Gill PembertonUnited Kingdom
Elena was an excellent guide, friendly and informative.
Shirley B.Quezon City, 1112, Philippines
TOURSBYLOCALS RESPONSE: ToursByLocals is committed to quality customer experiences and takes all feedback seriously. We appreciate any learning opportunity to improve the quality of tour experiences. We have, as always, attempted to clarify with our customer why this tour experience appears to have fallen below our normal high standards.
Karen NelsonUnited States
Elena P. could not have been a better nor more interesting and knowledgeable guide; she was enthusiastic and had great ideas of fun and exciting places to visit, as well as where to have lunch as a result of our morning conversations with her. The driver was also very nice to be with and we learned a great deal about their daily lives. We recommend her highly and if we were to return St. Petersburg, we would want to have her as our guide again.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Karen, thank you for your response! Will write you next week with the details, after coming back home. My best regards to Nancy.
We requested a walking tour and Elena took care with planning to ensure that we saw as many of the treasures of St Petersburg as possible. Her in depth knowledge of the history, architecture and collections of the city resulted in a most enjoyable two days.
Vera MehtaUnited States
Elena came very promptly at 10 AM to pick me up for our visit to the Hermitage.As we walked there, she pointed things out, answered questions about buildings and places and also about her own life in St. Petersburg. At the Hermitage, it was great to bypass the waiting lines and start our tour rightaway. She steered me expertly through the various buildings showing me the the most interesting features of each.Her pace was just right for me and I could not have asked for a better introduction to the City!
Angela WhiteEdmond, OK, United States
Having Elena as a guide definitely helped us make the most of our time in St Petersburg! Her in-depth knowledge about the sites we visited made everything so much more understandabke and therefore more memorable.She welcomed questions on every topic, and since she has lived in Russia for many years, her perspective was very interesting. We were so grateful for her flexibility and willingness to let us stop to grab a soda or snack, find an ATM and some postcards, etc. Great guide and a really nice person!
John ChivertonUnited Kingdom
Ewan LabromUnited Kingdom
Another excellent visit arranged by Tours by Locals. Elena was extremely knowledgeable, very pleasant company and a joy to be with.
thank you Elena for the great tour you gave us. We and our kids (21 and 29) enjoyed very much the day with you and the good driver. Your knowledge, your preparation and your charming personality made this a very positive experience for us. Your help with tickets and tips before our arrival was much appreciated. We will recommend you to all of our friends.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Edi, thank you! Have great time here with Erna, Debra and Sasha!
Stuart SemmelUnited States
Elena was a wonderful tour guide. Everyone in our family—from five years old to ninety—learned so much about St. Petersburg. Elena's knowledge about the city's political and cultural history seemed inexhaustible. We're so grateful to her for making our visit everything we hoped it would be.
Richard HoHong Kong
Elena did a good job with care. The driver was very polite. Good overall experience.
Ronald PikeUnited States
Excellent tour. Recommended.
Susan BirksUnited Kingdom
Our last day was a walking tour of the city and explained how Russian people live, with some shopping and a visit to the Grand Europe Hotel for coffee which was an added bonus. Elena and the driver where very friendly and it was a pleasure to meet them both.
Susan BirksUnited Kingdom
Day two was a tour on the hydrofoil to the Peterhof Palace and it was outstanding Elena got us there in time to see the start of the music and fountains and every day got us back to our ship in the time allocated.
Susan BirksUnited Kingdom
really enjoyed our tour with Elena we did 3 daysx 6hrs she gave us a good insight to the history of St. Petersburg and every day was on time with our bus and driver, the weather wasn't too good but no-one can change that. First day was a tour of the city and the State Hermitage Museum. Elena explained to us in detail and answered all our questions as best she could.
Dana CookUnited States
Elena is a wonderful tour guide. Very knowledgable and a pleasure to spend time with. We loved the 3 day tour with we booked with Elena.
Douglas TaylorUnited States
Good overview of the city. We enjoyed the tour and had a nice time.
David FeldmanUnited States
Elena was an exceptional guide. She was extremely knowledgeable about St. Petersburg, its history, art and culture. She was a pleasure to spend time with and we learned so much. She was fabulous and we would highly recommend her.
James GrayUnited States
We enjoyed our two days with Elena. She is knowledgable and personable and uses very good English. We would definitely hire her again if we returned to Russia.
Marcia L.United States
Very knowledgable. Warm, friendly. Flexible to our needs.
Deronda GurneyUnited States
Elena was awesome! She showed us St. Petersburg in just the way we wanted! Loved it!
John S.United Kingdom
My wife and I wanted to visit a lot of sites in St Petersburg which are not on the normal tourist trail. Elena worked extremely hard in discovering information and making arrangements. Thanks to her, our visit was a huge success and most enjoyable. We hope to return next year and our first priority will be to contact Elena.
John S.United Kingdom
Elena is friendly, hard working, very knowledgeable about her city, and speaks excellent English - everything you could wish for in a guide. When my wife and I went to St Petersburg the help we received from Elena was the key factor in making our visit a huge success and very memorable. We'll be back as soon as possible!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear John and Jeannette! It was a pleasure to help you. Best wishes in your research!
Claudia FewinUnited Kingdom
We were met by Elena and her driver on time in the lobby of our hotel and drove to Pushkin first, then on to Pavlovsk. After lunch we drove to Peterhof where we strolled through the gardens and looked at the beautiful fountains. Elena planned the day perfectly and she is a wonderful guide. We felt at home with her, she is a deep well of information and a lovely person to boot. We cannot recommend her services highly enough.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Spasibo, Claudia!!
Claudia FewinUnited Kingdom
We had asked in advance whether during the 6 hours Elena could fit in three separate events and when we met her, she had organised this perfectly. Everything we asked for was included and we thoroughly enjoyed every minute with Elena as our guide. It was expertly planned, carried out and Elena is very flexible to make sure what you want is what you get. She is very knowledgeable about St Petersburg and it was a pleasure being with her on this tour.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Claudia and Allan, thank you, spasibo!
Peter ChristensenUnited States
Most of the tour met our expectations, although some of the places were those we either found or could have found on our own. Elena was pleasant, but her voice was so soft, we often could not hear.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Peter, when we parted, you confirmed that the tour went well and you have seen everything you wanted i.e. Baby’s House where Anastasia stayed, districts which are out of the core of the town. During the part of our walking tour I showed you places which, according to my experience, guests don’t know well. Most our talks took place in a quiet open air areas and our dialogs went smooth.
Jim KarlUnited States
Elena worked very well for my wife and I for 2 days of St Petersburg touring. The main thing we wanted was flexibility, and she offered that. Specifically she would have a plan for the day but absolutely deffered to how we were feeling or what we wanted to do. Also, very important for us, she was not constantly talking...we prefer to walk and ask questions...we did not want a running dialogue like many group tours end up providing. She was always on time, very courteous and knowledgeable.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Jim, thank you!
Miriam HarringtonUnited States
Elena is a very good tour guide, and we were quite happy with her. Her background in architecture and her detailed knowledge of St. Petersburg history made her tour most informative. She was quite responsive to our preferences, and we saw all the major things we wanted to see on our day with her. Moreover, we had a very enjoyable time doing it! She has a warm and welcoming personality and very good English, and her driver was also very good. We recommend her highly.
Jim GreenawayNew Zealand
Our guide experience was excellent. Elena proved very approachable, willing to share her knowledge and her life experience making this more than a guided tour rather a journey with a new friend so that we could understand the current context within Russia. We enjoyed her company and her guidance, we were also able to modify our day to suit the conditions, avoid crowds and our ability to digest information and deal with the onslaught of other tourists. We are very positive about St. Petersburg.
Carol GrayUnited States
Pam CramerUnited Kingdom
Elena and Ivan were such good ambassadors for St Petersburg. They were very professional and made our tour really enjoyable. We would definitely recommend them. Elena was fully informed of the history of her city and we left the 2 days to her to do as she thought fit - it was exactly as we wanted.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Pam, I am so glad that you and your friends liked that two days. Thank you for such a great time. Take care, and - my best wishes to everybody!
Great tour, well organised and covered everything we wanted to see. Elena arrived ahead of time, organised a great driver with a clean, new car and took us efficiently to all the key sights. Elena sorted all admission fees for museums and helpfully translated for souveneir purchases, etc. Recommend Elena to anybody wanting an experienced guide for St Petersberg.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear David, thank you! Hope you and Susan had great time in the other two days. Didn’t see you at jazz party next day which turned to be very nice. All the best!
She took us to places we would not have found on our own, eg Vladimir Nabokov's house. Knowledgable, good company.Having a guide is much more efficient use of limited time. Katherine and Clive Thomas, Australia
Jagdish NagdaUnited States
The visit to the Hermitage and Winter palace was very good. We needed more time but Elena got us started and gave excellent advice on what to do the rest of the day. She also helped get us concert tickets and was kind enough to answer questions after the tour by phone.
Jagdish NagdaUnited States
Elena was great, helped us get oriented and we managed to do a lot in the 6 hours
Nona FeuerUnited States
We enjoyed our tour by Elena. She was vey nice, interesting and we had a great tour with her. I would recommend her!!
John IrvineUnited Kingdom
Elena was an excellent guide and helped us ensure we maximised our time in St Petersburg , particularly in taking into account opening times and in cutting through queues as if they were not there ! This was done in a way that allowed us to pace it just right for us. We would have found Russia very confusing if she had not been able to guide us through it all and we felt very secure with her there. Thank you very much Elena you even found Russian wine for us !!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear John and Ann, thank you! Hope Russian wine was good!
A very kind, resourceful, and knowledgeable guide that can put you at ease almost instantly. Making all the preparations, for me to see the oldest Watch Factory in Russia (Raketa) is truly one of the highlights of my travel... You are definitely in good hands with Elena. Thanks and more Power :)
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear John! Thank you for having such a great idea - visit of famous Russian Watch Factory "Raketa"!!! I will definitely offer it to my next customers.
We spent two terrific days - despite a rainy start - exploring St Petersburg with Elena. Her flexible approach allowed us to experience aspects of the city missed on our earlier river cruise excursions and of personal interest to us. She provided a window on the lives of native St Petersburgers and how their lifestyle has changed over time. A great experience and we would contact Elena before visiting in future!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Vonna and Louise! Thank you for response. I was very glad to meet your special wishes regarding our tour, and it was real pleasure to meet you after our correspondence.
Pauline OrsgoodUnited Kingdom
Excellent visit. Collected at hotel and took bus to the Hermitage because of rain - we were going to walk. By-passing the queues was good and Elena had such a fund of knowledge on all the things we saw. I had asked for some specific things and she managed to include most of these. I have no hesitation in recommending Elena as a guide, I'm sure any of her tours would be just as good as she was so professional but very easy to talk to and answered all my questions.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Pauline! Thank you for your positive response; I am glad you liked the tour. Thank you for your letter - I am impressed by your skills not only to survive in foreign city but also to see SO many things! Congratulations! My warmest wishes; Elena
Michael GosneyUnited States
Elena was punctual, knowledgeable, and provided an excellent customized tour of Catherine's Palace.
Jean LehmannUnited States
Elena was very accommodating, met us promptly at the cruise ship dock and was knowledgeable. Our only concern was the inability to hear her. The sound system in the van did not seem to work properly and when we were in the various sights it was almost impossible to hear. I would suggest an investment in the individual headphone systems for any larger group.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Jean, it was nice to meet such a group and it was pleasure to work with you. The microphone in a car was brand new and driver experienced it for the first time, probably not in the best way, sorry. As to myself – I had informed you that I got a sore throat because of high season. I will definitely think about your suggestion to get individual headphone system for such cases.
Our two day tour with Elena in St.Petersburg was incredible.With many,many tourists at Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage she managed to avoid some of the crowds,finding places to talk to us in a quieter area.She was enthusiastic,knowledgeable and friendly.Well prepared and planned out tour.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you, Patricia! I enjoyed my time with you and your nice company as well!
Steven M.Northfield, MN, United States
This was my second tour with Elena, the first being to Peterhof 18 months ago. The first tour was excellent. My two-day walking tour of wintertime St. Petersburg was also wonderful. Elena's English is very good, her knowledge of St. Petersburg is spectacular. She arrived with a fine plan for the two days, and was happy to modify that plan as my interests became clearer. She is a very pleasant person, and very resourceful. She, somehow, got tickets to a sold-out ballet performance at the Mariinsky!
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Steve, thank you! Looking forward to seeing you at your third visit of Saint-Petersburg )))
David BaldwinUnited Kingdom
An excellent guide with a very sound knowledge. Nothing was too much trouble.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you, David!!!
Linda DeitelhoffUnited States
Elena was a fabulous guide. She was so energetic, enthusiastic and informative. She really tried to make our tour personal and terrific. She knew the area so well that she got us in and out of sites like a magician. We were so thrilled with her that we could not stop giving her praises for days after we left St. Petersburg. What a warm and educated lady she is. What a gem. Thanks from Dick, Linda, Pete, Marge
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Oh, Linda, Thank you!!It was easy to be nice in such a wonderful company. Best regards to Dick, Marge and Pete.
Dear little Elena - what wonderful guide - knew how to get the most out of every minute of our days in St Petersburg - very professional and knowledgeable of this amazing city - we would definately recommend her as a guide.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Janet, thank you for nice words! I enjoyed being with our small group, and really happy to meet more members of my "Australian Club"! Warmest regards to your husband and your friends.
Elena is passsionate about her city of St Petersburg and environs. She is an excellent communicator and so knowledgeable about any thing that we wished to know. We choose this wonderful lady for she willingly came up with four great days which catered to our desires (other than her listed tours) We figured that by the time that we finished with Viking; we would be tired of palaces and churches. We would highly recommend that you consider her as your guide.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Norman, I am glad I met people who had passion to discover and learn more and more in this World...Actually it was my dream - to take people not to the well known places. And we did it! I pay my respect to the courage and good mood of your small group. One thing you have forgotten to mention is, - as Marilyn said, - that I am a good doctor :-))). Hugs and kisses to everybody, let's stay in touch.
Patricia HaseltineUnited States
Elena helped organize a wonderfully informative tour for us concentrating on art and architecture. She is a mature, energetic and knowledgeable guide. Moreover she was very patient with the diverse requirements and paces of our little group. Her understanding of the history and various culture(s)of St Petersburg was clearly expressed. We all enjoyed the two day experience so much that we look forward to our next trip there.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Patricia, thank you for your comment! And so wonderful surprise for me - all your nice group wants to come back one day....I enjoyed my time with You, Susan, Mary and Anna - please, give my warmest regards to them, and let stay in touch. Good luck in your work!
Steven M.Northfield, MN, United States
The Peterhof estate is fascinating, both indoors and out. Elena is very personable, professional, knowledgeable, willing to adjust tour specifics to our interests and courteously assertive to make sure we got through lines, etc., as quickly as possible. Her English, while accented, is very good. Our only difficulty (five stars otherwise) with Elena was the softness of her voice. Even when outside in the quiet gardens of Peterhof our group of six would need to huddle closely around Elena to hear her.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Steve, thank you for your positive feedback. I am glad you liked the tour and for me too, it was real pleasure to deal with such nice and intelligent people. I haven't had people comment on the quietness of my voice before, during my long term work as a tour guide/interpreter. Probably the effect arose because of stormy rain weather and constant noise of the numerous fountains in Peterhoff. In the future, I'll make sure to check in with clients to make sure they can hear me!