Peter & Paul Fortress Tour in St. Petersburg

The oldest building in St Petersburg
5 hours
from $167


This St Petesburg tour is a great chance to explore the North of the Northern Capital – the Peter and Paul Fortress, the oldest building of the city, and the Strelka of Vasilievsky Island (The Spit of the Basil Island), the largest island of the city. 


You will see the oldest cathedral of St Petersburg, enjoy the panoramic views, take a walk along the most famous bridges and learn the history of Romanov Dynasty and the most artistic city of Russia!

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the birthplace of the city and the very oldest building of St Petersburg;
  • Have a fashionable promenade in the most expensive and prestigious area from the times of Peter the Great;
  • Experience Saint Patersburg’s metro – the deepest metro station in the world going under all rivers of the city;
  • Admire the breathtaking panoramic views of popular icons of St Petersburg, including palaces and cathedrals;
  • On our way to Peter and Paul fortress see the cultural life of the city: theaters, music hall, planetarium and the zoo;
  • Walk along two beautiful bridges: Palace bridge and Stock bridge;
  • Discover the “other side” of St Petersburg – the Petrograd Side;
  • Discover the treasures of Peter and Paul's fortress: sneak a peak into a prison museum and torture chamber, see the tombs of Russian Emperors, take photos of an impressive complex of the bells of Peter and Paul Cathedral;
  • Hear the legendary shot fired from the Naryshkin Bastion at 12.00 pm every day;
  • Take a video of the traditional ceremony of the guard mounting (every Saturday during the summer season);
  • See the collection of furniture of the XVIII – early XX century, porcelain and glassware from Russia and Europe;
  • Climb up to the 42 meters (138 ft) high belfry and get the fascinating panorama of Saint Petersburg;
  • Visit Vasilievsky Island, one of the oldest, largest and most scenic islands of St. Petersburg;
  • Have authentic lunch at art-café Kommunalka (Soviet apartment), taste traditional Russian dishes and hear the stories about the bygone era – Soviet reality.

Tour Itinerary:

  • Gorkovskaya Metro station

  • Will start our tour at the station named after Maxim Gorky (famous and well-known Russian writer of 20th century). The station looks like spaceship. So, let’s begin our wonderful travelling around the city.
  • Saint Petersburg Mosque

  • Opened in 1913, it was the largest mosque in Europe outside Turkey, its minarets are 49 meters high and the dome is 39 meters high. The mosque is situated in downtown St Petersburg. It can accommodate up to five thousand worshippers.
  • Park of miniatures

  • “Mini-city “ is the park of the main Petersburg’s sights in a scale of 1:33 .Let’s feel ourselves as Gulliver among all the highlights of the city: Winter Palace, Kazan Cathedral, the Church on spilled blood and more.
  • Petrograd Side

  • The Petrograd Side is a borough in Saint Petersburg that consists of the islands of the northern part of the Neva delta.  It includes the Peter and Paul Fortress and the site where Saint Petersburg was founded.
  • In the early years the city grew and developed around Troitskaya Square, but within a few decades the city center shifted to the opposite bank of the Neva that was dominated by the fortifications of the Peter and Paul Fortress. In the late 19th-early 20th century it was quickly built over, centering along Bolshoy Prospekt and Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt. The architecture of that period has remained mostly intact. The islands in the northwestern part of the borough, across the Malaya Nevka, have been a recreational area covered mostly by parks, mansions and sports facilities.
  • Peter and Paul Fortress

  • The original citadel of Petersburg, the creation of Peter the Great dated back to 1703. The first construction of the second capital symbolically stands in the center of the architectural ensemble of the city. The Peter and Paul Cathedral is, no doubt, the main landmark of Saint Petersburg, famous and recognized for its high bell tower.
  • Traditional firing of the cannon

  • According to a 300-year old tradition, a cannon is fired each noon from the monumental Naryshkin Bastion.
  • The tradition comes from Peter I’s times, when a cannon was mounted on the Prince’s Bastion, and signaled about the beginning and the end of the work, the dangerous rise of the water level in the Neva River. Gunfire also welcomed the guests of honor to Saint-Petersburg and sounded in honor of military victories and important events in the life of the state and the reigning House of Romanov.
  • June 2, 2008 the gunfire of the fortress acquired the legal status. The Charter of St. Petersburg introduced an additional paragraph saying “The midday cannon shot signal from the Naryshkin bastion of the fortress is the traditional of St. Petersburg.”
  • Peter and Paul Cathedral

  • St Petersburg was one month old when the the wooden cathedral was built, giving it the title of the oldest church in the city. 
  • The oldest cathedral in St. Petersburg has one more title – the second-tallest building in the city (122.5 m or 402 ft high). Peter and Paul Cathedral is intricately connected with the core of Russia - the Romanov dynasty, storing the graves of all Russian Emperors starting from Peter I (18th century).
  • The Peter and Paul Cathedral is distinctly different from traditional Russian Orthodox churches. It was built in early Baroque style under the influence of Western Europe, which Peter I was so much fond of.
  • Vasilievsky Island with its Strelka and Rastral Columns

  • The Rostral Columns stand on Strelka, the eastern tip of Vasilievsky island. In 1733 the port of St. Petersburg was set up here. The port grew quickly as trade with Western Europe increased due to the efforts of Peter the Great. The columns were built as beacons to guide the constantly growing number of ships during St. Petersburg’s long dark nights.
  • The columns were erected in front of the neoclassical facade of the Stock Exchange – now a naval museum, which was constructed approximately at the same time. After the sunset, oil lamps at the top of the columns guided ships on the way to the port. Seven meter (23 ft.) high, these oil lamps were later replaced by gas lit lamps.

Tour Landmarks:

  • Peter and Paul Fortress:
  • Scenic Trinity bridge walk;
  • Ioannovskiy Ravelin;
  • Petrovskiy Curtain Wall and Gate;
  • Kronverkskaya Curtain Wall and Gate;
  • Nikolskiy Curtain Wall and Gate;
  • Vasilievskaya Curtain Wall and Gate;
  • Neva Curtain Wall;
  • Peter and Paul Cathedral;
  • Bell Tower and Belfry;
  • Exhibitions of the State Museum of History of St Petersburg;
  • Commandant’s House;
  • Trubetskoy Bastion, Gosudarev Bastion, Naryshkin Bastion, Menshikov Bastion, Zotov Bastion and Golovkin Bastion;
  • Artillery Stores;
  • Main Treasury;
  • Grand-Ducal Burial Vault;
  • Alexeevskiy Ravelin;
  • Monument to Peter the Great;
  • The Guardhouse;
  • The Mint;
  • The Boathouse;
  • Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology;
  • ‚ÄčThe Spit of Vasilievsky Island.


Extra costs (per person):

Possible entrance fees


Your tour: Fun facts, iconic places, local experience, traditional food, friendly guide
Your guide: Bright and energetic local, young, enthusiastic, and fun! Your guide is your local friend.
Activity Level: Light
Maximum travelers: 4
Pick up & Drop off: Lobby of your hotel or any place you wish
Start time: 9am - 2pm
Extra hours: If you are having a good time and want your St Petersburg tour last a little bit longer, you are welcome to do that. Please note: You will be charged 20 USD per an extra hour.
Tipping suggestions: If you feel like you had a good experience, your guide would appreciate a tip. It's not mandatory. It's your decision whether you want to give your guide a tip.

What you get:

  • + Meet a local and make a new friend in Saint Petersburg.
  • + Exciting fun communication with a local, not just boring history lessons.
  • + Ask your guide questions about any subject, get genuinely connected with your guide.
  • + Private Saint Petersburg tour, customized itinerary, personalized experience.
  • + Flexibility during the tour: changes can be made at any time to suit your individual preferences.
  • + Your personal tour guide focuses solely on you and makes sure you get the most out of your experience.
  • + Your personal travel consultant is at your service any time via email, facebook, skype or whatsapp. You will not feel alone with Friendly Local Guides.
  • + Must do + off the beaten path of the city.
  • + An authentic experience of local life.
  • + Local cosy cafes and restaurants with traditional cuisine and interior.
  • + Lunch specials on weekdays (Mon-Fri).
  • + Best coffee shops in the city.
  • + A photo session amongst spectacular Saint Petersburg scenery that can be treasured for a lifetime.
  • + Special offers for taxi and hotels with good location and price.
  • + Expert local advice on what to do, where to go, and how to make the most of your time in St Petersburg.

*This tour can be modified to meet your preferences