“Alternative” tour guides in St. Petersburg

I highly recommend www.sptnik.com/en/st-petersburg-tours. There you’ll find guides that offer specialized tours. Examples:

      • food
      • flea markets
      • Metro
      • the 1917 revolution
      • Dostoyevsky
      • cycling
      • vestiges of the Soviet era
      • vodka drinking
      • banya
      • churches
      • urban decay
      • village life
      • architecture
      • roof walking
      • poets
      • daily living etc. etc. etc.

Of course talk to me if things along the lines above interest you. My familiar territory is small towns and villages, winter, camping, budget travel, north generally, horse riding or Gypsy style trips, and of course travel with a mission, eg. searching for persons or graves, charity work, or providing support to journalists and film makers. Geographically it is Moscow, Tver region, Gold Ring, and anything between Moscow and the Kola peninsula except St. Petersburg itself.

Where to stay in St. Petersburg

Anything on St. Petersburg accommodation I deem valuable will be here. Hints and recommendations welcomed.

Added Sept. 18 2012 “A room with a bike” type place on Vasilyevsky Island. See www.airbnb.com/rooms/558415?locale=en or www.airbnb.com/rooms/557049?locale=en.  E-mail: zumu42@gmail.com. English no problem, all-around support, fast response time.

Added Sept. 21 2012  Elizar Hotel. Recommended by a traveller with dogs. Yes, they accept dogs! They also welcome campers. See http://elizar-hotel.ru/eng

An unnamed hotel apparently run by the St. Petersburg section of the Moscow division of the Orthodox branch of the Christian cult but I’ve noticed that those suffering from religious delusions have a knack of making things comfortable as with hotels or delicious in case of cafes, which makes me wonder. I’ve stumbled into this hotel during my search for budget accommodation establishments that would not use “cozy” in their descriptions. Every hotel it seems uses this adjective thus making a word lose its meaning. There’s got to be such a crime as verbicide! But this one did not use “cozy”. Nor they abused superlatives. Just location, facilities, rates, and contact info. And photos of the sort that take an instant to shoot. I have no personal experience but the description failed to annoy me (a rare occurrence). Thus I will venture to recommend it even before I see it myself but that’s where I’ll probably stay next time I happen to be in St Petersburg. Here is the info taken from the Grad Petrov (The City of Peter) site:

Single rooms have showers. Doubles rooms have shared showers. You can use the kitchen. The kitchen is called “trapeznaya” (refractory) because it is a church-run hotel. In my experience these church establishments are not at all restrictive. If anything, quite the opposite is true. The rates are 750 roubles ($25) per night for a single room, and 450 roubles ($15) per person for a double room, which is more than reasonable for what they offer. Call +7 812 323 2867 11am to 6pm except Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, or write to bratstvo@rol.ru

 

Acme Hotel was recommended in a posting from my board:

As to the St. Petersburg accommodation I found, it was booked through Best Hotels Russia. The Acme Hotel is located at Malaya Morskaya Str. 7. which is just a block or two from The Hermitage and close to the Neva for midnight viewing of the drawbridge opening and barge traffic. The promenade was well lit, many people, tourist and locals were about and police presence was visible. I felt safe walking alone. The Acme is on a street in the process of some sort of construction and the entry is just a simple door with a bell to alert the reception desk. The entry is very basic and the elevator is tiny. However once at the fifth floor the lobby and rooms were quite nice, clean, bright and modern. The receptionists speak English and were very helpful. They also prepare Continental breakfasts as selected from their menu and deliver it to your room at the requested time. I paid $108.51 US dollars per day plus a one time registration fee of 500 RUB. The view from the window of the room I occupied was a light well and building facing near by.

The site of this hotel is www.acme-hotel.com/  Let me see.. “Welcome to the Acme Hotel! The hotel prides itself…”. No, I most certainly would not stay in a hotel that, instead of providing rooms, is in the business of “priding itself”. Also I would be hesitant to stay in a hotel named after skin inflammation. Don’t tell me that these are different words. “Acme” and “acne” are related. Both are derived from Greek “akme”, which means “highest point” or “eruption”, thus English “acne”. But since is was recommended by a happy client of mine who rented an apartment from me (I bet she fell for the new “Stylish studio in the very heart of Moscow” version) before proceeding to St Petersburg I’ll add this hotel to the “recommended” list.

Popov was recommended by the brother of famous Alexandra. The young man is sensitive to things being comme il fault so I’d expect this hotel to be more than functional. About 5 minutes from Metro Petrogradskaya, ulitsa Professora Popova 26, +7 812 234 9542, +7 812 234 4309. E-mail on their overdesigned site, shown brown on brown, is not readable. The rates are from $50 to just over $100 per night.

Gloria – Pereulok Grivtsova 6,near three metro stations. $50-100/night. +7 921 6126, +7 812 315 4933. Recommended by the same source as the Popov above. Gloria’s overdesigned site that I could not explore in any depth via my poor GPRS modem – the only internet access I have from my dromomaniac abode – is www.spbgloria.ru. As of March 12 2013 the site would not even open. The the hotel is real.

Staraya Ladoga

The first capital of Russia and Russia’s oldest city, now a small village that literally consists of things of historic and cultural significance

 Now we are beyond St. Petersburg and moving around the Ladoga Lake on our way to Archangelsk.. Staraya Ladoga may be considered Russia’s first capital, the role later played by Novgorod-the-Great, then Kiev, and then, when things got real bad, by mean and crass Moscow and a monstrosity of a city St. Petersburg.

Where is Staraya Ladoga? North-east from St. Petersburg, 120km, on your way Archangelsk.

Accommodation

  • ……

What to do

  • Ancient burial molds, churches of the pre-Mongol era, museums…

  • [Link to St. Petersburg group with sail boats]

Safely. Staraya Ladoga is a kind of place where houses are not normally locked and travellers are welcomed anywhere. Not to pick up a hitch-hiker is bad style while further north it becomes a serious offence. The tougher the natural environment the nicer the people.

Staraya Ladoga in in the Internet, in English

  • ….

Tourist portal of the Murmansk region. Attention nationals of Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Looked into what resources are available to foreign travellers to the Murmanks region. Found http://murmantourism.ru/eng/ – Lots of useful info on accommodation, transportation, attractions etc. ENGLISH VERSION. Note the diplomatic missions of Finland and Norway in Murmansk. Consulates can assist in emergencies (e.g. illness, accident, loss of passport, crime or for comparable reason) and help find an interpreter if needed.

If you are from Finland, note the Murmansk office of the Consulate General of Finland in St.Petersburg, Ulitsa Karla Marksa 25A. their number in Murmanks is +7 8152 44582.  In emergency call +7 921 272 5095 or +7 921 272 5096 (24 hours). If you are in St. petersburg and are in trouble, call +7 812 967 3782 (24/7). For more information on Finland’s diplomatic missions in Russia see www.finland.org.ru (Russian, Finnish).

Norway nationals – Your consulate is at Ulitsa Sofii Perovskoi 5, Murmansk, +7 8152 400600 (24/7). See www.norvegia.ru (Russian, Norwegian).

Swedish citizens in trouble: talk to the Norway Mission.

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