I am travelling to Scandinavia in August-Sept. I am travelling alone in a tight budget.
Plz suggest me,
1.A travel plan for a day or two in Helsinki.
2.Cheapest transport between Helsinki-St.Petersburg. I read somewhere Russian tourist bus may be as low as 10 - 15 euro.But from where exactly it starts and when(at Helsinki)? I do not know Russian language.Can anyone tell me the details on it ? Any other cheap alternative?
3.Value for money best hostel at Helsinki.
Thanking you everybody.
I didn't do that, but the words cheap and Finland or St Petersburg do not fit in the same category. They are very expensive by almost anywhere in the worlds standard if you take in to account the cost to get in to the tourist attractions in and around St Petersburg.
I didn't catch the bus you are talking about, because I made more of an adventure of my trip when I was on a fairly tight budget but mine was from the opposite direction (St Petersburg-Helsinki). I got the train from St Petersburg-Riga(Latvia), then get the cheap bus from Riga-Tallin(estonia) and then got the cheapest ferry option from Tallin-Helsinki. That ferry varied considerably in price depending on what company and which time you went. That was a really good way of doing the trip, but if finances are extremely strapped, then I guess you'll have to try and get the bus you have heard about. I have no idea where it leaves from, but one would assume it'd leave from the main bus terminal. The transport selection I had, certainly cost more than 10-15 Euro in total and I suspect that the bus from Helsinki-St Petersburg probably costs more than that as well judging on prices for other things.
Cheap (by Helsinki standards) accommodation in Helsinki is few and would definitely be adviseable to book in advance because I was searching all across the city for a place to stay and luckily the last hostel in Helsinki had one vacancy otherwise I'd have been stuck with looking for an expensive hotel. That hostel was in a crappy location and it was also a bit of a rip off although getting breakfast included in the price was a bonus.
In Russia if you don't know any Russian it is goign to be extremely difficult to ask for any directions, or book anything at all without asking the staff at the hostel. If you need to book a train ticket in Russia, about the only way you are likely to get it is by knowing decent Russian, or getting the hostel staff to write a brief note in Russian saying an approximate time, what date, carriage type and destination you want. Then they'll show you the time the train leaves closest to your preferred time in 24 hours clock mode and you'll just have to agree or disagree and assume that you are getting a good deal. I think Russia is about the hardest place to travel to in terms of if you don't speak any of the language, because apart from the hostel receptionists I think I found 1 person who knew any english at all apart from the word student.
Have a great time, but try not to be too cheap if possible because you'll miss out on some great stuff in St Petersburg if you do.
[ Edit: Edited on May 4, 2007, at 5:30 PM by aharrold45 ]
Thank you, Aharrold,
Actually I should have written,cheapest available or value for money.
I understand,cheap things cannot be good always. what I feel and did earlier at Europe is to get more places in exchange of cheap transport & hostel. The bus and train are good enough for me. In fact that is the reason why people like you & me opt for hostel instead of hotel. Isnt it ?
Your trip of St.Pits-Helsinki is definitely adventurous but posbly took more time than a direct transport. Time is also important for me. I can spend that time at some other place.
Anyway, I will remember your advice.