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Is Early May Busy

Wirral, England
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Is Early May Busy

We have booked two nights in a hotel in St Petersburg before a river cruise. We arrive on 2nd May next year and will be transferred to the boat on the 4th May.

A search of the net tells me that the 1st and 2nd May are public holidays in Russia. As those days are a Tuesday and Wednesday next year, will the whole week be fairly busy with Russian people extending their break?

The main day we will have free is the Thursday and I see that the Hermitage gets very busy on the first Thursday of each month, Does this apply to other places, such as the Faberge museum and the Russian Museum?

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1. Re: Is Early May Busy

The first week of May is a tourist busy time, as many people extend holidays from May 1st to May 9th, Victory day and travel a lot. First Thursday of the month is free entrance to Hermitage, making it super-full. Not the case for Faberge and Russian museums...

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2. Re: Is Early May Busy

True, May 1 - 9 is a high tourist season

Wirral, England
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3. Re: Is Early May Busy

Oh well, never mind we got a particularly good offer for that departure, so would likely have chosen to go then any way. Thank you both very much for the warning though.

Once on the river boat, we will have some included excursions. In St Petersburg these are a Hermitage tour and a ballet performance on Saturday 5th May and a St Catherine Palace visit, with a panoramic tour of St Petersburg on Sunday 6th May. I am wondering if the panoramic tour will just be stuck in traffic to see things we had already seen when staying in the city (We also have an included walking tour when in our hotel in St Petersburg - probably The Angleterre).

I am wondering how best to use our main free time, which will be Thusday 4th May and the morning of Friday 5th, when staying centrally. Also Monday 7th, which will be a free day when we are on the river boat. I think Viking offer a shuttle bus into the centre at limited times on that day, but we may need to use a taxi from where the boats moor, which I know is out of the centre (or metro if available).

Any suggestions on how to miss the worst of the crowds would be greatly appreciated. Missing the usual "must see" sights in favour of less visited places would not be a problem as we are likely to re visit on a Baltic Ocean cruise one day, though would hope to miss mid season, when I know St Petersburg is crowded with cruise ship passengers.

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St. Petersburg
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St. Petersburg, Russia
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4. Re: Is Early May Busy

Hope someone from Petersburg will pop up, they know better.

Wirral, England
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5. Re: Is Early May Busy

Thanks for the thought.

My question was too long and hence confusing and not under the right title. I will start another thread with a simpler worded question nearer our holiday time, if I cannot work out an answer myself by then.

Edited: 26 September 2017, 00:09
Holt, Missouri
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6. Re: Is Early May Busy

Definitely take your included Hermitage & Catherine Palace tours - these are must-see's in StP. Keep in mind that your ticket to the Hermitage Museum includes admission to the Admiralty Building, with it's amazing collection of late 19th & early 20th Century art. In my experience, the tours offered by cruise ships just kind of rush you through the most famous pieces in the Winter Palace without ever even mentioning the treasures on the other side of the square.

Your included ballet performance is probably some second-rate company for tourists only. If so, avoid.

If your "panoramic tour" is on a bus, then, yes - you're likely to spend more time stuck in traffic than seeing anything really worth seeing.

In the very short time you'll be there, I'd suggest just walking up & down Nevsky Prospect, from Palace Square to the Anchikov Bridge, taking it all in, with a side trip along the Griboyedov Canal up to the Church on Spilt Blood, with all the street performers.

In early May, you will need to dress warmly.

Edited: 26 September 2017, 23:41
Moscow, Russia
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7. Re: Is Early May Busy

"Your included ballet performance "

Once you know the title you can ask for advice here

Wirral, England
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8. Re: Is Early May Busy

Thank you both for those replies. After a while, it had dawned on us that we would likely get a tourist version of a ballet performance, but given the cost of the holiday we do not want to increase costs much more again, so will go with what we have included regards that. The panoramic tour is another matter and could be a total waste of time for those of us who have done the pre cruise hotel stay, but will speak to the staff on the river boat - we may be able to get them to drop us off in the city and we could make our own way back to the boat, for instance - always worth asking.

I went to Google Earth and followed street view along Nevsky Prospect, from Palace Square to the Anchikov Bridge, and along the canal, but did not see any street performers. It could have been winter and out of the tourist season, or do you just find street performers there at night? A night stroll around St Petersburg is something we definitely want to do.

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Holt, Missouri
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9. Re: Is Early May Busy

Instead of Google Earth, go to Youtube, and search "Griboyedov Canal" - you'll find lots of fun stuff.

But it all depends on the weather - early May in Saint Petersburg can be really chilly.

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St. Petersburg
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Wirral, England
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10. Re: Is Early May Busy

Will do that, thanks.

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