Five Unusual Tours of St. Petersburg

Peter and Paul cathedral (Petropavlovskiy sobor), the view from across Neva river.

Think you know St. Petersburg? You can see Russia’s former capital from a whole new angle with these extraordinary tours.

No matter how many times you've visited St. Petersburg, this city continues to astonish. You might know the Fontanka, Nevsky and the Admiralty, but have you seen the city from its romantic rooftops? Or searched for its ghosts, lurking in the Haymarket and through the pages of Dostoyevsky’s novels? If not, then one of these tours could be exactly what you need to discover a new side to this historic city.

Across the rooftops

If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of city life, it's time to try a more removed vantage point. Clamber up onto the historic roofs of St. Petersburg and view some of the world’s most famous monuments from a bird's-eye-view. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you'll be safely led over the tops of the city’s buildings, seeing the city in all its glory without the stress of fighting through the crowds. Just make sure you wear your most comfortable shoes – and leave anyone with vertigo at home.

Aerial shot of the Peter and Paul fortress on Zayachy island at sunset, historical city center of Saint-Petersburg, Russia.

A mysterious night bus

St. Petersburg has beguiled and frightened visitors ever since it was built in 1703, and this tour is a chance to explore some of the murkier episodes of city history. Where did the Queen of Spades actually live? Why do people think the Bronze Horseman comes to life? What really happened to the mad monk Rasputin? Find out the answers to these questions and more on a relaxed and informative tour that winds a trail around the city’s most intriguing landmarks.

Bronze Horseman Statue St. Petersburg

Soviet City of Sergei Dovlatov

Sergei Dovlatov is one of the most-read writers in Russian history. Take this tour to see the city lived in and described by the writer of SuitcaseThe Reserve and The Zone. Listen to hilarious extracts from his books, learn about Dovlatov’s youth and indulge in a little vodka to fully embrace the Dovlatov experience. This is a fun and irreverent way to get to know Soviet Leningrad, with the added bonus of fresh air and a little light exercise.

Winter walk along the Moika, and Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in the light of the sun

City center scavenger hunt

Following an exciting route from Kazan Cathedral near our Radisson Sonya Hotel, St. Petersburg, this tour travels along the Fontanka and Moika, across Palace Square, through Arts Square and ends outside St. Isaac’s Cathedral. A great way to immerse yourself in the history of Russia’s imperial capital, your task is to find the treasure hidden somewhere in the city center, helped by clues that are unlocked by puzzles along the way.

Saint Petersburg, Kazan cathedral at day, Russia

Motorbike tour

Riding on the back of a motorcycle isn't only a novel way of seeing a city, it also lets you see much more than you would on foot. The standard tour takes in all the famous monuments and historical districts, but you can tailor the route to suit your own interests. Whichever path you choose, make sure you fit in a speedy detour down Nevsky Prospekt, then drop by the beach to breathe in some sea air and catch of a glimpse of the Gulf of Finland at sunset.

St. Petersburg, Nevsky Avenue

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