Question by Jim: When and How to Travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg?
My wife and I would like to visit Moscow and St. Petersburg. I have been on the net looking at travel deals, hotel rates, etc. I would like to know:
What is the best and most reliable source of information for travel to Russia
What is the best time of year to visit
What is a nice hotel in Moscow and St. Petersburg to stay in without breaking the bank
What should we consider bringing with us while there
What are some good Russian restaurants to eat that are what the Russian People eat (not tourist stuff)
What to be cautious of or watch out for, be aware of – we want a safe and happy visit
Any other suggestions to make our vacation a good one.
PS – if we have time, I want to visit Stalingrad to see where the USSR beat the Nazis.
Answers and Views:
Answer by K2010
best and more reliiable source
best time: I would say June-not too hot, and you can capture White nights in St, Pete
here is a list to do and not to do in Russia
Stalingrad is now Volgograd
Answer by Two
As for “when”, the best time of year in both Moscow and St. Petersburg is the late spring – say, May. Failing that, Autumn.
As for how best to travel there, that rather depends on where you will be starting from.
Answer by Anna
Speaking of Moscow and St. Petersburg, any time of the year would be good. Yes, it’s cold in winter, but you’ll totally have very many places to get warm – cafes, shops, galleries, museums, metro, your hotel room) Cities in Russia are really very well equipped with heating radiatiors. It’s really hard to tell what’s the best time, as cities look really amazing at any season. And you will hardly see snowdrifts in the centre of Moscow.
As for Moscow hotels, it depends on your budget, but stick to those located closer to centre of the city – as a rule, they are the most trustworthy. You can really find accomodation for your budget using booking.com etc.
Besides of all the documents (carry your IDs with yourselves while being outside, just in case), be sure to take some warm clothes (if you’re coming in winter) or swimming suits (if visiting in summer) – Moscow’s parks (Gorky, Sokolniki) have beaches and really worthy and proper public swimming pools. Phrasebook might be useful too, though you can always approach to the young folks – they know English, they are friendly and always willing to show you the way.
As for restaurants, business lunches (12 p.m. to approx. 5 p.m.) are always cheaper. Personally I would recommend Jan-Jak, John Donn; Mu-mu is rather good as well – cheap and delicious Russian cuisine. And you can probably find good old Starbucks absolutely eveywhere.
Moscow has become really safe these days, but try not to leave the Sadovoye ring after 12 a.m. As for the centre, it’s safe 24/7, I myself have walked down Tverskaya street at 4 a.m., totally safe, and you can see lots of tourist groups walking late. Just be sure to look after your wallets – that’s all. And in case something bad happens, do not hesitate to call for help (there a phrasebook might be really useful, as not all policemen know English well). But then again, if you get lost or something – you can rely on the help of youngsters.
Oh, yeah, and always have some cash, as you can not pay for metro tickets and taxi with a card. Watch out for private motorists, their fares are so high that I don’t really have a word for that. Here http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g298484-c70960/Moscow:Russia:Taxi.Service.html you can find contacts of some taxi services (can’t really say whether they are reliable or not, never used them).
But I’m pretty sure you’ll be good with public transport – metro can take you absolutely everywhere. Just have a metro map with you and listen to station announcements carefully. And if you see that on the station ALL people are leaving the metro coach, though it’s not a terminal station – do the same, leave the coach, because the train is going to depot. Signs over the underpasses from one station to another are in Russian, but you can always tell on what station you’re going by the colour of the line (for example, if you see blue colour on the sign – you’re obviousely going to one of the stations of Arbatsko-Pokrovskaya line, etc. Metro map is really useful at this).
As for suggestions – take a tour of Moscow. They have launched City Sightseeing bus tours (hop on hop off), that are really cheap and fun, or you can join some walking excursion of the city (here http://wowmoscow.net/ you can find some interesting tours).
And yes – Stalingrad is named Vologda today, it’s pretty far from Moscow and St. Petersburg. But I’m sure you can learn a lot about the battle of Stalingrad at The Moscow Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War (metro station Park Pobedy).
I hope this would be useful!
Answer by .•*¨*•. .❅