Guide Maria

"When Maria tells a story, it’s not just from a script. It’s from the experience and knowledge only a true citizen can offer”.

My name is Maria and I have been working as a guide since 2006 with both individuals and groups. I started working with cruise ships, employed with the leading tour agencies of St. Petersburg and now I also work as an independent guide.

I was born in St. Petersburg and I grew up in this city. And, being a local guide I can offer you different tours –from classical tours such as to the Hermitage or Catherine’s palace –to metro tours, modern art museum tours, local life experience tours, etc.

I love my city and I love my job! I always do my best to customize tours to the unique wishes, needs and desires of my clients!

I really believe that interaction with a local tour guide provides a better experience of the city and its beauty and its spirit.

My Background and Licenses.

I started working as an English-speaking guide in 2006 when I was certified as a professional guide-interpreter. In 2008 I graduated from the State University of St. Petersburg. I have a degree in English and Intercultural Communication. In winter I work as an English tutor giving private lessons. 

I am a fan of photography! I love travelling and taking pics of places I visit! Living in such a great city as St. Petersburg gives a lot of opportunities to make amazing photos!

Making them I try to render the unique atmosphere of my city. It helps me in my job too.


Just come to St. Petersburg! And ….i will do my best to make your trip an unforgettable experience! Together, we will visit the most amazing and unusual places in the cultural capital of Russia, enjoy the rivers and canals of “Venice of the north” and immerge into the history of the city and its modern life!“When Maria tells a story, it’s not just from a script. It’s from the experience and knowledge only a true citizen can offer”.



Client's feedbacks:

"I want to tell you we really enjoyed having Maria as our guide in St Petersburg.  She is a delightful young woman who was very knowledgeable about everything.  We felt we learned so much.  She was funny, smart and great at weaving us in and out among the throngs of tourists from the tour ships.  Maria certainly made our time in your beautiful city so much richer than it would have been on our own.  We would highly recommend her to everyone". 

Linda Bernstain, USA, 06/09/11 


"Maria astounded our small group with her phenomenal grasp of Russian history and deep reservoir of facts & figures. More importantly, she was amazingly proactive in designing a tour for us, ascertaining our particular interests & tastes, and adjusting as necessary as we reached the limits of our abilities to take in the spectacular sites and rich cultural milieu of Russia. 

She worked overtime to get us past lines and make reservations at great restaurants. Her driver and transport were very good. And her English is impeccable. 

 She is charming-- a joy to be around-- brimming with enthusiastic about all aspects of Russian culture. She went above and beyond: on the only occasion where she didn't know a precise figure, she immediately telephoned to have it looked up! We would enthusiastically recommend her to anyone wanting to plan trips in St. Petersburg and surroundings.

 Ken Mariash, West Los Angeles, California"


"Our guide in St. Petersburg...Maria, was fantastic. We had an incredible experience during our stay in

St. Petersburg in August of 2010. We feel very lucky to have had the time we did with Maria. She wasrecommended by a friend of ours Frank Andriolo, who had been there a few weeks before us.

St. Petersburg is a wonderful city with a rich history and a knowledgeable guide is essential to getting the most out of a visit there. Maria knows her stuff and presented her information in depth, or very simply, depending on our needs. She knows the ins and outs of getting around and through the many Museums and Palaces that you must see while visiting St. Petersburg. I doubt we would have the great memories of our time there without Maria, or our hope to return someday."

 Peter Amsden, Los Angeles, CA


"My wife and I and two dear friends visited st.petersburg for a few days in late 2010 andthought the best way to see "venice of the north" was to have an experienced guide.

Having been before to prague, budapest, sofia and krakow we knew the value of the close attention of someone to assist us in a country we had never visited before. We certainly got lucky finding maria kiryanova who was a delightful and extremely well informed guide to st.petersburg. She was punctual, courteous, and spoke fluent English. She really made our short trip most enlightening covering the "must-see"places comprehensively, (and using a first class people-carrier driver when needed) and adding very interesting commentary all along the way. Her informed choice of restaurants was perfect too.

it is difficult to see how we could have done any better in a truly marvellous historiccity, and we can genuinely recommend maria kiryanova to anyone visiting st.petersburgand leave feeling you have definitely learned something. mr.pushkin would be veryproud of her! "

 Richard Cole, Woking, Surrey, England.

 "Hi Stasi,


Just a short note to tell you how pleased Helen and I were with the guide services of both Maria and Olga. They were both extremely knowledgeable, helpful and instructive. Our visit would not have been the same without their services.

Please feel free to use our enthusiastic recommendation."

Bob and Helen Guttentag, 18-22 May 2012

Hello Stasy,

                    I would like to tell you how pleased we were with Maria as a guide in Russia.  She was pleasant, very knowledgeable of the subject  matter and very well spoken.  It was a pleasure having her take us around and show us your beautiful country.  You are very lucky to have her representing your tour company.



                                                                                                 Mike Fisher. June 30, 2012

 "When I was planning our first trip to St. Petersburg, I was referred by a colleague to Maria with  I wrote her and she efficiently and capably proposed several different options for us.  We would be on a cruise and only had two days in St. Petersburg.  We made all arrangements by email and Maria always replied quickly to any of my inquiries.  She had outstanding suggestions and we made a plan for four of us for the two days.  Her fees were very fair and reasonable and we got a lot of value – especially compared to taking out your own Visas or planning expensive and impersonal excursions through the cruise line.  (And cruise lines always talk about how important it is to take an excursion so you are back on time – but we never worried with Maria – she planned every minute perfectly and always kept track of the time and was sure we were back without any stress or time pressure).


I cannot recommend Maria highly enough.  She handled our visas, all tickets for all museums/sites, and arranged for a driver with a very spacious large clean van to pick us up at the cruise terminal and drive us for the two days.  Her advance planning really made the two days perfect in every way.  We would not have changed a thing!  (And the private van was really a plus because instead of walking blocks to where a large bus may park from a cruise line, she and the driver were in constant communication and he always magically appeared near the door when we walked out of any museum – it saved us a lot of time!)  On a side note, Maria spoke perfectEnglish.


On our first day, Maria arrived right on time at the cruise terminal and as we drove to Catherine’s Palace and Peterhof Fountains/Gardens she amazed all of us with the information she provided.  She knows St. Petersburg, history, customs, architecture, art and so much more.  She made it all fascinating and fun.  She is full of energy and her outgoing personality added so much to our two days.  We made some stops along the way at important sites and again her knowledge of her city and the history was astonishing.  She was able to help us by-pass often long lines and knew exactly where to take us at each site due to our limited time.  We explained the type of restaurant we wanted for lunch (traditional Russian food) and she took us to the perfect place.  It seemed everyone knew her everywhere we went and everyone was very fond of her – which was great for all of us!  At the end of day one she returned us to the cruise terminal as pre-arranged and we all four looked forward to day two with her.


Day two we went to the Hermitage Museum where she again helped us by-pass lines and where she knew exactly what rooms and art to focus on so we got a broad overview of the massive museum that would take weeks to fully explore.  She even started by taking us across the river and giving us an overview of all the buildings so once we were inside we could picture exactly what building we were in or bridge we were on.  Again I loved her energy and while she never rushed us, she really made sure we saw as much as possible and a wide variety of objects and rooms.  She again picked a perfect place for lunch.


I will add on day one I told her I needed to buy a Cossack hat for my brother and she took me to two of the best stores with the best selection to find what I needed.  Also, I was with my daughter and her best friend, both graduates of USC in California.  One of them found a matryoshka (Russian nesting doll set) with the USC main football players.  We couldn’t believe such a find!  Sadly they only had one so only one of the girls was able to get one.  Unbeknownst to us, over the two days, Maria had been making calls to all the stores that sold matryoshkas and found possibly the only other USC set of Russian nesting dolls in St. Petersburg and she had the driver take us there and both girls were happy to have their own special keepsake!  This was just one example of how Maria wanted everything to be perfect for us and on our visit.  And speaking of my daughter and her friend, they asked Maria what people their age (24-25) do in the evenings and it got them talking about various drinks.  Maria taught them about a drink that is a shot of vodka with a touch of grenadine and 3 dashes of Tabasco.  The girls returned to the ship and a couple of their bartender friends made the drink and it was a big hit – they named it the “Hot Maria” in Maria’s honor!


You can put your complete faith in Maria in terms of her planning, organization and follow-through.  Should we be fortunate enough to return to St. Petersburg we would be eager to work with Maria again."


Erica Meadows

Los Angeles, California

Hi Stasy,

Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much we enjoyed our recent 2 day visit to St Petersburg.  Maria arranged an amazing tour for our group of 6.  We emailed each other and I detailed all the places we hoped to see while in this wonderful city, Maria did her magic and came up with an incredible itinerary and arranged everything including our tour visas. On arriving at the cruise ship terminal Maria greeted us as old friends, transport and driver Alexandrea were first class, we had a full day and every detail was perfect. This included a trip around the city, the Hermitage museum including as an extra the Gold and Diamond rooms! A private boat trip along the rivers and canals, souvenir shopping and finishing at the Faberge exhibition.  Her wealth of knowledge made everything so interesting and also such fun.. At the end of our first full day we were transported back to the cruise ship terminal on time and excited for the following day.
Day 2 was again just as amazing visiting St Catherine's palace and peterhof.Maria's in-depth knowledge was wonderful and fascinating, we had 2 full days in St Petersburg and loved every minute of it.  Maria made our trip and we can't speak highly enough of her. Thank you Maria

Kind regards
Dianne Measom, Great Britain

 Dear Ms Mary 

We thanks to you for  organising well plan and cost effective personalised tour during our visit to St. Petersburg. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and she made day to day plan in well structured manner to save time and covering almost all historical and sight seen places .
The overall tour was also very cost effective beside your best services by getting all tickets before hand to get entry without waiting. 
Also thanks for  introducing a guide for our Moscow and she has also planed very meticulously our one day short visit to Moscow covering all top sight seen places including kremlin. 
V K Singh