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Baltic travel help needed

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florida
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6 posts
18 reviews
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Baltic travel help needed

My husband and I plan to travel through the Baltics this summer. The ferry trip from Helsinki to Tallinn looks easy enough but it gets a little complicated after that. I'd like to go from Tallinn to St. Petersburg, then to Riga and then to Vilnius. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of train transport and I am not crazy about long bus rides.

Has anyone flown Baltic Air? How about rental cars or cars and drivers? is it better to go from Tallinn to Riga and then Riga to St. Petersburg and back?

Vilnius, Lithuania
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350 posts
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1. Re: Baltic travel help needed

Hello. Great to hear that you have chosen this wonderful region for your trip :)

I have no idea about the travel from Tallinn to St. Petersburg, unfortunately.

AirBaltic is a great airline, I have used their service once. They offer the flights of usual European quality and safety. The airports bot in Riga and Vilnius are very close to the city (not sure about Tallinn though) and reachable by a simple city bus. Estonian Air also offers connection between Tallinn and Vilnius. The train transport is truly virtually inexistent. It is planned to create the modern rail routes between the Baltic capitals in the future. The buses are also an option, but I guess it's not a good option if you don't like them. The coach takes about 4 hours from Riga to Vilnius. The rental cars are also possible, most of the largest car rental companies operate in Baltic States.

Please be advised that St.Petersburg is Russia and you will need a Russian visa to get there. Please contact Russian embassy about this. The Baltic states offer visa-free regime to the US citizens.

Edited: 21 April 2010, 22:31
florida
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6 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Baltic travel help needed

thank you so much for the info... we are waiting for a reply from the Russian embassy.

Perhaps a rental car is the way to go. Can we cross the borders easily in a rental car?

Vilnius, Lithuania
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350 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Baltic travel help needed

There is almost no border control between Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. These countries belong to the EU Schengen Agreement, and this means that the border control procedures are kept to the bare minimum. The border control only stops suspicious cars and sometimes random cars for random checks, but most of the cars just cross the border without stopping. If you travel by bus, the case is different, and the border control always checks all passports. Most international car rental companies will be happy to give you the car in Tallinn and take it back in Vilnius, or vice versa.

Also be careful while driving in Russia. The policemen there are usually not people's friends and you do not want to get into their hands - they may see you are foreigners and try to find some charges to put on you and demand the bribe. This may sometimes also be the case in the Baltic states, although the policemen in the Baltic states are more civilised and demand bribes less often. Russia is a strange country, and dangerous in a way, although St. Petersburg is safe. In any case, you won't have to drive far to St. Petersburg from Tallinn, so you will probably avoid trouble.

Lithuania
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4. Re: Baltic travel help needed

I'm afraid there is no train between Tallinn and SPB. However the train goes between Helsinki and SPB. So maybe you can reschedule your route going to Russia first.

Anyways, the distance between these two cities is about 300 km, so it is not that bad even by bus ;)

Or if you REALLY cannot stand buses maybe you can take a train from SPB to Vilnius and then continue you trip up to the North.

check www.litrail.lt for trains from Lithuania.

5. Re: Baltic travel help needed

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