Off the Beaten Track St Petersburg Tours
I’d like to tell you about our off the beaten track St Petersburg tours that include special attractions that will definitely not be on your route if you are part of a big group or are in the hands of a young and inexperienced guide. These unique St Petersburg private tours can be added to any private St Petersburg tour or private St Petersburg shore excursion.
Stroganov Secret Wine Cellar
To start with I invite you to look in on Stroganov’s secret wine cellars which were and are located in the basement of his beautiful palace. Between ourselves, the count was very fond of both beautiful women and exquisite French wines and this found its reflection in a big wine collection and tiny, cozy underground rooms which he shared with his numerous mistresses… Above there is the most expensive, exquisite, and beautiful restaurant in Russia, ”Ampir”, where, if you wish, you can dine in the evening. The excursion is free (but not the restaurant!).
There is a chance to pay a very cognitive visit to the Amber Workshop (before or after visit of Catherine Palace with the restored Amber Room) to see how masters responsible for the restoration of “The Eighth Wonder of the World” keep creating other masterpieces; there will be a chance to take pictures of fragments of amber panels as it is not allowed to do that in the Amber Room itself. The amber panels which were stolen by Nazi Germany during WWII are considered the most expensive treasure of art which was stolen and never found.
Russian Vodka Museum
One of the most interesting and unusual (and rather serious!) museums of St Petersburg is The Museum of Vodka situated in the historical building of former barracks of Life Guards regiment.
The museum will help you to understand the history of creation for this famous Russian alcoholic beverage: its exhibition includes collection of queer vodka bottles which many years ago were produced by private distilleries for the Russian Tsars (many of them are real pieces of art made of porcelain and glass) as well as a collection of vodka bottle corks; you will listen to the stories about monks from the Kremlin in Moscow who became the first to produce the bread spirit, about Peter the Great and his struggle against hard drinking, about the famous Russian scientist Mendeleev who standardized vodka, about how some rulers of Russia turned the vodka producing business into state monopoly and some forbade to sell it at all.. and much more..
At the end of excursion you will find yourself in a small hall were you will be treated with 3 different kinds of vodka with traditional Russian appetizers: feel yourself Russian.. and be sure we will help you to get to your ship or hotel safe and sound
Museum of Musical Instruments
The Museum of Musical Instruments collection is the biggest in the world and it is a paradise for music lovers. You will not
only see many unique instruments (including one that was invented by the American president Mr. Franklin Roosevelt) but hear how they sound…. And in addition they have a very specific exhibition devoted to Russian tsars’ and tsarinas’ hobbies: the collection of their private musical instruments. Actually each Russian tsar and tsarina played some musical instrument – you will learn all about their infatuation with music.
St Petersburg Porcelain Factory
St Petersburg Porcelain Factory was founded many years ago – in 1744 by Elizabeth the beautiful daughter of Peter the Great. Even now (in my view) the best possible gift from St Petersburg is a cup and saucer (or small tea/coffee service) from this factory. Prices vary from very cheap (which doesn’t mean poor quality) up to very expensive. On the fourth floor, above the porcelain shop there is a porcelain museum…. Since the foundation of the factory a specimen of each piece of porcelain which was ever produced by the masters of the factory has found its way to the museum (and you can order a copy of, for example, a Golden dinner service of her Majesty Maria Fyodorovna). We can organize a visit to the factory for you – but let us know in advance, please!