Russia Trip...

Feb 1st, 2019, 12:58 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 22
Russia Trip...

Hi,
I want to plan for a vacation in the month of may and one of the destination we are looking at is Russia.
We are a family of 3 (myself, my wife and our daughter of 7yrs)
Our visit will be for a duration of a 6 days max.

What could be an ideal travel itinerary for this visit?

which would be better - Moscow or St. Petersburg? Or would it be possible to do both? In this case would 6 days be sufficient?


suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 1st, 2019, 04:05 PM
  #2  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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IMO, Moscow and St. Petersburg each easily merit at least 4 to 6 full days. Some people spend less time; only you can decide whether the things you would be able to see in that time, with due consideration to everything you would have to skip, justify the travel time in light. And these two cities are so very different that I don't see how we could possible recommend one or the other without knowing anything of your interests or what makes you want to see them.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Feb 1st, 2019, 07:40 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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With only 6 days and a young child, I would absolutely visit only one of the cities. As kja says - either one could easily fill your limited time. And if the 6 days includes your arrival and departure days you really should only visit one. Which one is up to you - I have spent 5 days in both cities (taking a late night train between the two), and still didn't see everything I wanted.
janisj is online now  
Feb 1st, 2019, 07:50 PM
  #4  
 
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it is tight , especially if you have jet lag
both are big cities with much to see
St. Petersburg may be easier to navigate with a small child.
danon is online now  
Feb 1st, 2019, 11:58 PM
  #5  
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Thanks kja.
Our interest would be more to see the culture and history. This would include monuments and other interesting places.
As we are going with our child, we would also look for a place which could interest her.

From what you mentioned, I feel that 6 days would be too short to visit both the places and probably, I would have to extend the plan a bit longer.
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 12:01 AM
  #6  
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Thanks janisj. My plan for 6 days would be excluding the travel days.
What is the most interesting places you would recommend in both these cities from your experience?
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 12:02 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by danon View Post
it is tight , especially if you have jet lag
both are big cities with much to see
St. Petersburg may be easier to navigate with a small child.
Thanks danon
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 02:26 AM
  #8  
 
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If you can extend your stay by 1 or 2 more nights, it would be feasible to visit both cities, say 3 nights in each city plus one night on the overnight or highspeed day train. Even if you stayed the entire time in one city, you would not see everything there is to see.

May has a couple of public holidays and they are taken seriously in Russia with events to mark them. The White NIghts season starts late May in St Petersburg, this should not be missed. My daughter liked Moscow very much, there is alot for children to see in each city. My very first visit to Russia many years ago when independent travel was not possible, was split into 3 nights each city plus an overnight train and it was a perfect way to sample each city and visit the main sights. I organised my spouse's first visit to Russia like this and it was a great experience, especially taking one of the more interesting trains between the cities, Nikolaevsky Express # 6 which sadly doesn't run anymore but you could look into taking the Grand Express or the Sapsan train. Tickets and hotels should be booked soon for May as it is busy.
Odin is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 05:21 PM
  #9  
 
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The fast train between the cities takes 4 hours ...very comfortable.
Taxi service is unregulated, you basically have to negotiate the rate..
Metro signs in SP are in Latin alphabet, not so in Moscow.
Learning the Russian alphabet is advisable.
You might wish to research both cities further before applying for visa
( the application must specify your dates ,hotels and a whole lot of information)
danon is online now  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 07:08 PM
  #10  
 
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First I assume that you are doing some homework on your own.

Decide what YOU want to see if you are attempting to see both places ( Moscow and St. Petersburg).

You are not going to see everything, no matter how many days you have in either city.

The way you can maximize your time to see places is to get a private guide.
Yes they are on the expensive side, .but my motto has always been
" I don't mind paying more if I am seeing more."

So for example what might you want to see in St. Petersburg for example:
Catherine's Palace, then you will also want to see Peterhof.

Halfway between these two is Konstantinovsky Palace...where most of the high end political meetings are held.
Then there is the Hermitage.
You can spend 3 full days here and still not see everything...,so how much do you want to see.

Then across the water from the Hermitage is a place called the Spit, with Rostral Columns., it is nice to stand here and look back at the Hermitage.

Then there is Peter and Paul Fortress where almost all the Czars are buried.

You can then walk through the field of Mars, The summer Gardens, right next to it and visit Peter the Great's Summer Palace which is next to the Summer Gardens.

Directly across from the Summer Palace across the Neva River is Peter the Great's original Log Cabin Home, .....and just
two blocks past here and around the corner is the Aurora Cruiser that fired the first shot at the Hermitage during the Russian Revolution....

and you will want to walk down Nevesky Prospekt ( Street), the main street ( Boulevard) in St. Petersburg...just walk along and admire the architecture on both sides.

While you are walking along Nevesky Prospekt you have to go inside Eliseye Emporium ( store). You have to see inside !!!

Oh yes then there is the Church of the Spilled Blood, this church is build right on the spot where Czar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

When I say it was built on the spot where he was murdered, I mean right on the same spot...in the middle of the street, that is why the road curves around the Church.

Go inside the Church, that is not painted murals all over the walls and ceiling...it is millions of mosaic tiles, place your hand on them and see !!

How about visiting the St.Issacs Cathedral

How about Yusupov's Palace where Rasputin the "Mad Monk" was murdered.
This was a private home to the wealthy Yusupovs .

How about a boat ride through the canals of St. Petersburg.

The Russian Museum is worth seeing and is very excellent.

Then walk by or ask your guide( if you get one) to go by the House of Faberge..... the eggs are no longer made here and almost all of them are in Moscow now.

Then on the road going to Catherine's Place, there is :
Russian national Library
Chesme Castle and Church
House of Soviets
Lenin's Statue
Victory Square

You will want to stop off and see these places.

See what I mean...... I could go on and on, so you decide how much of St.Petersburg you want to see.

I can do the same for you in Moscow but you have to decide whether you want to see St. Petersburg in some depth or see the very major places and then take the fast train to Moscow and do the same there.
Percy is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 07:30 PM
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by danon View Post

Taxi service is unregulated <...>
Metro signs in SP are in Latin alphabet, not so in Moscow.
These two particular pieces of advice are a little outdated:
1. nobody uses any kind of taxi service any more (be it official cabs or "unofficial" gypsy cabs, which, apropos, are very few and far between nowadays). It's all uber/Yandex/Gett/etc. And, of course, for any kind of rideshare services the price is set and non-negotiable
2. As of last summer, even voice announcements in Moscow were in both Russian and English.

Solid advice otherwise!
napoxoguk is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 08:37 PM
  #12  
 
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I was in Moscow in 2016... I normally don’t use Uber..so I wouldn’t know.
I was referring to written names of metro stations (and signes inside.)
if they use voice announcements, even better.




danon is online now  
Feb 6th, 2019, 09:53 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
I have been to Russia a couple of times and I will say that it is very beautiful! Moscow is developing very fast. What was three years ago now did not know at all! All new and new. St. Petersburg is changing less, it is rather the cultural capital. Cafe, walks in the park, music, bridges. And Moscow is the heart, veins, speed, lights. Sto visit both cities. And better than 10 days then. True, there are still many beautiful places in Russia, but probably itís worth starting with these two giants.
karlamaria is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 08:16 AM
  #14  
 
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It will be really tough to see both cities completely in that amount of time. However, if you aren't planning on going back soon, you may want to see them both while you are there. Do your research - figure out what you really want to see in both cities. Then you can determine how much time you will need in each place. There is enough to do in each city to keep you occupied for the 6 days - you need to figure out what is right for you and your family.

I've done crazy things like this to get it in! Good luck!
angie7911922 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 05:24 PM
  #15  
 
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Saint Petersburg can probably eat up six days; it would be better to extend the vacation to do both cities.

Michael is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:38 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by Odin View Post
If you can extend your stay by 1 or 2 more nights, it would be feasible to visit both cities, say 3 nights in each city plus one night on the overnight or highspeed day train. Even if you stayed the entire time in one city, you would not see everything there is to see.

May has a couple of public holidays and they are taken seriously in Russia with events to mark them. The White NIghts season starts late May in St Petersburg, this should not be missed. My daughter liked Moscow very much, there is alot for children to see in each city. My very first visit to Russia many years ago when independent travel was not possible, was split into 3 nights each city plus an overnight train and it was a perfect way to sample each city and visit the main sights. I organised my spouse's first visit to Russia like this and it was a great experience, especially taking one of the more interesting trains between the cities, Nikolaevsky Express # 6 which sadly doesn't run anymore but you could look into taking the Grand Express or the Sapsan train. Tickets and hotels should be booked soon for May as it is busy.
Thanks Odin, that was quite informative to plan the transit.
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:43 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Percy View Post
First I assume that you are doing some homework on your own.

Decide what YOU want to see if you are attempting to see both places ( Moscow and St. Petersburg).

You are not going to see everything, no matter how many days you have in either city.

The way you can maximize your time to see places is to get a private guide.
Yes they are on the expensive side, .but my motto has always been
" I don't mind paying more if I am seeing more."

So for example what might you want to see in St. Petersburg for example:
Catherine's Palace, then you will also want to see Peterhof.

Halfway between these two is Konstantinovsky Palace...where most of the high end political meetings are held.
Then there is the Hermitage.
You can spend 3 full days here and still not see everything...,so how much do you want to see.

Then across the water from the Hermitage is a place called the Spit, with Rostral Columns., it is nice to stand here and look back at the Hermitage.

Then there is Peter and Paul Fortress where almost all the Czars are buried.

You can then walk through the field of Mars, The summer Gardens, right next to it and visit Peter the Great's Summer Palace which is next to the Summer Gardens.

Directly across from the Summer Palace across the Neva River is Peter the Great's original Log Cabin Home, .....and just
two blocks past here and around the corner is the Aurora Cruiser that fired the first shot at the Hermitage during the Russian Revolution....

and you will want to walk down Nevesky Prospekt ( Street), the main street ( Boulevard) in St. Petersburg...just walk along and admire the architecture on both sides.

While you are walking along Nevesky Prospekt you have to go inside Eliseye Emporium ( store). You have to see inside !!!

Oh yes then there is the Church of the Spilled Blood, this church is build right on the spot where Czar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.

When I say it was built on the spot where he was murdered, I mean right on the same spot...in the middle of the street, that is why the road curves around the Church.

Go inside the Church, that is not painted murals all over the walls and ceiling...it is millions of mosaic tiles, place your hand on them and see !!

How about visiting the St.Issacs Cathedral

How about Yusupov's Palace where Rasputin the "Mad Monk" was murdered.
This was a private home to the wealthy Yusupovs .

How about a boat ride through the canals of St. Petersburg.

The Russian Museum is worth seeing and is very excellent.

Then walk by or ask your guide( if you get one) to go by the House of Faberge..... the eggs are no longer made here and almost all of them are in Moscow now.

Then on the road going to Catherine's Place, there is :
Russian national Library
Chesme Castle and Church
House of Soviets
Lenin's Statue
Victory Square

You will want to stop off and see these places.

See what I mean...... I could go on and on, so you decide how much of St.Petersburg you want to see.

I can do the same for you in Moscow but you have to decide whether you want to see St. Petersburg in some depth or see the very major places and then take the fast train to Moscow and do the same there.
Hi Percy, I tried to some homework here but it was not easy to finalize. Online searches does give a lot of information and sites to visit in each places however it always helps to get a first hand information like the one you provided. You have put in the details really well. I understand that each place would take its own time and I would think about increasing my vacation duration. After all we do not visit the same place again and it's best to cover maximum possible places in one trip.
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:46 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by karlamaria View Post
I have been to Russia a couple of times and I will say that it is very beautiful! Moscow is developing very fast. What was three years ago now did not know at all! All new and new. St. Petersburg is changing less, it is rather the cultural capital. Cafe, walks in the park, music, bridges. And Moscow is the heart, veins, speed, lights. Sto visit both cities. And better than 10 days then. True, there are still many beautiful places in Russia, but probably itís worth starting with these two giants.
Thanks Karlamaria..
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:49 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by angie7911922 View Post
It will be really tough to see both cities completely in that amount of time. However, if you aren't planning on going back soon, you may want to see them both while you are there. Do your research - figure out what you really want to see in both cities. Then you can determine how much time you will need in each place. There is enough to do in each city to keep you occupied for the 6 days - you need to figure out what is right for you and your family.

I've done crazy things like this to get it in! Good luck!
Thanks angie.. just a question. How was it to communicate in English in Russia? did it work well?
Also would be really difficult to move around with only English as a medium of communication?
suraj_satya is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:49 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Saint Petersburg can probably eat up six days; it would be better to extend the vacation to do both cities.

Wow Michael..
Interesting images
suraj_satya is offline  

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