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Big doubt on final itinerary (Scandinavia and Russia)...

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Jul 31st, 2008, 10:58 AM
  #1
gpm
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Big doubt on final itinerary (Scandinavia and Russia)...

Hello,
we finally managed to decide on our departure date from Brazil to Scandinavia, but we can not decide on our final itinerary. We had excellent inputs from some friends in this forum, but we would like some extra opinion on what do to.
The big question is if we should do Scandinavia and St Petersburg or just do Scandinavian countries and leave Russia for a next trip. We will be two or three guys travelling together, all of us in our early 30's, interested in some sightseeing, monuments and nightlife. Not soooo interested in museums, but we would not miss L'Hermitage, for example.
Our proposed itinerary, including St. Petersburg, is as follows:

Aug 29: Arrival in St Pete at 11 pm.
Aug 30: St Pete
Aug 31: St Pete
Sep 1: St Pete
Sep 2: Train to Helsinki
Sep 3: Day trip to Tallinn
Sep 4: Helsinki. Ferry at night to Stockholm
Sep 5: Stockholm
Sep 6: Stockholm
Sep 7: Flight to Oslo
Sep 8: Oslo
Sep 9: Norway in a Nutshell. Sleep in Flam
Sep 10: Sleep in Bergen
Sep 11: Flight to Copenhagen
Sep 12: Copenhagen
Sep 13: Flight back home at 6 pm.

What should we change? OR should'n we change anything? Please help us - we are in big doubt on what to do and any opinions will be very welcome!
My best regards,
gpm




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Jul 31st, 2008, 11:06 AM
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IMHO you're trying to cover too much. St Pet and Stockholm need 4/5 days each, Copenhagen 3 (more with day trips) an Oslo at least 2.

I would do just Scandinavia and leave Russia (St pet and Moscow etc for another trip).
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Jul 31st, 2008, 11:21 AM
  #3
gpm
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I see. This is our opinion too, but it hurts a little to miss St. Pete..
Another option (without St PEte) would be:

Aug 30: Arrival in Helsinki at 11pm.
Aug 31: Helsinki
Sep 1: Day trip to Tallinn
Sep 2: Helsinki. Ferry at night to Stockholm
Sep 3: Stockholm
Sep 4: Stockholm
Sep 5: Stockholm
Sep 6: Flight to Oslo
Sep 7: Oslo
Sep 8: Norway in a Nutshell. Sleep in Flam
Sep 9: Sleep in Bergen
Sep 10: Flight to Copenhagen
Sep 11: Copenhagen
Sep 12: Copenhagen
Sep 13: Flight back home at 6 pm.

And we could probably have one extra day. What would you do with it?
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:03 PM
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You can go everywhere you have listed. I have been to all those places a couple of times and you will be traveling - but that is why you are going - to travel.
I think I mentioned it in another post for you - I think one more night in Helsinki would be good.

If you know where in each city you want to go, you can see a lot in 2/3 days.

We have stayed overnight in Flam and there isn't much there for excitement - however, we enjoyed it. You may want to go directly to Bergen instead and have an extra evening in Bergen.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:23 PM
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Or instead of Flam you can overnight at the Stalheim, www.stalheim.com and then catch an early bus to Bergen. Norway in a Nutshell stops at the Stalheim so you can just get off and then continue when you want.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:36 PM
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I don't know about the night life, but St. Petersburg is definitely a walking city and worth the trip. More interesting than Helsinki or Tallin in my opinion.

As for itinerary, I would go from St. Petersburg to Tallin and from there to Helsinki. We took the night train to Tallin, arrived at 6 a.m., spent most of the day in Tallin (fans of the city might be horrified) and took a late ferry to Helsinki.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:43 PM
  #7
kja
 
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Hi, gpm -

St. Petersburg is wonderful - but I agree with those who think that trying to include it in this trip would mean too little time in too many of these wonderful destinations. I like your revised itinerary (the one without St. Petersburg) better for that reason.

If you have an extra day, you might consider Uppsala (perhaps as a day trip from Stockholm) or Roskilde (as a day trip from Copenhagen).

Hope that helps!
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:48 PM
  #8
kja
 
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I should add that I do understand your desire to include St. Petersburg in this trip. If you don't think you would get there later, and are willing to either keep pretty busy or miss a few things in most places, the itineray that includes St. Petersburg is probably do-able. Enjoy!
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Jul 31st, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Hi gpm
I would think while so close to St P's
do it ...it's not far from Helsinki and we were on a tour and so wished we had just slipped sideways from Helsinki into Russia!
If you have a chance the only thing I would change would be to get up to Geiranger and the troll road in Norway...so wonderful! Helsinki, and Oslo are lovely but Stockholm would be my pic for a longer visit of all the cities in Scandinavia.
Whatever you choose you will love the area as it's so different to the rest of Europe, and I guess the world...there's a lot to see out there and a short stay is better than none!
Enjoy
Rosie
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Jul 31st, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Having traveled to all these places, personally -- I would feel like you are cutting it short. Scandinavia is so gorgous, and you are a little rushed. Estonia is a one day for sure. St Peterburg - I was there and crushed that I couldn't spend more time at the Hermitage.
Susan
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Jul 31st, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I haven't been to Norway... but have been to all the others twice. Quite frankly, I'd cut out Helsinki rather than St. Petersburg.
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Jul 31st, 2008, 05:25 PM
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I just got back from Scandinavia and I know how you feel about wanting to see everything with the short amount time. We didn't even touch Finland or St. Petersburg and we felt like we didn't see enough of Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo & Bergen. We also don't like a lot of museums but we did visit a few that were interesting. Overall, we wished we had more time to just be in these cities. Everyone has different ways of travelling and if you aren't sure if you will be back in that area then go for it.

As for your itinerary, I agree with one of the other posters, I would stay one more night in Bergen over Flam, but that is my opinion.

Happy Travels.
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 08:01 AM
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", interested in some sightseeing, monuments and nightlife. Not soooo interested in museums, but we would not miss L'Hermitage, for example." With that in mind I would say do see St P but cut one day. We were there last week on a cruise and two full days of tourning were hard but very doable. And I don't think nightlife there is especially lively. We even had time to take in the Kirov Ballet at the Marinsky Theatre. Tallin seems to be a good 3 hour stop for a cruise ship stop, but more than that? Our favorite places were Copenhagen and Stockholm. Lots of activity, restaurants, night life and scenery. Oslo was ok but not as impressive to me as the other two. I am not familiar with Flam or Bergen.
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 08:51 AM
  #14
gpm
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Thank you all. This will be our final itinerary, I think:]

29/08: Arrival in Copenhagen
30/08: Copenhagen.
31/08: Copenhagen.
01/09: Flight to Bergen. Night there.
02/09: Norway in a Nutshell to Oslo.
03/09: Oslo
04/09: Oslo
05/09: Flight to Stockholm early morning
06/09 Stockholm.
07/09 Stockholm. Ferry at night to Tallinn.
08/08: Tallinn. Ferry to Helsinki
09/09: Helsinki
10/09; St Peterburg
11/09; St Peterburg
12/09: St Peterburg
13/09: back home in the afternoon.

Sounds good?
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Your itinerary sounds great.

We went by train between STockholm and Oslo - there is a night train to Stockholm. Not sure of cost compared to flying. But you would be in Stockholm very early in the morning ready for the day.

You could go by train to St petersburg from helsinki. You may want to check out the railpass as you will be using the train through Norway also. You get more of the feeling of a country when going by rail than by just jetting from city to city.

While in Oslo be sure to visit Vigeland Sculpture Park. It is amazing - also Viking Museum. Stroll down Karl Johansgata. We went to the Hamenkollen ski jump and it is a fantastic view from there.

Your working on your itinerary has certainly inspired me to make that trip again next year.
Be sure to let us know how you guys liked your journey.
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 02:05 PM
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Your itinerary loks great. Definitely if you are going to Helsinki it would be nutty not to get to St. Pete; is not like the route Brazil-St. Pete ought to be a piece of cake for you guys

The Hermitage is absolutely amazing, but it is the crowdest museum I have ever been to; total insanity. Definitely worth to get a private guide; during summertime you would barely be able to hear if the group is more than 15 people anyway.

Given the limited time in Norway, the Flam choice is a smart choice. Very, very acessible city with great transportation and connection schedules. Have fun!
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Aug 2nd, 2008, 04:05 PM
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Sounds good. Don't forget to have open face sandwiches in Copenhagen and see the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. The gift shops at the Hermitage are a reputable place to by souvenirs if you're into that sort of thing.
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Aug 3rd, 2008, 06:40 AM
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In Stockholm, even more important than the Vasa Museum (IMHO) is the Swedish Museum of National History. There you will see true Swedish history, including Viking relics, Bronze Age artifacts, medieval statues, amazing exhibits. I was so not impressed with the Vasa Museum, a warship built by the Dutch which never saw battle-- did not spoke 5 minutes of Swedish history to me. I felt I was in Disneyland-- dumb-down exhibit. My opinion; some people may refute by saying it is one of the most visited sites in Stockholm and that just goes to make MY point!
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Aug 4th, 2008, 09:25 AM
  #19
kja
 
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Sounds good, gpm - enjoy!
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Aug 6th, 2008, 03:33 AM
  #20
gpm
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Due to airfare prices, I might need to change some small things in the itinerary. I would need to end the trip in Helsinki.
I would like to know your opinion on that. Any comments on the train Tallinn-St Petersburg?
Thanks!

The original itinerary is:
07/09 Stockholm. Ferry at night to Tallinn.
08/08: Tallinn. Ferry to Helsinki
09/09: Helsinki
10/09; St Peterburg
11/09; St Peterburg
12/09: St Peterburg
13/09: back home in the afternoon.

And I would have to change it to:
07/09 Stockholm. Ferry at night to Tallinn.
08/08: Tallinn. Train at night to St Petersburg.
09/09: St. Petersburg.
10/09; St Petersburg.
11/09; St Petersburg.
12/09: Train in the morning to Helsinki.
13/09: back home in the afternoon.
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