Write a Review of Dancing Bear Tours and Your Experience

If you would like to leave us a review from your St Petersburg experience choose either TripAdvisor or Google+ and share your experiences. Please also include any photos you would like to share with our community.

We appreciate your business and all the wonderful feedback about your St Petersburg Tour  or St Petersburg Shore Excursion . Here you will find the comments, a slideshow of photos from our satisfied customers, and some insights into the unforgettable and customized experience. We treat everyone like family! If you want to sign our Dancing Bear Tours Guestbook please send us an e-mail with text and any photos you would like to share –  [email protected]


Gloria & David Horwitz


Seven Seas Explorer 2-4 September 2017


Dear Julia,
Kate was a wonderful guide and you were not only easy to work with but you were also very attentive. We thank you both for making our visit so enjoyable.

Gloria & David Horwitz

Seven Seas Explorer 2-4 September 2017

Dear Julia,
Kate was a wonderful guide and you were not only easy to work with but you were also very attentive. We thank you both for making our visit so enjoyable.

Gloria & David Horwitz Seven Seas Explorer 2-4 September 2017 Dear Julia,
Kate was a wonderful guide and you were not only easy to work with but you were also very attentive. We thank you both for making our visit so enjoyable.
Denisse Brazzina 4-6 September 2017 , Marina cruise ship Dear Julia,I wanted to thank you for your services!! We had a blast touring St Petersburg! Maria, Alexi and Alina were great guides! Very knowledgeable, super nice and extremely well manner! Congrats for you crew! And Andrew (driver) a real GENTLEMAN!
 Michele & Wayne Croft  11-12 July  2017 , Serenade of the Seas cruise ship  Dear Julia,We have returned home and wanted to let Galina, Vladimir and you know we truly enjoyed our days with you all.  You helped us see, learn and feel some of the history and culture of Russia and more specifically St. Petersburg.  We have been on many excursions throughout the years.  Yours has been our most favorite of all.  We are so appreciative of all of the extras and the opportunities to have conversations to get to know you all as well.  Thank you for Stopping so we could purchase  the Russian Standard Vodka.  Seeing the expressions on our sons’ faces made the last minute stop worth it.  They were both grinning from ear to ear and have not stopped since.  This email does not adequately express all of our gratitude.  Please feel free to use us as a reference!
Keep well and thanks again!
Nigel & Karen  9-11 July 2017, “Celebrity Eclipse”cruise  ship Julia,Thank you for arranging our recent 3 day tour in St Petersburg on 9th, 10th and 11th of July 2017. It was a great shame that our tour guide Lana was taken ill after the first day as it would have been good to get to know her better, however the guides we had the following days, Lisa and Elena were equally knowledgeable and showed a great passion for the city. We were greatly impressed with the wealth of their knowledge and it was appreciated that we were taken to local shops and cafes to sample local fare and arrived at all the places we visited on time.We would have no hesitation in highly recommending your firm to anyone as the service, tour choice and value for money in our opinion cannot be beaten particularly when the tour is tailored and exclusive for a small group of 6 like ours.Special thanks to Sergei who was always waiting where he said he would be, assisted some of our group both in and out of his vehicle which was spacious and clean.We have attached a photograph following the conclusion of the tour and you are free to supply my email address to anybody who wants a recommendation. I will also post a review on Trip Advisor.
Once again many thanks
Ken 24-27 August, 2017.
Hotel Sharf
Dear Julia,
I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting such a magnificent tour together for myself and friends James and Lori in August of this year. It was all I hoped it would be, and more. The guides were such special people, and were great ambassadors for Russia, as well as your business. I knew when I went to Russia, it might be a one off trip of a lifetime. So every event mattered greatly, and the planning you did with James, meant all of us were able to experience our own special moments with the people and things we encountered. Keep up the good work, and make sure our guides know how much their kindness meant to me.
Brenda 16-17 September, 2017.
“St Petersburg” Hotel
Dear Julia,
Just a quick note to tell you how much we enjoyed our tour with Aleena and
Annatollie. I am certain that I spilled their names incorrectly, but you know who they are.
Our time with them will never be forgotten. Everything was so well planned and so informative. They both went out of their way to meet our needs and take care of us in every possible way. Aleena is such a darling woman. She was very professional and knowledgeable at each location. We love our time with her. Our driver, Annatollie was such a gentleman. He was always right there to pick us up after each visit. Always helped me in and out of the car.
We felt very spoiled every minute of our tour!
Thank you for all of your preparation and planning. Also for this exceptional experience. We will never forget our time in St. Petersburg. Petersburg. Petersberg. What a beautiful city it is!
Thank you for the Dvd also! We will enjoy watching it now that we are home.
Joelyon 14-15 July 2017
“Vision of the Seas” cruise ship
Julia, I was with the Lance DuPre party that booked a two day St. Petersburg tour recently. I just wanted to say thank you and especially Olga and Vladimir. They did everything possible to make our visit wonderful. Words can not express my appreciation for such an experience of a lifetime !! Thank you so very much !!
Ira 1-4 July 2017,
Grand Hotel Europe
Hi Julia, Thanks for your note. You, Elena and Vladimir made our trip to St Petersburg a wonderful experience. Our thanks again to you and the team for your terrific assistance. Should you need a reference for anything, it would be my pleasure to provide it. Warmly, Ira
Sally 4 July 2017
“Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship
Hi Julia, Thank you again for coordinating such a wonderful tour. I’ve left a review for you! We’re in the middle of our move from the UK back to the US, but once we’re settled I can not wait to make some borscht, watch the DVDs you gave me, and pick up some of the books you recommend. I also would like for you to pass along my highest praise to Katerina / Kate. My daughter and I really enjoyed our time with her and tour …. I had such a memorable time in St. Petersburg. Petersburg. Petersburg and it was all because of your excellent itinerary and Kate’s tour. Thank you!
Cindy 22 June
“Fantasia” cruise ship
Hi Julia, The tour has been fantastic and Lana is so kind, lovely and knowledgeable. Please know that we cut it short only because the group was getting tired and wanted to just get some souvenirs.I always be back to do some more. Thanks for all of your help.
Rob 22 June
“Fantasia” cruise ship
Julia, Thanks for a great tour, Tatiana and Vladimir did a very good job to accommodate our needs. We will be sure to recommend you to future cruisers.
Lis 23 June 2017
“Disney Magic” cruise ship
It was fantastic to meet you and Lana while we were in St Petersburg. We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed learning about the Russian culture and experiencing the beautiful landmarks, churches and museums. Everything went wrong and I could not have enough for a better day so thank you !!! I will definitely look through the reading list, although I am still on page 200 of War and Peace. Thanks for the recipe too, I did not get to try it in Russia so nice to have the recipe.Thanks again!
Tom Cantwell June21-23, 2017
“Marina” cruise ship
Julia:Thank you, thank you for a huge success!  My clients, the Cantwell / Korn group, who booked three days with you in St. Petersburg, June 21-23, are ecstatic about the time they spent with Elena and Vladimir. I can not say it any better than what Tom Cantwell wrote in an email recently sent to me.
“Not much to say about Dancing Bear and St. Petersburg…other than AMAZING.  Our guide Elena and driver Vladimir (Julia’s husband) were more than excellent.  Elena’s breadth and depth of knowledge about each of the excursion destinations was second to none. From Picasso’s at The Hermitage to St. Issac’s Cathedral, she knew it all. Elena was gracious, understanding, and engaging. Vladimir must know every street in St. Petersburg and Pushkin…he was always able to outwit the heavy traffic to get us where we needed to be. Again, please pass along our sincere appreciation to Julia.”
Mariangela 27-18 June 2017
“Serenade of the Seas” cruise ship
Julia, Thank you we enjoyed our short time in SPb immensely. The art, history and architecture was breathtaking. Kate is truly a wonderful tour guide. Thanks again ?
Mary 6-7 May 2017
“Regal Princess” cruise ship
Dear Julia, I finally arrived home. Thank you for our memorable visit to St.Petersburg. Petersburg. It was perfect in every way … from your warm greeting when we met at the airport, to our Delightful and knowledgeable guide, Kate. We learned so much, thanks to Kate’s extensive knowledge of the history and culture of your magnificent country. She is an outstanding and very personable guide! I travel rather extensibly and I’ve got you to know. She is knowledgeable, sincere and well-being. That meant a lot to Jeanette and me.With my warmest regards and many thanks, and hopes that I shall see you and Kate again.
Steven 25-29 September 2016,
“Petro Palace” hotel
Hi Julia Many thanks once again for making our trip to St Petersburg a lovely and memorable one. Olga and Edward are both such wonderful company. Thanks especially for the arrangements with the Conservatory, the results were far above what we had expected. I have shared my trip with them and they are pleasantly surprised to know that it is possible to make arrangements for it directly with a tour company in Russia. June next year with her family. Warmest regards.
Connie 3-7 September 2016,
Angletere – Viking Ingvar
Dear Julia, Thank you so much for your help with arranging a lovely time for us in St. Petersburg. Petersburg. Petersburg. We had fun touring with Helen and Edward and learned so much about your beautiful palaces, museums and way of life. We will be the most happy to recommend your services to any of our friends. Thank you!
Annette & Brian 1-2 September 2016,
Hermitage Official Hotel
HI Julia, We are home and getting settled back in to our real lives! We can not thank you, Elena and Vladimir for the wonderful tour experience. She was really amazing, as you said. Thank you for the reading list and recipe! I have forwarded your email to the girls.We will indeed get on the trip advisor and rate Dancing Bear.
Peter and Veronica 2016, Celebrity Eclipse cruise Thanks for a great visit, Veronica has a trip on Trip Advisor. Regards to Venus.
Laila 18 August 2016,
Mein Schiff
Thanks again for the excellent tour with Katja, she was great. Thanks a lot.
Gail and Bob 15-17 August 2016
Ambassador Hotel
We had a wonderful three days. Way beyond our expectations. Please thank Vladimir and Liza again for us.
Neer 14-15 August 2016,
Regal Princess
Hi Julia: we all made it OK back home after the unbelievable beautiful cruise. The main highlight of the trip was St. Petersburg. Enjoyed every minute of the trip thru you. You are an amazing guide and ut amazing person. I just go around sharing the beauty of St. Petersburg. Petersburg. Petersburg to my coworkers and very proudly show your picture to everyone. If ever we will contact you. Good luck on your marriage proposal. Keep in touch.
Cathy 10 August 2016,
Ship Queen Elizabeth
Hi Julia, Thank you for all your help in organizing our trip to St Petersburg. It was lovely to meet you at the cruise terminal. Please pass on our sincere thanks to Elena and Vladimir for a superb trip. We would highly recommend Elena as a tour guide, very friendly and helpful and her knowledge is outstanding. We will be giving you a 5 star rating on trip advisor and praising you on Cruise. Once again many, many thanks.
Sue 6-7 August 2016,
Celebrity Eclipse
Hi Julia, I am now at home in the UK after enjoying my cruise and visit to St Petersburg. I can not praise Kate enough. Her knowledge of St. Petersburg and its history was incredible. I could not answer in perfect English. She also had great understanding with my husband who does not have the best mobility following a stroke. Where possible, you can manage to arrange for him to use the lift, a big bonus with so many people everywhere! She also gave us a great insight into day to day life in Russia, we thoroughly enjoyed your lovely pies and pancakes! We were very lucky with the weather, just a little rain. Your supply of water was much appreciated. I must also say ‘thank you’ to Vladimir. He was a good driver and looked after us well. I have a great photo of him with his KGB face !! Please pass on our thanks to Kate and Vladimir from us all, Sue George Ted and Diane. Tell her not to forget that we’ll all come back for a Russian wedding in the future! I will leave a review on tripadvisor at a later date. Thank you again, we are so pleased.
Sikandar and the Grou 23-24 July 2016,
Regal Princess
Dear Julia, Sorry for being excellent for your services. Tania as a Tour guide. She is very knowledgeable, kind and helpful, a people’s person. We definitely will recommend your services to all our friends. Please check with Tania if she received her pictures, which I send her few days back. Give our regards to Tania. All the best.Regards.
Denise Small 16-17 July 2016,
Emerald Princess
Hi Julia, Just wanted to say a big thank you to you, Kate and Vladimir for making St Petersburg the highlight of our cruise. Kate was very good at finding clean toilets for me at short notice! She also managed to find a photo that sells compact flash cards. These are not easy to find, these cards have been superseded by SD cards, but this was all done very efficiently without taking up too much valuable sightseeing time. We all the pie shop where we had lunch on the second day! I will be adding my own. 5 * review on Trip Advisor as soon as I get a chance (I’m still trying to catch up with things up home at the moment). Kind regards.
Kathy Overstreet 8 & 9 July 2016,
Julia, We returned home on Saturday evening and wanted to let you know that we are so happy. Petersburg. Helen and Edward were so accommodating and pleasant to be with. Please pass our thanks on to them. Feel free to use our comments on your website. It was a long 2 days and I hope that Helen and Edward had a good time too. It may take us a while to get over the 6-7 hour time lag, but we will. Our Baltic trip was very memorable; we saw so many places we had only read on in history books and saw on TV. To experience them in person was a delight. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful tourist season.
Helen and Rebekka 16-17 June 2016,
Emerald Princess
Hej Julia, Many many thanks for a very memorable couple of days in Skt.Petersburg. Your tour leaders were fantastic. I do not like trip adviser, and would rather not write a recommendation thru them. We are so satisfied with all your help and discussions about the best way. I can not complain at all, quite the opposite, very very satisfied. Thank you also for the list of books to read. Maybe one day when I have time …….! Best wishes to you all Helen and Rebekka.PS: I will come again!
Helen and Rebekka 16-17 June 2016,
Emerald Princess
Hej Julia, Many many thanks for a very memorable couple of days in Skt.Petersburg. Your tour leaders were fantastic. I do not like trip adviser, and would rather not write a recommendation thru them. We are so satisfied with all your help and discussions about the best way. I can not complain at all, quite the opposite, very very satisfied. Thank you also for the list of books to read. Maybe one day when I have time …….!
Heather 25-26-27 June 2016,
Crystal Symphony
Hi Julia, I hope you are well. We have returned from our trip to Europe and I just want to say. Kate was fantastic and the itinerary was perfect for us. We have learned so much about St Petersburg and Russia as a result. Swan Lake was beautiful and the seats could not be better! I will not hesitate to recommend your company to anyone who is interested in. Petersburg and will persuade friends to go even if they have not considered it! Please send Kate and Peter our many thanks. They were truly wonderful.
Annie and Richard 10-11-12 May 2016, Petro Palace
Petro Palace
Dear Julia, thank you so very much for organizing our tour in St Petersburg. From my earliest with you to our final goodbyes with Tatiana and Vladimir it was flawless. Tatiana was an exceptional guide. Warm, funny knowledgable and happy to oblige our thirst for more knowledge of your history. As I said to her -why read fiction when the history’s so much more! We spent our last evening at the Caviar Bar in the Grand Hotel. Wow! Thank you for everything. I will tell all my friends about your superb service and have on TripAdvisor. Best Wishes, Annie and Richard
Stu and Ange Weir 27-28 December 2015,
Pushka Inn
Hi Julia, We have just made it back home from our holiday and I just wanted to say thanks so much for the fabulous time we had in St Petersburg because of you guys.We had an incredible couple of days on our tour and saw more than we could have wished for. Kate was amazing and a real asset to you company. Thanks to you, too, for the sake of organizing our itinerary and always communicating so quickly with me, you made it all so easy. The only thing we could probably not worry about doing was again the Farmer’s market, but everything else was so worth it. I will put on a trip for you, hopefully this week, you guys do a fantastic job and we are totally happy to recommend you to anyone!
Nicky and Jon Scott 23-26 October 2015, Four Seasons Hotel Dear Julia, How lovely to hear from you. Please accept our best wishes for Christmas and the coming year. Could you also pass on the same message to Kate and Edward. Jon and I have such lovely memories of your beautiful city and we always recommend your tour. Once again, have a very merry Christmas and healthy & happy New Year. Kindest regards as ever Nicky and Jon Scott
Max 23-24 August 2015,
Norwegian Star
Dear Julia, I’m just writing to thank you. The tour surpass our expectations. Olga was very kind, always willing to explain everything. I’m sure we will return and then we will call you. Thank you again.Regards, Max.
The Dykman’s 14-15 August 2015,
Hotel Indigo
Dear Julia: It’s great hearing from you! Yes, we’re home, happy and reliving our memories of the most amaizing trip to your beautiful country. Now, with the pictures on hand we are revisiting the incredible places and all the splendor we saw in our tours.Thank you for the books recommended and many thanks for the recipe of Borsch! I’d made my light version last week, but I will try yours before the winter ends. We would highly recommend your services! Meeting you was great and we enjoy very much your knowledge and expertise.We send you a big hug and hope to keep in touch!
Cindi Barrette 8-9-10 August 2015,
Azamara Quest
Julia, We are now home and working to readjust our body clocks. As I expected, our tour in St Petersburg was one of the highlights of our trip. As promised, I’ve posted reviews on both Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic. We were charmed by our guide, Kate, and would like to follow up with a few conversations. Please check with her and if she is willing to send her email address to me or give her my email address. Feel free to give my email address to people who want a reference for your company. Everyone in the group. It was a joint effort so I wanted to pass their appreciation on to you too.
Darlen and Timothy 5-6-7 August, 2015
(Private apartment)
I have found St. Petersburg to be a wonderful place to visit. Last night we went to a restaurant where the waiters and waitresses took our orders and brought our food. It was a very interesting experience and the food was very tasty. One of the waitresses was a really good singer, I thought she had some formal training. We have enjoyed this trip to Petersburg very much.
Mark Peterson 3-4-5 August 2015,
Seabourn Quest
Julia, We just got home from our cruise. I thank you, Elena and Vladmir for a wonderful three days. I went to. We were exhausted at the end, but glad we saw all that we did. The itinerary was perfect. Vladmir’s driving was truly professional. I wish every car I got someone like him driving. Elena was highly knowledgeable and she was delighted to spend three days with her.
Susan (and Spencer) Meredith 28-29-30 July 2015,
Seabourn Quest cruise ship
Dear Julia, Spencer and I are back in Miami, now, and recovering from the usual Jet lag. However, before I did anything else, I first wanted to thank you and Kate and Gena for one of the great experiences of my life. It was so kind of of you that we were saying goodbye to “friends”. I am the author of a list of books and movies that you and Kate could find interesting on our discussions. Please let us know if there are any other areas of interest with regards to books and movies and we will provide more ideas. I hope you enjoyed my children’s books; perhaps someday they will be available in English. ? Once again, thank you VERY much. With warm regards and much affection, Susan (and Spencer) Meredith
Mike and Kay Larson 20-21 July 2015,
Phoenix, Az Wind Surf
Hello Julia, A 5 Star review has been posted to Tripadvisor. A special shout out to Elena. She is the most knowledgeable guide. I highly recommend her when you are booking future tours.
Mike larson 20-21 July 2015
Wind Serf
Hi Julia, Just got back from visiting family for the holidays and wanted to wish you a very happy new year also. Our stay in St.Petersburg Petersburg was the high lite of our trip. Elena was the most knowledgeable guide I have ever had. Even when I tried to stump her.
Peggy Bracco Gartnek 17-18 July, 2015,
Rotterdam cruise ship
Dear Julia, Kate and Vassily, Having returned from our cruise to the Baltic Sea, I want to thank you once again for the warm welcome that you gave us in St Petersburg and all of your help in planning our tour. We managed to see a lot of the beautiful sights of St. Petersburg in just two days while keeping a relaxing pace. Our guide Kate was wonderful; we will never forget her stories about life in Russia and her humor. Vassily is a very good and skilful driver. During our visit I was often reminded of a Billy Joel song about Leningrad, especially the line: ‘we never knew what friends we had until we came to Leningrad’.Thank you for your friendliness. We do not want to meet you once again.on behalf of the Bracco Gartner family, Peggy Bracco Gartnek
Diarmuid 17-18 July 2015,
Celebrity Eclipse
Dear Julia. Many thanks for your mail. It looks like many things we experienced during our two days there, I had not heard of it before. We arrived home at 1am this morning from our trip. In summary, it was the highlight of the trip. Helene was fantastic, super knowledgeable, well organized and had that personal touch. We could not have asked for a better guide. Our driver too (Sasha – hope I have the correct spelling here!) Did a super job getting us right beside all the attractions. I will write more details in my review, and I certainly will be putting anyone. Petersburg in touch with yourself. It is a beautiful city and I can see how you and your team could be so proud to show it off to visitors. I really hope to return there at some stage in the future. Thanks and regards, Diarmuid.
Lanna Trimm 23-25 June 2015,
Serenade of the Seas
Julia, I just had a wonderful time in St Petersburg! Beautiful city and we enjoyed it more than we imagined. Elizabeta and Edward were more than we could have hoped for in a guide and driver! They were so wonderful and knowledgeable! We could not recommend them any higher in praise! By the end of the trip, quite frankly, we felt so sad. Thanks for making the trip so special! Whatever they are, they deserve a double! ? They are simply amazing! Going with Dancing Bears was the best decision!
Karen Gleanson 22-24 June 2015,
Official Hermitage Hotel
Hi Julia, We are a bit done with crowds. That was the appeal of the places. Petersburg. We’ll explore on our own tomorrow and see what we discover.Our tour was fantastic, your assistance priceless. Our visit would be helpful to you and that of Elena.Thank you!
Douglas Kerr 17 June 2015,
Hotel Indigo
Good morning Julia, Thank you for a great day. Your guide Olga was excellent. I will recommend your Tours to anybody coming to St. Petersburg in the future.
Jeff Poster, France 13-15 June 2015,
Oceania Marina
Julia, we returned to France to find a great deal to do and many mid-summer activities ….. Katia was wonderful throughout the whole three days, I hope you continue to follow my recommendations. Best regards, Jeff Poster, France
Harvey Dragoon 10-11 June 2015,
Regal Princess
Hello Julia, Just a quick note to thank you for having Kate guide us around St Petersburg. She was very warm, informative and met all of our expectations during the 2 days. We could not have asked for more. What a beautiful city is absolutely amazing. Thank you for driving us around. He did not do a great job getting around us. How he is able to get through traffic is quite a skill. All of us appreciate you stopping to say hello when we arrived. Good luck with your studies. We arrived back in New York yesterday. My wife and I drove back to Boston today.
John Harley 8-9 June 2015,
Petr Hotel
Hi Julia. You were absolutely correct when you said that Helen was one of the very best. We learnt and saw a lot. John Harley
Laura Moran 31 March -1 April 2015,
“Comfort” hotel
Julia, Thank you so much for this sweet note. My boyfriend and I ADORED our trip to St. Petersburg. Petersburg this year and miss it already! Kate was the best tour guide ever! Merry Christmas to you and your family! Laura Moran
Marc Cane 25 March 2015,
Kempinsky Hotel
Dear Julia …. The tour with Helen was more than enjoyable – she’s as knowledgeable as a university professor and more fun. She is not only aware of the Bolshevik revolution and the preceding events, but is a fount of knowledge on Russian art and architecture. Marc Cane
Gloria & Xiaomeng 21 March 2015,
Kempinsky Hotel
Dear Julia, Thank you so much for the wonderful tour of Catherine Palace, we had a lovely time with you. And I do appreciate your travel advice. Wish you all the best Regards, Gloria & Xiaomeng
Frederik Vanden Bogaerde January 31st-2014 – February 1st 2015
Taleon Club
Dear Julia, Thanks for the good tour the last two days. Your service and that of the guide and driver were impeccable. We found especially Kate to be more than an excellent guide.
Mariana Campos de Lima (Portugal) February 8-9th 2015 –
The State Hermitage Hotel
Hello, Julia. We really enjoyed our stay in St Petersburg and definetely the tour playing its role in this fact. Victoria is a very special person Who shared a lot of knowledge and passion for her City with us. We miss her! Also, Gena was an excellent driver, we had a safe and tranquil rides with him, and he was very polite to us. I’m very grateful with your service and I would recommend to friends!
Oleg and Allie – Ohio, USA August 10-13, 2013 –
Pushka Inn Hotel
We would like to take a moment and thank you for planning and carrying out such a fantastic tour program. We all had a marvelous time. Julia, your knowledge of St. Petersburg is sensational, and our kids enjoyed every moment! Special thanks to Edward for the courteous chauffeur services.
John & Diane Reid May 23 & 24 2014
Norwegian Star
Hi Julia, We just wanted to send you a quick email to thank you again for showing us your great city! All of us, John, Shanna, Jimmy and myself, thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The next stop on our cruise was to Helsinki and it could not compare to what we saw in St. Petersburg. Petersburg. We were all in agreement that Petersburg was by far the best stop on our whole trip.So, thanks again! We will definitely recommend you to anyone Petersburg in the future. Cheers, John & Diane Reid
Mari Lehtonen 3-4 July 2014,
Eurodam Cruise Ship
Hi Julia: Now that we are home and settled back into our routine, I wanted to let you know how much. Petersburg. Everything went like clockwork and we really enjoyed having Irina as our tour guide. She was so informative and she could do everything she could to make sure. Petersburg the highlight of our Baltic cruise.
Kae and Bill Chiaramonte 28-29 July, “Nautica” cruise ship
“Nautica” cruise ship
The Four of Us Petersburg with the expert guidance and driving provided by your team. Kate’s knowledge of the traffic, we could not have been more satisfied. Thank you for working diligently with us to give us a unique experience in St. Petersburg. Petersburg. When we return we will know who to contact for guidance. Thank you!
Keth and Olga – Pert, Australia 27 – 28 July 2012
Celebrity Eclipse
Firstly I just hope this email arrives to you ok. Peterburg off the Ship “” Eclipse “” back on 27 and 28 July – plus the ballet. Actually I took mt wife Olga to see the Australian Ballet last night – Romeo & Juliet – it was spectacular with special effects, costumes and amazing ballet – but that’s another story. We all have been so busy with arriving back in Australia. We all St Petersburg and you. Olga & I will most certainly be in touch with you. as we said on the tour with you – you would be most welcome in Perth,
Frank & Bonnie June 12, 2012,
Vision of the Seas cruise ship
Dear Julia, we have been back from the Baltic cruise now for more than four months but we still enjoy our memories! We have been looking back through the photographs. Petersburg with you. What a range of things we did that day and what about you! We got immersed in the art and history, and the daily life. We felt fortunate to have you to ourselves, Bonnie and I, to be in the “classroom” for the day wherever we went. And we appreciated Vladimir making that day so that we were to go and pick up with so little effort on our part. You will remember us perhaps since I was interested in learning. Petersburg State University where my son had gone to school in the early 90s there. You picked us up at the port and took us to the Hermitage, the Museum for the Decorative Arts, The Church on the Spilled Blood, to the Porcelain Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress and lots of other sites. We also spent that wonderful time at the end of the day in the couple’s home sharing dinner-their family recipe for borscht- (vodka!) And conversation. I have made a DVD of that day that we would like to send you. I’ll send it along. We hope you all are very well. With much appreciation, Frank and Bonnie s home sharing dinner – their family recipe for borscht – (vodka!) and conversation. I have made a DVD of that day that we would like to send you. I’ll send it along. We hope you all are very well. With much appreciation, Frank and Bonnie s home sharing dinner – their family recipe for borscht – (vodka!) and conversation. I have made a DVD of that day that we would like to send you. I’ll send it along. We hope you all are very well. With much appreciation, Frank and Bonnie
Bev & David Broomhall – Brisbane – Australia 14-15 July 2012,
Grand Princess cruise ship
Hi Julia, We have in St. Petersburg. You are an exceptional guide with a vast knowledge of your homeland. We saw such a lot in the time that we had there and you made it so interesting and enjoyable. Please pass on our thanks to your driver. He has a wonderful sense of humor. As I promised I have a couple of books about Australia that I would now like to send to you. Is the address on your site the best address to post them to? We wish you good health and happinessBest Wishes Bev and David Broomhall, Brisbane, Australia
Dave & Neta Townsend – Littleton, Colorado, USA 7-11 September 2011
Hotel Dvory Capelly,
Julia, I wanted to thank you for the great tour last year. Your knowledge and love of St. Petersburg certainly came through in the tours. The hospitality you showed was exceptional. Our driver, Alexi, was also excellent – always on time, courteous, and was the most gracious in declining (thankfully) my offer to drive. In the background of the beauty of the palaces and cathedrals. Your special touch for getting us to some good places to eat. You defiantly earned our highest recommendation. When we return to St.Petersburg Dave & Neta Townsend Littleton, Colorado, USA
Silvia Vickers – Lincoln, England 3-9 November 2011,
private apartment in the downtown (Rented by Dancing bear Tours)
Dear JuliaWell here we are back in England and a little warmer and the leaves on the trees looking beautiful.Thank you for looking after us so well. Petersburg. Hard to pick out a highlight, but one was able to get to the inside of a school. Also the ballet was a wonderful evening.You brought the palaces to life with your knowledge and we got much more information than if we had gone around on our own. Skipping the queues was also a bonus! The Seige Memorial was very moving and as you know, we have our own commemorations at this time of the year for all the soldiers who have died in war.We have lovely photos and memories and maybe on our next visit we will come at a warmer time of year. Hope all goes well with you and Vladimir and that your business thrives. I will mention your name to anyone who shows an interest in visiting your beautiful city.All the very best Love fromSylvia
Alan & Ros Woodbridge – Dorset, England August 5-6, 2011
Black Watch Cruise Ship
We spent two fabulous days in your company in August 2011. The tour was just what we had and our two friends wanted to see the sights and the real St Petersburg. Your attention to detail was fantastic and the tour was like clockwork – even to the timing of the fountain at Peterhof! It was the little extras that Julia and her driver provided that put the icing on the cake – the Russian restaurant, the pie pub, the underground and the farmers market amongst others! We would have no doubt about this tour. Thank you, JuliaAlan & Ros WoodbridgeDorset
Kristine and Brad Sturgill – Denver, USA September 5 – 6, 2011
– Hotel Sampson
Julia, Just wanted to take a minute to thank you again for the wonderful tour. Petersburg. We enjoyed every minute of the tour and saw the beabbuty of the city as well as the study of the rich history of the city. This has definitely sparked a new interest in Russian history! I went to the Palace at the Peterhof gardens and was stuck between a spanish tour group and a private tour. After eaves dropping in on the english guide even for just a couple of rooms I realized even more how lucky we were to find you! Her descriptions lacked enthusiasm and were very superficial.Thank you again for showing us your city.Kristin and Brad
Hans and Marion Raanhuis – Holland August 20 – 21, 2011
– Rotterdam Cruise Ship
We have enjoyed Julia as our host and guide in St. Petersburg. Petersburg very, very much. Without her knowledge of the city and its highlights, experienced guiding and her humor. Petersburg would not have been so beautiful. Also her knowledge of art and history is a perfect combination. I can not imagine that there can be a better guide than “our” Julia.Thank you very much and we can and will recommend you to anyone who is going to visit your beautiful city.Hans en Marion Raanhuis.
Rebecca Nabors and Beverly Nabors – California, USA August 1 – 2, 2011 –
Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
Dear Julia, We are now at home and wanted to take this opportunity to thank you again for such a great tour. Looking at our photos and reminiscing about our trip, it’s hard to believe. Your choice of sites, pacing, English language expertise, and expert knowledge of Russia and its history. Petersburg! You are provided such a wealth of information in a way that was narrative and entertaining, and not just overwhelming. We still remember it! This definitely helps us appreciate all our photos. Thank you. If you ever travel to the United States and are able to visit California, we would love to be your “unofficial” tour guide. You were so personable during our St. Petersburg tour, I feel as though we are friends. Our homes are welcome to you. We sincerely hope our paths will cross sometime in the future. Please keep in touch. Peace, Rebecca Nabors and Beverly Nabors
Earl & Joyce Godwin – USA July 28 – 30, 2011 –
Oceania Insignia Cruise Ship
Hi Julia: Just a quick e-mail to say how much we enjoyed our time in St. Petersburg. Petersburg and the care and efficiency with which you and Adel worked. It was encouraging and comforting to have you responded to inquiries. Adel was an excellent guide. Knowledgable and creatively flexible in the manipulations of our itinerary as dictated by the weather and other factors. With pleasure we will recommend Dancing Bear (Adel did not point out several bears, but none were dancing) to anyone. Petersburg.Earl & Joyce Godwin
Liz Wolstenholme July 24 – 26, 2011 –
Azamara Cruise Ship
Dear Julia Just to say how much we enjoyed our day in St Petersburg. When talking to others, on the cruise we had a much better experience than those on other tours. so thank you for making this possible. Liz
Cathy Nieuwenhuys and friends July 23 – 24, 2011-
Boutique Hotel Rahmaninov
Dear Julia, just wanted to thank you for arranging our excursions around St Petersburg, we enjoyed our weekend immensely. Alfia was very informative and pleasant, and Gennady our driver was excellent as well.Kind regards, Cathy Nieuwenhuys
Lyn Pond – Shropshire, England July 23 – 24, 2011 –
Nevsky Palace Hotel
Dear Julia, I am writing to thank you so much for your welcome and enthusiasm. I have wanted to go to St. Petersburg since I was a little girl of 10 helping to make sea socks, and raising funds for the relief of the siege of Leningrad. Now you, you, have, you, have, your, Anyone visiting St Petersburg needs a professional guide to help make the most out of time, and we were so lucky to have you, a guide steeped in the history of your city speaking fluent English, making the past come alive for us.I recommend you as a guide “par excellence” with an excellent driver to help you show us the “sights” .Kind regards, Lyn Pond Shropshire, England
Pamela and Dale Cantwell – Colorado, USA July 16 – 20, 2011-
Pushka Inn Hotel
I wanted to write to you again for showing us. Petersburg. I’m certain you were a very good pharmacist, but I have to say. We travel a great deal and have a guide with such knowledge, energy and enthusiasm for her city. I got in touch again with the sheer pleasure of seeing art, and your explanations of the paintings and sculpture added immeasurably to all of our enjoyment. I’m especially glad that we got a chance to see the Russian Museum on the final day. Please use me as a reference anytime.Thanks so much and give Vladimir a hug for me.
Vivienne Watkin and Allan Daitz – London, England July 14 – 15, 2011-
Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
We would like to thank you very much for 2 fabulous and indeed memorable St Petersburg days.You are a superb guide.Wishing you in all your endeavorsKind regardsVivienne Watkin and Allan Daitz
Ralph Dosch – Switzerland May 30 – 31, 2011-
Norwegian Sun Cruise Ship
With a short notice I found Julia on the internet, she immediately understood my likes and dislikes. In addition I was traveling with my elderly mother, who depended on a wheelchair. Julia called me in advance of our arrival. We were all very surprised by the perfect organization and good guidance. Petersburg. I would do more than recommend Julia, I would go as far as saying “you would be stupid to join a large tour over Julia” We had a perfect car and driver, who was always at our disposal. The german speaking guide was knowledgeable and flexible.I would give the 12 points out of 10 !!
Jim Cleaveland – USA May 25, 2011 –
Nevsky Forum Hotel
Most unsusual request fielded with precision. For a student of the 20th century, the Soviet Union, Julia arranged a personal tour of Lenin’s arrival, review of Soviet politics, house of Kirov, Sts P & P, where Peter the Great was buried, & a rushed morning to try to taste a bit of the Hermitage. Three intense days for a person with little time and intense, catholic interests. The ultimate value is her creating a three day trip based on what my interests were and what I thought I should take away from her beloved Petersburg.
Phillip Ivancic and Julia Balaz January 8, 2009 We used Julia’s services as part of a brief stay in St. Petersburg from the 29th of December 08 until the 1st of January. 09. We’re really glad. There is so much to see in St Petersburg and without Julia’s help. She was extremely professional and her numerous anecdotes and stories. She has a deep knowledge of Tsarist history, Russian literature & culture, World War 2, Revolutionary events and she provides first hand insights into the massive changes that have taken place since the early 1990’s.We would happily recommend her services to anyone considering a trip to St Petersburg.Phillip Ivancic and Julia Balaz – Sydney, Australia
Professor Andre Thomashausen & Family January 4, 2009 Julia & Vladimir: thank you. You made our visit to St.Petersburg. Petersburg a total success. Every step along the way was in response to our individual interests and your knowledge of all and any aspects or interests in and around. Petersburg is exceptional. Yours sincerely, Sonia, Sophie & Stefan
Peter Christel Stijn September 9, 2008 Julia, Many thanks for the 3 days of the great culture of Saint Petersburg & your Russian patience. It was nice to have you with us. Please visit Antwerp (not a Dutch city!) Some day.Many thanks! Peter, Christel and Stijn
Jack Spann August 30, 2008 Julia, thanks for making you 2 days in SPG so informative and enjoyable. Please feel free to use me as a reference as I could not have been more pleased with your professionalism and dependability.Thanks!
Gordon Mansfield August 21, 2008 Hello Julia Thanks for showing us your city and culture. It was nice to have you with us for the two days. Hope to see you someday in Canada.Gordon, Sylvia, Martin, Klaus
Chris, Dorothy & Linda May 7, 2008 Dear Julia, Thank you for organising such an excellent trip for us to St Petersburg last weekend. Your knowledge of the city, its history and its treasures was fantastic and your ability to bring it to life with your anecdotes made it a weekend to remember. Thank you and Vladimir for your first class guiding and driving. The visit to Catherines Palace and the ballet were highlights of a memorable stay in the city.Highly recommended!Thank you again for lookng after us so well – Chris, Dorothy and Linda
Geoff Perkins April 27, 2008 Julia we greatly enjoyed your passion and knowledge for Russian history and your ability to show us the great museums and palaces of St Petersburg. We enjoyed your company and we won’t forget your organisation of out ballet tickets at the Mariinsky Theatre.Geoff and Karen
Lisa April 20, 2008 My 2 teenaged children and I visited S.P. last summer and loved our time with Julia. My teens, who can be difficult, thought Julia was the best guide we had in Russia. Julia arranged for our train tickets to Moscow and showed us the incredible sights of Saint Petersberg.Please feel free to use me as a reference.
Sayre February 28, 2008 Jimmy and I had a wonderful stay in your beautiful city. Your tour was absolutely amazing and so much information. I came with so much knowledge of Russian history and it’s people. You are so blessed with learning and studying all the history of your country. May you continueto share your knowledge of Russia with other foreign people.I Feel so honor to have found a wonderful friend in Russia.may God continue to bless you and your family. Tell your husband hello and that he was a good personto take us all over the place and waiting so patiently. He needs big hug.If anyone needs references on Julia’s tourswe will be glad to provide information.
Maureen Patrick December 13, 2007 I used julia’s services for three days in october 2007 and I couldn’t be more pleased.Julia is one of the most knowledgeable guides I have met and shecertainly loves her city. And she knows more about hidden st petersburg as well. I got to see so much during my three days – owing all to JUlia and her husband,vladimir who is her sometimes driver. They are both charming people and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a great guid in St Petersburg.
Ian H Segal October 24, 2007 Sharon & I thank you for all your patience and skill as a guide. We thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days with you. Our trip to St Petersburg was absolutely brilliant – especially because of the time spent with you.Please thank Vladimir for his patience in the traffic!Please feel free t use us if any potential clients want a reference on your guiding skills.Thanks once again.Kind RegardsIan H Segal
Judy, Steve and Mindy Hagen October 24, 2007 Hi Julia – Just wanted to say thanks for your services last week in St. Petersburg. We learned so much and appreciate all of your efforts on our behalf. The train ride went well and our time in Moscow was excellent. Elena is a very competent guide and her enthusiasm for Moscow is equal to yours for St. Petersburg. We saw a great deal and left Russia very satisfied with both parts of our trip.Thanks again!Sincerely,Judy, Steve and Mindy Hagen
Tyjimess October 18, 2007 Hello Julia and Vladimir, We had a great trip, and meeting you made it the best. Jim and I want to thank you for being such a good guide, and so patient with your curious “tourists”. St. Petersburg was the best. What a beautiful city you showed us! And so much history.If you ever have a chance to come to the USA, please let us know. We live on the West coast, in the state of Washington in the summer and in California in the winter.
Alikatt October 16, 2007 Julia was a fantastic guide, and she is right, her husband is a great driver! She is very knowledgeable about Russian history and very proud of her country. She answered all of our questions and showed us wonderful sights. I would highly recommend her and Vladimir.Being with a private guide was the best experience.
Joan Mostert October 15, 2007 Dear JuliaI would like to thank you for all the wonderful sights you showed us, including myself Joan Mostert, in Saint Petersburg.It would have been a great experience for me to spend the day with you in the Russian museum but unfortunately time was too limited. Another site to have visited with you would have been the Pushkin Flat Museum where I could possibly have bought some of his poetry, particularly the one which you recited to us in the bus.My son and daughter-in-law are very enthusiastic to visit Russia, especially Saint Petersburg. Whenever it is possible to do this, they will certainly contact you as I have told them how very much I enjoyed travelling with you.I wish you every success with your family tourist business.Kind regards Joan Mostert
Laurette, George, Elaine, Emilie and Vincent October 15, 2007 Dear Julia!We had a wonderful visit of St. Petersburg with you. We appreciated every moment of that journey in the tzars capital. And your metro! Marvellous!Thank you for everything and also for the nice gift you offered us.God blesses you and keeps you in good health.
Sharon Carrell October 15, 2007 We had a wonderful time in St. Petersburg and saw more than I ever imagined we could see in four days. We also had a great time with you and Vladimir and enjoyed our time with both of you. You were very professional but also fun to be with and that’s important when on vacation. We would definitely recommend your services to anyone traveling to St. Petersburg.Please let us know when you travel to the U.S. We definitely want to see you.
Brad October 15, 2007 Thanks again for showing me such a great time in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately 2 days wasnt nearly enough. All it did was whet my appetite to come back!
Nancy and Morris Freedman October 15, 2007 Dear Julia, thank you for making “our Russian dream” come true and for your wonderful guidance through all the treasures of St Petersburg. We are forever spoiled by your caring, personal service and would love to have you show us the rest of the world!It has been a magical five days.Thank you so much for taking such good care of us!!Fondly,Nancy and Morris Freedman
Tom October 14, 2007 I visited St. Petersburg for the first time earlier this year. Julia and Vladimir were excellent: professional, knowlegable, and (important to me) very flexible. Seeing this beautiful city with them was wonderful.Highly recommended!
Jan & Don S September 16, 2007 Julia and Vladimir are Russian Jewels! It was so pleasant to have a private qualified guide and expert driver for the 4 of us for our 3 day SP stay, that we cannot visualize a visit to SP without Julia and Vladimir. Other visitors have gone into details, but all we can do, to better that, is to give them a rating: on a scale of 0-10, we would give them a 9.999! We suggest that if you are SP bound, bind yourself to Julia and Vladimir! It is the best advice we can give you.
Simon September 9, 2007 We (two Americans, former citizens of Russia) and two our friends spent two very active, very busy, and very interesting days with Julia and her husband. Julia is an exciting guide, full of energy and ideas. We made the best decision when we hired Julia as our guide in St. Petersburg. We started out preparation for St. Petersburg five month or so before arrival. Why? First of all, we had to obtain entry VISA to Russia and Julia provided excellent service to provide us with formal invitation. Second, I had to find my cousin in St. Petersburg who I did not see for more than 20 years and Julia helped me with this task.We had arrived on August 24, 2007 on board of Star Princess, and Julia was waiting for us at embarkation point at exact time. It worked out fantastic. Her husband is the driver of minivan, so Julia could have her full attention to ours. They make a great team and this is why we saw much more with him driving and dropping us off close to the entrances.Julia is intelligent, knowledgeable, organized with perfect English, and very knowledgeable of her country and city’s history. Before the end of our first day, we became the best friends. I guarantee she will answer your e-mail inquiries and give you a fair price and you will get more than you ever imagined. We highly recommend Julia as your guide in the St. Petersburg area.Thanks Julia for helping to make our “Come back to Russia” trip so special.
Monique July 23, 2007 I cannot say enough good things about my experience with Julia. First, she always responded promptly to my email questions. She was very helpful in finding accomodations in St. Petersburg (at the Baskov – excellent) On the day of our tour, Julia was prompt. I found Vladimir to be a gentleman and very kind in his manner. Julia is very knowledgeable about the history of St. Petersburg and any other questions we had. I would highly recommend her services.Thanks Julia, we had a great time!Monique
Peter Smith July 9, 2007 My wife and I are 77.I warned Julia that we might not be as mobile as we would like.She is very patient and understanding, had a collapsible seat for my wife and would keep her eye on us, telling her to sit from time to time; sadly we only had two days in St Petersburg, but Julia and Vladimir took us without rushing to so many places, of which she is understandably proud; she was prompt, punctual and flexible; when we were running short of time she made sure we saw the outside of a church which she would like to have taken us into; when every theatre was performing Swan Lake or opera she got us two tickets for the Hermitage production of Giselle; took us on the metro and Vladimir met us two stops on;had a picnic ready on the first day; bought ointment for my wife’s feet and measured them before buying some comfortable flipflop… You would be missing so much of her city if she doesn’t take you, and we miss them both.Peter and Prue Smith
Marcia Kamien & Herb Cohen June 19, 2007 We and two friends spent two very active, very busy, and very interesting days with Julia Ivanushkina and her husband. Julia is an exciting guide, full of energy and ideas. We all really enjoyed our time with her. And she took us to wonderful restaurants where we had authentic and delicious Russian food!
Susan February 19, 2007 Julia, Thank you SO much for helping to make our trip to St Petersburg so fantastic. You went out of your way to insure our time there was well spent. We thoroughly enjoyed the entire agenda. Not only did we have a great time, but we also learned ALOT! You are the best!Sending you the warmest of regards from the US!!!Susan
Mike and Pam Zent October 23, 2006 What a good decision we made when we hired Julia as our guide in St. Petersburg. We had arrived a day early before our Viking River boat cruise started and arranged for Julia to pick us up at our hotel,guide us for the day through St. Petersburg and drop us off at our ship for embarkation. It worked out fantastic, especially since Julia had some experience with Viking and made some great suggestions of places to visit that she knew we would not see on their tour. Her husband is the driver which allows us to have her full attention and she to have ours. They make a great team and I felt we saw much more with him driving and dropping us off close to the entrances. Julia is intelligent, organized, efficent, fluent in English, and very knowledgeable and proud of her country and city’s history. By the time we were dropped off in front of the boat, we were the best of friends. I guarantee she will answer your e-mail inquiries and give you a fair price and you will get more than you ever imagined. We highly recommend Julia Ivanushkina as your guide in the St. Petersburg area.Thanks Julia for helping to make our trip to Russia so special
Morris and Lucille Cohn October 17, 2006 Julia and Vladimir made our stay in St. Petersburg very enjoyable. Julia knowledge of art and history gave us a true feeling of Russia. She was most helpful, and took care of our every need. An excellent guide. Make sure she takes you to the pie shop.
John Stoll October 9, 2006 What a fantastic 3 days we spent with both of you. Thanks to you we loved Russia! The day trip to Novgorod with picnic lunch was the highlight of our 14 day cruise. You were able to take us to all of the places we had read about, while all of the other guides I had interviewed only wanted to give us a set program. We thoroughly enjoyed the subway, Peterhof, Catherine’s Palace, the Hermitage, and the yummy restaurant where we had lunch. You always stopped so we could take photos. We have never hired a private guide before, but you certainly set the standard. I can’t believe that we didn’t even have to pay anything in advance!Judy and I can’t recommend you highly enough. Outstanding!!
Pauline Peck September 25, 2006 Hi there Julia, We are back home safe and sound with all our memories intact. Thank you So much for all the stories you regaled us with, your knowledge is outstanding and I feel very lucky to have found you:Take care.Very best regards to you bothLove Pauline
Ed Lappen August 29, 2006 Thank you for everything you did for my family when we visited St Petersburg. You were just what we needed. I especially appreciated your taking us shopping and your understanding of our situation. We were able to relax and enjoy our trip and you really made the difference. You should be a psychologist.Thank you again for everything. Please feel free to use us as a reference. :.We will recommend you to anyone we know visiting St Petersburg.
Edward Mihm August 14, 2006 We are tardy in writing and thanking you for all you did to make our visit to St. Petersburg so very special. Vince and Jean Ricci and my wife, Peggy, completely agree with me that not only are you a wonderful guide, but also that you are very knowledgeable and helpful. More than that we view you as a good friend. Everything we did and saw in your city was extraordinary and you took such a personal interest in our needs and interests.We will certainly recommend you to our friends who are coming to the city of Peter.Julia
Cliff Wilkinson June 9, 2006 Hi Julia – A big hello to you from your “Utah” friend Cliff Wilkinson. It was such a pleasure to meet you and your husband and to have you as guides in St. Pete. It was a very enjoyable experience and I learned so much from you that I did not learn on my first visit to Russia. Thank you so much for your kindnesses, courtisies and friendship. We have now pictures of you and your husband. I would like to meet your daughter some time. It was so nice to feel the warmth and care that you had for me, my daugher Colleen and Alison while we visited St. Pete.
Cam and Ahgela May 30, 2006 Dear Julia, Thank you and your husband so much for spending time to take us around and show us Nut Island and the wonderful pararma of Leningrad etc. We were thrilled with our day with you and it was so nice to meet up once again… as with true friends in England, as we say, we “started just were we left off” after our last visit.
Ali and Denise May 27, 2006 Dear Julia and Valamir thank you both for making our trip to st. petersburg so memorable! the amazing architecture and the beautiful colors came alive thru your eyes for us!! we felt as though we were walking through history! you were a marvelous introduction to russia!! Fondly
Phil Curme May 13, 2006 Julia, First thanks for being such a great guide. Your research was meticulous, your commentaries informative and both you and your husband were great company. Our visit to St Petersburg wouldn’t have been the same without you both and your comfortable vehicle.
Tamra December 2, 2005 Julia was an amazing and serendipitous find . We were able to see more of St. Petersburg in two days with her and her husband than we ever could on our own and on foot. We really appreciated her incredible knowledge of Russian history as well as finer details about the culture and language. Charming, personable, and very attentive to our travel needs.Spacibo bolshoi, Julia!
Sara Clefstad September 16, 2005 Julia is by far the best tour guide that I have ever experienced. She worked so well with our choir from Canada (Prairie Voices) and I think she actually liked our music! (Right, Julia?) Julia is charismatic, selfless, and a pleasure to be guided by. “Come, my chickens,” or “Please, my darling…” what a sweetheart.Highly reccommended. 100%
Dirk Dhont – Belgium September 10, 2005 Hi Julia, I have travelled all over the world but you gave my St Petersburgh a special value. This is not just guiding but putting foreigners in the shortest time draped in Russian style. it is like having lived there forever and still ongoing the excitement of intreaging history. And I can tell you, you have a history to tell about. Dirk
Claire Fast August 26, 2005 hello julia! i was part of the prairie voices choir from winnipeg, canada that had you as our tour guide when we visited st. petersburg. i just wanted to say that you really helped us understand russian culture and the history of beautiful st. petersburg. we all really enjoyed it and were so fortunate to have you as our tour guide!thank you so much. -Claire Fast
Ira J. Furman – New York September 8, 2004 My wife and I obtained visas in connection with a cruise that took us to St. Petersburg, where we had arranged to tour for two days with Julia. The twenty hours we spent with her, a car and driver, was as rewarding as we could have hoped for. Clearly, Julia is a professional who enjoys her work and makes every effort to accommodate her “guests.” If you have been fortunate enough to find this website, look no further. I will respond to email with subject line “St. Petersburg.”
Henk en Petie Kesting – Netherlands July 11, 2004 We made the cruise by boat from Moscow to St.Petersburg. Julia then was our guide. The best guide you can have. Reliable, very well informed, with a lot of humour and a high knowledge of history and art. And as St.Petersburg is the city where she lives, here guidance in St.Peterburg is really above everything. As she was for 12-days our guide, we do know here verywell. The opportunity she gives through here own company to visit just St.Petersburg is the best you can think of.
Paul Horsle November 19, 2003 Thank you very much for an outstanding and spectacular experience – and to know you Julia. You took the breath from me in all your knowledge about the history of St. Petersburg. I am very satisfied spending all my days at your private at your friendly house and accomodation. I am very interested in history – and I am happy to learn a lot of the European eastern part. Even the smallest details was not overlooked… *s*.Everybody interested in St.Petersburg will do the wisest choice to have Julia as personal guide while in town.
Heather Lowe October 15, 2003 Julia is amazing. I met her on a travel web site, and decided to spend a day with her when I was in Russia for two weeks. Now I am wishing I had devoted more of my time to spend with her instead of navigating on my own! I had some pretty obscure literary interests – not the usual beaten-path sites – and she worked hard to design a day that would include all my desired stops. She also did a lot of research and preparation beforehand, which added to my experience and made me feel like everything was catered just to me. Last but not least, she is just plain fun to hang out with!really recommend her as a guide and as a friend.
Pilar September 3, 2003 I was with Julia in St Pet for 3 days in August 2003 and I can tell you it was great. She took me to places where tourist people have no access, we did not line up in any of the museums and palaces (and you can not imagine such queues there were!), she even helped me in the hotel. I was very lucky with her because she could speak english and russian!!! and it is very, very important in Russia. I was also in Moscow but definitely I saw much more things and better explained in St Pet!
Rolf and Joke – Holland September 3, 2003 What about Julia in St. Petersburg? She can talk! (in English) She told us a lot of things and anecdotes you don not find in the books. We were happy to be one of the first customers of Her guidance and B-and-B service. Hospitality, a warm atmosphere and quality guidance are the keywords of her service. She helped us with making a program for our three day-visit. Based on that program she guided us efficiently through the city, taking us from train to metro, to busses, taxis and boat. She showed us the way to the Hermitage, Peterhof, museums, restaurants, theaters and shopping centers. We think we saw twice as much in those three days as during other city trips we made on our own. So be sure take a good rest before and after visiting St. Petersburg with Julia!
Linda September 3, 2003 Julia does bring out knowledge of and appreciation of its history and arts. She is a great translator and always trying to improve her skills. I enjoyed meeting her and looking forward to seeing her again. Petersburg.
Darin and Cristy August 8, 2003 Julia does a fantastic job. Her knowledge of St. Petersburg and its history and art is encyclopedic. Her translation skills are superb, and in all of her conversations. I can not wait to be able to return.

Kazan Cathedral is one of the grandest churches in St Petersburg with its colonnades of 96 columns embracing Nevsky prospect like the outstretched wings of a gigantic eagle. Kazan Cathedral was  designed and built between 1801 and 1811  by Russian artists, (despite being modeled on St Peter in the Vatican) to house a venerated icon, Our Lady of Kazan.

Chinese Palace which was created at the time of Catherine the Great. It is a unique rococo style residence with a famous bugle work cabinet. It is the only palace in the vicinities of SPb which survived World War II. It is one of the private residences which means that only chosen ones could come there, be one of them. Enjoy this unique architectural miracle, much more impressive inside than from the façade. Feel special as it’s only the second season when you can take pictures inside.

This stunning pavilion was created for the wife of Nicholas I which could relax after grand receptions there. It is located on a man made island and decorated in the style of Pompeii and XVIII century Italian country houses. The pavilion is a dream about Italy, an oasis of Southern paradise in the North of Russia. Only the chosen ones could come here. Join them!

There is a chance to drop to the Amber Workshop to see how masters responsible for the restoration of Amber Room keep creating other masterpieces; there will be a chance to take pictures in the workshop as it is not allowed to do that in Amber Room itself.

A special treasure room with ambassadors’ gifts and private belongings of Russian Tsars-all made of gold and covered with diamonds, rubies and emeralds; it is possible to visit it with the museum guide only, should be booked well in advance

One of the most famous collections of French impressionists and post impressionists outside France is situated in the General Staff Building in St Petersburg – just opposite the main Hermitage Museum Complex ( across the Palace Square) – let us know if you are interested and we will book tickets in advance.

We offer unique, once in your life time experience, which proved to be a climax of St Petersburg visit for many of our guests: a lunch with Russian family in their apartment. Enjoying home cooking and speaking with your host and hostess you will learn and understand a lot about Russian culture, traditions and lifestyle, see the way local people live and discuss with them everything under the sun!

The Pavlovsk Park and Palace ensemble is among the finest royal residences in the environs of St Petersburg. Unlike other famous royal residences Pavlovsk has the unique charm of a private estate. The palace was designed in reserved classical style and will be highly appreciated by true art connoisseurs. During a tour of Pavlovsk Palace you will not only be able to witness stunning state rooms used for official ceremonies and festivities in the palace, but also some private rooms where the family could gather together in the evening.

An interactive museum of Soviet arcade machines that are the core of the collection. There are over fifty of them on display. The ticket includes some tokens to play. The museum will help you to go back in time and learn more about the Soviet Russia. As for your kids, they will be curious to learn what was interesting for their fathers and grandfathers.

One of the coziest and most hospitable museums of our city.

Museum has 12 halls of art space. Interior dolls, theatre dolls, fairy-tale dolls, dolls depicting customs and traditions are on display there. All in all, the museum has over 40000 exhibits. It is guarded by purring spirits – 3 cats that appear when the museum is closed and dolls wake up… The only disadvantage is that you can’t play with the dolls, you can only look at them.

A unique and the first one in Russia art space where exhibits of shadow art are on display. You will learn the history of our city in light and shadow language there, meet Peter the Great, its founder, and even face your own shadow. Are you ready to look at everything and even yourself from a different angle?

Unique monument of the XV century built in Western gothic style. The only civil building in this style that survived in our country. There ambassadors were received, the Novgorod parliament and court sat and the grand dinners took place. Now the Novgorod jewelry collection of VI-XVII centuries is on display there.

Enjoy 14 halls with over 250 Novgorod icons of XI-XIX centuries. Novgorod is one of the centers of icon painting in our country. This exhibition is one of the best collections of Russian icons as it allows to follow the history of icon painting in our Russia.

Stretch your legs and enjoy the public boat ride. You will see views of the Volkhov river and the lake Ilmen which is called the Slavonic Sea because the area round is so flat. It takes 1-1.5 hours.

Kremlin is the heart of the city, the fortress in its center. During the tour you can see St Sophia cathedral, the oldest temples of our country made of stone, the monument to the Millennium of Russia and the place where merchants used to trade which is called “Yaroslavovo Dvorische” – Prince Yyaroslav court.

A functioning Russian orthodox monastery. It was founded in the XI century by Yaroslav, the grand duke who was baptized by St George, hence the name. St George cathedral, a gem of Russian medieval architecture, has unique frescoes and even an ancient graffiti.

Kazan Cathedral  one of the grandest churches in St Petersburg with its colonnades of 96 columns embracing Nevsky prospect like the outstretched wings of a gigantic eagle; it  was built between 1801 and 1811 to house a venerated icon Our Lady of Kazan by Andrey Voronikhin (a serf of Count Stroganov).

Divo Ostrov (the name means Wonderful Island in Russian and the attraction is really located on an island) is the best amusement park in Russia. It was founded in May 2003 and had 17 attraction rides then. Now there are 46 of them. Some of the amusement rides are for adults, some for families and some for kids. Divo Ostrov gives unique impressions to people of all ages. Every adult gets a ticket to his childhood and every child finds himself in the world of his dreams and fantasies.

If you are a passionate train lover, this place is your paradise: it’s the biggest railway museum in Europe, a sort of “Technical Hermitage”.  You can practice driving a train with the help of the simulator here: enjoy 6 real life scenarios! If you come with small ones, there are game zones especially for them. If you finally get bored of trains, you can take a selfie with a sad peasant  in the cold carriage or to practice Morse code with a plaster telephone operator.

Russian museum is the biggest museum of national art in the world and a unique architectural ensemble of the historical center of Saint Petersburg. With its 400000 exhibits it covers the history of Russian art from X century icons  up to XX-XXI century avant-guard art  and soviet  painting. You can see Ilya Repin, Mikhail Vrubel, Mark Shagal, Vasiliy Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and many others there.

An annual festival of sand sculptures on the territory of Peter and Paul Fortress; international team of sculptors from different European countries create sculptures from special sand on the given subject which varies every year; the exhibition will be of great interest for you and your little ones

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

This private museum is a model of Russia made at the scale 1:87. The model is 800 square meters and symbolically shows all regions of our country. It’s the biggest model in Russia and second biggest in the world (after Minjatur Wunderland in Hamburg). It took 100 people 5 years to complete it. The model is interactive, so your children will be delighted to press buttons there.

It’s a museum inside the other museum. This section has 2400 exhibits which makes it one of the most prominent collections of this kind. Our country had the biggest Jewish population in the world at the end of the XIX century. So, this exhibition shows how the Jews lived in the Russian empire. You will know everything about traditional costumes, books, things used in everyday life, holidays, crafts the Jewish took part in, holidays they celebrated, etc.

These stunning pavilions were created in 1830-40 for the wife and daughter of Nicholas I (the daughter’s name was Olga). There the tsarina could relax after grand receptions.  They are located on manmade islands and decorated in the style of Pompeii and XVIII century Italian country houses. These pavilions are dreams about Italy, an oasis of Southern paradise in the North of Russia. Only the chosen ones could come here. Join them!

Agate rooms are a two-storied bath house. The first floor was used to take a bath and the second one had famous rooms where guests could relax afterwards. Their walls were decorated with agate – hence the name.

This unique complex was built by Charles Cameron for Catherine II in the 18th century and was restored only after WWII. It managed to preserve almost intact. Fortunately, this treasure is not as popular with mass tourism as Catherine palace, so if you want to enjoy something truly authentic and not overcrowded, this is definitely your choice.

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The Faberge Museum has the world-class collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs), gift boxes, Russian enamels etc.The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace. It was opened in November 2013 and founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg to repatriate lost cultural treasures to Russia.

The fourth tallest dome construction in the world. St Isaac’s Cathedral used to be the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Russian Empire. The enormous decoration of the interior of the cathedral, was created in the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.Gilded bronze, malachite and lapis lazuli together with countless paintings, columns, mosaics, will take your breath away.

One of the best private palaces in the Europe .Its real gem is a home theater. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed there.In this palace young Felix Yusupov, the heir of the family, and other conspirators assassinated Grigory Rasputin.  During a visit to the palace you will learn about the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.

Peter and Paul Fortress here our city was founded in 1703.Peter the Great started a fortress to protect the lands won back from Sweden. Now it is one of the most important 18th century fortresses in Russia and Europe.St Peter and Paul Cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Many metro station vestibules and platforms are adorned with marble, granite, bas-reliefs and mosaics which makes them look like underground palaces. The very first 10 stations appeared after WWII and have various military and Soviet symbols reminding visitors about the glorious victory over Nazi Germany. Owing to the city’s swampy subsoil, most of the lines were built extremely deep underground.

Peterhof is definitely “a must-see” for any first-time visitor to St Petersburg.It is often called the “Russian Versailles”: it is a real “kingdom of fountains” and true paradise for little children (as well as adults) with amazing cascades, a variety of unique and playful fountains, Grand Peterhof Palace, and other small ones.

Catherine Palace Is a must to visit. Inside you will find a succession of interconnecting rooms in Baroque style and somewhere in the middle of that enfilade is the famous Amber Room which was called by contemporaries “the eighth wonder of the world”. The palace was badly damaged during WWII and amber panels were stolen by the Nazi. But they started restoration in 1979 and finished it in 2003.

St Petersburg Siege Memorialcommemorates the hardship that Leningrad‘s (the soviet name of our city) citizens endured during the siege which lasted 900 days (1941-1943) and took away about 1.5 mln lives. The most striking part of the memorial are the tableaux of soviet citizens facing south towards the enemy. It was designed to be viewed from a distance. In the subterranean memorial hall are relics from the siege.

Offers fresh food from all over the former Soviet Union: melons, tomatoes, farmhouse honey, pickles, sour cream, ham and gherkins, not to mention imports such as kiwi fruit. Most vendors offer the chance to taste a sliver before buying. Outside the market are “babushkas” (pensioners) who sell things they have grown at their dacha (summer cottage) or gathered in the forest.

Hermitage Museum one of the most important and oldest museums in the world. It has one of the largest collections of paintings. If you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Museum it would take you11 years to see everything. The collection of the French Impressionists is exhibited in the General staff building which is located opposite the Winter Palace.

Most famous for almost 21,000m² of mosaics that cover both the interior and the façade of the building. The mosaics were created in Russia, which makes them even more valuable. It is the only building in our citybuilt in the style of Moscow churches. The church was built on the place where Alexander II was assassinated, hence the name.

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

Alexander Palace was commissioned by Catherine II for her grandson, future Russian tsar Alexander I and later became the summer home of a succession of Imperial heirs, each of whom left their mark on the building.