By far the best and most relaxing way to get an overview of St. Petersburg is to take a boat trip along the city’s canals and rivers.
Rivers and canals in St. Petersburg play the part of roads. Many of the city’s most beautiful palaces, gardens, and cathedrals lie alongside the waterways. You can find boats leaving from the Fontanka and Moika rivers and the Griboedov canal as they cross Nevskii Prospekt, the city’s main boulevard. A boat tour lasts one hour and will cost you about RUB200 (€5.75; $7.75).
For more adventurous Cheapos, boat trips further afield are also possible. One exciting itinerary heads up the River Neva, crosses Lake Ladoga, and sails into the Valaam archipelago (see above.) With its 50 small islands, the archipelago boasts the beautiful forested island of Valaam and its old orthodox monastery. The excursion lasts two nights and leaves from the Passenger River Terminal (nearest metro Proletarskaya). Fares range from RUB2290 (€66; $89) to RUB3900 (€112; $151) depending on dates and ship standard.