Russia in two weeks in December

Old Oct 27th, 2017, 09:23 PM
  #21  
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Napoxoguk - this is exactly the kind of info I needed ! Thank you.
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Old Oct 27th, 2017, 09:44 PM
  #22  
 
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"SPb if IC" was autocorrect for "specific"

And yes, I agree with kja, four days per city might not be enough.
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Old Oct 27th, 2017, 11:09 PM
  #23  
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I indicated four days per city as I do not count the day of arrival or departure, given the snow I might feel like being indoors in the hotel or just relaxing at a cafe to get into the hard sightseeing mode. I thought I should decide on one or two smaller golden ring cities for a two-three day trip. Just reading up on that.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 07:36 AM
  #24  
kja
 
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To repeat: Four days, not counting travel days, is not much for either St. Petersburg or Moscow, particularly at that time of year. If you limit yourself to only 4 days in either city, you will not be able to see what many people consider the highlights.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 08:35 AM
  #25  
 
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Moscow is a huge city...event taking the metro to various attractions
takes time . Metro stops can be quite apart.
As suggested...stay as close to the centre ( the Red Square ) as you can afford.

"There's arabat street in Moscow for example "
Arabat is very lively - many cafes, restaurants and shops - and only a few stops to the RS. It is popular with the locals.
The signs in the metro are in Cyrillic alphabet only.

In SP, I took a bus to the Hermitage from my hotel . It was easy. I used
the metro several times ...the signs in SP are in both alphabets.
I also purchased (on line )a two day pass to the museum....no waiting in line
( it was July ).

Central SP is very beautiful, but I found Moscow more interesting.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 09:17 AM
  #26  
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@kja - ok so for Moscow if my highlights are - Kremlin (including the armory and the diamond fund), red square incl st basil and lenins mausoleum, Russian state history museum, novodivichy convent, tretyakov gallery, ismailovsky market - can I not do these in four days assuming one day for Kremlin and dividing three within the rest?

If this is too rushed then I'll just have to keep one week each in Moscow and St p'burg and skip anything else which probably will leave me with museum overdose and not too happy I guess.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 09:32 AM
  #27  
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Your trip, your call! I'd want another day for Sergiev Posad (as a day trip from Moscow), maybe another day for the Russian Museum and Kolomenskoye, you've already mentioned an interest in Arabat....

And with two weeks, there's no reason to think you must limit yourself to two cities, even if you spend more than 4 days in St. Petersburg and Moscow. As already noted, you could easily include a couple of days in Novgorod.
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Old Oct 28th, 2017, 09:48 AM
  #28  
 
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@kja - ok so for Moscow if my highlights are - Kremlin (including the armory and the diamond fund), red square incl st basil and lenins mausoleum, Russian state history museum, novodivichy convent, tretyakov gallery, ismailovsky market - can I not do these in four days assuming one day for Kremlin and dividing three within the rest? "

Not directed to me...but , yes.
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 07:45 AM
  #29  
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Thank you. Sadly this trip has to be put on hold due to complications with the Russian visa on my type of passport (ordinary, Indian). The agents I've spoken to here are insistent that there be firm hotel bookings for each city visited, i.e. booking something off booking.com won't do. Second the visa invite letter has to be original, this is possibly the agents being paranoid (not sure) but they certainly don't deal with a lot of independent travelers going to Russia from here. The recommended hotels were all four stars and above, that appeared a tad extreme to me. I tried getting an appointment at the Russian embassy new Delhi using the online visa system but that puts me on an indefinite queue, so the only option was to use one of the two approved agents. I'm now considering Egypt as an alternative (easier visa, comparable flight price) and will post in the appropriate forum shortly.
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 09:03 AM
  #30  
 
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too bad...
I had no problem getting an individual visa ...( Canadian passport)
the " invitation letter" submitted did NOT have to be original
and I changed hotels I named on the application...no one cared.
I did it all on my own - twice !

In some North American cities there are officially approved agents by the Russian
consulate....perhaps you culd explore it further....
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 11:04 AM
  #31  
 
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I don't understand the "original" letter of invitation. Our hotel just emailed us an invitation. There was a number associated with the invitation and we had to enter it on the visa application. There was no "original". If you change hotels there may be a fee from the original hotel for the invitation.
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 11:44 AM
  #32  
 
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I did not ask hotels for the " invitation" because I was not sure if I wanted to stay at those hotels when I applied for the visa.
The " invitation " can be purchased from a number of sources on the Internet.
I got it from a Russian travel agency for 15 dollars.
They sent it to my by email...
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 04:09 PM
  #33  
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Sorry that happened to you, AroraV; I hope you get to see these places one day.
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Old Nov 1st, 2017, 10:20 PM
  #34  
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Well here in India, the visa process for Russia is monopolized by two agencies - IFS and Salvia. They both insist on an 'original' letter. The embassy redirects (from the website itself) to the 'approved' agents. I attempted booking an appointment on the embassy's site as well as on the agents site, and none are available. So, one is left to the mercy of the agent. This implies, either I fork out twice the amount i thought I'd spend on this time off, or I do a different destination.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2017, 02:52 AM
  #35  
 
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<<They both insist on an 'original' letter.>> Which is the letter of invitation, whether it is an invitation from the hotel you booked or a purchased one from an agency dealing in providing letters of invitation. Original letter, letter of invitation, however you want to call it, they are all the same thing.

In the old days, it was an original letter faxed to you from the hotel or tour operator, the Russian visa form itself has been the same format for at least 30+ years. Nowadays these invitations are emailed to you and they will contain your nationality, DOB, passport no, length of stay etc which you provide to the hotel usually by emailing a copy of your passport.
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Old Jul 20th, 2018, 01:14 AM
  #36  
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Hello everyone (again). There's a half chance I'd be able to do this in August. I can stretch this for two full weeks. I've allocated the following days -
(Saturday - day of arrival) - half day moscow.
4 days full - moscow
night train to st petersburg.
6 full days St petersburg.
then I'm clueless for 3 days - these'd be wed-Friday - any suggestions? I can either go north east to Petrozavodsk and boat to Kizhi island and then stay overnight. Returning to Moscow via train.
Or i could come to moscow and go to a golden ring city or two for two days and a night and use the last day in moscow itself.
Last saturday I'd rather be in Moscow and the sunday late morning I'm flying out.

Any suggestions for these 3 days? Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 20th, 2018, 05:20 AM
  #37  
 
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Do you have your visa?
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Old Jul 20th, 2018, 05:47 AM
  #38  
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Halfway through :)

No but more progress than last time. I have confirmation from an agency in St Petersburg that they can give me the letter needed for the visa. I also got verbal (telephonic) confirmation from the local ILS that with the letter the case should go through.
i do have to submit the itinerary along with hotel bookings to get the visa - that's how it's issued for Indian passport, hence the question here.
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Old Jul 20th, 2018, 06:01 AM
  #39  
 
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Novgorod is a great place to spend a night or two, itís between Moscow & St Petersburg.
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Old Jul 20th, 2018, 09:40 AM
  #40  
 
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Don't know place in between..
i found​ Moscow more interesting​
..than SP
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