Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!!

Tripoto
9th Sep 2019

Beautiful Sight in Moscow.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

I have noticed Russia is not a destination for many travelers. So, the reactions were not great when we told our friends about the Plan. Russia, Why?? Was very common reaction.

Today, when I pen down our beautiful experience I do not regret about the decision of visiting the country with beautiful structures, enchanting bridges, surreal Metro, well imbibed discipline and cleanliness and of course the Russian Vodka!!

This was last moment plan and we spent a bomb on air tickets. We had read about difficulties in getting the Russian visa, so to avoid any last moment hassles, we outsourced the visa work to "Stampmyvisa" These guys are extremely professional and tech savvy!! For any visa related queries please do reach out.

Russia is huge and it is practically impossible to cover all of it in one go.Due to constraints of getting additional leave, we stuck to Moscow & St. Petersburg.

Read more to know our 7 days Itinerary to Russia.

Day 0 : Mumbai to Delhi;

We had booked Aeroflot from Delhi. Delhi to Moscow is a 6-hour direct fight! we took a midnight flight so we could reach Moscow at dawn.

Tips :

1. Book your flight well in advance to avoid shelling out extra pennies.

2. If you are travelling from Mumbai to Delhi, make sure you have enough time gap between 2 flights as Transfer from T1 to T3 and airport formalities will eat up too much of time.

3. The best time to visit is July to September.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

India is 2.5 hours ahead of Russia. The flight was on time (The discipline starts here!) and we reached Moscow (SVO) @ 5.30 am (Moscow Time). Moscow has 3 airports; SVO, DME and VKO. As we moved towards immigration ; much to our surprise we see no sign boards in English.

After getting through immigration first thing you do is buy a sim card. At SVO Airport Terminal D there are two options for you. In the arrivals hall on level 1 there is TELE2 and at the departures hall level 3 you can buy a Megafon sim card. You can go for either of it, the cost is 750 Rub, the sim card is activated immediately.

All international airports in Moscow are connected to the capital's city centre via Aeroexpress.

All? Yes, you heard me right.

It takes 35-45 minutes to reach the city centre. The ticket can be purchased at the vending machine at the airport, it cost Rub 950 for 4 people.

Our stay in Moscow was at “Mary Popins”, near Novokuznetskaya Metro station, it was a very basic apartment. The best thing about the hotel was that it was bang opposite to the metro exit.

Moscow has awesome connectivity of Metro. You can book your stay anywhere in the city center.

Our apartment was 20-25 mins away from the “Belorussky Rail Terminal” and we were very keen on exploring the Moscow Metro, so we decided to take the Metro with all our luggage.

Our expressions were priceless when we entered the Metro. Not Describing it here as one should experience it rather than reading about it.

Now it’s time to travel to our destination and we were super confused about the Metro lines, due to language barrier and very less sign boards in English we had to struggle to find our metro. Finally, after taking some help of Google translator we could figure it out and reach our hotel.

Tips :

1. Download the google translator it will act as savior for communication.

2. Buy metro card “Troika” at any metro station.

Metro Map of Moscow

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Day 1 was kept light, which included Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Garden of Fallen Monuments, Gorkiy Park and Moscow River Cruise.

We decided to travel by metro. Follow the google maps, every metro platform will have a picture of the metro route (also in English) along with description in colours and numbers, try to match the same on your google maps.

Voila, you have cracked the metro travel!!

Sightseeing in Moscow should be done on foot to not miss the cultural scene of Russia, stunning metro lines, gorgeous buildings and breathtaking cathedrals. We almost walked average of 10-12 kms per day, also a good workout isn't it ?

Our first sightseeing point in Moscow was “Christ the Saviour Cathedral” - the tallest Orthodox church in the world. The location of the Cathedral in Moscow is centric. It is a must-visit site, both in its exteriors and interiors. Depending on your love for history and aesthetics, you can decide the amount of time you spend.

We spent around an hour at the Cathedral; it has a garden where you can relax and admire the beautiful cathedral.

Christ the Savior Cathedral

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Our next sight was “Garden of Fallen Monuments”: The Park is now known as “Muzeon Park of Arts”; it is located between the Park Kultury and the Oktyabrskaya metro stations. With the fall of the USSR, thousands of Soviet statues were destroyed or dispersed. Some ended up here in the Fallen Monument Park

Garden of Fallen Monuments

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Next was Goriky Central Park of Culture and Leisure. You will find many leisure activities in the park like the Cycle lanes, sunbeds, hammocks arranged throughout the park. At Centre of the Park there is beautiful musical fountain. This place is must visit to chill and see the positivity of the people.

If you get over with the park, you can join any of the river cruise, Gorky pier is very close to the park. The cruise cost Rub : 800 (Bargain hard).

We ended our day early by dinner around the Gorky park.

Day 2 was travel to St Petersburg and exploring the city. We took an early morning Sapsan Train @5.30 am from Leningradsky Railway Station in Moscow to Moskovskiy Railway Station in St. Petersburg.

Sapsan is high speed electric express train which travels at maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Travel time between Moscow and St Petersburg is 3.5 hours.

Tips:

· Sapsan tickets can be booked online : Cost per person is Rub : 5k for Economy class with breakfast.

.Keep your passports handy while travelling on Sapsan. You are allowed to enter only after the passport barcode is scanned.

· Alternate option to reach St.Petersburg : Red Arrow is a midnight sleeper train which reaches St.Petersburg in the morning.

Sunset at the Pier

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

River Cruise

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Journey in Sapsan Train

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

We Reached St.Petersburg @ exact 9.38 am. We had booked our apartment in Nevsky Prospect. It is the most happening street in the city consisting of majority of city's shopping and nightlife.

We reached our apartment ; Air bnb Apartments are best as they come with complete kitchen equipment and basic cutlery.

Our itinerary for the day included Winter palace, Hermitage Museum, Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood,Our-Lady-of-Kazan Cathedral, Yeliseev Stores.:

We started our day by visiting the two most famous spots in St. Peters. The place was super-duper crowded. Winter Palace is the green and white building which is bang opposite the Hermitage Museum. To enter the Winter Palace, you need to buy the tickets which costs you Rub: 900. You need close to 2 hours to see the complete Palace. It is extremely beautiful with intrinsic interiors.

Winter Palace

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Hermitage Museum

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Interiors

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Interiors

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood: It is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg and resembles the famous St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow. As per facts, the construction cost of the church was 4.5 million rubble, Construction began in 1883 during the reign of Alexander III. The Entry fee is Rub: 350.

Christ of Saviour on the Spilled Blood

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

After visiting both the beautiful sights, we decided to try the Russian donuts at the very famous bakery called “Pyshechnaya”, which is 15 min walk from the church (25 Bolshaya Konyushennaya street). Established in 1958 they specialize in coffee and donuts. Do not be surprised if you see a queue at the bakery.

Next we visited the Eliseevsky store and to our amazement the store was like one never seen before. They sold food items of various sorts but the decoration in the shop was worth seeing. The shop is bit expensive so you can avoid shopping from the same. They also have a restaurant in case you are looking for some fine dine.

Donuts!!

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Day 3: Peterhof was the highlight of our tour and best place visited. we had reserved Day 3 for Peterhof palace and night cruise to watch the drawbridges.

One can reach Peterhof by Metro+Bus or by fast boat known as Hydrofoil. To get both experiences we decided to go to Peterhof by Road and return journey by the Hydrofoil.

Depending on where you stay, Take the metro and reach Avtovo subway station. Take minibus ; Mini-buses (marshrutkas)№ К-300,К-424, К-424А from Avtovo subway station ( Frequency is 10-20 mins). All minibuses have big sign "ФОНТАНЫ" and "ПЕТЕРГОФ" which means your destination. Minibuses will bring you to Peterhof in 40-50 minutes, depending on traffic. Fare: Rub 70.

The Peterhof complex consists of a set of palaces and gardens that are in the Gulf of Finland. The center is known as the Grand Palace (of Baroque style), though something much more spectacular than the palace itself are the gardens and fountains surrounding it.

It is composed of various palaces, museums, churches and other buildings. The Peterhof is divided into 3 parts;” The Upper Park”, “The Lower Park” and “The Grand Palace”

The Upper Park:

On entering the palace we were awestruck by the beauty of the Upper Park. The Upper park has 5 beautiful fountains with old Russian type of structures.

At the entrance of Upper Park

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Lower Park:

After visiting the upper Park, it is time to enter the gardens and fountains of the Lower Park. The Entry to the Lower costs Rub 700 which can booked online. The Lower Park comprises of various fountains, gardens and different museums.

We skipped all the museums and just enjoyed gardens and fountains ; depending on preferences you can visit the museum. In the Lower Park there are small kiosks and fast food outlets where you can stop by for quick bite.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Complete Overview of the Lower Park.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Grand Palace:

Finally, we visited the “Grand Palace” ; It is built in Baroque Style and is at the center of the Peterhof Complex. Afternoons are best to visit the palace. The Entry ticket is Rub 1000 and same can be purchased at the entrance of the complex (Not Available online, so keep the cash handy). The Palace is huge and beautiful with all the intricate gold work and designs.

We took the Hydrofoil in return which drops you at pier near hermitage palace. We booked the ticket online at Rub 950, you can buy the same at the pier for Rub 750(one way). The journey is of 35 minutes.

After alighting down at the hermitage pier, we strolled at the nevsky prospect to buy souvenirs and chocolates. We spent good amount of money on Russian chocolates which are as good as the swiss chocolates but not so renowned.

The Drawbridge cruise was at midnight so we decided to head back to our apartment for dinner.

At the Pier

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Cruise was at 23.55 hours at the Fontanka, 53 was near the Lomonosov Bridge; it was a 10 minute walk from our apartment.

Late evenings post midnight are perfect to watch the bridges of St. Petersburg draw. We booked our tour from “Get your guide” for RUB 1150.

If you were to choose one amongst many cruise tours, I would suggest you pick the drawbridge cruise. Check the video below to see for yourself. The opening and closing of the city’s drawbridges is a magnificent spectacle.

Majority of visitors crowd near the Palace Embankment (Dvortsovaya Embankment) or the Admiralty Embankment (Admiralteyskaya Embankment) to get a close view of the Palace Bridge draw at 1:10. But the most spectacular way to to see the openings are the cruise. In addition you can also see the night lights of the city’s monuments and cathedrals.

Day 4 :Time to say goodbye to this beautiful city. We had booked our Sapsan train @ 2100 hours. Today our plan included Russian Library, St Issac Cathedral and Peter and Paul fortress. The highlight for the day was Lunch at an “Indian Restaurant”, by the 4th day we were already craving for Indian food.

Weird Fact : We could hardly see any Indian tourists in Russia doing our entire stay.

We checked out of our Apartment and dropped our luggage at the Luggage Locker at “Moskovsky” Rail station. To find the luggage locker, follow the instructions that comes with a drawing of a suitcase and a key, along with a sign in Russian (“Камера хранения”) and sometimes also in English (“Cloakroom”). There are two types of Lockers : Manual luggage storage, attended by staff, in which they will scan your bags, they will ask for your passport and give you a receipt. The cost is Rub 500 per bag.

Russian Museum ;

The Entry fee is Rub 500, The collection of the Russian State Museum contains more than 400,000 exhibits covering the entire history of Russian art.

Russian Museum.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

After the Russian Museum, we went straight to have our lunch at "Tandoori Nights".

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

St.Issac Cathedral ;

The Cathedral is 10 minutes’ walk from the restaurant. It is the most sumptuous and grandiose of the city’s churches. From the top of the dome you can contemplate a spectacular view of St. Petersburg. The Entry fee is Rub 250.

St.Issac

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

We started walking towards the next sight “Peter and Paul Fortress”, Unfortunately it started raining, we took escape at the nearest coffee outlet and had some Hot Chocolate with marshmallows.

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Weather in St.Petersburg is unpredictable, the rain did not seem to stop and we had to skipped the Peter and Paul and headed straight to the Rail Station to catch our Sapsan Train back to Moscow.

Day 5 : Our Apartment in Moscow was near Park Pobedy. Park Pobedy (Victoria Park) is the deepest station in Moscow at 84 meters below ground where you can find the longest escalator.

Our first stop was the very beautiful St Basil’s Cathedral, you will go awestruck by the structure and colors used to build the Cathedral. we spent our maximum time around the Cathedral clicking Instagram worthy pictures. We strolled around the Red Square, The Lenin Mausoleum, The Kremlin.

Tip : If you wish to visit the Kremlin Armoury, I would recommend you to buy the ticket online. We could not visit the armoury as the slots were sold out ☹. The cost is Rub 1000.

St Basils Cathedral

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

The Tomb of the unknown Soldier

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

We were lucky to witness the change of guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The GUM Mall near the Redsquare is must visit to have a look at the top-notch branded stores. The mall also have many restaurants where you can halt by for quick lunch. We had our lunch @ Bosco’s an Italian restaurant.

GUM Mall

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Day 6 was practically the last day of our memorable trip. Today we had kept our favorite attraction “Bunker 42” followed by Russian Library and Luzhkov Bridge.

Bunker 42 - For adventurous visitors and thrill-seekers, Moscow has a really unique museum – the Secret Soviet Bunker 42, also known as the Cold War Museum. It was an actual Bunker built by Stalin during world war 2 but never actually got commissioned. The tours of the Cold War Museum are conducted in English by the museum staff guides. After quite an impressive 20-minute film on the history of nuclear tests during Cold War the guide walk you through the underground “blocks”, the secured tunnels where you might hear raid sirens to give it a real touch. There are many guided tours in the museum. You can opt for any depending on your interest. we chose the Cold War museum tour which cost Rub 2000. After the visit to the Bunker, we had a scrumptious lunch at the Bunker 42 Restaurant.

Bunker 42

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

Russian State Library: It’s the Largest library in the world, will cost you Rub 500

Luzhkov Bridge –It is also called the Tretyakov’s Bridge because this bridge is a part of architectural ensemble of Tretyakov Gallery. Around 2007, the first metal love tree appeared here and since then its a famous place for the newly married couple.

The Lock Tree

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege

After all the sightseeing, we had some rubbles to spare which we splurged on goodies and chocolates.

Day 7 : Bye Bye Russia!!

After a wonderful 6-day trip in Russia, we finally say Das-vi-Dania. Our return journey was from the SVO airport back to Delhi by Aeroflot.

We came home with loads of memories, chocolates, Perfumes and of course the Duty Free Alcohol!!.

For detailed Iteniary do write to me on rege1902@gmail.com

Follow me on my instahandle for more videos and pictures from Russia ; https://www.instagram.com/yamini_globetrotter/

Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
Photo of Looking for an offbeat location well within Budget? Checkout my blog on Russia!! by Yamini Rege
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Excellent!!
Thu 10 24 19, 20:24 · Reply (1) · Report
Thank u
Thu 10 24 19, 22:15 · Report