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most see in Moscow-very limitted time.....

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Jan 16th, 2006, 12:02 PM
  #1
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most see in Moscow-very limitted time.....

I will be in Moscow 2 days,very limited time ,specially when I have only 1 day to see the Kremlin with cathedrals,armory-diamond fund and the St.basil cathedral.
could I see all these in the morning &
see the Novodivechiy convent in the afternoon, is there alot to see in this convent,is it a most see? I'm thinking on booking a tour guide , could someone recommend a good comp. to book from the U.S
it would be a full day tour. I have check
expressrussia and it looks good but pretty expensive , does'nt $215 per person sounds
pretty high? please, help. thanks.
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Jan 16th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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You can definitely see the Kremlin, almazny fond and Saint Basil's in one day.

As far as Novodevichy is concerned, it depends highly on your interests- I have been a few times and I wouldn't call it a "must-see"- for most people. It is beautiful, and many famous people are buried there.

If I only had two days in Moscow, I would spend one in the area of Red Square (Kremlin, Lenin's Mausoleum, Saint Basil's, GUM) and then the other either at the Tretyakov Gallery or visiting Moscow State University, or both (will you have a driver? The subway may serve you just as well, and be cheaper & faster). Also most people like to spend some time on the Arbat- good place to grab lunch or dinner.

I cannot recommend a tour guide, as the most recent time we were in Moscow our guide was not good. $215 pp seems VERY high.


Let me know if you have other questions!

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Jan 16th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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thanks, I'm going on a tour and they offer us on the first day panoramic of the city, the Red Sq., the Gum and the metro tour as an optional.But the 2nd day although they go to the Kremlin and they do visit the Armory they do not visit the inside of the cathedrals
neither the fund, so I have to find a guide to take us,that way we'll save some time,not having to get in line.
I though about the novodivechiy because I would love to see the inside of the churches and all the decords with icons but if I'm short on time and the cathedrals inside the Kremlin are pretty much the same, I might just stay at the Kremlin and go to the old Arbat in the afternoon to mingle with locals. I also though about the Tretyakov G.but again time is an issue and I will go to the Hermitage and the russian museum in St.Pet.
My other question would be if I'm inside the Kremlin and I want to go to the St.Basil-red.sq. again is the walk to far..? is it easy to get to see the inside of the church? Is it safe for 2 women to walk around, during day light
are they Atm inside the Gum to get money and are the directions in different languages? Sorry,I guess is more than 1 Q. lol!!!
thanks,I appreciate your help.


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Jan 16th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Apart of what other recommended, I suggest to take the metro and visit some stations - they are so beautiful, many statues, pictures, decorations and lights..I thing that it is the most beautiful metro in the world!
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Jan 16th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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yeap! I'm not missing the metro.
thanks.
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Jan 16th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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Hi Marti1-

I would be really surprised if your Kremlin tour doesn't include visiting the interiors of the cathedrals- it doesn't take long to visit the 2-3 important cathedrals.

As far as the interiors at Novodevichy, we were not able to enter the cathedrals during our tour, but several icons were arranged in a small gallery-like building on the grounds. It was nice, but I wouldn't bother if you are short on time.

The collection of icons at the Tretyakov Gallery, on the other hand, is quite impressive. There are quite a few at the Russian Museum in Piter though- so see what you can do!

The walk from the main entrance (tourist entrance) of the Kremlin will bring you through Alexsandrovsky Sad (Garden) past the shopping center at Okhotny Ryad, and past the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You will walk directly toward the Historical Museum, hang a quick right- and directly onto Red Square. The whole walk will take 10 minutes- 15 to get to Saint Basil's.

I did not visit the interior of Saint Basil's on my most recent 4-5 trips, but I know that some touch ups were being done as it will be utilized when the "Big 8" visit Moscow. Really the interior is interesting, but nothing spectacular.

I don't know about ATMS inside GUM- I always use the exchange points at banks or ATMS at banks to get $$ in Europe- I feel a bit safer that way, and I can find out before traveling if my bank has any sister banks (ie lower service charges!) in the country I'm visiting. Usually there are banks near hotels- do you know where you are staying?

I have lived in Russia on and off while in school and since then, and I have always walked around alone, taken the metro alone, etc. I also speak fairly fluent Russian, so this is a slight advantage. I would recommend that if you are going to take the metro without a guide, learn the Cyrillic alphabet.

If your tour offers a subway option, take it!!! It is really impressive, and quite inexpensive & practical.

What time of year are you going?

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Jan 17th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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hi! Katya ny.
thanks alot, for all your info.
I'm going next July- will be in Moscow
July 30 and 31st.I'll be at the Meridien hotel( national h.) and yes, the tour offers the metro tour aswell as the panoramic at night tour.I was also surprise they don't visit the inside of the cathedrals,but what I like about this tour comp. is that offers alot of free time to explore on your own.
So, when is the "BIG 8" happenning? and
what is your personal scooop about us visiting the old Arbat St.-safe to go on our own? any rest. suggestion( I would love to have tipical Russian food.)
Any word also on St.Petersburg?
Thanks.
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Jan 17th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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Hi Marti1!

I'm not really sure about the BIG 8 conference- sometime this upcoming year...?

The National has a GREAT location, and is lovely inside. Excellent choice! You will be centrally located for just about anything, so have no fear- your free time will not be wasted commuting in from a distant hotel.

The Arbat is a wonderful place, full of artists, tourists, performers, and shops- in addition to smaller sales "kiosks". Be aware that once you purchase things, you will be very clearly a tourist, and therefore the sales people will address you directly as you walk by. I usually take a full walk around before purchasing, so that I can really get a feel for what there is to offer, then go back and purchase. Feel free to barter and turn down the first price, too- in the open air market type places.

I have never had any problems with safety, and I think that most people that do are more... well, spectacles of tourism than I am. I keep no $$ in an outside pocket, very little $$ in my purse, and the rest in a money belt.

There are several good restaurants in the Arbat area with some good food, but it will cost more- try some Georgian food if given the chance. Even my picky sister liked it! If you are feeling like a little adventure, there is a good, cheap Georgian restaurant- called Guria. They have live music some nights, too- I would imagine in the summer they have it more regularly. They are owned by a family that also owns Mama Zoya, located at Metro Kropotkinskaya. Mama Zoya is a bit more fancy and pricy though.

Another cheap option is Yolki Palki- simple Russian fare (most Russian food is fairly simple) and a chain, located around the city. Also another popular inexpensive chain is Mu-mu, this is more cafeteria style though.

I LOVE Saint Petersburg, and most of my Russian friends live there. How long will you be in Piter? Where are you staying?

At this time of year, I HOPE you will visit Peterhof Palace outside of Saint Petersburg- the fountains are incredible!

Let me know if you have other questions!



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Jan 17th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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You will find ATMs in the GUM as well as many other places, most are mult-language.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Thank you Garfield.
hey, friend-(katya ny)
Hi, I'll be in St.Pet for 4 days, we are staying at the Novotel Centre.
Yes,I would not miss the Peterhof, how long is the drive timewise and I though on going to Novgorod, but
after reviewing my Dk book it looks like there's lots of things to see and I want to see as much as possible, I travel to different places every year, so I'm not sure when I'll be back to Russia.Plus my mom needs her shopping time.LOLOL!! In ST.Pet. I'm planning to see also the Catherine P. aswell as the usual, the Herm.-the peter & paul,St.issacs,the summer gardens etc..
I was wondering did you see the inside os the Spilled B.? can you take pictu-res inside of any churches ,inside palaces or museums?
Tell me is St.Pet an easy city to walk, are sights all spread out or are they around the same area?
Did you visit the Kazan Church, I hear is almost impossible to get in-long lines... also, I was going to ask you
what is the weather like at the enf of July , does it rain alot? I love to take pictures and nice weather always help.
and last, I promised not to ask you so
many questions anymore....
Did you visit the Yusupov P., should I
write it down as a must see?
Well, have a great day!
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Jan 18th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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mile, I'm not katya (or nearly as knowledgeable about SP as katya), but I did visit there in late July last year and it was beautiful. We had a few showers, but they seemed to pass quickly; otherwise, it was sunny and very pleasant. It's a beautiful city and great for walking around and taking pictures! I was able to take pictures inside at some locations, including the Hermitage, Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Isaac's, Catherine Palace, etc. In some of those, you have to buy a photo permit for a small fee. We used the hydrofoil to get to Peterhof. It is a nice 35-40 minute ride. You catch it near the Hermitage, and it lets you off adjacent to the gardens and about a 10-15 minute walk to the palace. I believe the RT ticket was 600 Rb. And no problems getting into Kazan cathedral when we were there. Enjoy!

Photos, if you're interested:

http://community.webshots.com/user/go_family
(however, Webshots is down today, so you'd have to look at these later)
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Jan 18th, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Thanks, MS GO. you are great help too.
Question , so you did the Peterhof on
your own.?
yes, in Prague and also Budapest you paid a picture fee at the museums, which is fine.
I saw your pictures already, they're great.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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marti1, yes, we went to Peterhof on our own but only to the gardens (which, alone, are worth the trip, by the way). The only day we had sufficient time to go was the day that the palace was closed (Monday???). There were actually quite a few people there that day. We'd been to the Catherine Palace and the Winter Palace during the previous days, so that was fine with us - and I'll get back there someday.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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cool! thanks.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Hi marti1!

I also have taken both the Hydrofoil & buses to Peterhof- the hydrofoil is quicker but more $$. When we went in October with the students, we drove- and traffic can be a problem. I would guess-timate maybe 1 hr- 1.5 hrs, each way by car/bus? The hydrofoil is def. a worthwhile investment, in my opinion- its a fun ride, too.

Catherine Palace (don't miss the Amber Room!) and the Hermitage are incredible. With a limited time schedule, do not try to see "everything" in the Hermitage-

a) its impossible

b) you'll appreciate it less.

As far as "walk-ability", St.Pete is fairly user-friendly. I can't mentally "place" the Novotel Centre, but I would assume it is around Nevsky Prospekt somewhere. Nevsky is the place I judge distance from, and from Nevsky you can walk to the Hermitage, Spilled Blood, everything basically- short of the palaces.

If your mom is a shopper, visit the "rynok" (open air market) behind the Cathedral on the Spilled Blood. It is souvenir city. BTW the cathedral itself is one of my favorite places in Piter now- the interiors are all mosaics, and just spectacular. In most places you can take pictures, for a price (as mentioned previously). For me I ALWAYS buy the permit, but I encourage my students to consider just buying a postcard or two if its too much $$. (Then I give them my pics on disk!)

The Yusupov Palace is cool, but with limited time, may be hard to squeeze in. I would be sure to spend some time in the Russian Museum in lieu of Yusupov.

The weather in Piter in July is variable- it can be HOT, it can be cool- very similar to NY, where I'm from. Assume it will be rainy at least one day. Most rain (in my experience!) is in the fall, but you can never know...

Piter is very into the cafe culture these days, and strangely enough hookah bars are all over, too. The cafes can be fun- my students havea running joke now about the sheer number of cafes they visited with their hosts while in Piter!

I wish I had plans to be in Russia this summer! With me, I still could be... Please let me know if there is anything else I can help with!

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Jan 18th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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katya ny, thank you. Your students must love traveling with you.
You sound like a fun teacher to have...
lucky them .
And of course another question came up.
About the winter palace-Hermitage are these 2 separate things , located in the same building? like the museum in one end and the Palace on other,do you see an actual palace with the royal funiture, oils etc... and a part the museum , so if the tour mentions a visit to the Hermitage is not necessary to the tsar living quaters.
excuse my ignorance and if I'm confusing you , but I just though about it.
thanks.
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Jan 18th, 2006, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for all this information. Keep it coming!!!
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Jan 18th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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Hi again Marti1- happy to help! I love traveling to Russia (or anywhere, really) and I love this board for its ability to share info. so easily!


As far as the Hermitage is concerned, it is the palace, plus a few additional buildings. Usually while inside, I get turned around and pay little attention to which segment I'm in.

If you want to get a feel for it before going, I would recommend renting "Russian Ark"- its the film that was made in one continuous take inside the Hermitage. The feat itself is incredible, and the movie shows so much spectacular scenery...

The residential area is actually quite small, and while I find it interesting, most people want to see the artworks, maybe the throne rooms, etc... Usually the living quarters aren't open anyway- I happened upon them on a Sunday last time.

If you have limited time, the biggest thrills (in my humble opinion) are:

1) The Jordan staircase (as soon as you walk in, if not on a tour)

2) The Raphael Loggias (just throught here you will find the Da Vincis, as well)

3) Pavilion Hall

4) The Gold Drawing Room

5) Whatever art you are interested in!

Sadly, on my last trip as a chaperone, several students did not get a chance to visit the Hermitage- we were not scheduled to visit as a group, as the school felt it would be an easy thing for host families to do on a weekend. This really saddened me, as even though I have been so many times, I feel I can't leave until I've spent (at least an hour!) in the Hermitage.

Next time, we will be sure ALL of the students get to see this marvel!

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Jan 19th, 2006, 08:57 AM
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I'm so sorry for those kids...
specially, that they'll never be expose
to that kind of art in the U.S .
thanks, for all the info. yes I will rent the movie.
Have a great day.
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Jan 20th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!
Hi, Katya NY: how are you?
last night reading thruw some of my notes, I found a couple of question, that I would love to ask you.
-when in Piter, do you reccommend taking the trams and public buses and
how much in rubbles will it cost each way (just to have an idea.)
-do I buy the bus and tram tickets in the bus?
- also, what color are the official taxis?
-Are they easy to find,or do they have a special place were they stop to pick up pass.like in Paris?
-how much rubbles would you recommend per day, like for the taxi,museum entraces, sodas, water, you know the little things you find in your way, etc...
-and also, what is the situation with the water, can we drink from the hotel
faucet or we should only drink bottle water?
-and do the opera house in Piter aswell as in Moscow offer any type of tours to visitors like other cities?
well, I think it's all for now...
thanks again , you have being great help.
Have a great day
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