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Helsinki to St Petersburg to Moscow to Kiev

Travel Forums Europe Helsinki to St Petersburg to Moscow to Kiev

1. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 9y

Im considering spending a month travelling from Helsinki to St Petersburg, to moscow and finally to Kiev, stopping along the way where i can.

anyone done anthing similiar? any advice would be much appreciated.

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I did something similar earlier this year, only mine was the opposite direction. I got the train from Kiev-Moscow, train Moscow-St Petersburg, train St Petersburg-Riga, bus Riga-Tallinn and then ferry Tallinn-Helsinki. I am unsure if ferries run this time of year from Helsinki-Tallinn, but if they do it is a good alternate option to the bus. If ferries still run this time of year in Helsinki, well it pays to shop around because prices vary a real lot depending on time and company.

In Russia be prepared to be hit where ever possible being a tourist. Like you'll pay a fee to go up to a look out in St Petersburg, and you reach the top and then a sign will say to take photos it will be some amount of Roubles. The same thing applies in all the attractions, but usually it will happen at the entrance. When in St Petersburg, if it means missing other stuff, make sure you go to Peterhof and Catcherins Palace. They are amongst the most amazing buildings/properties I have ever seen. Also in Moscow, do not miss the area that is around VDNKh metro station. After you exit the station and cross the busy road, you'll come to the area which I thought was the most beautiful area in Moscow, and best thing to see as far as taking photos goes. It is especially good on a day where it has rained a fair bit but has only just stopped, because you get a nice reflection on the ground as if a mirror is on the ground with the fountains and things there. Also while in Russia, be sure to keep an eye out in the distance for cops and move to the opposite side of the mall or street legally where ever possible. They are the doddyiest bunch of cops going around in Russia. If you get the train in to Russia, be sure to ask for the Declaration form (where you declare your currency etc, because if you don't have one you may encounter problems on leaving the country. Unless you can speak fluent Russian, be sure to stay in a place which has English Speaking staff preferably a hostel, where they can write a small note for you to take to the train station to book your ticket. If you decide not to, you will find it almost impossible to get a train ticket for when and where you want to go or anything you want as hardly a single person speaks a word of english in any of the places you are wanting to go. About the only word most people there knew in English was Student.

If you are under 26 or are a student, make sure you get an International Youth Travel card or Student Card from STA travel. It will save you a fortune in Russia with almost all the attractions being half price and the Hermitage free for students. Although the under 26 card is not a student card, you show it to them and they will say student and you reply yes. Then you'll get through at the student rate almost every single time.

Have a great trip

3. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I meant to see Catherines Palace when in St Petersburg, not catcherins Palace like my typo said.

If you want me to clarify anything that I have written just PM me and then I can try my best to do so.

4. Posted by lugosi (Budding Member 28 posts) 9y

Yes, ferries between Helsinki and Tallinn run throughout the year (depending, of course, on how thick the ice on the Gulf of Finland gets). :)

5. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 9y

woah, i took that ferry once from Tallinn to Helsinki in a was the worst 3 hours of my life.

The baltics are the best place in Europe to travel tho. - my opinion.