We chose to take a bus to the City which was about 10-15 minutes. You could walk it if you wanted to. We walked along the canal with lovely shops and restaurants up to Dem Gamble By. (about a l/2 hour walk. Entrance wasn't clear at first but walked around to the left to the main entrance. It was a great tour. Do remember your running shoes as the cobblestones are hard to walk. Also very few hand rails on the steps. Lots to see and a few restaurants to eat in. Lovely bake shop. Our time was limited so just toured around down town. There is an observatory on top of the art gallery that would have been great to check out.
The time in this port was short but we did manage to see some of the highlights. We took a bus into the main part of the City. There is a wonderful market downtown with food, vegetables/fruit, souvenirs and fish. Lots of churches to see as well as several government buildings.
We then went to Holmenkollen Ski jump. Foggy view but it was a wonderful interesting drive getting there. Didn't have much time at the gift shop. It would have been nicer to spend a bit more time here.
Last stop was at sculpture park. It absolutely poured rain the whole time we were there. Guide said we had new record of 18 minutes. Too bad as it was a very interesting park. So, guide took us on a city tour for some more buildings as we had extra time.
Our wonderful guide took us first to the viking ship museum. It was very busy, crowded and was a small building. It started raining so many were near the entrance. Amazing to see.
We travelled to Rostock by a small boat which was a nice surprise. Then got on a bus to middle of Rostock. We had some free time (20 min). Then walked through Rostock seeing the university, nunnery, discussed architecture, City Hall and St Marys Church (with astronomical clock). We then went to a micro brewery.
The amber room is part of Catherines palace. It is impressive..no pictures in this area.
We toured the palace and could take pictures. Gold is very where and it is very very beautiful. We then had a tour of the garden and outer buildings and lake. We had about l/2 hr for souvenirs and then had lunch at restaurant at Catherines Palace. Wonderful lunch - water, sparkling wine, vodka, bread, salad, cabbage soup, chicken stroganoff and vanilla ice cream with cherry ribbon, and tea/coffee. Russian singers entertained us.
We had a great City tour which covered many of the important bridges, buildings and churches. We stopped at Church of our Savior Spilled Blood, view across the canal of Hermitage, St. Isaac's Cathedral etc. There is so much to see! We had lunch at Russian Cultural Centre and were entertained by Russian dancers and singers.
We were at the hermitage in the afternoon so it was hot and crowded. We covered the highlights of the museum and had a good amount of free time at the end to look at monet paintings or go to the gift shop. The building is extremely large and covers a wide area of sculptures and artwork.
There are no pictures allowed inside. We toured the gardens and fountain areas first. We had a short wait to get inside. No pictures are allowed. I bought a great St Petersburg overview book at the hermitage. Excellent guide who kept everyone together and made sure we had timely washroom breaks.
We drove past St Isaac's on the City tour and were able to get a picture of the outside. We came back later for the inside tour. It is hard to know where to look as there is so much to see. It is one of 4 similar style cathedrals. Not to be missed! We had a short amount of time to shop or tour.
The ship docked l hour away from Stockholm. So, you had to take a tender to shore; then take the bus to stockholm. Our guide just handed out the maps but didn't even say where we were. We covered alot of ground in the 5 hours we were there. We went to the Vasa museum which was amazing. There was a long line but it does move quickly and was well worth the wait. We then toured around the City. So much to see and so little time. The harbour area is beautiful! I would have loved another day there to see the royal palace etc.
We took a bus into the Russian Cultural centre about 15 min drive. This was well worth the money. Tallin is easy to get around but there are areas with cobblestones. Wonderful market in the main square the wooden articles, scarves etc. Lots of nice restaurants and bars. Also there was a stage with music and dancers. (around noon). We crammed in as much as we could seeing Margarets Passage, several churches, the oldest apothogary. Don't miss the on ship lecture on this one. It really helped. Tallin is a beautiful medieval city. Do be careful of pick pockets.