St Petersburg Alternative Tours
Do & See Things Off the Beaten Track
and Have Fun!

Looking for St Petersburg alternative tours? Want to take a tour off the beaten track? If so ditch the travel book, toss the tourist map and read on…

Despite first impressions, St Petersburg is a bigger city than you might think so it's easy to get off the beaten path, leave the crowds and find somewhere unique where other tourist rarely visit. Of course, you should never dismiss seeing some of the main St Petersburg's attractions, such as the Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood and beautiful Peterhof or Tsarskoye Selo.

These attractions are really worth battling the masses!

But if you are searching for the opportunity to do things off the usual tourist radar or you just want to enjoy the city by doing something different, then you should go where the locals go and do what the locals do.

For example, why not step into a local food market or take a walking tour through the mysterious courtyards of St Petersburg or visit the popular old marketplace Flea Market Udelnaya? What about planning a visit to the historical Dostoevsky House Museum, the Russian Vodka Museum or the Jewish Synagogue?

If you aren't afraid of heights, you could also take a tour on the roofs of St Petersburg’s buildings and enjoy panoramic views of our Northern Venice. Or, you could walk into the decorative Saint Petersburg metro and discover an interesting underground art gallery made of marble and granite with unusual statues and chandeliers made of bronze, crystal and decorative glass.

And if you are up to it, what about going for a bike tour in the outskirts of St Petersburg or spending a weekend at a real Russian Dacha in the countryside? This is the perfect way to experience the real life of Russians, meet with locals and have fun.

Want more?

If so, check out below our top picks of St Petersburg alternative tours and get in touch with us for more information. After all, we are here to help you.

ST PETERSBURG ALTERNATIVE TOURS IN ONE CLICK

WALKING TOUR IN DOSTOEVSKY'S FOOT STEPS


Are you a reader or fan of Dostoevsky? If so, discover the underbelly of St Petersburg through the footsteps of the famous Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky and learn about his dramatic life, work and love with this walking tour. Visit the place where he lived and died as well as the sights he talked of in his books. Find out the spot where he wrote "Crime and Punishment" and much more!

Itinerary: With an expert local guide you'll visit the places where Dostoyevsky lived and died as well as learn about the writer's life and work. You'll walk inside his flat and the footsteps of main character Raskolnikov to the pawn broker's house and take in the atmosphere of the dark side of St Petersburg depicted creatively by the author.

Sights covered on the tour: Dostoevsky’s Apartment Museum; Dostoevsky area; Vladimirskaya Church; Dostoevskaya Metro Station; Tikhvinskoe Cemetery at Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

Ideal For: Couples, friends, family with kids and small or large groups of people interested in Dostoevsky's life and work.

Note: A short trip by bus or metro might be necessary in order to cover some of the places on the tour. Otherwise we can organize a private transport service to easily move around the city.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 3 Hours (Variable)

When: All year around

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  •   Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Entrance Tickets, Food and Drink, Travel Expenses.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

TOUR OF THE YARDS OF ST PETERSBURG


Take a walk through the mysterious Yards of St Petersburg, zig zag through hidden streets in the historical city center, discover unknown gems which conventional tour groups usually miss. Admire spiral staircases, vintage patterns, art nouveau apartment blocks, moldings, stained glass and much more. See what lies behind the facades of the palaces, feel inspired and experience the city as locals do.

Itinerary: With an experienced local guide you will walk through the courtyards of some buildings in the heart of the city.

Sights covered on the tour: Nevsky Prospekt; Hidden monuments; Statues; Old squares; Small streets and yards.

Options: You can combine this tour with a Nevsky Prospekt Walking Tour.

Ideal for: Family, Friends, Couples, small groups of people.

Note: Usually we combine this tour along with another.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 3 Hours (Variable)

When: All year around, but better from May to early October

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  •   Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Food and Drinks.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

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UDELNAYA FLEA MARKET TOUR


Take a walk through the stalls and rows of the Oldest Marketplace in Russia, Udelnaya, and experience the spirit of Soviet times while picking up some unique gifts. Enjoy a vast collection of soviet antiques, unusual trinkets and diverse Russian memorabilia at low prices. Meet ordinary babushkas and locals, who are selling their personal items in exchange for money.

Itinerary: With an experienced local guide you will take the metro and reach the metro station Udelnaya. There you'll start a fascinating walk through the surrounding area and the popular marketplace.

Sights covered on the tour: Udelnaya Flea Market and the surrounding area.

Options: You can combine this tour with a visit to Sosnovka Park or Udelniy Park.

Ideal for: Travelers interested in buying old Soviet and Russian items, meet locals and experience the Soviet style atmosphere.

Note: A short trip by bus or metro might be necessary in order to cover some of the places on the tour. Otherwise we can also organize a private transport service to easily move around the city.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 3 Hours (Variable)

When: Each Saturday of the week, depending on the weather conditions.

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  •   Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Food and Drinks, Travel Expenses.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

ST PETERSBURG METRO TOUR


Experience the daily life of Russians and enjoy masterpieces of underground architecture. Take our Tour of Petersburg Metro and get the chance to admire stunning art decorations, historical monuments and marvelous columns made of pressed glass. Our subway is not only the best option to get around, but also an interesting work of arts to discover and enjoy.

Itinerary: With an expert local guide you'll entering the Saint Petersburg metro and stop at the most important metro stations for visiting. The metro stations you'll be visiting are those that represent the prosperity and power of the Soviet Union.

Sights covered on the tour: Ploshad' Vosstaniya (Uprising Square) with bas-reliefs on the revolutionary events; Avtovo, the true underground palace; Kirovskiy Zavod (Kirov Plant) with bas-reliefs of the Soviet heavy industry; Admiralteyskaya (Admiralty), one of the deepest subway stations in the world; Pushkinskaya with monument of Pushkin; Dostoevskaya.

Options: You can combine this tour with a Nevsky Prospekt Walking Tour or a visit to a museum or a cathedral nearby.

Ideal for: Travelers interested in experiencing the deepest underground in the world and see daily life in the city with a touch of the Soviet times.

Note: Usually we combine this tour along with another. Several trips by metro are necessary in order to cover some of the places on the tour.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 2 Hours (Variable)

When: All year around

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  •   Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Travel Expenses, Food and Drinks.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

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ONE DAY RUSSIAN DACHA TOUR


Want to travel to the countryside? Keen to see what a genuine Russian Dacha is like? If so, don’t miss the chance to visit a real Dacha with Banya and feel like a Russian.  I (Davide) and Anastasia would be happy to invite you to visit our family cottage located 60 Km from the city of St Petersburg. If you're looking for a unique travel experience that will stay in your memory for decades, then this is the tour to choose.

Itinerary: You'll spend an unforgettable weekend in a Russian village together with a Russian family. We'll come to pick you up at your hotel and then drive outside St Petersburg to our Russian dacha. There, you'll be eating and drinking like Russians, walking or biking through the amazing forest and lakes nearby and enjoy a real Russian Banya (steam bath/bathhouse) with massage with branches from a birch tree followed by a shot of Russian vodka or tea.

Sights covered on the tour: The countryside of Russia; Russian Dacha and the surrounding small village made only of wood; Russian Culture and Traditions; Russian Banya.

Ideal for: Anyone interested in directly experiencing real Russian life, love nature, and who wish to see the Russian countryside and try a steam bath with massage.

Note: This is an informal tour which requires an ability to adapt and a bit of spirit.

TOUR DETAILS:

Pick Up: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Drop Off: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Returning Time: To be agreed

Duration: 32 Hours (Variable)

When: Tour available all year around but only on weekends and according to our availability.

Group Size: Maximum 4 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, Italian, Portuguese, Russian

Inclusions:

  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off Service;
  • Private Transport by a modern Car, Minivan or Minibus;
  • Professional Russian driver (not English speaker);
  • Petrol;
  • Informal excursion with us during the trip and in the village;
  • Accommodation for one night;
  • Russian dinner and breakfast;
  • Steaming out in our Banya with slaps of birch twigs and dousing with cold water.

Exclusions: Tips

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

TOUR OF THE RUSSIAN VODKA MUSEUM


Want to drink Russian vodka? If so, the best place to go is the Russian Vodka Museum, a commercial museum where you can not only learn about the history of Russian vodka, but also taste it. Here an employee of the museum will guide you through an interesting exhibition, which displays different items and photos that introduce you to the evolution of Russia's national drink.

Itinerary: With a local guide you'll visit the original Russian Vodka museum and hear interesting stories and facts about the history of vodka.

Sights covered on the tour: Russian Vodka Museum

Options: You can combine this tour with a visit to St. Isaac's Cathedral and Yusupov Palace or stop by for dinner or lunch at the Russian Vodka Room. A popular restaurant situated attached to the museum. There, you can savor Russian cuisine and drink a shot of authentic Russian vodka.

Ideal for: People interested in Russian traditions, Russian vodka and history.

Note: Usually this tour is run along with another.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 1 Hour (Variable)

When: All year around

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Entrance Tickets, Food and Drinks, Travel Expenses.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

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JEWISH HERITAGE WALKING TOUR


Interested in the Jewish Community? If so, take this walking tour and let us guide you through the most famous Jewish sights of the city. Visit the magnificent Grand Choral Synagogue, one of the most beautiful Synagogues in Europe and learn about the life of Jews in Russia during the Tsars and Soviet times with a local guide trained in Jewish history.

Itinerary: With one of our local guides you'll visit the Grand Choral Synagogue and the amazing surrounding area along with other interesting sights. During the tour you'll learn about the history of the Jewish Synagogue and the life of Jews in Russia.

Sights covered on the tour: The Grand Choral Synagogue and the cemetery adjacent; ESOD (the Jewish Community Centre); Preobrazhenskoe Jewish Cemetery; Museum of Ethnography; Academy of Art and Theater Square.

Ideal for: Couples, friends, family with kids and small or large groups of people interested in Jewish history and culture in Russia.

Note: A short trip by bus or metro might be necessary in order to cover some of the places on the tour. Otherwise we can organize a private transport service to easily move around the city.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Time: To be agreed

Duration: 3 hours

When: All year around

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Entrance Tickets, Food and Drinks, Travel Expenses.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

ST PETERSBURG GASTRONOMIC TOUR


Enjoy a great combination of food and drinks as well as historical anecdotes involving the Russian cuisine. Take this tour and visit the two most famous Food Markets of St Petersburg, Kuznechniy Market and Hay Market and taste fresh honey, Russian salads or caviar. Stop by at the oldest Soviet cafe, amazing Eliseevsky Food Hall and start savoring the best Russian delicacies, such as the Pishky or Pirogi.

Itinerary: With an expert local guide you'll walk down the aisles of two historical local food markets and stop at two of the most famous Russian cafes. During the tour you'll have the chance to sample several Russian delicacies (at your own expense) and hear interesting stories about the history of Russian food and its connections with the cuisines of former Soviet republics. 

Sights covered on the tour: Kuznechniy Market near Vladimirskaya Metro Station; Hay Market in Sennaya Square; Cafe Pyshechnaya in Bolshaya Konushennaya; Eliseevsky Food Hall in Nevsky Prospekt; Stolle pirogi, Sever cafe' and other interesting places.

Options: You can combine this tour with a visit to the Uzbek Food Market in Vasilievsky Island and/or end up with a table reserved in one of the best Russian restaurants in the city.

Ideal for: Couples, friends, sole travelers, family with kids and small or large groups of people interested in Russian culinary history and food.

Note: A short trip by bus or metro might be necessary in order to cover some of the places on the tour. Otherwise we can organize a private transport service to easily move around the city.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Time: To be agreed

Duration: 3 hours (variable)

When: All year around

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Bulgarian, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Professional Local Guide

Exclusions: Tips to the guide, Travel Expenses, Food and Drinks.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

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BIKE TOUR WITH US


Do you love cycling? If so, join us for an informal Saturday or Sunday Bike Tour and experience the city differently. Let us, Anastasia and Me (Davide) two locals living here, show you around a new side of St Petersburg. Enjoy a unique bike tour off the beaten path, and see how Russians entertain themselves during the weekend and have fun.

Itinerary: You will spend a few hours on a bike tour with locals in the outskirts of St Petersburg (Vyborg Side). You'll cycle in and around the biggest and most important park of the city while discovering new hidden historical spots and enjoy our friendly company.

Sights covered on the tour: Sosnovka Park and the surrounding area; a few war memorial monuments and statues that belong to WWII.

Options: If you have enough time we can visit also another park which is situated not far from Sosonovka Park - Udelniy Park.

Ideal for: Family with kids, couples, solo travelers, seniors and small groups of people who loves to combine cycling, nature and relax.

Note: This is an informal tour which requires an ability to adapt and a bit of spirit. A trip by metro or bus is necessary to reach the meeting point. However, we can also arrange a private service transport from your hotel to the meeting point and return.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your hotel (if you take our tranfer) or Ploshad' Muzhestva Metro Station

Returning Point: Your hotel (if you take our tranfer) or Ploshad' Muzhestva Metro Station

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 2 Hours (Variable)

When: Saturday or Sunday (sometimes during the weekdays but only in the evening and according to our availability).

Group Size: Maximum 10 people, Minimum 2

Available Languages: English, Italian, Portuguese, Russian.

Inclusions:

  • Hotel Pick up and Drop off Service upon request;
  • Informal excursion with us.

Exclusions: Rental bike (250 Rubles per one hour), Food and Drinks, Travel expenses, Tips.

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

ROOFTOP TOUR OF ST PETERSBURG


Get a unique perspective of the imperial city and enjoy breath-taking views with a Rooftop Tour of St Petersburg. Take in the city's atmosphere, admire the sunset or sunrise, feel on the top of the world while looking down at the boats sailing down the canals or people walking on Nevsky Prospekt. Hire an experienced guide and climb up to the roof!

Itinerary: With an experienced local guide you will walk up on the roof of some buildings in the heart of St Petersburg from where you'll get a panoramic view of the city.

Sights covered on the tour: Overall view of the city from the roofs.

Options: You can combine this tour with a Nevsky Prospekt Walking Tour or a visit to a museum or cathedral nearby.

Ideal for: Adventurous young travelers only.

Note: This type of tour is not exactly legal in St Petersburg. However, there are some terrace roofs where you can go, so you won't get into trouble by doing this tour.

TOUR DETAILS:

Meeting Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Returning Point: Your Hotel or any other location in the city

Departure Time: To be agreed

Duration: 1 Hour (Variable)

When: From end of May to early October (depending on weather)

Group Size: Maximum 4 people, Minimum 2

Inclusions:

  • English Speaking Local Guide Only

Exclusions: Tips to the guide

Price: Ask

Reservation Request: From 14 to 90 days in advance

INTERESTED? If so, Send a Tour Request Today!

TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • If you hire a local guide or want to tour with us make sure you book your tour well in advance.
  • When you choose your local tour guide independently make sure you ask if he/she is a licensed local tour guide. You should avoid touring around the city with an unlicensed guide unless you know them or you know they have connections in the tourism industry.

  • If you visit museums, make sure you buy the entrance tickets in advance, so you can avoid the queues. Depending on where you go and what season, sometimes you may spend long hours in a line just to get in.

  • Always check the museum website for additional information, timetables and price updates or just ask us!
  • Always bring cash and small change with you to avoid any payment problems.
  • As you can imagine, there are many other St Petersburg alternative tours that you can do if you want, just ask.

Written by Davide C.

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