A trip to St. Petersburg and Helsinki
The booking for this travel used to be alternatively straight forward.
To get to St. Petersburg from Moscow, there are a few variations.
That you would be able to take a coach there, both the speedy Sapsan train which does the ride in 3h50 or 4h00 with most effective three stops en route or the night trains, which are a lot slower at round 7-eight hours. But when you booklet early also the Sapsan is low-cost with economic climate category fares establishing at 999 RUR a technique.
An additional option is to catch a flight, which only takes between 60 and ninety minutes.
There are flights via Aeroflot from Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow to Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, then flights through Rossiya airways and UT Air from Vnukovo to Pulkovo and a couple of airways from Domodedovo to Pulkovo, for example S7 airlines, Ural airlines and handiest 2x every week Alrosa.
We this time opted to take the airplane from Vnukovo airport.
Vnukovo airport just isn’t so crowded at the moment, additionally has lots to do with the bankrupt of Transaero airlines.
To get to the airport we took a taxi, which is low cost and quick within the early hours of the morning. For the duration of the day when MKAD is blocked, often it is extra endorsed to take the Aeroexpress teach, as this one handiest needs 30mins from the centre to the airport.
For the primary 2 nights we chosen the Radisson Sonya lodge in St. Petersburg, which we used before and which is a instead exceptional and best inn on Litvieny Pr. Most effective a 15mins walk from Nevsky Pr.
After that we booked the Allegro educate to Helsinki, a joint enterprise between Russian Railways RZD and Finnish VR. The coach best wants a little more than 3 hours between St. Petersburg and Helsinki and operates 4 occasions a day.
More on the coach later.
In Helsinki we booked the Radisson Blu Plaza inn for our one night keep making use of an appealing aspects and money cost with the aid of club Carlson.
To get again to St. Petersburg, we used again the Allegro train.
For our final night time in St. Petersburg we booked the Radisson Royal hotel on Nevsky Pr., even though this was a instead disappointing experience. But also on this extra a bit of later.
Once they day arrived and the alarm clock rang at OMG-o’clock our prebooked taxi was once already ready and we made the trip to the airport in a bit over 30mins which is only possible at night time when the roads are relatively empty.
The fare used to be 900 RUR. As a tip, when you go to the airport there should be fixed charges, not greater than one thousand RUR from/to the centre of Moscow to any of the three significant airport Domodedovo, Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo.
The airport used to be nonetheless deserted, however no longer goodbye and the examine in opened and we speedily received our boarding passes.
Security manage was once rapid and we were within the domestic departure field of Vnukovo.
Boarding was also soon announced and we stepped on board, the place I saw a familiar cabin.
The airplane, operated by Orenair, or by way of now the brand new Rossiya airways was once an ex Hapag-Lloyd / Tuifly aircraft from Germany, and obviously I flew it earlier than on one of the vital many Mallorca shuttles
The flight wasn’t entirely booked and cargo aspect was handiest about 70%.
Flight time used to be introduced to be 1h15 and we speedily pushed back and made our manner into the early morning sky.
Carrier onboard was once fast and this morning there used to be water and chai/coffee on present, as good as a small pastry, which tasted good and was fresh.
Speedily after first rate was once already announced and after the promised 1h15 we landed in Pulkovo, the place I was positively surprised by way of the new airport terminal, as it’s a first-rate facility.
Our luggage was already waiting for us on the belt after we arrived there and we went external.
To get into the city, there are clearly three options: Taxi, the for Russia ordinary Mashrutkas, a mini bus, who does a committed route and departs when it is a full, and the normal bus.
We took the bus which price 30 RUR per character.
The Mashrutka costs forty RUR on this route, so handiest quite extra high-priced, but almost always also rapid.
The bus and likewise Mashrutka drops you off at Moskovska Metro Station, from the place you could reach basically every situation within the centre by means of metro in about 15-20mins.
The fares for a single journey are 35 RUR per individual.
We bought quickly to our lodge and checked in. Thanks to my membership Carlson Gold popularity, we obtained upgraded to a trade type room.
The room was fairly fine and we headed out into town.
For first timers in St. Petersburg, there’s a lot to look.
As we now have been right here before we didn’t visit the usual attractions, however if you want to comprehend more in regards to the attractions, don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact type.
This time we visited the Museum of the apartment of Pushkin.
It is a very high-quality and exciting museum, where you are going to gain knowledge of lots concerning the lifetime of the noted poetist Pushkin. Excursions are offered in Russian language, however audio guides are additionally available in all different usual languages like English, French, German.
In the evening we visited a exhibit within the comedy theatre about Broadway hits and the exceptional of the musical – like show used to be very high and the theatre is very recommendable, if you happen to like such matters.
To devour we had sushi the primary day within the chain restaurant Eurasia, which isn’t endorsed for my part, as all their eating places are alternatively dirty and the sushi rolls very small and with very little fish. It’s better to spend a bit of more and get some decent ones.
The 2d day we went to the Fabergée Museum, where they have the 2nd largest collection of the reward eggs to the Zhar family (the biggest one is in Moscow in the Kremlin).
This museum is very fascinating, however throughout the day best tours are allowed and every tour simplest has location for 15 men and women, it is better to go there early in the morning to purchase your ticket in your preferred time for the duration of the day, or conveniently reserve online earlier than your discuss with.
To eat we went to the Trattoria Limononcello on these days, a small Italian restaurant, which we visited before and meals there may be consistently very fine and abundant.
Also the restaurant is very clean and really nicely embellished.
The next morning, it was time to move to Helsinki. The Allegro coach departs the Finlandsky Voksal in St. Petersburg and as it is only some 1-2km away from our motel, we elected to stroll in daybreak, cause the weather was once very excellent.
Word that at the station, there is a distinctive entrance for the Allegro coach, the place your baggage might be checked and you will be checked in into the instruct.
On the coach, it is extremely cozy that the customs exams shall be completed enroute, so there is not any stop on the border required. Between St. Petersburg and the Russian border metropolis of Vyborg, the Russian immigration officers check the passports and then between the Finnish city of Vanikala and Helsinki the Finnish officers do their obligation.
All were very pleasant and efficient.
Foreign money exchange is also available on board, as good as restaurant wagon, but because the wagon is operated with the aid of the Finnish VR, excessive prices need to be expected.
Anyway quickly we arrived on the most important station in Helsinki, the place that you could easily step off the instruct like some other domestic passenger. Our resort was once very virtually the primary station, so we walked there.
Arriving there, we were completely happy that our room was once in a position, however upon entering we determined a thoroughly dirty room with hair on the dangerous and quite a lot of dust all over.
After letting the purchaser family members supervisor recognize, we got a nicer and likewise easy room.
Further on the first agent did not recognize the gold reputation and probably was once instead impolite. I filed a grievance with club Carlson, so exciting what they will reply, for the reason that a hotel in this category must now not present soiled rooms to customers. If it’s a small room, totally nice, however please maintain it clean.
Business type rooms are allowed to use the Plaza lounge within the Radisson Blu Plaza Helsinki and we made use of that in the night, the place there is a exceptional dinner spread and also beer and wine to be had, as well as waiter provider.
In Helsinki we went for a walk in the centre, first to the Lutheran cathedral and after to the harbour, where we decided to take a ferry to Suomenlinnen, an island about 2 km off the shores and which is hooked up via a ferry each hour.
As the climate there used to be very terrible to be sincere, we handiest took a stroll around after which went back to mainland, however i will be able to imagine, that in summer time, it is vitally fine there as the nature is wonderful and the air very recent.
After coming back we did some shopping on Alexanterinkatu, the place additionally the first Stockmann division retailer is located and they have the whole thing from groceries to garments.
Despite the fact that life in Finland is as a substitute high-priced, the prices in Stockmann are on par with prices in most different European capitals.
Within the evening, we chosen to dine in Vapiano, an Italian restaurant with, for my part a satisfactory suggestion. You ought to notice proposal, that prices are about 50% bigger than in different core European international locations, but first-class could be very constant and food continually tasty.
The spotlight of the Radisson Blu Plaza although is the breakfast: It was probably the most high-quality resort breakfasts I had in any resort.
The spread used to be considerable and the satisfactory of the items very high.
Additionally they had a cooking station for waffles and eggs and we elected to take a look at the,for Finland typical, Reindeer in type of a Reindeer omelet. It was very tasty, but i’m no longer sure if i might order it once more,as the reindeer has a very dominant heavy taste.
After we went to the Ateneum museum to determine out Finnish art.
The museum is a middle sized one and with 15EUR has alternatively steep entry prices, but it used to be worth seeing. Of direction most effective in case you are enthusiastic about art.
Next used to be a stop on the noted Fazer Café. Espresso and pastries are very tasty there and the surroundings can also be fine, but be all set to pay round 5 EUR for a cup of coffee.
In the night we checked out of the inn ( due to the pleasant manager we had been granted a 18h00 late check out ) and walked again the 5mins to the educate station, where after slightly of waiting we could board our Allegro train again to St. Petersburg.
About 15mins on the way in which, the coach all of a sudden stopped and a technical quandary was once introduced. As they had been unable to repair it, our coach went very slow to the Finnish metropolis of Lahti, the place we arrived with a prolong of about one hour. But best 5mins after the alternative unit from Helsinki arrived and we might change the train.
After we had been furnished free coffee and pastries and the educate driver tried to make up one of the crucial prolong, and ultimately we arrived with most effective 45mins in St. Petersburg.
As the metro was once already closed once we arrived in St. Petersburg, RZD prepared a bus shuttle to probably the most frequented metro stations.
In whole the technical challenge used to be dealt with very well.
From the teach station we used Yandex taxi to get to our lodge.
With only one hundred fifty RUR, the fare was once very low priced and affordable.
Radisson Royal was my opinion no longer worth the cash.
The rooms have been old and even though clean, tears and scratches far and wide and staff ordinarily interacted with an awfully smug attitude.
As an example, we requested for a 30 to 60min late determine out, and i checked earlier than if the inn was once free, and there used to be quite a few potential, it was quite simply met by means of a no. After asking them, in the event that they know that it is complimentary for Gold individuals on to be had groundwork, they stated they dont do it. Discontinue. So i will without doubt now not use this resort once more and in the future for stays in St. Petersburg certainly pick the Radisson Sonya, where staff could be very high-quality and consistently valuable.
The following day we comfortably took a stroll and had lunch at Limoncello again, the place we had a very tasty pizza.
To get back to the airport we used the metro and the bus once more and quickly arrived there.
The flight back on Rossiya airlines, this time certainly one of their possess aircraft, a A319, used to be comfortable over and over a pastry and drink was served.
After a little bit more than one hour we landed in Vnukovo, from where we took the taxi again residence. This time it took more than 90mins. As MKAD was once utterly blocked we used some other methods, and simplest because of the bus lane, which taxis are allowed to make use of, we would transfer.