The city of St. Petersburg, Russia is set to launch a tourism program the “St. Petersburg Guest Card.” It is a single electronic card for tourists whereby its price includes tours of the historic city center, entry into 17 state museums and a discount program of 10% to 50% when staying at hotels, traveling by taxi, visiting cultural or entertainment centers, cafes and restaurants.
A tourist who buys the card can take part in a city tour on a red double-decker “City Tour” bus or enjoy a water tour by boat, with their own choice of embarkation point, from the lions on the Neva River, from the pier at the Stroganov Palace on the Quay, from the Moika Embankment, or from the Anichkov Bridge on the embankment of the Fontanka Canal.
The card provides for free admission to 17 museums in the city. Tourists can visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, The Russian Museum (including the Stroganov Palace, the Marble Palace, and the Engineer’s Castle), the Church of the Savior on the Blood, Smolniy Cathedral, the Museum of “Pavlovsk” and many others. When visiting the State Hermitage, holders of the Saint Petersburg Guest Card are provided with not only free admission, but also may participate in tours and have the opportunity to take photos and video footage.
In addition, in the near future the program will include the state park-museums of “Tsarskoe Selo”, “Pavlovsk”, “Gatchina”, the Constantine Palace, the Yusupov Palace, the museum on the history of Kronstadt, and the Anna Akhmatova Museum.
“The St. Petersburg Guest Card” is analogous to European travel programs operating in London, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome and Stockholm. This service complies with the international standard of a “free pass” and has long been popular in Europe.
St. Petersburg is the first city in Russia to implement such a project. “This will enhance the positive image of the city as a tourist center; it will allow for a more comfortable stay here for tourists from Russia and from abroad, and it will further include St. Petersburg in the European system of tourist databases”, - commented the CEO of the St. Petersburg Agency for Direct Investment, Irina Babiuk .
For example, a the “London Pass” card gives visitors free entry to over 55 sites in the capital of Great Britain. In Rome, a similar card is available for free visits to several museums in the city included in the program, and when buying tickets to other museums in the Italian capital the card holders receive discounts.
The cost of the “St. Petersburg Guest Card” is 48.5 Euro and the price is the same for both Russian and foreign tourists. The card can be purchased at the official site: http://www.spbguest.ru/indexeng.php (brought to the reception of the hotel which is to house the guest), at train stations, at “Pulkovo” airport, at the box office of the Peter and Paul Fortress, and at the offices of the municipal information centres.
In addition, tourists, sailing to St. Petersburg from Finland and Sweden will be able to purchase the “St. Petersburg Guest Card” on the cruise ferries “Princess Mary” and “Princess Anastasia” which are run by the company St. Peter Line, as well as on flights to St. Petersburg from Helsinki and Stockholm.