Amber Room Rating:
The room is a reproduction of the original. All amber was removed/destroyed in WWII. You you are a history buff and want to see original items, head to the Hermitage.
Catherine Palace Rating:
A disappointment. The palace was so damaged in WWII that most of what you see if fairly new. The "gold leaf" is just paint and most all furnishings were reproductions or purchased/donated fairly recently.
Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Rating:
A beautiful church. It was only built in the last century, so no great history here. Still worth a visit.
City Tour Rating:
It is interesting to see the old mixed with the new. St Petersburg is definitely a city in transition.
Hermitage Museum Rating:
Huge crowds made the museum a disappointment. It would have been enjoyed much more it we could actually get close to the art work!
A word of warning...much of the museum is not air conditioned and windows are left closed to keep moisture out. Huge crowds + no air conditioning = hot!
Peter & Paul Fortress Rating:
We only visited the outside due to lack of time. Incredible history here, read up on the location prior to visiting to get max benefit from the stop
Peterhof Palace Rating:
Beautiful grounds. I would recommend this over Catherine's palace if your time is limited.
Private Tour Rating:
Exactly as described by SPB Tours. Our guide was waiting for us when we disembarked from the cruise ship. We were the first ones off (long day...much to see!) and sailed right through immigration.
We were able to see twice as much using a private tour rather than a large ship excursion. We only had one day in town so the pricing difference was well worth it.
Our guide (Helen) was personable and professional, her car new and clean, and everything well planned and organized.