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Moscow - what to do in 2 days?

(11 Posts)
GeeinItLaldy Sun 04-Sep-11 18:37:55

Will be travelling to St Petersburg next year and have the opportunity to stop off in Moscow for 2 nights before catching the train to St P.

Any hints, tips or advice for someone who has never been to Russia before would be greatly appreciated.

TIA

sanssucre Sun 04-Sep-11 20:23:38

No tips I'm afraid but lurking as I'm also going to be visiting Moscow in the near future and would love any ideas

Sharpkat Sun 04-Sep-11 20:31:36

I am very envy. I lived in St P before and it was amazing. 2 days: Red square, St Basils, Lenin. Let me think of other things. Is there anything you are really interested in? Authors? Opera? Ballet? I need to put my thinking head on and get back to you as I last went a couple of years ago but that was only on business.

Be warned: it is mega expensive and the tube, whilst totally beautiful and inspiring , can be very challenging.

GeeinItLaldy Sun 04-Sep-11 20:44:09

I have to confess that my knowledge of Russia is minimal blush so I'm really not sure what I want to do aside from see the main sights. I do intend to do a bit of reading and try to learn the alphabet to make signs a bit easier to decipher and a few basic words and phrases just so I can say please and thank you etc.

Happy to walk lots and would possibly like to do a guided walking tour, if such a thing exists (and weather permitting...it'll be March).

I wouldn't mind seeing an opera or ballet but I think it would be DP's idea of hell <philistine>

Am prepared for the expense...well, I am now after seeing the price of even the most basic of hotels shock.

Sharpkat, anything you can particularly recommend to do In St Petersburg as well. Language barrier won't be such a problem there as we'll have a Russian speaker with us for some/most of the time.

GnomeDePlume Sun 04-Sep-11 21:18:37

I went to this market a couple of times:

goeasteurope.about.com/od/russia/p/izmaylovomarket.htm

JohnnyRod Tue 06-Sep-11 21:21:04

Moscow is frighteningly expensive for tourists e.g. £700/night at the Holiday Inn, I kid you not. Yes do learn Cyrillic, at least you can read the names of things! St.P is supposed to be fantastic. Pack your spare liver, the Russkis are friendly and would see a pic of your kids sooner than your business card, but they are born semi-pro drinkers and will merrily pickle you!

GeeinItLaldy Tue 06-Sep-11 21:29:21

Well, I'm Irish...so that's the drinking thing sorted then! grin I'm not a vodka drinker though so I may have to make an effort to practice...purely in the interests of good international relations, you understand grin

No kids but can produce photos of my brother's horrors little darlings if necessary.

Yes, I've noticed that it is the most expensive place on the planet! I have found reasonable (3*) well known chain hotels for c.£150 per night...which is still extortionate for what they are but not quite as horrific as my initial searches turned up. I'm usually a bit of a self confessed hotel snob so I shall have to compromise my standards for a few nights.

Sharpkat Tue 06-Sep-11 21:30:05

Sorry - not been back for a few days. How long are you in St Petersburg for and when are you going? There is SO much to do. It is my favourite place on earth. smile

JohnnyRod Tue 06-Sep-11 21:45:17

Sounds like you'll get on like a house on fire! There is usually a bottle of vodka on the breakfast buffet in a bucket of ice, and I've seen it sampled more than once. This is the level of drinking they're into! "Sto gram" means 100 grams (ml) as in, downing 100ml of vodka, you'll hear that I'll bet. Have a good trip! Oh I have a final PS for Moscow airports. It can take an hour to clear the passport checks so don't mess around. Line up next to the Russian-only passport booths, their line will clear quickly and you'll be waved over, your queue will halve.

GeeinItLaldy Tue 06-Sep-11 22:24:12

Vodka at breakfast? <boak> Unless I've been up all night drinking, of course (not unheard of...)

Tip about passport queues duly noted. Thanks smile

Sharpkat, 5 nights in St. P. Friday - Wednesday (including St Patrick's day!) Going in March.

Mandy21 Wed 07-Sep-11 13:29:07

We went to Moscow and St P a few years ago and got the overnight sleeper train from Moscow to St P. Very funny - it just stopped at a station (with no announcement or anything) and everyone started to get off. We were still asleep. Cue mad panic. It is worth learning a few words - the train guard was (apparently) asking if we wanted a drink in the carriage but we didn't realise and thought she was just wanting to see our tickets or passport!

We were expecting to prefer St P to Moscow but we loved Moscow. The Hermitage in St P is fantastic and we also go to see the Bolshoi whilst we were there - even if your DP isn't a fan, its amazing. Red Square, the Kremlin, all of the "touristy" things but absolutely fascinating.

As others have said, it is incredibly expensive but we stayed at the Baltchung Kemplinski in Moscow - the rates on the hotels website are extortionate but we got a deal through Octopus Travel / Trailfinders - something like that. It certainly wasn't more than £200 a night so its worth looking around.

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