How it works:
- Opening: while queuing at tourist attractions, unofficial guides claiming to have a genuine tourist license will offer to bring you around or to help you skip the queue.
- Set-up: it’s likely that they will charge a high fee and the tour will be of poor quality.
Places to beware:
- Saint Petersburg: Hermitage Museum, Catherine’s Palace
What to do:
- There may be good unofficial guides – test them for a minute before committing. In general however, they are not worth it. Get a licensed, reputable guide instead:
- Offline operators: ask – is the operator licensed? Is there a website, office and working phone number? Are there real online reviews? What does the price cover – is it too cheap?
- Online platforms: GetYourGuide (best day tour platform in Europe) – also has many popular tours (e.g. Hermitage tour, Faberge Museum tour, Peterhof Grand Palace tour, etc).