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Rick Steves recommended tour guide-Russia

I know that Rick doesn't publish his Russia books anymore but he does still have information under his trip planning section on St. Petersburg.
My question is does anyone know how reliable/reputable his recommended tour guides are? I know the information is from the 90s so I know things could change. Russia is a place I would like to have a guide. I contacted one who seems quite nice and helpful but I tend to be a little skeptical of people so now I am getting a little apprehensive. Any insight or recommendations?

Posted by
12040 posts

Go with a current guidebook for recommendations. Russia in the 1990s was about as different from the current conditions as it was in the 1980s.

In my opinion, you don't need a guide to navigate St. Petersburg, but that's just my two kopecs worth...

Posted by
289 posts

I had the same issue when planning my time in Russia for May. Also, the latest Rough Guide and Lonely Planet were both published in 2008 so a bit dated now (not sure if there are new ones since I purchased a couple months ago or not). I did both searches and asked for suggestions on the Trip Advisor Russia forum. It's been helpful for many things given not as many folks on this forum travel there and RS hasn't published books there in such a long time.

I'm actually going with someone who is actually listed as a St Petersburg destination expert on the TA forum. She's been great as far as responsiveness, etc. I do agree with Tom in that you don't need a guide to just see St Petersburg. We have hired a guide to take us out to Pushkin (Catherine's Palace) and Pavlovsk for the day. We also hired her for our first morning there to take us around for a couple hours and do sort of a "live like a local" tour. You'll get suggestions for the big ones that operate there - i.e. Den Rus, Red October, etc but we preferred to go with an individual rather than a big tour guide company.

Posted by
632 posts

We did a walking tour of St. was a great source of "inside" St. Pete type stuff (not the museum or famous sites type tour...more like how do you use the underground, or where is a good food market?). We used Alina of Peter's Walking tours. She was recommended by RS and she was invaluable for giving us insight into modern Russia in St. Pete. You will learn a lot about St Pete and about Russia in the 21st Century...for a web site try:

Posted by
104 posts

We are going to St. Petersburg in early June. We are using Tatyana Chiurikova. Her website is She is native St. Petersburg and is in her late 20's. She has studied abroad and speaks English. She has been quite helpful and will customize any tour you might like. I think you will find her website interesting, even if you do not use her company.