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GA_Traveler

SPB 2-day tour question...

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This is probably a silly question but do the guides give your time to shop in the gift shops at places such as the Hermitage, etc?  The reason I ask is because I like to get a program that shows the beautiful art that I have seen instead of trying to snap pictures of everything.  Is there time for shopping?  😊

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40 minutes ago, GA_Traveler said:

This is probably a silly question but do the guides give your time to shop in the gift shops at places such as the Hermitage, etc?  The reason I ask is because I like to get a program that shows the beautiful art that I have seen instead of trying to snap pictures of everything.  Is there time for shopping?  😊

Not a silly question at all. However, tour providers offer many different itineraries - some with shopping time included. Your specific question would best be answered by contacting the various tour companies and asking which tours offer shopping time in museum gift shops (Alla Tours, Best Guides, TJ, Best Guides, etc.).

Most independent tour operators offer shopping time in souvenir shops  & you can purchase picture books of the Hermitage, Peterhof, etc., at these shops even if there is no time for shopping in the museum gift shops.

Edited by dogs4fun

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Usually they do, yes. Are you taking a ship tour or a private tour? We took a private tour with Anastasia's Travel, and we had built in time for shopping while we were there. The private tours tend to accommodate more since you don't have a group of 30 or more people to deal with. They can focus on your requests instead of trying to herd an entire group. 🙂

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If you ask your tour operator on the planning stage, they will give you some time for shopping. Normally, the assortment of things in the museum shops and the general souvenir stores is pretty much the same, however, there are some specific things that you can only find in museums. If you want a particular museum shop, just ask your guide, and they will give you some time there. For ordinary souvenirs, I think going to stores that are not in museums is better, as the prices there are lower (I compared prices in a store and in Yusupoff Palace and the Hermitage).

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9 minutes ago, Lagerta said:

If you ask your tour operator on the planning stage, they will give you some time for shopping. Normally, the assortment of things in the museum shops and the general souvenir stores is pretty much the same, however, there are some specific things that you can only find in museums. If you want a particular museum shop, just ask your guide, and they will give you some time there. For ordinary souvenirs, I think going to stores that are not in museums is better, as the prices there are lower (I compared prices in a store and in Yusupoff Palace and the Hermitage).

I note that you recently became a member of cruise critic and all of your posts exclusively pertain to Saint Petersburg and the Baltics. It is obvious that you are a local - do you reside in St. Petersburg? Cruisers are more inclined to heed the advice of a local over that of a visitor who has very little experience in Russia. It might help future cruisers if you add your location (St. Petersburg or Russia) to your profile.

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When we toured St Petersburg, there were stops made to 'sample some vodka', or bathroom breaks. As it happens, these stops just happen to be in souvenir shops. Wonder of wonders. Not that these shops are bad, they are just the normal, bit overpriced souvenir shops you would find anywhere. If you do have any time, or ask the tour company, if you could stop at some of the street vendors, selling almost the same merchandise for a lot less. Most of the time, they don't want you shopping there as there is no commission for them with the vendors. 

Anyway, you will have some time to shop, but not guaranteed it will be at the places you may want to. 

 

Cheers

Len

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On 1/16/2019 at 5:59 PM, dogs4fun said:

I note that you recently became a member of cruise critic and all of your posts exclusively pertain to Saint Petersburg and the Baltics. It is obvious that you are a local - do you reside in St. Petersburg? Cruisers are more inclined to heed the advice of a local over that of a visitor who has very little experience in Russia. It might help future cruisers if you add your location (St. Petersburg or Russia) to your profile.

dogs4fun, thank you for the advice. Actually, at the moment I am in St Petersburg, as I am working here. However, I first visited St Petersburg several years ago with a cruise, so I have an idea what it is like for cruise passengers. Now I am finishing my contract in St Petersburg soon and moving to Czech Republic, therefore I believe it is not too much sense indicating St Petersburg as my location. However, thank you for your opinion. By the way, I see you give everyone very valuable advice, and it is great that such people as you are willing to share their experience with others. I am sure everyone here appreciates it.

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Thanks for all the input.  I think that I have a better idea now.  

 

I wasn't really thinking of souvenirs as much as maybe programs or brochures about the art in the Hermitage, etc.  I am sure that I can probably find these things online as well.

 

Again, thanks for all the info.

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