In the summer (July-August) a friend and I are planning a trip to Russia and then traveling back through Europe.
The plan is to fly to Helsinki and then get a boat to Tallinn and then a Eurolines bus to St Petersburg. The Estonian Eurolines website is not great and is not letting me book tickets. Has anyone does this trip before and if yes, do they know if you can turn up on the day of travel and buy tickets? My concern is that we have to arrive on a particular day for Russia because of visas so we can't risk not getting the bus.
Also, when leaving Russia we are planning to fly to Riga from Moscow (trying to avoid Belarus due to Visa confusion) and then getting another bus to Warsaw. Anybody done this trip before?
Any recommendations for any of the places mentioned above would be greatly appreciated!
You can book a day or two before normally, without problem, so do it when you arrive in Tallinn and you'll be fine. There are a few buses during the day, and at least 3overnight buses. Every few years they restart the night train as well before quitting a year or so later, though obviously that may not happen for you.
From Moscow to Riga, you can also train it. There are 2 overnight trains a day (get tickets when you get to Moscow) which avoid Belarus. If you want to go Moscow to Vilnius, however, you either need to go via Riga (then bus) or get the Belarus transit visa for the direct options.
There are direct buses from Riga to Warsaw, and more options if you change in Lithuania (which is a great country and a shame to shoot straight through it, unless you are really short on time)
On the visa front, note that you do NOT have to arrive the day it says on your visa. You can arrive a day or two later, that is fine. You just can't arrive any earlier. Though obviously it might screw up your reservations and stuff to go a day or two later. Always ask for a longer visa than you need so you have a couple of extra days in case of problems. Also, note that many night trains cross the border after midnight - whilst the night buses Tallinn-Moscow can be slightly problematic due to timezone issues - and thus the exact time/day that you cross the border can catch you out and get you stuck if you don't think about it....
Thank you so much for the advice!
I will look into the train from Moscow to Riga. The plane would be 90 euros but would be at 7:30am so getting to the airport may be a bit tricky.
Also, will look into Lithuania.