2. St. Petersburg: 2-Day Feel like a Local Group Tour
You will begin your first day onboard a cosy boat, exploring rivers and channels of the "Northern Venice". Following this, you will continue to the former residential Winter Palace of the Romanov rulers, which today houses one of the world's most prestigious museums where the rooms themselves rival the art within them. Your guided tour includes both the Winter Palace and the Hermitage display rooms, which are home to more than three million artworks, including works by Da Vinci, Rafael and Rembrandt.
You will then move on to explore the main street of the city. The chief sights include the huge neoclassical Kazan Cathedral, the Art Nouveau Bookhouse, half a dozen 18th-century churches, a monument to Catherine the Great, an enormous 18th-century shopping mall, a mid-19th-century department store, the Russian National Library, the Anichkov Bridge, and the Singer House. Once an impressive showcase for an ambitious family business, Eliseev Emporium is without a doubt a leading landmark of the city. The recently restored stunning interiors make Eliseevsky a must-see place. Next up, you will visit the most Russian of all the Russian churches, which was built on the site of the 1881 assassination (spilled blood) of Tsar Alexander II. It sports a fantastic ornate "Russian-style" exterior of traditional colorful onion domes, ceramic tiles, and colored glazed bricks. Inside you will view large works of colorful mosaic of different religious themes.
The next day, you will be taken to the suburbs of the city. Reminiscent of France's Versailles, and rivaling it with its splendor, you will be given access to the many detailed parks and beautiful grounds. Having served as the Tsar's summer residence, its grounds are dotted with countless fountains (like the spraying Joke Fountain), monumental ensembles, and charming pavilions. You can take the opportunity to see the beautiful subway, whose stations are often called the palaces of the Soviet Union. You will then finish your day with a local farmer's market experience. This is the best way to feel the city, as you mix with and converse with the locals. Located in the downtown area, the market boast exotic atmosphere and beautiful architecture that make them worth visiting more for sightseeing than for shopping.