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Trip to Russia

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Oslo, Norway
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Trip to Russia


We are planning our trip to St. Petersburg and Moscow at the end of May - beginning of June 2013. We are a couple in our late 60's but still in good shape and love for travel. Here are questions we still have for St.Petersburg:

1. What theatre will be better to go for a ballet: Michailovsky or Hermitage Theatre? We read that the best one could be Mariinsky Theatre but as we are not ballet fans we don't want to spend too much money for it.

2. Is there a schedule or a website for sinagogue in St.Petersburg?

3. Is there a large outdoor market somewhere?

4. As we are also planning on visiting Tallin after St.Petersburg we need advice on train tickets from St.Petersburg to Talllin.

Thanks to everybody who replies.


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1. Re: Trip to Russia

1. I personally like Mikhailovsky more but the choice might depend on the actual performance. As a theater Mikhailovsky is prettier.

2. Our main Grand Choral Synagogue has quite informative web-site http://end.jewishpetersburg.ru

In general the Synagogue is open for visitors every day. Photo and video is not allowed on Saturdays. There is a very sweet girl Musya who can give you a guided tour of the Synagogue in English for a fee of about 600-800 Rubles.

3. St.Petersburg is a very cold place that's why we mainly have indoor markets. The most convenient fruit and vegetable farmer's market is located near Vladimirsky Square. Open daily.

4. There is no train but bus or plane or ferry connecting St.Petersburg and Tallinn

St. Petersburg...
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2. Re: Trip to Russia

There is a train between St.Petersburg and Tallinn, it departs every day at 18 from Vitebskii railway station. The ticket will be sell 45 days before the departure. The cost for the first class is about 40 dollars and the second class is about 30 dollars. There are photos of the train balticshuttle.com/train_fot . Unfortunately I do not know online reservation ticket in English. You can try to call to balticshuttle.com maybe they can help you.

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3. Re: Trip to Russia

Train from St.Petersburg to Tallinn has been started at least 3 times in post-Soviet time - and then cancelled. So, it is better to check it closer to your departure. Usually there were no problems with tickets as locals prefer buses as a cheaper option

Oslo, Norway
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4. Re: Trip to Russia

Thank you all for such informative answers.

St Petersburg Russia
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5. Re: Trip to Russia

As suggested Kuznechny Rynok next to Vladimirskaya Metro station is the best known for nice fruits and vegetables, fish, honey and cut flowers. It has become more of a tourist attraction than market in recent years because it is very expensive. I live in the neighborhood and only take visitors there and it has been 5 years since I bought anything. It is at least twice as high as any supermarket. They have stopped displaying prices so yuou have to negotiate for everything and you will lose that one. The sellers and food items mostly come from the far south or CIS countries, and does look good. Ten years ago it was filled with local neighborhood shoppers and restaurant/cafe owners in the early morning but it is not very popular with locals now. A modern Land grocery store opened across the street with a wide selection of imported food items for various cuisine cooking. It is nice but also expensive. Larger supermarkets have opened all over the city which are quite competitive in pricing so are very popular.

Each neighborhood has many small food stores which are convenient but do not offer the quality of produce as the farmers markets or modern supermarkets.

Some open air markets(all have indoor stalls also) includes Sennoi Rynok near Sadovaya or Sennaya Ploshchad Metro stations, on Moskovsky prospect. It is a better shopping market since its prices are more resonable. I go there often since is is one metro stop from my home. It can get pretty busy early in the morning in the late afternoon.

For a general market in the city center there is a Apraksin Dvor. You can get a real change of view from the palaces and chic ultra-expensive stores and restaurants that fill the city center where it is easier to find a $3000 purse than a decent pair of reasonably priced jeans. This place is famous or infamous and was featured in historical novels , earning a seedy reputation long ago. A lot of locals would not go there but it really is not bad at all, crime is pretty low, pickpockets prefer better heeled inattentive tourists as targets to spend their time around Church of Spilled Blood and on a 200 meter section of Nevsky prospect.

Apraksin Dvor is fun, it is a place you can haggle and not get ripped off because the starting prices are reasonable so only go down from there. The range of things to find, new and some used, include DVDs, lots of clothing, household and kitchen utensils, home and car electronics, used cell phones, cloth. At one time it was mostly filled with used items of local origin but now it is mostly new imported items. It can be very crowded and watching the throngs of people on weekends is as interesting a glimpse of "real" Russia, with the majority of sellers from the far south or CIS 'stan's. In fact, I am wearing a pair of $14 Turkish jeans purchased there an afternoon after not finding a good option at the gigantic 18th century shopping center diagonally across that street, Gostiny Dvor where a $100 budget was not enough. Despite what people who do not go there say, Apraksin Dvor is safe and fun to explore. To get there, just walk down Sadova Street, the length of Gostiny Dvor and cross the street at the first light and you are there. The market is in the large sprawling courtyard of the buildings that fill that block. The retail stores surrounding the market, facing the streets, are old run down shop area, due to low rent, is filled with youth oriented shops for clothes, ,skateboards, CD/DVD shops, music venues etc.

The others are primarily out of the city center so if you want more choices just ask. Each is known for a specialty, such as Polyustrovsky Rynok near Ploshchad Lenina which specializes in pets/animals, nicknamed the " Bird Market " and another one electronics/parts, used and new for hobbyists and suppliers. This last one is a good place to find a good bicycle.

Second endorsement of the bus to Tallinn. It is not that far and the border is not hard like the delays for buses and cars at the Finland/Russia border. Trucks are badly delayed however, days,waiting to get their cargo over the border. Train from Finland is the easiest fastest way to get over the border by land.

For ballet, if not the Mariinsky, wait until closer to the arrival date to decide since many options will not be announced until a few weeks before the performance. There will be a number of options.

Oslo, Norway
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6. Re: Trip to Russia

Thank you, Stanj! Your information is really helpful.

7. Re: Trip to Russia

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