Experience Russia like Royalty
I thought that I had reviewed this company previously, but as I am researching places to go on vacation, I see I hadn’t posted it so in thinking it is better late than never, here it goes.
When traveling to a new city that has so much to see, it is essential to do your homework so that you can make the most of your time there. When traveling to a country with another language this is especially important as there may be language barriers if you don’t speak the language of the country. When we decided to travel to Russia, not only did we face that possibility, but the added challenge of reading the Cyrillic alphabet, made it even more of a possibility.
A friend who had been to St. Petersburg had previously took a trip to Russia recommended Experience Russia. When we looked in to the tours, we found that there were a variety of tours to choose from. In the weeks prior to our visit, we were in regular email contact with Mila who would also be our guide. In our exchange of emails, she gave us many options for tours as well as the ability to customize them to our needs and desires. She also arranged transportation for us upon our arrival and departure to the city.
You should note that in Saint Petersburg there are weeks’ worth of sights to see, but many visitors only spend a few days as a stop on a cruise. We opted to fly there as a few days in port on a cruise ship, didn’t seem to offer us the amount of time we wanted to see and experience the city, especially during White Nights.
Regardless of whether you are on a cruise or visiting the city for an extended time, a certified guide is must to ensure you visit the best sites of the city as well to learn about the history and significance behind the sites.
Much to our surprise, we learned also from Mila that becoming a certified guide is no easy feat as it entails several days of rigorous exams about history and the various attractions. Each day of the tour, Mila who is fluent in English, Mandarin and Russian, met us at the hotel and went over the day’s itinerary as well providing us with an in-depth historical background of the day’s sights.
She also provided us with several options of restaurants for lunch which were friendly on the wallet. It quickly became evident that she not only loves what she does, but also is very experienced at it. She was a walking encyclopedia of Russian history and culture. Having grown up in the city of Saint Petersburg, she was also able to provide us with the insight of a native’s perspective on historical events and in answering our questions about life in Russia.
With each stop Mila ensured that we saw everything and that our endless list of questions and that any desired photo opportunities had been taken. When entering the various stops, we noticed that there were many waiting in long lines to enter at some of the stops, but unlike many of the others who had to wait in the elements, we breezed by and were able to take in more of the sights and sounds in St. Petersburg. (And there a seemingly infinite number to see.)
It was as if she had a sixth sense for navigating her way through the crowds. With a liking to also stray of the beaten path, we had expressed that were curious about the subway system having heard that several of the stations are almost palatial or museum-like. The Avtovo station, for example, complete with chandeliers marbled columns and ornamental glass, is listed as one of the twelve most beautiful subway stations in the world.
After seeing several of the elegant stations (imagine that- hearing ‘elegant’ in the same sentence as the word subway), we suggested there be a tour of just the stations as well as the history and artifacts that are contained in the them. In looking back at our delightful visit to St. Petersburg, we were delighted to have arranged our tour through Experience Russia.
Given the depth and experiences Mila afforded us, we truly did feel we “experienced Russia”. In addition to being able to customize a tour fit to our interests and desires, Mila, was very knowledgeable, friendly and dependable which made for our days spent touring to be thoroughly enjoyable and went flawlessly. To top it all off, it came at a price which was agreeable.
In visiting the various attractions and seeing several guides from other companies who did not seem to possess the same level of professionalism and knowledge as our guide, we were even more pleased with our choice to use this company and will not hesitate to use it again when our travels bring us back to Saint Petersburg.
AMAZING Tour of St. Petersburg with Mila
From the time that I reached out to Experience Russia to inquire about a tour, the company helped me figure out exactly what I should do while in St. Petersburg. I was only going to be traveling in Russia for a few days, and having Mila and Experience Russia help me decide what I should spend my time doing was invaluable.
We ultimately decided to go to L’Hermitage and the Church of Spilled Blood, and we also walked the city with Mila as she gave us a true taste of history of the city. From the beginning, Mila was insightful and fun, and she definitely kept us entertained the entire time. She just knows EVERYTHING there is to know about Russia! I am a huge history buff, and I was constantly being annoying and asking her questions throughout our tour, and she answered every single one!
Mila made sure to help our group feel comfortable and at home in a place where we absolutely could not understand any part of the language. She went to the next level with helping us order food while on the tour and figuring out where to eat for dinner. She even helped to hook us up with a reservation at an awesome restaurant!
St Petersburg – Best ever tour
What a great experience and well organised tour (2 day deluxe) made special by our tour guide Mila. I can’t praise her enough. She never stopped giving us information ( her English was faultless) and being in a small group of 10 made all the difference. I wish her every success in the future. Thanks also to our bus driver.
Three days in St. Petersburg
Our guide, Mila, was professional, knowledgeable and a joy to be with. We feel we got to see the very best of the area while avoiding the long lines and crowds because of Mila’s savvy timing.
We were impressed with Mila
We were impressed with Mila our St. Petersburg guide’s knowledge of all the historical facts and her ability to answer our questions.
This tour was excellent.
Mila our guide was so enthusiastic and informative. She and the driver worked very well together, we were never waiting around so no time was wasted. Amazing how we avoided all the queues! Thoroughly enjoyed the 2 days. Highly recommended!
圣彼得堡是文化之城,MiLa的带领让我们对这个城市的历史､文化和风俗了解更多,她的讲述也让我们注意到了一些可能会被忽略的东西｡另外,她推荐的购物点价格的确比外面便宜｡总之,你能感受她的专业､真诚和善良｡另外,在城市之旅开始之前,民宿卫生间的门锁坏了,我儿子被反锁在里面出不来｡我们本来是通知Mila我们可能参加不了体验的,MiLa主动替我们联系房东,联系不上又替我们叫警察帮忙,忙了一个多小时｡如果不员Mila,都不知会怎么样! 后来我们又在MiIa这里订了冬宫导游,整整3小时,十分有价值,为圣彼得堡之旅画了一个完美的句号! 推荐!
We would have been lost without her
My wife and I spent several days touring St. Petersburg with Mila. We had an excellent experience. I can’t imagine seeing and learning about the city without her! She is a certified and highly-regarded guide and is fluent in English. All official guides are certified – but some are better than others. We thought Mila was the best. Her knowledge of St. Petersburg is exceeded only by her pleasant and friendly demeanor. We looked forward to seeing her every day. We would have been lost without her.
Mila is a native of St. Petersburg and her family lives in the city. Her native language is of course Russian but she speaks colloquial English with on only a slight accent. We learned that she has studied in the United States (U. Of Oregon – Go Ducks!) and is familiar with American travel customs and expectations.
My observations, as an experienced traveler, is that in St. Petersburg, perhaps more than in other European cities, it is helpful to have a native as a guide, buffer, guide, advocate and counselor. She filled these roles superbly.
Use Mila for your next trip to St Petersburg
We used Mila for two days in St Petersburg. She did a fantastic job. We felt safe and truly informed and really enjoyed her personality.
Use Mila for your next trip to St Petersburg.
Amazing Russian Experience!
My family and I had an amazing time touring St. Petersburg with Mila. She took us on a private tour to the Hermitage, the Saviour on the Spilled Blood Church, Catherine’s Palace, and the Peterhof Fountain Park and Gardens. Very knowledgeable and professional. Thanks for an amazing tour!
Great customized tour experience!
We had a very wonderful 3 day tour in St. Petersburg with Mila as our tour guide. She’s very knowledgeable, friendly and fluent in English as well as Chinese. She is also very accommodating and candid 🙂 The guided tour was very pleasant and at a good pace and we learnt a lot about the history of St. Petersburg. It’s as though she has lead us through history itself. Along with the great tour, we were introduced to many delicious local food and snacks! Yummy! I would highly recommend Experience Russia to all who is visiting St. Petersburg!
The Best Tour Ever!
I wanted to provide feedback on our recent 2 day deluxe tour in St. Petersburg. Mila was our guide and we cannot stress enough what a great job she did. She was extremely informational and was an excellent guide. She marched us to the front of the line at almost every place we stopped. We couldn’t stop talking about how great she was. We told all of our fellow cruise passengers about the great service provided by Mila. We were also very impressed with Vlad, our driver. We felt like VIP’s the entire time. He let us off right in front and was always there to pick us up when we were finished. The coordination between Mila and Vlad was impeccable.
Visited August 2014
I HIGHLY recommend Mila as a tour guide
Four of us toured with Mila last August for two days. She was extremely professional, courteous, knowledgeable and most of all friendly. We were a little worried being in Russia for the first time but Mila was right there waiting for us when we got off the cruise ship and immediately made us feel welcome and genuinely happy to show us around. She would march us to the front of the line wherever we stopped and not once did we have to wait. Even if there were huge crowds of people she would run ahead of us, get our entry tickets and get us to the front of the line. We were all very impressed with her tenacity and knowledge of the Russian history. Do yourself a favor and book with Mila. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
Loved the 4 person private tour
Four of us booked a … Tour during our 3 day St. Petersburg stop on our Silversea cruise. We didn’t like the idea of large group tours and in all our other destinations we planned our own tours using public transportation. We were not disappointed…, it was a wonderful 3 days! Mila, our guide, and Slava, our driver, were delightful. Always on time, customized our tour with special stops we requested, very comfortable, brand new Mercedes 7 seat mini-van (with wi-fi!). With just six of us in the vehicle it was possible to ask lots of questions, get to know our guide and driver and about their families and their lives in Russia. Our lunches each day were in small, nice restaurants and we were the only English speaking customers two of the three days (we consider that a real plus). Early admittance to sights was critical in St. Petersburg, can’t imagine doing this city on your own if your time is limited to a few days.
Most memorable summer trip in Russia!
My wife and I were accompanied by our 75yo mother and 6 yo daughter on a scheduled customized 5-day trip stop in St. Petersburg with Mila. Went everywhere supposed to go and much more. From palaces, museums, landmarks, treasure vaults, modern galleries to cosplay on royal garden, hand painting the Matryoshka dolls, champagne river cruise on a Venetian boat, miniature toy museum and much more. Mila is thoughtful and attending to both elderly and kids. Her recommendation on restaurants and souvenirs were always on the mark. And, we never had to wait in lines as she has friends at important entrances. She’s a true pro. Lastly, both her English and Mandarin Chinese are fluent, 她在天津和台灣念過書，我覺得是聖彼得堡在地普通話中文導遊最佳人選之一，中文溝通及解說能力不在話下，對老人及小孩的照顧更是體貼、無微不至。We had a wonderful vacation, money well spent!
We Breezed Around the City with Mila
I visited St Petersburg with the family about 2 weeks ago and we breezed around the city with Mila, who knew a huge amount of information and was cheery and helpful all day long. I really recommend that you book a tour with her. She was also very forgiving about my Russian!
City of Magnificent Palaces and Much Much More
I booked a St Petersburg tour … when visiting this city off the cruise ship Regal Princess. It was certainly THE highlight of the 11 night Baltic Sea Cruise, made even more enjoyable by the expert knowledge of our guide for the 2 days, Mila. Her St Petersburg and Russian history knowledge was amazing. She could almost make you feel like you were living through everything that happened all those years ago. Add her great humour and it made for a great couple of days for the entire group. 100% recommended tour by me.
Great Tour of St. Petersburg
We booked a 2 day tour of St. Petersburg … this summer, and were really happy about everything – the booking, the mini-bus provided and the tour guide. We managed to see quite a lot of the city, including a canal boat ride. The price was much better than the ship, and the group size was just right. (ended up with 10 people). Our guide, Mila, was very knowledgeable and explained everything we saw.Highly recommended.