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Moscow and St Petersburg

(14 Posts)
OrlandaFuriosa Sun 11-Dec-16 12:25:42

I want to go to Moscow and St Petersburg. I want to see the Hermitage, and not just a cursory glance, go to the ballet, see Red Square and the Kremlin. DH is off work with stress so I think a guided tour is best, he needs surround care and no uncertainty,. Three of us, DH, elderly, stresses, DS, 19, me, not in brilliant health.

Does anyone have recommendations? And timing? Don't have oodles of money but don't want to be in a hovel or hostel.

Biscuitmadness Tue 13-Dec-16 08:57:19

Hi I went with a baby and my husband and I got a wonderful driver and lovely person who knew a great deal about art to guide us around the hermitage - and also look around - it was fantastic and inside knowledge meant we didn't queue but I can't for the life remember the company but maybe search trip advisor.

OrlandaFuriosa Wed 14-Dec-16 00:10:35

Excellent advice, thanks v much.

Floralnomad Wed 14-Dec-16 00:22:20

When my sister and my DS went to St Petersburg I booked them a tour guide through Expedia , she was very good and it was just a driver ,the guide and them . According to DS it's better to stay in a chain ( Crown Plaza for example ) as you are then guaranteed the quality you want .

DelphiniumBlue Wed 14-Dec-16 00:25:46

We went many years vago bwith Voyages Jules Verne - was fab, but non- stop if you took them up on all the extra options. If health/ energy levels are an issue, I would suggest not doing the shortest (5 day) option, as there's just so much to fit in. A week or 10 days would he better, give you time to relax as well as sightsee. The tour guides were great, really knowledgeable and helpful on things like getting tickets for the Bolshoi.

Noofly Wed 14-Dec-16 19:40:56

We are going in April! We are doing it independently- am just in the process of sorting our our visa support documents. We're doing 3 nights in Moscow (staying in a Hilton in one of Stalin's Seven Sisters- a Hilton to keep DH happy) then taking the train overnight to St Petersburg then 4 nights in an apartment in St Petersburg!

I can't wait! I have to admit, DH doesn't want to go at all and is hoping our visas will get rejected. Hey ho. He never wants to go anywhere interesting! DS(14) is keen, DD(11) not so much, but she never wants to go anywhere either.

TrickyD Wed 21-Dec-16 05:24:41

We fancied a short brealk in St Petersberg, flights and accommodation were very reasonable, but as independent travellers we needed to get a visa, and as far as I could work out, you can get the forms online, but have to turn up in person at the embassy in London to get the visa itself .I would be interested to hear if we got this wrong. Furthermore the visas were disproportionately expensive for a three day visit.
The upshot is that we are going instrad on a Baltic cruise, where the visas etc are taken care of. We also call at Riga and Tallin etc. We have never fancied crusimg, and I think it will be chilly in October, but hoping for the best.

lovelearning Wed 21-Dec-16 05:37:15

We are doing it independently- am just in the process of sorting our our visa support documents. We're doing 3 nights in Moscow (staying in a Hilton in one of Stalin's Seven Sisters- a Hilton to keep DH happy) then taking the train overnight to St Petersburg then 4 nights in an apartment in St Petersburg!

Sounds fab, Noofly.

namechangedtoday15 Wed 21-Dec-16 12:40:23

We did this - albeit 10 years ago. One word of warning Noofly - the overnight train is lovely, but its disconcerting to not understand a word anyone is saying. We thought the conductor was asking for our tickets - so showed him - in fact he was asking if we wanted drinks! Whereas I can get by in most places with French / a bit of German etc, it really is difficult to understand Russian and not many people (we found) spoke English. It was really poorly signposted too so we didn't realise we'd arrived in St P until a couple of minutes before it was due to set off again!
We also did the ballet (amazing) and spent time in and around Red Square and the Kremlin although restaurants are better if you head away from the square.

My sister lived in Moscow when we visited so found lots of places off the tourist track - I actually much preferred Moscow to St Petersburg (surprisingly) and so if I were to go again, I would spend more time in Moscow than in St P.

WritingHome Wed 04-Jan-17 16:15:02

This is my dream holiday and I am planning it for 2018. I would like to go this year but we have other Long haul plans due to dh's work.

I would love to hear from others who have been there. I am just trying to figure out whether it is better to use a travel agent for this type of trip or not.

We travel a lot and usually just book independently but I feel uncertain about it for Russia for some reason.

St Petersburg is where I really want to go so am curious about the pp who said they preferred Moscow. I am a massive Russian history buff and is just so much to see and do there.

We will be bringing dd who will be 12 next year.

I would love to hear more about other peoples plans and previous trips!

Am envious of those who are going this year....

wobblywonderwoman Wed 04-Jan-17 16:18:22

We went independently and are used to independent travel but it threw us - the lack of and Russian made it impossible (obviously wish we had a tour now).

WritingHome Wed 04-Jan-17 16:23:33

wobbly that is my feat too. I am thinking of looking at something like trailfinders etc then they can sort visas. The only thing is I am not keen on group holidays - everyone trooping about in a group, going on bus excursions etc. I don't like being very sociable in situations like gang but my dh would be so it would be a nightmare for me!

raindripsonruses Wed 04-Jan-17 16:40:10

I lived there for work in the late eighties/early nineties for work. If I were you, I wouldn't feel I was "cheating " if I went with a tour. The language barrier may well spoil your enjoyment if you don't have Russian. My experience then was it was assumed you had loads of money if you were a "Westerner ". Without the language to talk your way through and out of stuff it may get pricey.
Maybe it's less the case now but, judging by pp, it doesn't sound it.

YouSpinmeRound Mon 09-Jan-17 21:32:32

we went independently to St Petersburg last year and had a wonderful time. I am not a very experienced traveller at all. We were able to walk between most of the sites we wished to see. We stayed at the Domina Prestige which was in a great location and a very easy walk around following the rivers.
Visa was a bit of a faff but as we live near London not too bad. St P airport has improved hugely in recent years too.
I have also been to Moscow but that was a tour and I liked it less overall.

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