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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need a Russian visa when I participate in any of your tours in St. Petersburg?

A: Check the list of the countries whose citizens don't require a visa for a trip to Russia.

If you're arriving to St Petersburg by plane, train or car, you need to have a valid Russian visa for the dates of your trip to enter the country.

If you're arriving by a cruise ship, you don't need Russian visa. In this case even without a visa you'll be able to leave a cruise ship and explore the sights of the city if you book a tour with a licensed local company which will take care of all the relevant documents that might be required to disembark. Both cruise ship agents and local companies have a licence to provide cruise ship tours St Petersburg Russia, with no privileges to the first.

Q: When is the Russian visa needed?

A: Russian visa is required to enter the country any way except by a cruise ship. It is also required if you arrive by a cruise ship and want to explore the city on our own, without booking a cruise ship tours St Petersburg, Russia.

You don't need Russian visa if you arrive by a cruise ship and leave the ship only accompanied by a licensed professional guide representing a tour company licensed to provide those tours. You also don't have to worry about the visa if you are a citizen of one of the visa-free countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Thailand, etc. You can check with the full list here.

Q: Will it take us long time to enter the museums in St. Petersburg?

A: Of course it depends on the season, but normally the lines can be outside of the courtyard of the palaces and museums with waiting time up to several hours. We understand how frustrating it might get, and ensure you avoid those lines and use this time to admire the museum collection or fascinating palace interiors. With no extra cost.

If you're travelling individually, we guarantee you won't have to wait at all in the lines as we pre-book a scheduled entry time for all our guests in order to ensure your comfort. If you're travelling in a group of 8 or more people a small waiting time of 10-15 minutes is possible in rare cases when several groups are attending at the same time which results in no room in the museum's cloakroom.

Q: Is it possible to enter museums earlier than the official opening time?

A: Some museums offer a service of an 'early admission' at an additional cost.

Q: Will the museums be less crowded if I book an "early admission" (entering the museums earlier than the official opening hours) or a "special opening" (a visit on a day when the museum is officially closed)?

A:The museum will definitely be less crowded in this case, but don't expect to be the only visitors as a lot of local tour companies are able to arrange 'early admission' or the 'special opening' for their guests which means that there might be other groups exploring the museum at the same time.

Q: How large can a group be to have a city tour?

A: The number of group members is limited only by the size of the bus and your wish. You're welcome to find other people to join you on the tour to make the cost for everyone cheaper. However, from the experience we recommend to explore in smaller groups of 4-16 people to ensure the comfort of each participant. Of course a party of two is even better, but more expensive.

Please keep in mind that for groups over 25 people it will be necessary to hire a second guide at some museums. These regulations come into effect as some rooms are rather small to fit more people at the same time, and each group should be accompanied by a personal guide.

Q: If we book your tour, is it possible to change our tour itinerary the day we arrive?

A: Definitely. Ludmila Tours is very flexible and always ready to make any changes you wish. We always do our best to ensure you're completely satisfied with the itinerary of your tour, and address any wishes that you might have. However, please keep in mind that no matter how much we want to change the itinerary, it might be a little complicated with large tour groups or if your itinerary include most crowded sights, such as the Hermitage, Catherine's Palace and Yusupov Palace.

Q: Why should I book a Private Tour of St. Petersburg?

A: The first and main reason is for your comfort. St Petersburg is an amazing city with numerous attractions, from those listed in any guidebook to those only citizens are aware of. With traditional cruise ship tour buses you waste your time in traffic, have to adapt to everyone else's pace, have limited and calculated time for each sight to see, and share your experience with a group of 30-40 strangers. On the contrary, with a private tour you can admire the city at your own pace, spend as much time as you wish next to each sight, choose unusual tracks to explore and add something very special to your itinerary. Besides, you can choose companions for this adventure. It might seem slightly more expensive at first, but at the you save a lot of time and energy and get much better impressions – can anyone put a price on that?

Q: Can we return to the ship for the meals?

A: Yes, but we would like to point out that the port is located a bit far from the city centre, and returning to your ship for the meals would mean to lose your pressious time on travelling to and from the ship. For your comfort we can recommend numerous nice restaurants and cafes in the city centre where you can enjoy your meals of any cuisine and save your time. However, the decision about the meals is entirely up to you, and we respect it and form the tour itinerary accordingly.

Q: What currency may I use in Russia?

A: The official currency in Russia is the Ruble (RUB). It might be difficult to obtain Rubles outside Russia, therefore we recommend to bring US dollars or EURO notes and exchange it while you're in Russia. Please note that it's illegal to pay for goods in foreign currency in Russia, only Rubles are accepted in the shops, restaurants, public transport, hotels and any other places.

ATMs are widely available, and most major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are accepted in most hotels, restaurants and stores.

Q: Can you arrange special transportation needed for handicapped / special needs tourists?

A: Yes, absolutely. We will advise you on all the necessary recommendations and suggest everything possible to make your trip as comfortable and pleasant as possible. We are aware of the places with no lifts and narrow doors that don't allow wheelchair entry, and always plan the itinerary of your tour accordingly.

Q: How do I book a shore excursion with your company?

A: It's very easy. All you have to do is to send us an email with the following information:

  • name of your ship;
  • date or dates of your tours;
  • the number of people in your group;
  • any wishes you have regarding your tour.
We require no deposits, you'll be able to pay at the end of your tour.

Ludmila-tours - Private Guide Tours in St Petersburg