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Natalie Ivanova

Verified guide

Linguist, interpreter, lover of the Word, former missionary, history digger

Saint Petersburg
My story

My whole life I've been on a move. Lived all across Russia and some other countries of Eastern Europe. Visited Saint-Petersburg for work and friendly visits before I finally moved here about 8 years ago. I moved to St-Petersburg from Moscow, where I lived for 10 years. For 19 years I worked in one of the international christian organizations that moved their head office to St-Pete and that required my move as well. I wouldn't have chosen to move here on my own for the lack of sun in winters, even though I really loved it in late spring and summer. But when I did move I found there are lots of things helping you to stay positive even at its darkest seasons. One of the best ways is browsing the city. I would often take visiting friends and colleagues for city walks and play a guide along the way, as well as helping them find the best routs for hitting the most of what they want to see in a given time. I am ready to do the same for you.

What do I do here?

I have recently left ministry and am freelancing as an interpreter. I still love exploring new parts of the city, strolling the streets and embankments, visit museums and theaters, sit and chat heart to heart with friends in local cafes and restaurants. I am a fairly regular visitor of Mariinsky Theater. If you plan your trip way ahead of time I might be able to get you a cheaper ticket for their performances. I love to travel and explore other cultures myself. Have been to 24 countries and hope to keep counting. Always preferred to do the exploring with locals since thus you get a more genuine, not too polished view on things. Hope to do the same for you.

What's the best of my city?

Saint-Petersburg is Russian, and yet so European. When I just moved here, I had a feeling someone locked me up in the museum. Wherever you go, whatever you see is quite amazing by it's beauty, historical and/or cultural value, and finding you often find yourself in the midst of something happening. (e.g. Movie being filmed, exhibitions "on tour", jazz bands in coffee shops, street musicians). This city keeps on giving. There are streets and buildings I've passed so many times and I still keep being surprised and finding/noticing new details even in the most known by me places. I promise to point those finds to you too. And then there are numerous towns in the suburbs with the former royal residences and amazing parks.

My tours secret sauce

Beside the most common and well known places we can go to the offbeat ones. There are plenty of those. New Holland Island, smaller palaces, gardens and churches. In me you are also getting a personal interpreter able to translate guided tours simultaneously and thus giving you a chance to save on extra services of more expensive venues for foreigners. Like a boat trip around canals and rivers guided in Russian will be cheaper and you still will get everything they talk about. Extra spice? (Seasoned to your individual taste...) Q/A on Bible and Christianity in general. Walking the streets and passing by or even visiting some churches we can talk about the history of Christianity in general and in Russia in particular. Explore the Biblical stories in art as we walk the halls of Hermitage. Or we can choose a nice cafe or restaurant for more in-depth discussion.

Interests
Museums
Places of Interest
History
Art
Theaters
Hiking
Nature and Parks
I also provide
Travel Planning
City photo
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Discover Saint Petersburg with Natalie Ivanova