Palace Square
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Palace Square History & Heritage

St. Petersburg: Skip-the-Line Hermitage Tour

1. St. Petersburg: Skip-the-Line Hermitage Tour

The State Hermitage Museum ranks with the Louvre, Prado, and Metropolitan Museum of Art as one of the world's most important and richest art galleries. Explore the museum and learn more about its founding and collections during a 3-hour guided tour in St. Petersburg. Starting with 225 paintings purchased in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the museum collection now comprises more than 3 million objects and works of art. Raphael and Leonardo's "Madonna", Titian's "St. Sebastian", and Rembrandt's "Return of the Prodigal Son", as well as "The Golden Peacock" by James Cox and "Crouching Boy" by Michelangelo are just a few of the superb works of Western European art in the Hermitage. Treasures and artifacts from almost every culture known to man are housed in the museum, including the unique collection of Greek jewelry from the Black Sea region, Scythian gold, ancient Egyptian sculptures, Iranian silverware, Chinese manuscripts, Russian icons and Byzantine applied art. You can visit the Treasury of the Hermitage as a special add-on tour. Please note that the Treasury tour is by request and subject to the confirmation by the museum. After you have been given a comprehensive overview by your guide, you will be able to remain in the Hermitage, admiring the vast array of art, for the remainder of the day. The other popular add-on to the highlights tour is a tour of the Impressionists' collection located in the General Staff Building.

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St. Petersburg 3-Hour Private Hermitage Museum Tour

2. St. Petersburg 3-Hour Private Hermitage Museum Tour

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg ranks among the most famous museums in the world. The whole complex of Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage, and the Hermitage Theatre is known as the State Hermitage. Tour this magnificent and lavish setting with a private, 3-hour tour. With your guide, enjoy skip-the-line access to the museum. Then walk through the halls, which include more than 3 million exhibits representing Antiquity, Western Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and many more epochs, countries, and regions. Find out about its beginnings, back in 1764, when Catherine the Great purchased a big collection of Western European paintings.  Learn about the development of art and material culture in the West and the East from prehistoric times to the present day. There are remarkable collections of paintings, prints and sculptures, as well as tapestries, carpets, ornaments, archaeological finds, furniture and unique articles of jewelry. If there is any one area that interests you the most, simply ask your guide and the tour will be customized to include it. If you are a true art enthusiast, book the special tour option which includes a visit to the restored halls of the General Staff Building located in front of the Hermitage. It holds many famous masterpieces of Western European art, 19th century paintings, impressionist and postmodernist art works.

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Saint Petersburg: Top 30 City Highlights Walking Tour

3. Saint Petersburg: Top 30 City Highlights Walking Tour

Discover Saint Petersburg like a true local with an informative walk. Uncover the stories of the city’s past and present as you follow your guide through the historical center. Meet your guide right next to Palace Square. Learn about the main residence of the tsars of the Russian Empire and the famous State Hermitage Museum from your guide. Admire the panorama of the magnificent River Neva. Find out the main waterway of the city, its bridges and learn of the catastrophic floods the river caused the city. See the birthplace of Saint-Petersburg, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the former city port on the Spit of Basil Island. Stop in front of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood and hear about the assassination of the Tsar Alexander II. Then, continue walking along the paths of the Mikhailovsky Garden, the Fontanka River Embankment and the main street of the city, the Nevsky Prospekt. List of highlights:1. Winter Palace (Hermitage), Palace Square, General Staff Building2. Sculpture of Atlantis 3. Neva River4. Peter and Paul Fortress5. St Basil’s Island6. Capella Building7.  Stroganov Palace 8. Nevsky Prospekt9. Kazan Cathedral10. Singer House11. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood 12. State Russian Museum13. Michael’s Castle14. Summer Garden15. Sheremetev Palace 16. Faberge Museum17. Anichkov Bridge18. Anichkov Palace19. Eliseev Merchants’ Shop20. Alexandrinsky Theatre21. Gostiny Dvor22. Churches of Nevsky Prospekt23. Passage24. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral25. Grand Hotel Europe26. Admiralty Building27. Swedish Church28. Literary Cafe29. Cabinet of Curiosities30. Palace Bridge

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Full Day City Tour of St. Petersburg

4. Full Day City Tour of St. Petersburg

Not very numerous urban areas on the planet can compete with various authentic spots and historical places of the previous Russian capital. From the earliest starting point of the tour you begin feeling overpowered with the loftiness, taste and mystery of this brilliant city which is loaded with awesome history facts! The tour begins with a meet and welcome procedure with your guide in your hotel lobby. The tour will be constructed relying upon your lodging area. A private guide lead you through the city on foot, or travel with you by private car (depending on option selected). Enjoy a 1 hour sightseeing tour with several stops for to take photos. You then visit the Fortress of Saints Peter and Paul. This is the first building of the remarkable St. Petersburg and there are tombs of the Romanov dynasty in the Cathedral. Afterwards, continue the city visit with a few photo stops on Mars Fields, close to Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Neva embankment.   After, you can enjoy a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral. The fourth tallest dome building on the planet, and in the past the main Russian Orthodox church of the nation. A lunch break follows afterwards (not included). You then enjoy a tour through the Hermitage Museum. Third of the world's biggest exhibition halls are famous for it's wide gathering of works of art from various periods and well known because of acclaimed fine arts.

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St Petersburg: From the Russian Revolution to Putin Tour

5. St Petersburg: From the Russian Revolution to Putin Tour

After pickup from your hotel or cruise ship by your private guide, learn the story of the October Revolution. Find out why Tsar Nicholas II renounced his throne and see the Winter Palace that was occupied by the Bolsheviks in 1917. Continue on to the cruiser Aurora and discover how the ship became fundamental to the success of the Revolution. Then, proceed to the Museum of Russian Political History in the former headquarters of Vladimir Lenin and his comrades. Visit his former office and see the famous balcony from which numerous history-changing speeches were made. Learn from your guide the foundations of the Soviet State while exploring the Museum. You will hear Stalin's voice in an old phone, handle rifles from World War II, and go inside a typical Soviet style apartment from the 1960's with fully reconstructed interiors. Finally, understand the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union as well as the contemporary history of the Russian Federation. Your guide will answer any of your questions and after the tour you will have a much better understanding of the origins of the Russian Revolution, the foundations of the USSR, and how Russia's turbulent history influences its present.

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St. Petersburg Visa-Free 2-Day Shore Excursion

6. St. Petersburg Visa-Free 2-Day Shore Excursion

This 2-day shore excursion takes you on a discovery of St. Petersburg and the important places in the surrounding area. On your first day of the tour you will explore the famous sights in the city of St. Petersburg and enjoy a guided tour of the State Hermitage Museum. On the second day you visit the Palace of Catherine the Great in the town of Pushkin before exploring the magnificent Peterhof Palace. Day 1: St. Petersburg The Grand City Tour on your first day offers you the opportunity to see as much as possible of the city with a knowledgeable and experienced guide from the comfort of a car or a minivan. You will take a complete tour of St. Petersburg's most famous sites including the neo-classical splendor of Saint Isaac's Cathedral, the Palace Square, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the gorgeous Church on the Spilled Blood – the second largest mosaic museum in the world. Enjoy lunch at one of the respected restaurants in the city before taking a 2-hour guided excursion to the State Hermitage Museum in the afternoon – the largest museum of Russia and one of the richest museums of the world. Day 2: Pushkin and Peterhof Unlock the secrets of the Amber Room during a tour to the magnificent Baroque-style Palace of Catherine the Great in the town of Pushkin. Here you can also explore the park surrounding the palace – a wonderful work of Russian gardening from the 18th and 19th centuries. Enjoy lunch in a restaurant close to the palace before visiting the Peterhof Palace in the afternoon. Located on the sea shore, Peterhof is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in the world and is St. Petersburg’s most famous and spectacular imperial estate. Explore the Great Palace, filled with fascinating and elaborate interiors, as well as the surrounding park adorned with fountains, statues, and pavilions.

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St. Petersburg: 3-Hour Hermitage Skip-the-Line Private Tour

7. St. Petersburg: 3-Hour Hermitage Skip-the-Line Private Tour

Discover the collections of the world's second-largest museum, the Hermitage, as well as the Winter Palace with an expert guide who will easily navigate you around the iconic collections and masterpieces so that you will not feel overwhelmed by the enormousness. Meet your guide and enter the Hermitage through a separate entrance with skip-the-line entry and begin your 3-hour guided tour of the complex. With the help of your knowledgeable guide, you can be sure you won't miss any of the highlights. Visit the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, and New Hermitage buildings and learn from your expert guide about the collections housed here.

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Hermitage: Impressionist and Golden Peacock Evening Tour

8. Hermitage: Impressionist and Golden Peacock Evening Tour

Never has the Hermitage been so mysterious and so attractive! Venture an evening tour to one of the world-famous museums – the Hermitage including the General Staff Building. This tour is focused on a deeper look at art and includes the history of paintings through Renaissance and Ancient art. It also gives a good perspective on Modern European art with Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso with large halls packed with their masterpieces. There are an extensive exhibitions of Art Nouveau, Impressionists, and a unique Faberge Exhibition. Learn more and enjoy yourself with fewer people as it is a small tour. You will have plenty of time to walk through the corridors and effortlessly enjoy paintings and sculptures.  Book a tour for Wednesdays, to see the Golden Peacock chiming in the Winter Palace. This is a truly exciting experience! Hermitage: Art After Dark Tour is focused more on art details, hidden from the spotlight. Professional guides will give you a good perspective on art and the imperial residence history.

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Saint Petersburg: Private Half-Day Tour with Faberge Museum

9. Saint Petersburg: Private Half-Day Tour with Faberge Museum

Your guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will head toward the Nevsky prospect, the main artery of Saint-Petersburg. While admiring the beauty of the Nevsky Prospect and the hundreds of canals and streets coming off it, your guide will provide you a brief history of the founding of the city and how it became the capital of the Russian Empire. After you reach the famous Hermitage Museum on the Palace Square and admire the architectural wonders of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, head down the Palace Embankment toward the statue of the Bronze Horseman (Peter the Great) on the Thunder Stone. From here, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful view seeing Vasilyevsky Island and The Menshikov Palace on the other side of Neva River. From the monument, your guide will take you to the Kazan Cathedral, which was modeled on the building of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Continue down Griboyedov Embankment past the Singer House (also known as the House of Books) toward another famous Church, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, a truly unforgettable sanctuary that reminds many of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. After visiting the cathedral step into Mikhailovsky Sad (Michaels Garden) – one of the most beautiful parks of Imperial Russia.  The fresh air, trees, a pond with a bridge and the two styles of park landscape (French and English) will give you a break from St. Petersburg’s architecture. As you pass through the park you will head toward another memorable destination – Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole). The park is named after the Roman god of War – Mars.  The park was established almost simultaneously with the founding of St. Petersburg. The park currently serves both as a memorial and as a reminder of the victories of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. “The Field of Mars” was the first park to ignite the “Eternal Flame” which became the symbol of commemoration of the soldiers that died during World War II. After a stroll through these two parks, head to the famous Faberge Museum. The museum has a collection of over 4,000 works of decorative and fine arts, including paintings, porcelain, and bronze. The highlight of the museum's collection is the group of nine Imperial Easter eggs created by Fabergé for the last two Zar’s of Russia. Your guide will show the most notable pieces of this remarkable collection. The Blue Room of the museum will take your breath away.

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St. Petersburg: 2-Day Visa-Free Group Shore Tour

10. St. Petersburg: 2-Day Visa-Free Group Shore Tour

Spend 2 days exploring beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. Cruise and ferry passengers can easily participate in this tour, all arrangements will be made for them by the tour operator and no visa is required. Enjoy visits to major monuments and sites, including the Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the Cathedral of Our Savior of Spilled Blood. Tour Russia's cultural capital to see famous artworks and revel in the opulence of St. Petersburg's imperial heritage. This 2-day tour includes a half-day visit to Peterhof, where you'll enjoy tours of the Fountain Park, the Catherine Palace, and Amber Room, before roaming the famous gardens. The 2nd day of the tour includes visits to fortresses and palaces as well as a guided tour of the infamous Hermitage Museum. Lunch is provided on both days, as well as comfortable, air-conditioned transportation to and from the port. Day 1: • 8:00 AM-8:30 AM Disembark the ship. After having passed the passport control, you will be met by your local English-speaking guide and the company representative in the arrival area of the port. (If your ship arrives to Saint Petersburg at 8:00 AM, disembarkation starts at 9:00 AM-9:30 AM). • 8:30 AM-10:00 AM City highlights tour (part 1) including photo stops at Spit of St. Basil Island and Peter and Paul Fortress • 10:00 AM-10:30 AM Transfer to Peterhoff Fountain Park by hydrofoil • 10:30 AM-12:00 PM Tour of Peterhoff Lower Gardens • 12:30 PM-1:30 PM Lunch • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM Tour of Catherine Palace including Amber Room and gardens • 3:30 PM-4:45 PM Transfer to Saint Petersburg. Visit to a metro station on the way back to the city • 4:45 PM-6:00 PM City highlights tour (part 2) including the Cathedral of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood  • 6:30 PM Return to the ship Day 2: • 9:30 AM Meet your guide at the arrival area of the port • 10:00 AM-12:00 PM Hermitage Museum  • 12:30 PM-1:30 PM Lunch • 2:00 PM-3:30 PM Faberge Museum Tour • 3:45 PM-4:30 PM St. Isaac's Cathedral Tour • 5:00 PM Return to the ship

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What people are saying about Palace Square

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,863 reviews

The tour was simply marvelous! It was as interesting and educational as it was enjoyable. Our guide, Elena, is absolutely first-rate. As part of an extended walking tour (including a highly interesting visit of the Museum of Political History, she told us an enormous wealth of facts and details about Russian history from the revolution to Putin's Russia today. Coincidentally, Putin even came to town that day. While giving us the big picture, Elena also drew our attention to seemingly small details (which we would have all overlooked if we had taken the walk by ourselves). We are coming back and thank you very much again for an unforgettable day!

Lida was our tour guide and she was AWESOME! She speaks good english and keeps u engaged for 3 hours. She is from St.Petersburg and is very knowledgeable about the city. She has answers to all your questions. Booking was simple on GYG and communication was good prior to the meeting time via whatsapp. I highly recommend this tour.

Touring the Hermitage with Tim was an amazing experience, he was knowledgeable and efficient and made the tour fun with interesting anecdotes. Definitely recommended!

The walk in chilled weather was amazing one to do. They do as they write “nothing stops this tour”. The guide Lidia was wonderful and made the tour perfect.

The lady guide was very good very soft spoken nd very clear in explanation.really loved the experience…thanku soo much