- By Robert Blessing
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Our community of local tour guides grows day by day. Today we put the spotlight on Elena, professional tour guide in Saint Petersburg.
Who are you, where do you live and what unique experiences do you offer?
I was born in Saint Petersburg 32 years ago and have been living here all my life. I’ve been working as an English-speaking guide for 7 years. But it’s not right to call it “work”. Confucius said: “Do what you really like to do and you’ll never have a working day”. I’m one of those lucky people, who managed to do it – to combine my passions of art, architecture, and my love of this beautiful city with my job. I graduated from the Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts (Master Degree in History of Fine Arts). I have a certificate from the St. Petersburg Association of Professional Guides and Interpreters. As for hobbies they are: photography, painting, sports (such as cycling and skiing) and guiding of course!
What does your city offer that you can’t find in other places?
Saint Petersburg designed by Europe’s most imaginative architects in the 18th and 19th centuries, St. Petersburg’s UNESCO protected center is one of the world’s architectural masterpieces.
Visit magnificent palaces from which the tsars ruled Russia and you will get to know whySt. Petersburg is well known as the cauldron for the Russian Revoltion — all three of them. But there is so much more to the story. If you are an admirer of art you are in the right city — enjoy a feast for the senses in our galleries and museums. Do you want to know more about your roots? Take the tours we offer. Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has one of the world’s largest and most vibrant Jewish communities. Visit the best opera, ballet and folk performances of St. Petersburg I recognize that some enjoy the flexibility of touring. Therefore we are pleased to offer the opportunity for a 4 or 8 hour day exploration of St. Petersburg in the comfort of your private guide and vehicle. I focus my attention on what is of interest FOR YOU and then organize a program, combining excursions and tours to your specific tastes and interests. I’ll then help deal with any queries or issues which may arise. My prices are based on the duration of the excursion. Special requests are never a problem I can handle just about anything.
Russia had three revolutions.
What is the best season to travel to Saint Petersburg?
Nice time to come from March and till October, but in a low season you can get into museums without crowed and enjoy real Russian winter!
What to do if it rains once in Saint Petersburg?
In a summer time we don’t have long lasting rains, and normally our program is full of Palaces, galleries, cathedrals, museums so even if it’s a small rain from time to time – it’s not a problem for our tour.
Where in St. Petersburg can you relax best?
Imperial parks and palaces – it’s a part of our tours; also I do non touristic tours such as: “Russian Village! Do what Russians do!” , “One-day fishing trip (on Ladoga Lake)” and many other tours – please have a look at my tours.
Where to eat really well in St. Petersburg?
Very good restaurants of Ginza Project (Russian cuisine)
Mansarda – (European cuisine, fusion) this on is my favorite
v-teple – (Russian Cuisine) this one is also very good but not that expensive as a Ginza Project Restaurants In all this restaurants you need to book table in advance!
In which subject you are a local expert?
I’ll provide any type of tours for you! I’ll do my best to make you trip interesting and safe.
How did you become a tour guide?
Since I was 19 I did tour guiding. Nowadays I organize my own tourist company (incoming tourism) – its a business of my dream.
What do you enjoy most about leading tours?
I’m very proud to be a representative of my city and my country, I’m very glad to share my knowledge about history, art, architecture with guests. And I feel really great to make people happy; I know the secret how to do that!)))
What do you do apart from showing people your country?
I study quite a lot!
What does local travel mean to you?
New experience, new knowledge, tour should be well organized and safe.
Is there a cliché about Saint Petersburg? And is it true?
One of the most beautiful and charming cites in the world! It’s true, just believe me and please come and check))
What do you recom
mend to travellers to put in their bag when they make a trip to your country?
Which place you want to travel to the most?
I like France a lot!
Tell us your personal recipe for a perfect day with your guests.
In personal talks I got to know my clients, I knew what they wanted, I could show places that were interesting for them particularly and tell stories which were fascinating exactly for these people.I can also provide classic tours and unique tours which will help you to understand Russian traditions and the soul of Russian people. Besides the obvious sights that everybody needs to see like The Hermitage and The Peter and Paul fortress, The Saint Isaac’s cathedral and other masterpiece of our city I’ll show you the real live of Russian People.
You can not leave St. Petersburg without…
… having a look at my tours and do your own choice and of course please write me, because I want you tour to be individual.
Elena is a local tour guide in St. Petersburg, Russia. Elena provides trips to Russian Village Shuvalovka & Peterhof, St. Petersburg City Walking Tours or a 2 day tour to Pavlovsk Palace & Park and orthodox churches of St. Petersburg. Learn more about Saint Petersburg personal guide Elena and her unique tours.