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If you are looking for Viator excursions for your solo trip, below is my Viator review. I used Viator for Hermitage Museum tickets during my trip to St. Petersburg in August 2019.
Viator are an American company. You can book over 345,000 tours and activity through them on the site. They are more popular in North America as Europeans tend to use Get Your Guide, but they have tours in various countries and are easy to use.
Having posted in our Facebook community about what to do in Russia, I was recommended to see the Hermitage Museum, an iconic museum and the second largest art museum in the world. The Hermitage showcases three million items of Russian art and culture and is huge! Being August and the top attraction in St Petersburg I knew it was going to be busy so I booked a skip-the-line ticket.
Why Viator for Hermitage Museum Tickets?
Having researched other tour websites, some of the tours were for a minimum of two people. Viator does have certain tours for a minimum amount of people but some of them allow you to book just one person, especially for museum tickets.
They had plenty of options for the Hermitage Museum including, Hermitage skip-the-line ticket with concierge service, a small group tour of the Hermitage museum, tours to the private rooms inside the museum, the Hermitage museum and impressionists, and two day tickets. Knowing the museum also had English translations, I opted for the standard Hermitage Museum skip-the-line ticket without a guide.
Whilst creating my Viator booking I saw that they offer a lowest price guarantee meaning that if you find it cheaper they will refund the difference. They also had 24/7 global support and the guarantee that you can book securely with SSL encryption.
After adding the tour to my shopping cart, I had to fill out my details with any special requirements then pay with my card. My account was instantly created and I received a receipt straight away.
Hermitage museum hours were from 10:30am to 6pm every day except Wednesday and Friday when the museum was open until 9pm. Last admission is 30 minutes before it closes. My ticket allowed me to access the museum for the whole duration.
Positives and Negatives
Always one for travelling on a budget, if I don’t have to take a tour I usually self-guide myself around. It was a busy time in the city and I didn’t want to wait for hours to enter the museum. Having a pre-booked ticket meant that I could avoid the line of people who just turned up wanting to buy a ticket. Having a skip-the-line ticket also meant that I could avoid the pre-paid queue and walk to another entrance around the side of the museum for skip-the-line tickets only. It made the process a lot quicker and for just a few Pounds more was worth it.
One of the challenges I find when I travel solo is having to print off airline tickets or other tickets. Viator delivered me a mobile ticket that could just be scanned at the machine, taking the hassle out of looking for a print shop and trying to communicate with my lack of Russian.
Are Viator Good Value?
Yes, they offer competitive prices compared to other sites. My Hermitage Museum skip-the-line ticket was $25 and valid for the whole day. Mobile tickets are accepted and all I had to do was either tap the ticket link in ‘my bookings’ or in my conformation email. I could either download my ticket straight onto my mobile phone or press the email button to have it emailed it to me instead. The ticket had a bar code that could be scanned, my full name, the name of the attraction and the date it was valid.
If I needed to make changes or cancel it there was a link to my booking as well as a phone number for Visit St. Petersburg.
Who Are Viator For?
For city and sightseeing GatGs you can buy city passes for various cities which save you money if you are planning on visiting many attractions. Even if you’re not a tour person you can use them for tickets for attractions that you don’t want to miss out on. They are especially good for the arty & museum Girl about the Globe as they offer museum tickets with many skip-the-line options which are great for cities such as London, Paris and Barcelona that usually attract a lot of tourists.
Who Are They Not For?
Anyone who doesn’t like tours and wants to organise and self-guide themselves. There are mixed reviews about Viator on the internet so maybe it does depend on your tour guide. Although I didn’t have any interaction with any Viator tour guides, I definitely recommend the platform for tickets and would use them again in the future.
I used Viator for the Hermitage Museum but there are many more tours available on their platform. If you are planning a trip to Russia then you may enjoy my Best Russia Tours.
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