Catherine’s Palace

On the territory of Catherine’s and Alexander’s parks there are over 100 architectural monuments. Spread on the surface of about 300 hectares. They are magnificent palaces and intimate pavilions, bridges and marble statues, as well as exotic constructions in gothic, Turkish and Chinese style, giving romantic atmosphere to the landscape.

The palaces and parks of the Tsarskoe Selo ensemble were greatly damaged in the WWII. Catherine’s Palace was on the occupied territory during 28 months, and by 1944 turned into burnt ruins. Some of the park pavilions were partly or completely destroyed, other buildings of the complex were also seriously damaged. In the ruined parks of Tsarskoe Selo about 25 bridges, 50 dams and cascades were destroyed.

Now, in over 70 years after the war, the restoration and refurbishing works in the preserve that started in 1950s, can definitely be called one-of-a-kind in the international practice. Architects and restorers are reviving the priceless heritage of the past up to the present, using traditional materials and technologies of gilding, stone carving, molding and other crafts of 18-19 century craftsmen. Their secrets are constantly discovered in the old documents and archives.

Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. Great Hall

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Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. First Anticamera

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Catherine’s Palace 1944/2016. Main staircase

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Photo made by Sergei Larenkov

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Do you love traveling? Then a cruise is your chance to visit maximum of cities within the minimum of time and get familiar with cultures and traditions of different countries.
Summer is especially great time for a unique opportunity to feel the cool breeze and enjoy the northern spirit of the ports of Scandinavia and Northern Europe, as well as visit one of the most sophisticated Russian cities, amazing in its magnificence – Saint-Petersburg.
Here is some information about cruise destinations, ships, prices and services for cruises departing from Scandinavian ports.
• Costa cruise line is the endless world of tempting sea voyages.

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Cruises depart from Stockholm, Sweden, or Copenhagen, Denmark.

First of all Costa Cruises has high requirements to the ships and their crew. The passenger cabins are always ideally clean; the food is cooked exclusively by highly professional cooks. Another advantage of sea voyages by Costa Cruises is the excellent combination of high quality service and affordable prices. Those who book in advance will additionally be pleasantly surprised, as the line offers good discounts for them.

The ships are Costa Luminosa **** and Costa Favolosa **** all inclusive, with culinary shows, open swimming pool with glass roof, majestic design and modern technology equipment.
From 549 EUR per person for 7 nights

• International company Royal Caribbean cruise line is the highest standard of comfort.

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The cruises on Royal Caribbean International ships also give an opportunity to arrange entertaining activities for both adults and kids. The rich entertainment program is designed so all generrations could find an activity to their liking, such as sports, casinos or real theatre performances, whose level is close to that of Broadway. However, the list of activities does not end here.
The ships of Royal Caribbean International always have a few cafes and restaurants. Apart from that, there is room service, delivering meals to passenger cabins. There are also a lot of opportunities not only for fine dining, but also for burning the calories: climbing walls, swimming pools, basketball and volleyball courts and even golf simulators are available on most ships. For instance, the climbing walls can be found on each cruise vessel. For those who prefer learning something new even being on holidays, different lessons and worshops are organized, including dancing and foreign languages classes.

Cruises depart from Stockholm, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The ship Serenade of the Seas**** has different entertaining activities onboard, such as workshops, comedy performances, live music, a night club, open-air cinema.
From 1566 EUR per person for 7 nights

• Norwegian Cruise Line operates on the sea tourist market for more than 50 years.

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Cruises depart from Copenhagen, Denmark.
There are different family activities on the ship Norwegian Getaway****, as well as free educating programs for kids and teenagers. There are also 19 restaurants for your chioce, a buffet with culinary shows, Jazz&Blues club with live music.
From 1129 EUR per person for 9 nights

• Disney Cruise Line is the company with the atmosphere of a holiday and family paradise.

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Cruises depart from Copenhagen, Denmark.
The ship Disney Magic has various entertaining programs onboard, such as Disney musicals, a movie theatre, theme parties, interaction with Disney characters, fireworks, dress-up games, entertainment and education centers, video games, dance floor and a lot more.
From 1649 EUR per person for 7 nights

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Which one to choose?

How can I select a good one for reasonable price?

We are asked similar questions every now and then.
We are going to answer them with your assistance!

In the comments tell us if you have been on a Baltic cruise.
Share your impressions and emotions with us 🙂
This way we will help those who decided to get away and immerse in the world of travels to select the right direction.

We are looking forward to your comments! Thank you

Do you wish to become successful, rich and happy? Perhaps, you would like to have everything at once? And you are going to St Petersburg? Then this post is for you!

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1) Alexander’s Column.
One of the city’s “places of strength” is considered to be Alexander’s column, rising up above the Palace Square.
Try to walk around the column clockwise three times visualizing your wish. Those who have done it say that if your desire is strong enough, your wish will come true.
The very story of creation of this monument is rather mysterious.
The official history thoroughly describes how the granite for a solid column with the weight of 600 tons was mined. By the way, in the 19th century barges could bear only up to 10 tons, which is already something to think over.

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2) Zayachy (Hare’s) island, Peter and Paul’s Fortress

This is where the story of the Northern Capital has begun. On the little Zayachy island the Saint Petersburg fortress was founded, which was later renamed to St Peter and Paul’s, after the cathedral built on its territory.
If you make a wish looking at the angel on the spire of the cathedral, it will definitely come true.
Zayachy island was built-up rather rapidly. Some buildings survived up to the present moment almost unchanged. Next to the cathedral the sepulcher was built for tsars and grand princes. It had 60 underground burial vaults. Most Russian rulers of 18th and 19th centuries are buried there.

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3) Spit of Basil’s island

When Peter I founded Peter and Paul’s Fortress on Zayachy island, he wanted St Petersburg to be a naval fortress and trade centre. However, due to shallow waters the port on Petrogradskaya side could not develop efficiently, so it was decided to move it to the Basil’s island.

The eastern cape of the island, where Neva river is divided into Big and Small neva, was called the Spit of Basil’s island.
Here is the “place of strength” which helps in business and sales, enriching and attracting clients. It is best to write your wish down on a piece of paper, make a paper boat and let it sail on the waters of Neva river. 

For the girls who dream of getting married, an excellent way to find their only one is to kiss the face of the granite lion. It is considered that this procedure releases the celibacy wreath.
People are all attracted to this place, but why? The Stock Exchange building, the two lighthouses – Rostral columns, two rows of finely cut linden trees, the luxurious Winter Palace on the left, the green cloud of the Summer Garden in the distance, the airy Trinity bridge and granite Estacada, followed by solid granite of Peter and Paul’s Fortress with the fine spire of the Cathedral and its angel watching the city.

The architectural genius gathered all these masterpieces in one unified landscape, which cannot be seen in any other city in the world.
It doesn’t matter which season it is, what time of the day, anytime you come here, you get an enormous supply of energy and happiness! The power of nature, the expurgatory power of the big river and the power of the human talent and work are all concentrated here.

Touch the magic of our great city. We are expecting you in the Northern capital of Russia – St Petersburg

Check-out our special offer for St.Petersburg tour. 27% off > > >

What to see in Peterhoff

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Peterhoff is one of the most famous summer imperial residences next to St Petersburg.

Millions of visitors come there every year, but it is very easy to get lost in this enormous complex with lots of museums and palaces. Traditionally, everyone walks around the park and goes inside the Grand Palace. However, the smaller palaces should not be left behind, as they are sometimes even more interesting than the Grand Palace.

So, if you are doing a package tour of St Petersburg, which covers the main attractions, instead of requesting an inside visit of the Grand Palace of Peterhoff we recommend checking out the following:

  • Monplaisir Palace
    Monplaisir is one of the few original constructions of Peterhoff, that survived the WWII. Most of the buildings are newly made, but this palace remembers its first owner – Peter I. It was built according to Peter’s own ideas of a perfect dwelling, and after the death of Peter it remained the memorial palace with the interior kept exactly the same as the first Russian emperor had it.

 

  • Bath House
    This is probably the most interesting museum in the whole complex. If you would like to know about the everyday life of the Emperors, you should definitely look into this museum. It seems strange, but the Tzars were also humans, and had kitchens and bathrooms in their residences. Here you will see how they bathed, what they ate and in what ways they entertained themselves.

 

  • Hermitage pavilion
    The word “Hermitage” is usually associated with just the great art gallery in St Petersburg. However, originally this word was borrowed from French language and means “the asylum of a hermit” – an isolated hiding place. There were quite a few hermitages, and they were often used for secret dates and meetings. To keep the conspiracy, the owners of the residence even had mechanical tables in these pavilions – very peculiar thing really worth seeing!

 

  • Catherine’s Block
    This palace gained its name in the second half of the 18th century, as this was the place from where Catherine II went to St Petersburg on the day she became the Empress of Russia. However, this was one of the first gala palaces for balls, receptions and other high society parties, built for Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I. It is a great alternative to the Grand Palace, as the interiors there are fascinating, and it is never as crowded.

 

  • Aviaries
    If you are coming to Peterhoff with children, the aviaries should not be missed out! Very often the kids get bored with the museums, but here they have an exciting chance to see the feathered dwellers of the imperial residences face to face. The two aviaries present the local birds in one of them, and the bright and exotic parrots in the other. By the way, behind this second building there is a small lake with swans and ducks.

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There is one good reason for the difficulty to give a clear answer to the question “What to pack for St Petersburg?”, as all four seasons in this city are way too different.

If you are traveling in summer time, you should know that you will need a minimum of warm clothes. Usually the St Petersburg temperature in July is not lower than 23°C, and it can even go up to 35°C. The weather is not permanently warm in June.

But don’t take it too easy! Bring your sunglasses, as the sunrays are reflected by the water, and this is totally blinding.

A raincoat or an umbrella. The sky may be crystal clear, however, in 20 minutes it will be pouring rain, and this is the usual thing in St Petersburg. You need to be prepared for anything!

It is recommended to check the weather forecast; however, this is also approximate. Generally, it is better to look it up for no longer than 3 days. The weather is changing all the time, so we do not have any stable climate!
Regarding footwear, think of the most comfortable and reliable options. Even if you are planning to use transport, you would still need to walk a lot to see all the beauty of this marvelous city!
Apart from this, play by the weather and do not forget about rain. It is not the best experience to walk around with wet shoes. It is not likely that you will need rubber boots, but good closed shoes will come in handy!

You need to be careful about the weather in St Petersburg in spring and fall. Your impressions about the city can be somewhat spoilt by cold winds and rains coming from the Gulf of Finland, so be sure to bring wind-proof and water-proof jacket.

The winter in St Petersburg can be slushy, but generally it is incredibly beautiful. Apart from warm clothes (VERY warm!) grab a tube of nourishing cream to protect your skin from ice-cold wind and frost.
Write in comments what you would pack for St Petersburg!

Visiting Russia without a visa

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Everyone planning a visit to Russia gets concerned about visa-related issued. The matter is indeed rather complicated, if you start thinking about rules, papers, costs, etc. And it gets even more confusing if you’ve heard that under certain circumstances you do not need a visa to go to Russia. To cut it short, the general truth is:


You can visit Russia with or without visa.

Cruise passengers DO NOT need a visa, to visit St Petersburg, if they are accompanied with a representative of a registered tour operator. If the cruise line is trying to persuade you that you cannot disembark if you book a tour with a private tour company – THIS IS NOT TRUE.
The tour company you book with issues the travel vouchers that you need to print and have with you to disembark. You will need to provide you passport data for the tour operator.
Ferry passengers DO NOT need a visa. They pay 25 Euro for a tour shuttle onboard, and can stay up to 72 hours in St Petersburg. They can stay in a hotel and walk around independently.
If you are coming by plane/train/bus and/or planning to stay more than 72 hours, you DO need a visa. You can apply for it in the Russian embassy of your country. The required documents usually are:
• Filled application form
• Valid passport
• Picture of the applicant
• Check or receipt of the payment of the consulate fee
• Invitation letter from hosting person or organization

Visa fees can be checked on the official websites of embassies. For instance, a single or double entry visa for US citizens costs from 160 USD.
The time of issue can vary from 6 working days to 3 weeks.

Besides, there are some countries that do not need a visa to go to Russia at all. Here is the list of those – check how lucky you are.
Country Notes
Argentina – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Armenia – Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Azerbaijan – Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Belarus – Unlimited stay.
Bosnia and Herzegovina – For tourists period of stay should not exceed 30 days within every 60, for any other purposes not more than 90 days; documents confirming the purpose of visit required.
Brazil – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Chile – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Colombia – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Cuba – Up to 30 days.
Ecuador – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Fiji Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Guatemala – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Israel – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180. There is an agreement between Russia and Israel about cancellation of guest and tourist visas. For trips the passport valid not less than 6 months from the date of entrance is required. Presence of any other documents by the Agreement is not provided.
Kazakhstan – Period of stay not more than 90 days. Allowed to enter with the internal passports.
Korea, Republic of The period of stay not exceeding 60 days per entry and not more than 90 days within six months.
Kyrgyzstan – Period of stay not more than 90 days. Allowed to enter with the internal passports.
Macedonia – Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Moldova, Republic of Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Mongolia – Up to 30 days.
Montenegro – Up to 30 days.
Nicaragua – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Peru – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Serbia – Period of stay up to 30 days for holders of biometric passports issued after April 8, 2008.
Tajikistan – Allowed to enter with the internal passports. Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Thailand Up to 30 days.
Turkey Up to 30 days.
Ukraine – Period of stay not more than 90 days. Allowed to enter with the internal passports.
Uruguay – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.
Uzbekistan – Period of stay not more than 90 days.
Venezuela – Period of stay not more than 90 days within 180 for non-commercial purposes.

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St Petersburg navy people never have communication problems, as they know exactly how to break the ice – especially those who work on ice breakers! 2 and 3 May the large-scale Ice Breaker Festival was held in the city.
Being a port, St Petersburg often runs different navy-related events, such as Marine Festival, Navy Day etc. The Ice Breaker Fest is relatively new, however, it is becoming popular. You would feel it if you lined up to visit an ice-breaker – the line stretched for a couple hundred meters, and the approximate time of waiting was about 1.5 – 2 hours. However, this was definitely worth it, as normally you do not have a chance to climb on an ice breaker’s deck every morning.
There were a few enormous ice breaker ships docked at the embankments of Neva river, and they opened free access to their decks for all the guests. While waiting in the line, the visitors were entertained by a concert given at the main festive stage and could enjoy singing and dancing of the local performers. Onboard of the ships the volunteer students of navy institutions were eagerly answering people’s questions and were very excited to share all their knowledge about the ice breakers in particular and the naval service in general.
All in all, the Ice Breaker Fest not only gives a chance for everyone to learn something new and interesting, but also opened the festive season in St Petersburg. Now the summer and fall in the city will be full of various events, and we will be just praying for good weather for them.

7 most scary myths about Russia

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Despite being the largest country in the world, for a lot of people across the globe Russia is the real terra incognita. There are lots of passionate travelers who get concerned when it comes to visiting Russia, as there are quite a lot of scary stories about it. Here are the top 7 myths about Russia, together with the truthful information about how things actually work.

  • Russia is not a safe place

Right now there are no wars or other armed conflicts; no natural disasters; no revolutions or political and social unrest of any kind; no epidemic dangers. Russia is not more dangerous than any other country in the world. Going there, just follow the general safety rules: don’t leave your things unattended, beware of pickpockets, try not to walk alone in deserted and shabby areas after dark etc. Do not be paranoid – just be reasonable and remember that large-scale politics usually have nothing to do with everyday life of common people.

  • What about Russian mafia?

In 1990s there were too many scary legends about Russian mafia, and at that time they were quite close to reality. However, in recent 20 years things changed dramatically. If there still are any representatives of so-called mafia, they are definitely not interested in tourists, who’ve come to the country for sightseeing.

  • What if a Russian policeman stops me on the street?

The situations when policemen stop people in the streets are not likely to occur. The street patrol usually just makes sure nobody breaks the general rules, for instance, no one is walking on the grass or climbing a monument to Lenin. You may, however, be asked to show your passport (or its copy) and maybe open your bag at a metro station or train station, as these places are considered to be the most popular objects for terroristic acts. However, this is quite universal, and not only about Russia.

  • If I lose my documents, I will go to jail and stay in Russia forever

The general travel tip is to have copies of the most important papers. Also, it is a good idea to have a phone number of your consulate in Russia with you. Losing documents is a pain in any foreign country, and even in your own. However, it is impressive, for instance, how efficient American consulates are – they can issue a new passport for you within a couple of hours. Here you also just need to be reasonable, and you can be sure no one is sent to jail for losing their papers.

  • I will not be able to get off my cruise ship without a visa or a cruise line tour

A lot of cruise lines try to persuade their passengers that if they book a tour with another tour operator, they will not be allowed to disembark without a visa. This is NOT TRUE! If you book with an authorized tour operator, they will arrange your visa-free disembarking and provide a guide to accompany you throughout the 72 hours of your stay. Normally all these tour operators value their reputation greatly, and are very careful about all the paperwork and rules.

  • Can I miss my ship?

This concerns a lot of people who book a tour
with a local operator instead of buying one from the cruise line. Will they bring me back on time? Here again the attention to the reputation of an operator works for you. If someone misses the ship, the operator will never get any customers in the future, so they are also very careful about this. Usually they take you to the ship early, so you have enough time to go through the control and reach your cabin safely.

  • Is it safer to be with a large tourist group than on a private tour?

If you follow common safety rules, it is safe everywhere. However, with a large group there is more possibility to get lost in the crowd, and it is not a secret that crowded places are work base for pickpockets. With a private guide you always have someone to take personal care of you and provide necessary warnings when needed.

TOP 15 FAQs to Travel Russia

Just about to start your Baltic cruise

1. Visa related issues (rules, papers, requirements, prices, process)?

You can visit Russia with or without visa.

Cruise passengers DO NOT need a visa, to visit St Petersburg, if they are accompanied with a representative of a registered tour operator. If the cruise line is trying to persuade you that you cannot disembark if you book a tour with a private tour company – THIS IS NOT TRUE.

The tour company you book with issues the travel vouchers that you need to print and have with you to disembark. You will need to provide you passport data for the tour operator.

Ferry passengers DO NOT need a visa. They pay 25 Euro for a tour shuttle onboard, and can stay up to 72 hours in St Petersburg. They can stay in a hotel and walk around independently.

If you are coming by plane/train/bus and/or planning to stay more than 72 hours, you DO need a visa. You can apply for it in the Russian embassy of your country. The required documents usually are:

  • Filled application form
  • Valid passport
  • Picture of the applicant
  • Check or receipt of the payment of the consulate fee
  • Invitation letter from hosting person or organization

Visa fees can be checked on the official websites of embassies. For instance, a single or double entry visa for US citizens costs from 160 USD.

The time of issue can vary from 6 working days to 3 weeks.

2. What to do and see in the limited time?

If you have just a couple of days in Russia, the capitals are the cities you should focus on. Here are some suggestions on what to do and see in St Petersburg and Moscow.

St Petersburg:

  • The Hermitage museum – about 3 hours, if you are not REALLY into art
  • Peterhoff – half day trip
  • Catherine’s Palace – half day trip
  • St Isaac’s Cathedral – 30-40 minutes
  • Savior on Spilled Blood – 30-40 minutes
  • Peter and Paul’s Fortress – 1-1.5 hours
  • Yusupov’s Palace – 1.5 – 2 hours
  • Pavlovsk Palace – half day trip
  • Rivers and canals tour – about 1 hour

Moscow:

  • The Kremlin with Armoury and cathedrals – half day tour
  • Red Square and St Basil’s Cathedral – about 1 hour
  • Lenin’s Mausoleum – at least an hour in the morning (the lines are huge)
  •  Tretyakov Gallery – about 3 hours (if you are not too much into art)
  • Vorobyovy Gory viewpoint – 30-40 minutes
  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior – 30-40 minutes
  • Metro tour – 1-1.5 hours

3. How much time to allow for St Petersburg/Moscow?

If you are on a cruise, your time is limited to the cruise stop. If you have 2 days in Russia, it is NOT worth trying to see both St Petersburg and Moscow – it’s too little time. If you are in Russia for 3 days, you can take a day trip from St Petersburg to Moscow, using Sapsan speed train.

If you are traveling overland, usually you need 3-4 days in Moscow to see the main sights. For St Petersburg you can allow 5-6 days to visit the top attractions.

4. Money issues (daily expenses in Moscow and St Petersburg, use of ATMs, exchange rates)?

The prices in Moscow and St Petersburg are similar. If you are on a tour, you do not need to worry about entrance tickets to the venues. For meals and little purchases it is usually enough about 50 USD per person a day. If you are travelling on your own, add about the same for entrance tickets and transport. It can be less, but better be prepared. Also, traveling with a tour, allow about 10% of the tour cost to tip the guide and the driver.

Using ATMs and paying by cards in Russia is perfectly safe. However, since 2014, Russian banks do not accept foreign MasterCards, so use other types.

There are numbers of banks and exchange points in St Petersburg and Moscow, so it is easy to change USD, Euros and other foreign currencies. The exchange rates are not very stable at the moment though, so keep an eye on them.

5. Is it safe for Americans to visit Russia now?

There are no restrictions for ordinary citizens of ANY country to visit Russia. The political issues usually involve the top politicians, not common people, so it is completely safe for Americans to visit Russia. Russians are generally very friendly and helpful, and normally are not too politically oriented.

6. Independent visit vs a visa-free private tour?

If you want to avoid the hassle and expenses of getting a visa – choose a visa-free tour. you will not need to worry about the documents, planning of your trip, communication, logistics and timing – the tour company and your guide will do it for you. This is the perfect option if you have just a couple of days in Russia with a cruise.

If you are adventurous and have some more time than just 2 days, go for an independent tour. However, it’s better to do a bit of homework before you visit. Think of what you want to see and do, plan the schedule, check the sites’ opening days/hours, book your accommodation and transport beforehand and try to learn basic Russian phrases.

7. Private tour vs a small group tour?

Private tour can cost you more than a group tour. However, it will be designed specially for you and according to YOUR own wishes and interests. It will be definitely more flexible than a group tour, and you will see more things in the same time, as you will not need to wait for other group members. You will be able to do your activities at your own pace. You will also have full attention of your guide, who can customize their explications to your own interests. What is more, you will go in front of all the lines instead of waiting.

8. Tours for seniors/disabled?

Now more and more venues are made accessible. The best choice in this case is a private tour, which can be planned according to your needs, with necessary stops and equipment. It also usually provides special vehicles, wheelchairs (if needed) and wheelchair pushers.

9. Transportation and getting around?

On a tour the transport is usually included in the tour cost. If you are traveling independently, in St Petersburg and Moscow they have excellent metro systems. Get a metro map to navigate, and buy a few rides when you come there first, to save time. The system of buses, trams and trolleys is a bit more complicated, and there are no English signs or announcements. So, if you need to use this type of transport, better to check in your hotel or in a tourist information centre, how to get to your destination. Taxis are quite easy to get in both cities, however, it is NOT recommended taking a taxi at or near train stations or airports – they rip you off.

10. Russian cuisine – what to try in restaurants?

Some of the most typical Russian dishes are:

  • Borshch (beetroot soup)
  • Solyanka (meat and potato soup)
  • Pelmeni (meat dumplings)
  • Blini (pancakes)
  • Beef stroganoff
  • Pirozhki (filled pies)
  • Salmon cooked in different ways
  • Chicken Kiev

11. What souvenirs to buy?

The most popular Russian souvenirs are:

  • Matryoshkas (nestling dolls)
  • Replicas of Faberge eggs
  • Amber jewelry
  • Lacquer boxes
  • Wooden Christmas decorations
  • Fur hats with red stars
  • Porcelain
  • Wooden kitchen sets “Khokhloma”
  • Books, CDs and DVDs about sites visited

12. How to attend concerts, sport games, celebrations?

If you would like to see the ballet or opera in Bolshoy, Mariinsky or some other Russian theatres, you can book them online on their official websites. It is a bit more complicated with sport games, however, you can also book online on the sites of the main stadiums and sport centres. As for the celebrations and public events, they can vary in different places and at different times of the year, so better check with your tour operator, to have the up-to-date information.

13. What if the tour company cancels the group tour the day before?

If the tour company has sent the confirmation letter, they MUST provide the tour, even if they didn’t manage to get enough clients. If they do not, they have to refund at least some of the tour cost. Usually tour operators value their reputation and do not cancel tours without prior notification. If you are worried, you can double-check, or take a private tour, to stay on the safe side.

14. Advantages and disadvantages of taking a river cruise Moscow – St Petersburg?

River cruises take you to more places in Russia, than just St Petersburg and Moscow. You can travel the country in the most comfortable way. You can also spend in Russia longer than your cruise is scheduled to see more. However, the vessels are smaller and there’s probably not too much to do in the ship. Also for these cruises you DO need a Russian visa.