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Trip Report Moscow and St. Petersburg in Sept

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We spent 10 wonderful days in Moscow and St. Petersburg. For 7 of the 10 days we were on a Gate 1 tour. For 3 of the 10 days,we were on our own-1 day in Moscow and 2 days in St. Petersburg. We stayed at the Marriott Grand Moscow and Radisson Royal in St. Petersburg. Both were within easy walking distance of the major sites. The Marriott is a true 5 star hotel in terms of the room and the buffet breakfast. The Radisson is more 3-4 stars. I was satisfied with both and would recommend them, though the Marriott is certainly a nicer hotel and a better value.

On the day we arrived, and the day before the tour started we walked to the 19th and 20th century Art Museum located next door to the Pushkin Museum. The admission charge of $5 US is a bargain compared to admission charges for high quality art museums in the US.. We spent several hours viewing extraordinary impressionist art. If you like impressionist art I would highly recommend this museum.

On the first day of the tour we visited the Kremlin, Assumption Church and the Armoury Museum. We traveled by metro, boat and bus. The metro stations are extraordinary and I recommend taking the time to see at least some of them.

On the second day of the tour we traveled to St. Sergius Posad, a Golden Ring town about 1.5 hours by bus from Moscow. Although seeing the monastery and churches there was interesting, in retrospect I would have preferred to spend the day in central Moscow. There is a lot to see in Moscow and 2 days gives you just enough time to scratch the surface.

Red Square was closed for most of the time we were in Moscow because it was the anniversary of Moscow's founding, and official celebrations were going on in Red Square. We did get to see it on our last half day in Moscow, before we boarded our train for SP. But if seeing Red Square is a priority, I would not schedule your time in Moscow during the first weekend in Sept.

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