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Moscow extension after June 17-25 St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki

Hello Forum
I’m traveling on the June 17- 25, 2019 St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Helsinki tour. I’m checking in to see if anyone on that tour is planning to extend their trip to Moscow. I'm a solo traveler, planning on taking the high speed train on the last day of the tour, and will be spending two nights in Moscow. I’d be interested in sharing a local guide.

Posted by
2 posts

We are doing the same but leaving St Petersburg on July 4 . I am getting a quote from a Russian company but it will probably be high and we will end up figuring it out. We are doing it through the travel agency RS recommends.

Good luck.

If anyone from the tour that ends on July 2 wants to share info, please write.

Posted by
16 posts

Since my original posting I have contacted Marina Penkovskay, a guide referenced on this site. She has been an amazing resource. I sent her a long wish list of attractions I wanted to see and activities I wanted to do and she created a custom itinerary for me. I independently booked my seats for the Bolshoi ( a ballet and an opera) and also booked my own accommodations. Marina helped with the Sapsan from St. Petersburg and her team will also provide my ride to the airport. I’m feeling very confident about my solo stay in Moscow.

Posted by
11152 posts

I'm sure it's your auto-correct, but if you're looking for more information, the high speed train from St. Petersburg to Moscow is the Sapsan, not the Saipan (wrong part of the world!). The Sapsan is a great way to connect the cities - under four hours, city center to city center, on a new and spiffy train, with no airport hassles.

Posted by
16 posts

Closing the loop on my initial post.

Been back about a week: I would highly recommend Marina and her team and would book again with her if I have the chance to see Moscow or St Petersburg again. Some notes: arrived in St. Petersburg hotel and found that she had left an envelope for me at the desk. Included my printed Moscow itinerary, train ticket and a postcard. I emailed her to thank her and got a reply within 30 min welcoming me to the city. In Moscow...my guide met me trackside when my train pulled in. He introduced himself as Mikhail or Michael, grabbed by heavy suitcase and escorted me through the train station to a waiting mini van and introduced me to Sergi, our driver for the day. We hit all my listed sites and more, pulling over and jumping out to see monuments, churches or just a great view. And that was just day one. Day two was even better...Mikhail was stellar! Professional, interesting, well educated in art history, local politics, American humor, history of Moscow...you name it. He was tireless. And eager to show me as much as I wanted to see. My first regret, too short of time and too much to see. Another day would have been super. Second regret, not asking to stop and enjoy a meal. I would have enjoyed going to a local place with them to eat and talk. Advice, know what you really want to see or do and be open to some modest changes. Cheers!

Posted by
316 posts

Thanks for coming back with an update!
One quick question, though - do you feel you wouldn't have been able to see all the things on your list on your own (i.e without the help of your guide)?

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Perilofp,
To your question, with more time I’m sure I could have navigated 50 to 60% of my selected itinerary. Given my self imposed two days, having a guide was efficient, practical and rather fun! Found it especially practical in the cathedrals and museums, with all the people/tourists, to be guided seamlessly to the highlighted must see items.

Posted by
1 posts

I'm headed to Moscow in September. Did you find your hotel to be centrally located and convenient for travel within the city? If so, would you feel comfortable sharing your hotel choice?
Thank you!
Heidi

Posted by
16 posts

Hi Heidi
I stayed at the Hotel National. It was across the street from the Kremlin. It was an excellent choice for me, walking distance to the Bolshoi, several metro stations and of course the sites at Red Square. I felt safe walking around the square after dark and to and from the theater. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful. The public areas beautiful. The hotel has an interesting history too.

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mowlc-hotel-national-a-luxury-collection-hotel-moscow/