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itinerary help Moscow, St. Petes, Helsinki, Tallinn, Copenhagen

Found a great price to Moscow round trip. Would love to do Moscow, then St. Petersburg. From there would like to see Helsinki for a day and take one of the overnight cruises that Rick has written about. Would fly back to Moscow from either Stockholm or Copenhagen. I don't like cruises but can endure an overnight boat.
Suggestions as far as time in each place would be greatly appreciated. The Visa sounds very complicated especially since we will be flying into Moscow twice. We are thinking about 12 days with day 1 and night 12 in Moscow leaving on the 13th day. This would be towards the end of May. I really don't like organized tours either and would like to do this on my own time. Am I crazy? This is the first stop on locating information.

Posted by
12172 posts

Russian Visas are a pain, but not impossible. I would suggest flying open-jaw, into Moscow and out of Copenhagen. Your flight will be cheaper and you will save time not having to backtrack. It might be better to go the other way. This is just opining but I could see Russian immigration being more comfortable with you arriving in St. Petersburg by train or ferry from Helsinki, with a ticket in hand to fly home from Moscow, than flying into Moscow with a ticket to fly home from elsewhere. They may be suspicious that you are planning to stay longer than stated. When I say Russian immigration is hard core, I'm not exagerating.

Posted by
9103 posts

Entering Russia then leaving and entering again, is not advisable. The Russian immigration bureaucracy is not to be messed with:) The single entry visas are a hassle, the multiple entry variety are probably a hassle-squared. Even though the airfare is gonna be a bit more, fly into Moscow, take the train to St Pete, and either fly or take the train to Helsinki. It's best to pay the extra money let a professional Visa service handle the paperwork for you. I used this company:

Posted by
4535 posts

Helsinki is worth at least two days IMO. Tallinn is an easy 90 minute ferry ride and makes a great day trip from Helsinki. The Helsinki-Stockholm ferry is overnight and amazing with scenery - well worth it. There is also an overnight ferry from Tallinn-Stockholm. Stockholm and Copenhagen are a minimum of 3 days each and worth more if there is time. Its a long (6 hours) train ride from Stockholm-Copenhagen but it is a pretty ride. In reality you can easily spend your 12 days there not counting Russia. I'd skip Copenhagen only because it is so remote from the others. Then you have 6 days in Baltic and 6 for Russia.

Posted by
44 posts

Ok, now that I have checked all the fees for visas and hotels the flight is not that great of a bargain compared to other European destinations. Thanks for everyone's help.

Posted by
281 posts

Rick has a Tallin, Helsinki, St. Petersburg tour this summer. Check it out just for the schedule, if nothing else. Flights on SAS can be had from St. Petersburg to Stockholm for just over a $100. If you have to cut something, think about skipping Moscow and do the other cities. That is not to say I would not someday love to see Moscow, just that rather than not doing the trip, that is a place to start with the trimming.