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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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Russia travel advice

I know Crazy Canuck has an extensive and very informative thread on Russia but I'm not going to live there. I'll be there for about a week or so next year. So I'm just trying to get some ideas on transport and where to stay etc.

So I need to go from Paris to Moscow then Petersburg and then return to Paris. Ideally, I want to go by train for the first two legs but don't mind flying. Has anyone traveled by train from Paris to Moscow? I've done my research and there is only one service that could find but when I tried to test book a trip, it didn't allow me.

I'm assuming it's relatively easy to catch a train from Moscow to Petersburg and I think it's only a few hours? But do you still need to book and where do you buy these tickets?

Next is I'm looking for nice hotels to stay. I'm looking for safe and central places to stay preferably near stations.

I think that's about it for now. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know by posting here or PM. Feel free to suggest things to do as well but I think my calendar will already be full with things I've planned.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 14th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: Russia travel advice

It's been a while since I've made that trip, but you can buy tickets at the train station. There are several train Stations in Moscow, I can't remember the one that departs for St. Petersburg. I would suggest to buy a day in advance. There used to be specific counters for foreigners to buy tickets and it was not easy, but again, it has been several years.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 12:23 AM   #3
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Re: Russia travel advice

Many of my friends traveled to Russia, but from Serbia, so I can't help you a lot. The only thing I know is that they were traveling from Moscow to Petersburg by a train and it was a night trip that lasts about 8 hours (it's the best option because you get there in the morning). I don't know how long it takes to get to Moscow from Paris by a train (it takes 48 hours from Serbia ), but I'm sure it's a better option to travel by a plane. It's simply better to get there fresh and ready for sightseeing than to come tired and waste the time sleeping. As we all know, Russia is beautiful and huge, everybody says that even one month is not enough to see half of the things you want to see. None of my friends stayed in a hotel, so unfortunately, I can't help you there neither, but I can get all the kinds of other infos if you need it. One of my friends goes to Russia at least twice a year, so I can ask him about some details, if you're interested.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 03:05 AM   #4
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Re: Russia travel advice

Fly from Paris.

For the train from Moscow to St. Petersburg, you can take an overnight train. It used to be Leningradsky Vokzal in Moscow, but I think the name's been changed to Oktyabrsky. The express trains take about four hours, but from what I saw look much more expensive (I think it was €80 vs. €40 or less). Unfortunately the ticketing info only seems to be in Russian; the English version of the site doesn't seem to sell tickets.

Edit: Apparently RZhD now has a train from Paris to Moscow, which you probably saw, but the tickets are €330 for a 37-hour trip, which is twice what I saw for a one-transfer plane trip.

Last edited by Cineast : Nov 15th, 2011 at 03:11 AM.
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Old Nov 15th, 2011, 10:02 AM   #5
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Re: Russia travel advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAT View Post
It's been a while since I've made that trip, but you can buy tickets at the train station. There are several train Stations in Moscow, I can't remember the one that departs for St. Petersburg. I would suggest to buy a day in advance. There used to be specific counters for foreigners to buy tickets and it was not easy, but again, it has been several years.
Thanks. I'm planning to buy as early as possible. There's no way I'll leave things for the day before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
Many of my friends traveled to Russia, but from Serbia, so I can't help you a lot. The only thing I know is that they were traveling from Moscow to Petersburg by a train and it was a night trip that lasts about 8 hours (it's the best option because you get there in the morning). I don't know how long it takes to get to Moscow from Paris by a train (it takes 48 hours from Serbia ), but I'm sure it's a better option to travel by a plane. It's simply better to get there fresh and ready for sightseeing than to come tired and waste the time sleeping. As we all know, Russia is beautiful and huge, everybody says that even one month is not enough to see half of the things you want to see. None of my friends stayed in a hotel, so unfortunately, I can't help you there neither, but I can get all the kinds of other infos if you need it. One of my friends goes to Russia at least twice a year, so I can ask him about some details, if you're interested.
Thanks. I'm going next summer so I still have plenty of time. So where do they stay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cineast View Post
Fly from Paris.

For the train from Moscow to St. Petersburg, you can take an overnight train. It used to be Leningradsky Vokzal in Moscow, but I think the name's been changed to Oktyabrsky. The express trains take about four hours, but from what I saw look much more expensive (I think it was €80 vs. €40 or less). Unfortunately the ticketing info only seems to be in Russian; the English version of the site doesn't seem to sell tickets.

Edit: Apparently RZhD now has a train from Paris to Moscow, which you probably saw, but the tickets are €330 for a 37-hour trip, which is twice what I saw for a one-transfer plane trip.
I should fly but I don't like it. I'm just weighing up options at the moment. Thanks for the advice.
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Old Nov 27th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: Russia travel advice

I'm doing the Moscow-St Petersburg train thing in a couple of weeks. Will let you know how it goes.
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Old Nov 27th, 2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Re: Russia travel advice

I've always wanted to go to Russia -- so much that I tortured myself with five semesters of learning the language. The Visa thing ALWAYS turns me off going though. I just can't be bothered, because I'm a very last-minute traveler.

But I was planning on going to Russia for Fashion Week last year, and I did some hotel research and came up with these:

(I don't remember their location, but know that they are all boutique type properties.)

MOSCOW
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski
Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow

ST. PETERSBURG
Angleterre Hotel
Alexander House Boutique Hotel
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Old Nov 28th, 2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: Russia travel advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
I'm doing the Moscow-St Petersburg train thing in a couple of weeks. Will let you know how it goes.
Hey! Yes please. There are so many services I'm so confused. I am now going to fly to Russia but will still do the train trip between the two cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shap_half View Post
I've always wanted to go to Russia -- so much that I tortured myself with five semesters of learning the language. The Visa thing ALWAYS turns me off going though. I just can't be bothered, because I'm a very last-minute traveler.

But I was planning on going to Russia for Fashion Week last year, and I did some hotel research and came up with these:

(I don't remember their location, but know that they are all boutique type properties.)

MOSCOW
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski
Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow
Mamaison All-Suites Spa Hotel Pokrovka Moscow

ST. PETERSBURG
Angleterre Hotel
Alexander House Boutique Hotel
Thanks for this list. Ultimately I'll decide based on location but these look pretty good. And you should really go especially if you've been learning the language. I have a few books on Russian but I've never seriously attempted to learn it. Maybe I might learn the alphabet before I go.
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Re: Russia travel advice

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Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
Thanks. I'm going next summer so I still have plenty of time. So where do they stay?
They met a lot of people on student exchange programs and now they stay at their places while they are in Russia (just like those Russians stay at my friends' flats and houses when they come to Serbia). For example, my friend has some guests from Russia or Poland at least 5 times a year.
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Old Dec 6th, 2011, 06:19 AM   #10
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Re: Russia travel advice

at the summer can be pretty hot in Moscow at least, ~35 Celsius. All local people tries go out of city.
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: Russia travel advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
They met a lot of people on student exchange programs and now they stay at their places while they are in Russia (just like those Russians stay at my friends' flats and houses when they come to Serbia). For example, my friend has some guests from Russia or Poland at least 5 times a year.
Well I can do that in France but not in Russia. I need places that are going to be close to touristy places in the middle of the city. But thanks. I think I have my hotels sorted anyway thanks to shap half.

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at the summer can be pretty hot in Moscow at least, ~35 Celsius. All local people tries go out of city.
Oh really? That's good. Where do they go? 35 degrees is not but not that hot for me. I'm from Australia.

I just hope nothing interesting happens while I'm in Russia.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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Re: Russia travel advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajka View Post
The only thing I know is that they were traveling from Moscow to Petersburg by a train and it was a night trip that lasts about 8 hours (it's the best option because you get there in the morning).
Ok I've now decided on pretty much everything except this train trip. I have two options I think: sleeper train like above which I'm thinking Red Arrow or the 4-hour day express train Sapsan. I'm preferring the day train because I will be able to see the Russian countryside whereas the other one it'll be at night.

Can anyone advise? I wonder if Crazy has taken her trip.
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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 12:51 AM   #13
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Re: Russia travel advice

Just in case anyone's wondering, I did go to Russia and I absolutely loved it. I would so go back there.

There were so many tourists. That surprised me but I went to all the touristy places.

The Sapsan was nice but so many kids and so noisy. The landscape I saw from the train was just incredible.

I met Crazy Canuck in front of the Bolshoi. A rendezvous to remember?

Saw Sleeping Beauty ballet. Dancing was good but Duato butchered it.

Hermitage is incredible but I was fascinated more by Tretyakov Gallery which had Russian art rather than western art.

I miss it so much. Thanks for all the advice everyone. If anyone's interested in going there, I would highly recommend it.
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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 01:22 AM   #14
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Re: Russia travel advice

Wow, sounds awesome. I'm considering St.Petersburg and/or Moscow for New Year.


Did you end up taking the train from Paris to Moscow?
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Old Aug 19th, 2012, 01:25 AM   #15
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Re: Russia travel advice

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Wow, sounds awesome. I'm considering St.Petersburg and/or Moscow for New Year.


Did you end up taking the train from Paris to Moscow?
No. Flew from Paris to Moscow and back from St. P to Paris. Although I would LOVE to do that one day. I love train travel.

Why and/or? If you're going all that way, you might as well do both. They are very different and both worth visiting. But if you're in Europe you probably have more opportunities to visit them because you're closer.
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