Local professional guide
  • City tour by bus (main Cathedrals and sights)
  • Entrance + guided visit to Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood
  • Entrance + guided visit to St. Isaac Cathedral
  • Entrance + guided metro tour
  • Entrance + guided visit to Hermitage museum
  • Catherine’s palace park visit
  • Individual radio guide for museum visits
  • Help from Mareti group leader at all times (of course)

Not included in the price

  • Visit of Yusupov palace (15€)
  • lunches and 2 dinners
  • Visa and obligatory travel insurance

Passport and visa

To travel to Russia, your passport must be valid 6 months after the end of your selected trip. Please make sure about this before. For example, if you plan to travel to Russia from 05 – 08 April 2018, then your passport must be valid at least until 09 October 2018.

To go to Russia by bus you will also need a visa. This is obligatory and is issued by the Russian embassy.

If you already have a valid Russian visa in your passport – this is super, and you do not need to do a new one.

In case you do not have a Russian visa, then we are happy to help you to get one! Our group leaders will need it too and will go through the same process.

To do a visa in Estonia, we cooperate with SVTours company.  Their office is located in Narva mnt. 7 – II staircase, II floor. Check the photo of the location here. They work from Mon – Fri from 09am – 06pm.

They know about our trips to St. Petersburg, they speak English and they are happy to help you with the visa application process. You are free to choose any other visa company as well.

To apply a visa, you need:
– your passport (as visa paper is glued on one of the pages. Plastic identity card does not work for it)
– your profile photo 3,5cm x 4,5cm (you can take a photo also in some photo shop like Fotoluks or PhotoPoint – located in all shopping centers)
– filled and signed application form (if you cannot print it, you can fill it in also in SVTours office). You can download it here already: Russian visa application
– cost of the visa is 61 euros (to be paid directly to SVTours)*
– health insurance to travel to Russia (SVTours can advise you which is the best option for you or if you perhaps have some health insurance from home, they can see if it is enough for going to Rusia). It is usually around 2€.
– time, as your passport will be taken to Russian embassy who processes all the passports and issues visas. It takes them 10 working days + additional day to bring the passport to the embassy and back. So your passport will be in the embassy for around three weeks. Please plan well your other trips during this time.

*Citizens of certain countries do not need a visa to travel to Russia. For some countries, the visa is more expensive. You can always ask from SVTours, if you are not sure about your country terms.

Deadlines to apply for visa and to bring your documents  to SVTours are:

  • St.Petersburg trip #1: 14 March 2018
  • St.Petersburg trip #2: 21 March 2018
  • St.Petersburg trip #3: 28 March 2018

Do not hesitate to ask help and join the trip! The trip is really worth it and later you will have also a nice souvenir in your passport and your head 🙂

Travel insurance

A travel insurance is obligatory to go to Russia.
You can apply for your travel insurance together with your visa, that is the easiest..
If you already have one, make sure it covers Russia as well (usually travel insurances are for a certain geographic area). You can ask GoTravel if you have doubts.
The European Health Insurance Card you may possess does not work in Russia! Moreover, it is NOT a travel insurance.

Border crossing

This is probably the first time you are going to Russia and the first experience with this country will be crossing the border between. The procedures at the border can take time (few hours), so please be patient. It will be the same when coming back.

Safety

Make a copy of your passport identity page before the trip and keep it with you. Keep your wallet safe and do not take too valuable things or too much money (cash) with you. Respect the rules at all times, also when we go to visit museums and palaces.

Prices

When you buy your souvenirs at the market or from street sellers, ask for a discount and bargain. Do not pay the first price given to you.

Cancelling policy

We need 40 people to make this trip happen.

After you pay for the trip you give us a clear signal that you are interested in this trip and we take care that you have a place and that you are part of the trip. We book the bus, accommodation, food, programme…
It means that:

  • 3 weeks (21 days) before the trip, there is no refund of what you have paid for the trip
  • 21 to 30 days before the trip you can get refund 50% of what you have paid for the trip
  • more than 30 days before the trip we can refund you 75% of what you have paid for the trip

In all cases, we cannot refund what you have paid to third parties (such as for the visa).

Being late or missing the trip

If you are late for the trip or sleep too long in the morning and miss the daily activities, there is no refund. Who is late, misses the programme.

Important things to bring

Please bring with you your ISIC card (if you have). Mainly this kind of student card works in Russia. Bring also your ESNcard (if you have one, sometimes it works).

St. Petersburg’s metro

The underground railway system in St. Petersburg has been open since 1955. The system exhibits many typical Soviet designs and features exquisite decorations and artwork making it one of the most attractive and elegant metros in the world. Due to the city’s unique geology, the St. Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest subway systems in the world and the deepest by the average depth of all the stations. The system’s deepest station, Admiralteyskaya, is 105 metres below ground. More information here.

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood

It is a traditional Russian Orthodox Church, one of the main sights in St. Petersburg. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics – over 7500 square meters according to its restorers –, more than any other church in the world. More information here.

Kazan Cathedral

Next to Nevsky prospect we visit Kazan Cathedral which is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia. It was a holy icon of the highest stature within the Russian Orthodox Church, representing the Virgin Mary as the protector and patroness of the city of Kazan. Copies of the image are also venerated in the Catholic Church. More information here.

Peter and Paul Fortress

It is the original citadel of St. Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703. The fortress contains several notable buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral that is the burial place of all Russian tsars from Peter I to Alexander III, with the exception of Peter II. More information here.

Hermitage museum

We have an interesting guided tour through the world famous Hermitage museum. The buildings are former homes of tsars and the collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture and it is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world. More information here.

The Yusupov Palace

The story of Rasputin’s murder unfolds here, on a quiet stretch of the Moika River stands a long yellow building, which was once the residence of the wealthy and respected Yusupov family and which saw one of the most dramatic episodes in Russia’s history – the murder of Grigory Rasputin. In 1916 a group of the city’s noble elite, including one of the Grand Dukes and led by the prominent anglophile Prince Felix Yusupov, conspired to kill the one man who they felt threatened the stability of an already war-torn Russian Empire. Grigory Rasputin, a peasant and self-proclaimed holy man, had gradually won favor with the Tsar’s family through his alleged supernatural powers. More information here.

Neva River

Since the foundation of the city, the Neva was intended to be the “main street of the city”. Throughout most of the 18th century there were no bridges across the river and people were ferried from one bank to the other, just the way Peter the Great intended when he founded his “Venice of the North”. The Neva River is a wonderful accompaniment to the architectural splendor of the Winter Palace and Hermitage, the Admiralty, the Peter and Paul fortress, the Summer Gardens and the major landmarks that stand on its banks. The Neva River is an essential part of St. Petersburg’s charm. Very few things can be more romantic than strolling along the Neva’s granite-clad embankments and admiring the city’s open bridges, the marvelous architecture and the large ships as they pass by. More information here and here.

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor in Saint Petersburg, is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city. It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint. The cathedral took 40 years to construct, under Montferrand’s direction, from 1818 to 1858. Under the Soviet government, the building was stripped of religious trappings. In 1931, it was turned into the Anti-religious Museum. The cathedral’s main dome rises 101.5 metres and is plated with pure gold. During World War II, the dome was painted over in gray to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft. More information here.

Catherine's Palace

The Catherine Palace is a Rococo palace located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 25 km south of St. Petersburg, Russia. It was the summer residence of the Russian tsars. The construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756 the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress.
More than 100 kilograms of gold were used to gild the sophisticated stucco façade and numerous statues erected on the roof. It was even rumoured that the palace’s roof was constructed entirely of gold. In front of the palace a great formal garden was laid out.
One of the higlights of the palace is the Amber Room, a world famous chamber decorated in amber panels backed with gold leafs and mirrors. Originally constructed in the 18th century in Prussia, the Amber Room disappeared during World War II and was recreated in 2003. Before the room was lost, it was considered an “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It covered more than 55 square metres and contained over 6 tonnes of amber.The Amber Room was looted during World War II by Army Group North of Nazi Germany and brought to Königsberg for reconstruction and display. Knowledge of its current whereabouts remains a mystery.

Tsarskoye Selo

Tsarskoye Selo, “Tsar’s Village” was the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility, located 24 kilometers south from the center of Saint Petersburg. It is now part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments. During the Soviet times it was known as Detskoye Selo.
In 1708, Peter the Great gave the estate to his wife, the future Empress Catherine I, as a present. It was Catherine I who started to develop the place as a royal country residence.By the end of the 18th century, Tsarskoye Selo became a popular place of summer residence among the nobility.
On September 17, 1941, the Germans occupied the town of Pushkin, destroying and plundering many historical monuments, buildings and other cultural artifacts, including the famous Amber Room. The Red Army liberated the town on January 24, 1944. After the war, reconstruction began on Tsarskoye Selo; many rooms in the Catherine Palace have been restored. More information here.

Spring 2017

“St.Petersburg is awesome! Trust me, it’s not a joke! The group atmosphere was amazing and thank you for the chocolate muffins!”

“We visited a lot of things in short time. It was really interesting to have a good local guide who provided us so much information about the city and the country.”

“The trip was awesome! Thank for it! I really liked everything! Thank you so much!!!”

“I came alone to this trip and still it was amazing! Don’t be afraid if you don’t have a friend coming with you :)”

“It has been really amazing and fun trip. The schedule of activities is very complete. And our ESN group leaders were cool! Thank for all the support!”

Autumn 2016

“I strongly recommend it”

“It’s totally worth it!”

“Really good first experience in Russia!”

“All in all was really cool!”

“I liked the city itself and I think I fell in love with it”

“Great guides and thanks to them whole city is interesting”

Spring 2016

“Amazing city! Thank you very much. Dankeschön!”

“Amazing experience – best trip ever! The best way get to know this amazing city and culture :)”

“Wonderful city, so many things to do. No time to be bored. Russian people are nicer than what I expected 🙂 Very good local guide.”

“You are in another world here!”

“St. Petersburg should be visited. Do it with ESN Tallinn.”

“It is a brilliant experience.”

Autumn 2015

“Great experience! Well worth the money and time. St. Petersburg is amazing and interesting city to visit.”

“Thanks for such a great organization and a funny time. I think it would not be possible to do it better. Thank you!!!”

“It was a great experience!”

“Russia, St. Petersburg is a wonderful trip and it becomes more wonderful with very impressive group leaders from ESN Tallinn!”

“Visit Russia! It’s an amazing country and people there are really nice.”