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Trip Report just got back from Helsinki,tallin,st petersburg and stockholm

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We spent one day in Helsinki. We stayed at the Scandic Marski Hotel. Great location! It is in walking distance of the waterfront-just down the esplanade and across from Stockmans department store. We also took the# 3 tram in front of the hotel to tour the city and to the waterfront. The rooms were nice with a good breakfast and friendly staff. You only need a day in Helsinki.
The second day we took the linda line( fast boat) at 8am and arrive in Tallin at 9:30 am. We bought the tickets the day before and had a smooth trip. Tallin is a tourist city but worth the trip. We left at 5:30pm and had a wonderful day. It was worth going to the museum of freedom and the jewish synagogue.
We flew to St Petersburg the next day. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel. Great location and a lovely hotel! We hired a lovely guide thanks to the forum. She is Tatyana Churikova. We spent 3 1/2 days with her. She and her driver picked us up at the airport and took us to all the sights. You really need a guide since most people don't speak english and the russians have their own way of dealing with tourists. We had 1 1/2 days alone at the end and by that time we knew our way around and spent the days just walking the streets and visiting sights on our own. We did see swan lake at the hermitage theater which was really nice. We also had a wonderful meal at 1913, a restaurant down the street and to the right of St. Isaacs cathedral. It was worth going to!
We went to Stockholm and really fell in love with the city! We stayed at the Birger Jal Hotel for 3 nights . We walked into town (a 20 minute walk) or took the tram ( an 8 minute ride). The hotel was nice. Rooms were small but breakfast was good and the staff tried to be helpful. I would stay there again although I think Hotel Reisen was better located in Gamla Stan .The last 3 nights of our trip we switched to the Rica Talk Hotel near the convention center since my husband had a conference there. This hotel is strictly for conferences and not really tourist oriented. We were just glad that we had stayed in town first so we knew our way around. It is a 10 minute subway ride into town. The Vasa museum is a must! We also spent alot of time at the nobel museum. It was fascinating. You can skip Skansen. No one mentions how beautiful Stockholm is!
I should alert everyone that no one wants dollars in any of these countries. Also using them means a double exchange rate since they frist must be converted to euros. Use your debit card! There is an atm machine everywhere. Just make sure it is part of your bank's network ie. cirrus etc.
We had a wonderful trip and I appreciate all the help from these forums in planning this vaccation.

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