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St.Petersburg and Helsinki questions, help please

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Mar 4th, 2010, 07:11 AM
  #1
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St.Petersburg and Helsinki questions, help please

I am considering a trip Helsinki, staying 2 nights ( one full day) and continuing to St. Pt. for 5 nights. at the beginning of July.
Is this a good allocation of time?
Could you recommend hotels ( about $200 dollars a night).in each city ?
I don't mind walking or taking metro . to the main attractions in St. Pt., but I would like to be in the center of Helsinki.
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Mar 4th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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ttt
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Mar 4th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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kja
 
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I think your allocation of time is good. As I recall, I had close to 2 days in Helsinki and would have liked another 1/2 day; I had about 6 days in St. Petersburg and would have liked at least 1 more day. I enjoyed both cities tremendously and was very glad to have the time to see and experience the things I did see, but could more easily have "skipped" some of the things I saw in Helsinki than those I saw in St. Petersburg (if that makes any sense).

It's been WAY too long since I was in either city to comment on hotels.

Hope that helps!
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Mar 4th, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Can't comment on specific hotels but I think it's more important to be in the center of St Pet -which is very spread out - than Helskinki. the St Pet subway is no fun (and you need to learn the names of things in the Cyrillic alphabet) and when we were there buses all had huge lines. So - it was either walk or cab (which is usually cheap and every drive we found spoke english - a couple have even returned there from Brighton Beach - since a cabbie makes more in Russia - on the economy - than in NYC).
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Mar 4th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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thanks for your input.
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Mar 4th, 2010, 07:52 PM
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i was in both places last aug and sept....in helsinki we stayed at the hilton strand which i found on a turkish website for a decent price, including breakfast which is important....nice hotel, in a decent part of town with the tram just across the street...

we also stayed at the airport at the holday inn which was fantastic with a great restaurant....

but in st pete we stayed at the marriott courtyard, right on the water with a view of some of the fantastic building lite at nite down the river....perfect spot...

helsinki was outrageourly expensive in every way....i think 2 full days there would be perfect... we also stayed at the sheraton kamp hotel which is real lux--- 4800 pts plus $90 a good deal (cash and points on starwoods).... food is outrageous in helsinki...

great indian restaurant in center of town: samrat, etelaesplanadi, 22---best meal we had on the whole trip...

we had a fantastic driver/guide in SP at a fraction the cost of any others i have read about....comfortable new station wagon with a/c and very good english: alex lyubimov--tel: 8-921-945-4126...email: [email protected]

i have also just brought my trip report to the top of the europe board for your interest...

we took the train from helsinki to SP and it was a fantastic way to go.. i booked on line with a travel agent in helsinki..

don't miss tallinn estonia if you have a chance to go....stay in the old town at the imperial hotel
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Mar 4th, 2010, 07:54 PM
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food is quite expensive in SP also but nothing like helsinki
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Mar 4th, 2010, 08:58 PM
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thanks rhkkmk, I have just read your interesting report.
I know Cyrillic alphabet and understand Russian a bit
- should be of some help!
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Mar 4th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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A perfect location in a delightful small hotel is the Klaus Kurki, near the intersection of Boulevardi and Mannerheimmintie.

A friend recently booked it for substantially below the rack rate.

You can walk anywhere in the central area of Helsinki from the Kurki.

Before I bought an apartment in Helsinki my wife and I stayed there many times over a fifteen year period.

If you like peace and quiet, ask for a room in the back of the hotel--especially on weekends.
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Mar 5th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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If you know Russian, look at that hotel
"Счастливый Пушкин", по адресу ул. Галерная, 53/Английская наб., 52.

+7 812 5701665; +7 812 571 50 81
[email protected]

Price less than you can ready spend and 15 min walking to downtown only, close to the Hermitage
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Mar 5th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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thank you for very helpful suggestions.
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Mar 18th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Funny, we are going from Helsinki to St. Petersburg in July as well. Does anyone know of any specific travel documents or permission needed for US citizens to travel into St. Petersburg/Russia
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Mar 18th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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If you were in Helsinki another day you could take the fast ferry to Tallinn for the day. In Helsinki, we have stayed at the Hotel Anna and also Scandic Hotel Marski. We liked the Marski best as it was so close to everything.

We went by train to St Petersburg - you do need a visa. We stayed at Hotel Pribaltiskaya. It was a nice hotel but I would not recommend it as it is too far from anything. It is along the water. At night we thought the hotel was on fire - it was the smell from the incinerators burnings garbage or something. Horrible!!! Someone said the next day it wa forest fires but no forest fire I have smelled was that bad.

Remember do not drink the water in St Petersburg - do not even brush your teeth with it. It has been 4 years since we were there and I doubt this has changed.

The train ride was great - the Russian custom agents come on at the border and check you out. Same thing leaving the country. They went through a lot of packages, but nothing of ours.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 12:50 AM
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Just short comment on water - most if not all hotels filter the tap water so you can swallow it, brush your teeth and even drink it.
Hotels - look at mini-hotels located in the city center for example Comfort Hotel, Pushka Inn, Casa Leto and so on.
While in St.Pete it is very important to stay in the city center - it makes the whole trip easier and more enjoyable.
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Apr 14th, 2010, 03:48 AM
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i agree with brats ...go for three days to helsinki and fit in tallinn
great day trip and youll see lots of different cultures in estonia

try hotel helsinki (sokos chain)
very good location and the breakfast is one of the best buffets ever!

we had an apartment in st petes
the nevsky arthouse was sold at the last minute but we got a great apartment instead..not far from nevsky prospekt..the main street
contact city realty in st petes...victor zhukov looked after us and picked us up from the station when we were coming from moscow
all very good and reliable
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