British Influence in Imperial St.Petersburg

"View of the banks of the Neva river"

A unique tour exploring the British influence in Imperial Russia.

Day 1

You’ll start your day with a city tour where you will visit the Lutheran cemetery, the resting place of several famous British figures such as Charles Bird, an engineer and founder of the cast iron plant, and others who lived and worked in St Petersburg.

As your tour continues, you will take a walk along the English Embankment, traditionally one of the most fashionable areas of St Petersburg, and discuss how it came to have its name. From here, strolling onto the stunning Palace Square, your guide will explain to you the role of British architects and engineers in its construction.

Next, you will pass by the Kazan Cathedral, the Passage Department Store and Alexander’s Theatre, exploring their connections with the British Empire in the 19th century, before you will go on to visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the most impressive architectural ensembles sitting in the centre of the city. Here you will see the Boat House with the English ‘grandfather’ of the Russian navy - a little boat that Peter the Great used to learn navigation. You will also see the burial place of the family of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II, whose wife was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and he himself was the first cousin of George V and an honorary commander of Scottish dragoons.

The rest of the day will be devoted to two of the most impressive landmarks of St Petersburg, the magnificent Church of the Saviour on the Spilt Blood, and the State Hermitage Museum.

After a full-packed day you can continue to explore the city under the glowing street lights, or have a relaxing evening, visit a restaurant or shop, or take part in an optional meeting with Russian students (additional cost for translation) in a cosy place over coffee to get a local experience.

Day 2

The next day will start with a drive to the Peterhof Palace nestled on the outskirts of St Petersburg to see the palace estates, monuments, and stroll its beautiful parks.

Before lunch, you will have time to visit the Cottage Palace, a project of the Scottish architect and landscape gardener Adam Menelaws, the permanent summer residence of the Tsar's family. It was built for the Tsar’s wife Alexandra, formerly Charlotte of Prussia, as an English-style estate to escape from the pomp and grandeur of the Russian court. Peer into the intimate details of the royal family life, with its dramas, tragedies and anecdotes.

In the afternoon you will be taken to the town of Pushkin, the most British suburb of Saint Petersburg, where you will enjoy a walk in the fine park, the first in Russia created in the ‘English’ style. Following this, you will have a two-hour guided tour of the magnificent Catherine Palace, including a visit to the splendid Agate Rooms, designed by an English architect Charles Cameron, who was the main architect of the Palace during the reign of the Empress Ekaterina II at the end of 18th century.

This tour gives you the chance to see all the most famous sights in the city up close and learn about the intricate details behind them, and intimate nature of Russo-British relationships over the last 300 years.

Excursion details

Location: Russia, St-Petersburg

Category: Culture and History

Duration: 2 days

What's included:

Entrance fees to the museums and transfers for two days.

Includes a local guide and any entrance or other fees. Meals and transfers included only where stated.


Accomodation and meals are not included.

For groups of more than 6 people, price will be provided on application.


Physical rating: Easy - Suitable for all