I used this service at the end of May and it was excellent. Very efficient. I have a number of e-mails with the Greeter Manager and then with my allocated greeter. One potential problem was that some of the e-mails were redirected into my spam box so I did not see them initially.
My greeter arranged to meet me at my hotel at 11.30am and she, and another greeter were there on time. I had already said that I did not want to see the main tourist spots but wanted to see where locals go at weekends, see local areas.
I was taken to a park 15 mins away on metro where Catherine The Great resided. It was magnificent with sculptures, fountains and tremendous views. Families were there and it was amazing to see somewhere so grand and spacious so near the city. I think I was the only English speaking person in the park! We then went to a couple of residential areas in the city to see what the local scene was like. Local shops, churches, shops, restaurants....
There appear to be more volunteers than customers for this service. The greeters are emazingly enthusiastic about their city and really willing to talk about it, also about Russian culture, changes since the demise of USSR, family life... etc I learnt more about the people of Russia in this 6 hours (yes, 6 hours) thanon any tour. It is completely free but I suggest that the greeters deserve something for donating their time, especially when you see the prices guides charge. Guides may be professional but greeeters speak from the heart.
I would willingly use this service again. They have only been going 6 months but i am sure they will be busy when the word gets around. Good Luck to them.
For Moscow tour www.moscowgreeter.ru
[Edited: 2011 Jul 17 18:36 - Mell:49612 - Moved to Other Travel Sites forum. 😊]
Thanks for the tip. It sounds very well run.
very comprehensive tip! excellent!