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St. Petersburg Presents: Roofs, Vodka and Dostoevsky
July 31, 2008 22:58

The authorities and travel agencies of St. Petersburg put much effort to make the city more attractive for foreign tourists. However, the influx of tourists decreases every year. The main reasons are the expensiveness and underdeveloped infrastructure. In order to attract foreign guests to St. Petersburg the local travel companies have introduced a number of new non-standard tours around the city.


Since June double-decker buses have been operating in St. Petersburg. Several local transport companies competed for bringing the project to life and the winner got 30 million roubles. Like in many European cities, now in St. Petersburg it is possible to take a second-floor tour around the city. A double-decker trip costs 300 roubles for adults and 200 roubles for children and the price includes headphones with an audio excursion. The trip lasts around 1.5 hours, but the precise time depends on the traffic jams.

Crime and Punishment Route

For 400-600 roubles one has a chance to feel a real character from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment walking along the places described in the book of the world-famous Russian writer.

730 steps and the tourist will feel what “Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg” is. Also there are excursions to “Pushkin’s Petersburg” and to the places linked to the other famous literature workers who lived in the city.

Vodka Drinking

Gastronomic tours to St. Petersburg are another city hit. They imply a visit to the Russian cuisine restaurants, but also it is possible to attend one of the local alcohol plants. The “alcohol” excursion includes guide’s introduction to the history of vodka production and drinking, a visit to the gallery of branded vodka, and tasting it. The excursion lasts for around 1.5 hours and costs 1500 roubles per person.

Legends of St. Petersburg Roofs

One of the most unusual offers is excursions to the city roofs. Not a lot of travel agencies organize this kind of excursions and it is not that easy to find them. If the tourist manages to find a phone number of such agency or a “roof guide”, he will remember St. Petersburg forever and will understand what it means “To See Paris and Die”.

The roof excursions are currently most popular with tourists from Finland, according to the local guides. The contingent of the tourists is mainly youngsters which is no wonder: a trip to the roofs requires being fit.

Before the excursion guides normally give some instructions to the tourists: they explain what kind of shoes and clothes it is better to wear for walking across the roofs and explain what difficulties travellers may encounter on their way.

The guides try to choose the easiest and most comfortable routes, but sometimes they have problems with the houses` residents, who threaten to call the police.

On average an excursion to the roofs costs around two thousand roubles for four persons. The walk lasts for about two hours during which the tourists normally visit 2-3 roofs and hear a lot of interesting stories and legends of the city told by the guide.

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