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European Tour Including St. Petersburg

Kensington, Maryland
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European Tour Including St. Petersburg

My boyfriend and I want to visit St. Petersburg. We've never been before and would like to visit some other cities in Central/Eastern Europe before/after. We were thinking of flying into Germany and travelling up to St. Petersburg, hitting Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Munich, Berlin along the way. We are VERY flexible though and looking for suggestions. We are flexible about the number of nights in each city but the entire trip should last between 10-14 days. We'd prefer to take the train if possible but will also consider flights. We'd also like to fly in and out of a city that has a non-stop flight from DC.

Any suggestions?

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Philadelphia...
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1. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

You should read a little about the logistics of taking a train to St. Petersburg:

waytorussia.net/Transport/International/Trai…

Note that it will take about 36 hours travel time from Berlin. Be sure, too, to research visa requirements for Russia, if you haven't already; it's definitely more involved for US nationals to visit there than to visit the EU/Schengen area.

Even if you fly a leg to St. Petersburg, 10-14 days is not remotely enough time for the cities on your list. I see two broad possibilities:

- Focus on St. Petersburg. If you're going through the trouble to get a Russian visa, then you'd be best off spending a week there at least. You could add a Central European city (and side trip?) to the itinerary. Berlin or Munich might make the most sense for direct flights.

- Forget Russia and focus on Central Europe. 1.5-2 weeks is still not enough time for everything, but you could reasonably see 3-4 cities: Berlin-Prague-Vienna, for instance, or Munich-Salzburg-Vienna-Bratislava. etc.

Good luck in the planning. I'm sure you'll have a good trip, even if it's not your full wish list.

Kensington, Maryland
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2. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

Thanks for the note. The more I started to research the more I realized I might need to make some alterations. There are cheap flights from DC to Iceland, and then non-stop flights to Helsinki, and then Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Any thoughts on that?

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

Helsinki would be a good pair for an itinerary with St. Petersburg. If you wanted to add another city, you could take the ferry Helsinki to Tallinn or vice versa. (Depending on time of year) Or, if you want to do the IcelandAir layover in Reykjavik and have the time, I know people who have done it and enjoyed it.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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4. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

Hi there referring to your original plan. You could fly into Berlin (assuming you have a direct flight), spend a week and then look for a cheap return flight to STP and back to Berlin (to save time). Both of those cities are absolutely amazing, steeeped in history and culture and deserve a good week of anyones time. Do take visas for Russia into account but its so worth it.

have a great trip

angie

www.angietravels.com

Finland
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for Helsinki, Finland
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5. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

"There are cheap flights from DC to Iceland, and then non-stop flights to Helsinki, and then Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Any thoughts on that?"

One clear advantage is that you can take a visa free (max 72 hrs) boat to St Pete from Helsinki. See: www.stpeterline.com/en/OnBoard/News.aspx

Based on the Iceland route you might consider additional places like Tallinn (easy access by boat from Helsinki), Stockholm and Copenhagen. Eg an open jaw ticket via Reykjavik to Helsinki, then St Pete by boat, Talllinn by boat, flight to STO, flight to CPH, fly home via Reykjavik. Flights from HEL to STO and STO to CPH are numerous and inexpensive.

Edited: 15 November 2011, 13:43
Finland
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for Helsinki, Finland
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6. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

Forgot to mention that STO CPH can also be travelled in an overnight train, which saves a night in a hotel. See www.sj.se/start/startpage/index.form?l=en

And HEL STO by an overnight boat, see http://www.vikingline.fi/index.asp?lang=en or www.tallinksilja.com/fi/mainMenu/silja/

Edited: 15 November 2011, 13:54
7. Re: European Tour Including St. Petersburg

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