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Russian Culture To Do in Moscow To Do in Saint-Petersburg Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

3 reasons why to do dog-trekking in Russia (in Moscow and in Saint-Petersburg)

What is dog-trekking?

Dog-trekking in Moscow
Dog-trekking in Moscow

 

Dog-trekking becomes more popular every year amongst nature and animal lovers especially, who want to combine their passions for fresh air, natural landscapes and interaction with animals together. So, basically dog-trekking is an activity when a dog is strapped to one’s back with a rope and together with a dog you go for a walk in the nature – to the forest or alongside the river bank. The dogs are taking people for a walk actually as they are the ones guiding trough the nature. Hereunder you may find 3 good reasons why to do dog-trekking in Russia this summer or every other summer possible:

Trekking in the Nature in Moscow
Trekking in the Nature in Moscow

 

  • To enjoy natural landscapes

For more than anything else, dog-trekking is famous for the opportunity it gives to enjoy the nature. Dog-trekking is usually done in the most beautiful and picturesque places of an area. In Moscow, for instance, where we do our Tsar Visit dog-trekking + kayaking tour, people walk alongside the Moscow River and they can see the unique rope bridge and enjoy cool summer winds from the river. Also, people go through the forest with different fresh water streams and flower fields.

Dog-trekking in Saint-Petersburg
Dog-trekking in Saint-Petersburg

 

  • To meet husky dogs of 4 northern breeds

Dog-trekking is an activity that is focused on dogs – main protagonists. In Russia the dogs’ breed is naturally husky – Siberian huskies, Alaskan huskies, Laikas and Malamuts. These dogs have an absolute love for humans and they are happy to play and hug with you. Tsar Visit dog-trekking tour usually begins with meeting all the dogs and playing with them. After this unforgettable moment with all the huskies, you will be able to choose one dog with who you would like to go trekking in the forest!

 

Kayaking on Moscow River after dog-trekking
Kayaking on Moscow River after dog-trekking

 

  • To do sports while trekking with husky dogs

What you should know about dog-trekking is that it is more than just a walk – it is a sports activity. Although it requires no special preparation and no special abilities, you still have to be prepared for doing sports. 5-km route that we propose on Tsar Visit in Moscow and in St. Petersburg contains various parts that require some speed and balance. Moreover, huskies are a strong and extremely active breed, so you must be very focused during the trip. Also, in Moscow you may add kayaking to your tour and your route will be 6-km of dog-trekking and 6-km back on kayaks with professional instructors. In Saint Petersburg after the dog-trekking tour you will be able to do some rowboat riding on a wonderful lake!

Rowboat riding on the lake in St. Petersburg
Rowboat riding on the lake in St. Petersburg

 

To sum up, dog-trekking is a very new, but already extremely popular activity in Russia. Both in Moscow and in St. Petersburg it is famous for being a great opportunity to spend time on fresh air observing beautiful natural landscapes, reuniting with animals, studying about husky breed and doing sports at the same time!

Dog-Trekking in Russia
Dog-Trekking in Russia

 

We definitely recommend you to go for it and if you do, you will cherish those memories forever!

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Russian Culture To Do in Moscow Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

Top 3 best parks to enjoy summer in Moscow in 2020

If you wonder what parks to visit in Moscow in 2020 and spend an amazing time outside, hereunder you find the best answer.

Parks of culture and leisure became a real thing in 2010s when Moscow government decided to invest money in landscape gardening of the city and its image of a “green capital”. Right now, in Moscow parks are the most popular places to hang out for the full day with lots of activities: walking, cycling, playing basketball and volleyball, laying on the grass and having a picnic etc. If you don’t know where to go on weekend in Moscow – parks are best options to spend time.

Gorky Park in Moscow
Gorky Park in Moscow

 

Hereunder you will find the 3 best parks to visit in Moscow:

  • Gorky Park of Culture and Leisure

Gorky Park is the most famous park in Moscow, about which you could have heard in the song “Wind of Change” by Scorpions. Back in the days it was an amusement park with biggest rollercoasters in Eastern Europe. Nowadays this park is loved by hipsters, youngsters and families for its number of activities. In Gorky Park you can practice sports like basketball and volleyball on pitches made by biggest sports brands Nike and Adidas. You can do yoga classes, dancing classes and many more. What to eat while in Gorky Park? In food-courts, of course! There are a lot of different restaurants with numerous cuisines – Greek, Chinese, Thai, Italian and Russian. We recommend you to sit on the terrace near the Moscow River bench and enjoy the moment. Also, in Gorky Park you may go to a concert or a show, which are held almost every day!

If you want to know what is Gorky Park and how it changed the image of Moscow, follow Leo, young French journalist and guide living in Moscow for his Gorky Park private tour, during which you discover the history of this place, walk around best sights and get to know how to spend great time on fresh air in in Moscow.

address: Krymsky Val, 9

open 24 hours a day

Center of Gorky Park in Moscow
Central Fountain of Gorky Park in Moscow

 

  • Zaryadye Park

The most recently opened park now in Moscow is Zaryadye Park right in the heart of the capital near Red Square and Kremlin.

Park Zaryadye in Moscow has numerous installations, created by very famous Russian artists, and many things to visit – the Ice Cave made of 70 tons of frozen water, Florarium with more than 200 plant species, Media Center with interactive walls and floor to watch stunning 360-degrees videos, etc.

Zaryadye Park in Moscow
Zaryadye Park in Moscow

 

But the most symbolic and impressive sight in Zaryadye is definitely the River Overlook Footbridge from which you can amazing views on Kitay-Gorod, Kremlin, St.Basil’s Cathedral and Stalin Towers.

River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park
River Overlook Footbridge in Zaryadye Park

 

If you want to discover more Zaryadye Park with Kremlin and Red Square, take part in Walking Tour in the Center of Moscow of Tsar Visit and explore Moscow deeper with professional guide.

address: Ulitsa Varvarka 6, building 1

open 24 hours a day

  • VDNKh Park

VDNKh Park (or VDNH, which stands for Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy) in Ostankino District of Moscow is at the moment the biggest and the most developed park in Russia.

If you want to receive all at once – VDNKh park is the best choice. It contains a lot of worldwide famous symbols of Russia and USSR – pavilions of former USSR republics, the People’s Friendship Fountain, Ostankino TV tower, Moscow Monorail and Museum of Cosmonautics.

Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow
Ostankino Tower in VDNKh park in Moscow

 

VDNKh Park was recently renewed and now it has one of the biggest Aquariums in Europe with more than 12000 water animals. In VDNKh you can play any sports, rent a bike or a scooter, walk the eco-trail, go climbing or do yoga.

VDNKh Park in Moscow
VDNKh Park in Moscow

 

If you want to explore VDNKh Park fully, join the tour of VDNKh and Cosmonautics Museum by Tsar Visit and learn about these impressive sights with a professional private guide.

address: Prospekt Mira, 119

open 24 hours a day

Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park
Cosmonautics Museum in VDNKh Park

 

All in all, in Moscow more than anywhere else in the world, parks are sights definitely worth visiting. They contain a lot of worldwide famous attractions and they keep developing every day. If you want to know Moscow better and to spend amazing time in Russia – visit the famous capital parks.

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Russian Culture To Do in Moscow Travelers Advices Uncategorized

Top 5 best food markets in Moscow in 2020

If you wonder where to eat in Moscow, here is the best answer: in food markets!

Food markets are food-courts with a large number of different restaurants representing various cuisines of the world and of Russia. They provide both high-quality street food and more unique options. Usually you choose a restaurant you like by walking around and exploring various options to eat. Then you order food and sit in the middle of a court to have lunch or dinner.

Hereunder you will find the 5 best food markets in Moscow, so you can choose the one you would like to discover:

  • Central Market (Tsentralniy Rynok)

Back in 1840s, Central Market became the largest craft-market of Moscow. In 2017 it was fully reconstructed and opened to public as the food market that we now know. On the lower floor you can buy fresh food, while on the ground floor you may find more than 40 different street food restaurants with various cuisines – Korean, Lebanese, Italian, Georgian and a lot more. Of course, traditional Russian cuisine is also present in Central Market.

If you want to know what is traditional Russian food and how to cook Russian food, take part in a food tour of Tsar Visit, during which you discover best places to try Russian cuisine and get to know food traditions.

address: Rozdestvensky Bulvar, 1

open daily: 08:00 – 00:00

Central Market (Tsentralniy Rynok) in Moscow
Central Market in Moscow
  • Danilovsky Market (Danilovsky Rynok)

The main conception of Danilovsky Market is that fresh natural products and street food restaurants are combined. If you are a group of friends or a family and you want to have a big choice of food – this is the right place. Danilovsky Market presents more than 35 cuisines from different countries – French, Vietnamese, Korean, Dagestani, Uzbek and many more. If you are living in Moscow and want to buy fresh products of great quality, local producers of meat, vegetables, cheese or fishes are present in Danilovsky. Prices can be pretty high, but the quality is probably the best in Moscow. For tourists looking forward to buying caviar in Russia, you’ll find a wide variety in Danilovsky market.

If you want to discover this market in a unique way, follow Leo, young French journalist and guide living in Moscow. During his food tour, Leo shows you what is famous Russian food, Georgian cuisine and he also explains why Danilovsky district is so famous.

address: Mytnaya Ulitsa, 74

open daily: 08:00 – 21:00

Danilovsky Market in Moscow
Danilovsky Market in Moscow
  • Around the World (Vokrug Sveta)

If you are visiting Moscow as a tourist, you will definitely pass by Red Square – main sight of Moscow, and probably visit the Kremlin and St.Basil’s Cathedral. And, of course, after long walks you’ll get hungry. The food market Vokrug Sveta (in English “Around the World”) is located just 400 meters from the Red Square, on Nikolskaya Street – the most popular street in Russia during FIFA World Cup 2018. Vokrug Sveta is the place where Asian, American and local cuisines are mixed. You will have more than 20 restaurants to choose from and a great court to sit and enjoy your lunch. On top of that, Vokrug Sveta was created by the best restaurateur in Russia, the worldwide known Arkadiy Novikov.

address: Nikolskaya Street, 10

open daily 11:00 – 23:00

Georgian Traditional cuisine
Georgian Traditional cuisine
  • Depo Moscow

Depo Food Market is the most recent add-on to Moscow food map and it is the biggest food court in Europe. Depo has more than 75 restaurants inside and cuisines are very different – Azerbaijani and Greek, Chinese and Russian, Vietnamese and Armenian etc. Also, Depo is very popular for having different concerts and shows every day. It’s a very popular place among Moscow’s population, it can get very crowded on weekends.

address: Lesnaya ulitsa, 20 building 3

open daily: 10:00 – 23:00

Depo Food Market in Moscow
Depo Food Market in Moscow
  • Food Market 21

Food Market 21 is located on the famous New Arbat Street and it is one of the most popular food markets among young people as it is located near the best Stand-Up Comedy club. On the New Arbat Street, there are a lot of bars and clubs to continue the evening. Also, apart from numerous restaurants inside, Food Market 21 has a big terrace where you can enjoy fresh air and music or smoke shisha. Like in all the other markets, you’ll find a very diverse gastronomic offer.

address: New Arbat, 21

open daily: 12:00 – 00:00

Like the city of Moscow in general, the gastronomic scene is growing and developing very fast. New food courts and markets are opening constantly, and you’ll always find great places to eat while travelling to the Russian capital.

If you want to know what is Russian cuisine and how to cook Russian food, hereunder you can find the list of unique gastronomic tours proposed by Tsar Visit:

Traditional French-Russian dinner at locals
Traditional French-Russian dinner at locals
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Cultural Fact Did you know? Russian Culture Top Travelers Advices Traveling in Russia

Hidden places of St. Petersburg

Saint-Petersburg is full of surprises… From surprisingly beautiful sights to surprisingly small prices. You will enjoy this city even if you visit just the main tourist attractions, but believe us, a lot of amazing places are hidden on those streets..

Here is our top!

  • Nelson yard
Picture: Nelson Yard, Saint-Petersburg
Dvor Nelsona, Polozova Ulitsa, 6, St Petersburg

Bard Nelson fought gray routine and created in the yard area of the house on a small Polozov street a bright colorful atmosphere. The musician managed to create the most amazing courtyard of the Petrograd side with the help of a spray paint, applying imagination and using all the trash that had been gathering dust on the mezzanine for many years.

  • Chufalnya on Aprashka Market
5
Chifanka (Chufalnya), Sadovaya Street, 28, St. Petersburg

” Chufalnya ” is in the third house on the right, if you go on Apraksin Market through the gate with Apraksino lane. Here, as before, (in 90s) the authenticity is turned to the maximum: the owners and cooks are Chinese, the wall menu with touching mistakes in translation, the complete lack of interior, ridiculous prices and a whole rack of Chinese goods — from bamboo rugs to wood mushrooms. However, because of the increased attention on the part of students and fashionistas the titular nation in the room appears in a noticeable minority and the place is becoming not that unknown.

  • Kabinet bar
4
Kabinet, Malaya Sadovaya Street, 8, St Petersburg

The establishment of the famous bartender in the city is made in the style of a closed poker club or an illegal casino of the 30s. Entrance to the” Kabinet ” is through the diner Grill Brothers: you need to find the door with the inscription” only for staff ” and go down the stairs to the basement. However, to get to the bar itself is possible only upon prior reservation, contacts for which you have to search in social networks under the hashtag #вкабинетпожалуйста.

  • The house of Buck
2
Kirochnaya Ulitsa, 24, St. Petersburg (currently in restoration)

Apartment house of Buck, whose name has become an integral part of the name of the building, is interesting from all sides: its amazing facade is one of the dominants of Kirochnaya street, in the front it is still preserved part of the interior decoration, which can be judged on the solvency of the former tenants. Unfortunately, the house of Buck is in a depressing condition, but also on the dirty marble stairs, broken in places stained glass, apartments, first 15-room, but later given to the communal, as well as dusty twisted railing bars can restore the image of the former splendor of the house.

  • Rotunda
3
Fontanka River Embankment, 81, St. Petersburg (Gorokhovaya Street, 57А, St Petersburg)

In the house on the corner of Gorokhovaya street and Fontanka embankment you can find the most mystical city object — Rotunda. The house is not noticeable, it is a typical structure for St. Petersburg. It’s all about the Rotunda — a round building with six free-standing columns. The curves of the walls repeat the stairs, as if striving endlessly upwards. The rotunda received the title of a cult place in the 70-80s of the last century – the time of the emergence of informal movements among the Soviet youth. Representatives of different subcultures gathered here — rockers, hippies, punks.

Want to know more about Russia? Read more on our Travel Blog!
Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Travelers Advices

Where to stay in St Petersburg?

For once I will start an article with a confession. Well, no need to be that excited. I’m not living in St Petersburg and I’ve only been there 3 times (still better than nothing right?). That’s why this article will be shorter than the one on Moscow, and more tourists oriented  than for expats. But I am still writing it so it will be as good as usual. Thing is with St Petersburg, the city is smaller than Moscow, less expensive and absolutely stunning. That is why you can afford living in the very center, where the city is truly active, or in very trendy quarters.

 

Nevsky

Where?

Nevsky is the heart of Petersburg. It’s a big boulevard with lot of shops, restaurants, cafés and historic sites. Nevsky links all the major sites and places of St Petersburg’s city center. You can not do more central.


Why?

Of course for its location. But also because Nevsky combines all the main sites of St Petersburg. This quarter is perfect for both tourists that can find a reasonable and comfortable accomodation in the very heart of the city, and locals that will have all activities, shops, restaurants and cafés in less than 15min walking.


What to do?

St Petersburg main sites such as the Ermitage, Christ the Savior on the Spilled Blood, St Isaac, Our Lady of Kazan cathedral, the Russian Museum…

Dreamstime © - Saint-Pétersbourg- Cafe Singer

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

New Holland

Where?

The New Holland quarter is located in the city center, on the West of Nevsky and St Isaac cathedral.

 

Why?

The New Holland quarter is one of my favorite. It previously was a prison and so not such a good quarter to live in. But the prison closed and the quarter renovated. As a result, it became a trendy quarter with many small restaurants and shops!


What to do?

Visit and eat at the Bottle (Botilka) that is the former prison, transformed in a very nice place with cafés en shops.

IMG_4295

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Vasilievsky Island

Where?

The Vasilievsky Island is on the opposite side of the Neva, right in front of the Admiralty.

Why?

The Vasilievsky Island is a newly renovated quarter not far from Petersburg very heart. As a result it’s a very convenient, comfortable and trendy part of the city. Great to stay there if you plan on discovering the city, but also the current life of Russians living in Petersburg!


What to do?

Despite the proximity of the main touristic sites, you can should visit the spit of the island and the Menshikov Palace.

shutterstock_121537738

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

Summer Garden Quarter

Where?

The Summer Garden is located on the east of St Petersburg very heart, on the banks of the Neva.

 

Why?

Although the beauty of the garden itself, this quarter of St Petersburg hosts many historic famous and unknown sites and palaces. Plus, the quarter is also a very trendy one with backstreets hiding delicious restaurants and cafés but also nice shops for hipsters (but like the good ones).


What to do?

In this quarter I highly recommend the famous Summer Garden and Russian Museum of course. But if you want to discover something different, unusual, you must visit the St Ann’s church, a church/theater that burnt some years ago…

dreamstime_xxl_113486919

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

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Travelers Advices

Where to stay in Moscow?

We always emphasise it (but you can’t understand how important it is until you feel it), Russia is big…and so is Moscow! Distances are huge and doing things can quickly became very time consuming. Plus, some parts of Moscow don’t really worth the visit. I mean it’s nice to see and discover what is the traditional Soviet architecture. But… well… no. So while staying in Moscow either for a long or short time, you must choose the neighborhood that will best suits your needs and expectations. So here are some tips and infos.  

 

Lubyanka

Where?

The Lubyanka quarter is located at the north east of the Red Square. Very convenient, it’s about 15min by foot from the Kremlin and can be considered as in Moscow’s very heart!


Why?
First for its location obviously. It’s really close to the Red Square and so to the most symbolic sights of Moscow. But by not being on the Red Square you’ll avoid the crowd and the noise of Moscow’s biggest boulevard. As a result it’s very convenient for both tourists and expats.


What to do?

Lubyanka is mainly known for being the FSB (the Russian secret services) quarter. Indeed Lubyanka is famous for hosting during the USSR the KGB headquarters and so for being the heart of the Soviet repression. In addition Lubyanka is also known as being a “french quarter” and some visits are organised to better know this part of Moscow!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Place Loubianka - ciel bleu

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Chistye Prudy

Where?
Chistye Prudy is located right after Lubyanka on the north east of the Red Square. It makes the border between Moscow’s city center and the rest of the city. In fact Chistye Prudy’s heart is made of the garden circle that constituted the limit of Moscow some centuries ago.

 

Why?
Chistye Prudy is my favorite part of Moscow. First because it’s beautiful since it hosts gardens and ponds.This quarter is very clean and has been renovated some years ago. But also what makes Chistye Prudy my favorite quarter of Moscow is that it’s a more comfy part of the city. With many cafés, restaurants, super nice bars, it’s a quarter to relax and enjoy Moscow, and to remember that there is something for every taste here.

 
What to do?

Chistye Prudy doesn’t host a famous sight or museum. But you have plenty of things to do! Basically this quarter is the perfect one to relax, escape a bit the city and enjoy going in good cafés, restaurants and bars.

Dreamstime @ Moscou - Tchistye Prudi

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

The Old Arbat

Where?

The Old Arbat is a famous quarter located on the east of the Red Square inside the garden ring.


Why?
This quarter of Moscow is one of the most beautiful. It’s mainly composed of a pedestrian street where stand beautiful colourful houses and artists’ shops. It’s another facette of Moscow’s city center that worth the visit due to its artistic and historic heritage.


What to do?

In the Old Arbat the best to do is just to enjoy a walk through it. The best of this quarter is its atmosphere characterised by its artistic and historic heritages. But to that and to really appreciate it, you must book a guided-tour!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Vieil Arbat.jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Patriarshye Prudy

Where?
Located on the north east of the Red Square, Patriarshye Prudy is also constituted of the garden ring. This quarter is calm even though being really close to the Tverskaya.


Why?
First for its relaxing atmosphere. But also and above all because it’s Bulgakov’s quarter and so the very origin of “The Master and Margarita”. So if you’ve read the book, you definitely must go have a walk there!


What to do?

As for Chistye Prudy, Patriarshye Prudy is a very good place to chill and relax in gardens. It hosts the very famous Bulgakov’s house-museum that really worth a visit. You’ll also be able to find other great-quality museums. 

dreamstime_m_46085461.jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Novokuznetskaya

Where?
Located 10min walk south of the Red Square, Novokuznetskaya is on the other side of the Moskova but remains in the very heart of Moscow.


Why?
Novokuznetskaya is a very nice and pretty quarter of Moscow with a peculiar atmosphere. Made of cafés, restaurants and a stunning church. On the plus side, Novokuznetskaya is close to the Red Square and is the quarter of the Tretyakov Gallery.


What to do?

Despite having a walk in the quarter, the thing you must do in Novokuznetskaya is the Tretyakov Gallery. It’s one of the most famous museum in Russia as it hosts the biggest collection of Russian art in the country.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Galerie Tretiakov (9).jpg

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Timiriazevskaya

Where?
In the north of Moscow, outside of Moscow city center and after the second ring, is the quarter of Timirazevskaya. Unknown from most of Muscovites and tourists, this quarter is located close to the famous VDNKh park.


Why?
This quarter is a nice one to live in since it’s residential but modern and calm. To be honest it doesn’t really worth the visit if you’re a tourist, but expats can be interested to live there. The main interest remains the proximity of VDNKh park.


What to do?

There is no much things to do in Timiriaevskaya expect going and visit the amazing VDNKh park and the Cosmonautics museum. VDNKh is a big park that hosted international exhibitions under the USSR. The buildings are surprising and the Cosmonautics museum is both impressive and interesting!

Dreamstime © Moscou - Musée des Cosmonautes (8)

 

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

 

 

Sokolniki

Where?
The Sokolniki quarter is located between Moscow city center and VDNKh. So not too far from the main touristic and interesting places, but away from the noise and the crowd.


Why?

Sokolniki is a nice quarter with a good location that allows you to escape the difficulties of leaving in Moscow city center, and allows you to breath in its big park (like Hyde Park * 4), without going to the other side of the country.


What to do?

The main (well only) thing to do in the Sokolniki quarter is to enjoy nature (the real and wild one). If it’s dedicated to children and so hosts many activities for them, the park offers many things to do. You can walk in the forest, swim, run, skate, horse-ride… Very nice and convenient to chill out during weekends.

dreamstime_xxl_81899081

Want to book a tour? Check this out!

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Travelers Advices

Taking the Train in Russia?

Russia is big and one of the best way to travel across this huge territory is to take the train! If you’re full of clichés, and I know you are, you would think that taking the train in Russia is horrible and difficult. Spoiler: you’re wrong. You might face lot of difficulties while in Russia but trains are definitely not one of them. Trains are always clean (even if some of them are super old) and one time (super impressive to be honest). So if you’re traveling across Russia, I would definitely recommend you to take the train.

Dreamstime @ Train russe (2)

But taking the train in Russia, you must obey to certain rules. Like not official rules but more officious and cultural ones. More, you should try to know a bit more on Russian trains (as you did with the subway).

The Russian railway company is RZD. It has three main categories of trains, the high speed trains (those with which you’re doing St. Petersburg-Moscow in a bit more than 3 hours), the regional trains and what I would call the “normal” night trains.

Dreamstime @ Train russe

You also have a third category made of special trains (transsiberian…), but well these are really special. Regional trains are working as in many countries: you buy a ticket at the station, and seat in the train. The only special thing is that they are well-organised seller within the train so if you need something don’t worry, you’ll be able to buy it. Back to normal night trains, you have 3 classes:

  • The First: two very comfortable beds, common bathrooms and toilets, air conditioner, linens, meal, travel kits… Very nice and comfy but expensive.

lux_0002.jpg

 

  • The Kupe: a bit like the first but with 4 beds, which means that you’ll meet people! And also, you don’t have a meal. No you don’t. So you must think about it. The kupe is a good way to travel as it’s very clean and comfy, but you also have the experience of meeting people.

SLV_3689

 

  • The Platskart: my favorite! And it’s quite a surprise since I’m kind of a prince that only likes good, comfortable and of a high standards things. The platskart is basically a dormitory. An old one. But for the price it’s amazing. You have linens and hot water at your disposal (and a toilet of course) and you meet the real Russians. It’s safe and to be honest it won’t be your best night of the year but we can sleep very well. I highly recommend it!

fullsizeoutput_1879.jpeg

 

If you’re traveling in either kupe or platskart, you have some rules to follow. Indeed, beds are separated by a table, common to all the 4 passengers. Therefore, when arriving in the train, people use to seat in the under bed…even if it’s not theirs. No matter if you’re sleeping on the under or upper beds, the under ones are considered as seats when not sleeping. That’s why usually people make their bed late and enjoy the first hours of travel to eat, drink tea or discuss. After a bit of time (you have to feel these things) the ones with the upper beds make their beds. Ones they’re ready, they often stay in them even if it’s quite early. It allows the ones on the under beds to make their bed and go to sleep if needed. In the morning, the staff will wake you up. You usually have to undo your bed and let your linens to a side of the train.

Train 2

All is easy and very well-organised! Traveling across Russia is an amazing experience that will allow you to discover its stunning landscapes, fastly cover huge distances and meet the real people. So jump on the next train and let see where it goes!

SLV_3824

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!

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Travelers Advices

Taking the subway?

Some days ago I told about how the Moscow subway is beautiful (want a guided tour? Click here!) and how wonderful it is to have free internet access. But now I realise that I didn’t explain you how to actually take the subway! So here it is… and enjoy the ride (from 5.30 am to 1.30 am)!

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro - Komsomolskaya (3)

On the contrary to many countries, taking the subway in Moscow and St Petersburg is a very convenient and comfortable way to travel across the city. Indeed the cities are so big that taking the subway is often a necessity. However, as for everything in Russia, distances between two stations can be huge… so stay awake and keep in mind that walking 15 minutes to get to the nearest station is absolutely normal in the city center.

Dreamstime © - Moscou - Métro (4)

First you need to know where you are, where is the nearest station and where you go. To that end, you really (but like really really) download the official apps. Up to you to choose between Yandex Metro and Yandex transport (my favorite) but download one of them! Thanks to them you’ll always find your way and avoid unnecessary detours.

wagons-map-v3.1.1.indd

Then you need to enter the metro (and pay of course). Since Russia is hosting major international events, some employees of the subway speak a bit of english. So two options for you to buy tickets: the gentle and funny woman at her desk, or the machine (they “speak” perfect english). Being a bit afraid of people (and even more of Russian grannies) and never sure of my perfect Russian (real reason is, I hate people), I always go to the machine. But up to you!

dreamstime_xxl_90785843

At this point you have three options:

  • Single ticket (Единый): it costs 55 RUB (0.9 USD) and it is available for only one entry. Once you entered, you can stay the time you want and go where ever you want.

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  • Two-rides ticket (Единый): it works the same as the first one except that you can enter the subway twice. It costs 110 RUB (1.8 USD).

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  • Troika card (Тройка): the troika card is a transportation card on which you can put how much money as you want. It’s the most convenient way to use public transports (it works for both the subway and buses!) if you use them more than occasionally. There is no date of availability and you only have to pop it up when you don’t have anymore money. Moreover by using the Troika you save money as using public transports only costs 36 RUB (0.6 USD)!

Side note: the troika card costs 50 RUB (0.8 USD), and can only be bought at a counter (sorry)

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So now that you’re in the subway, you must act as Russians. Please do. For you and also for me (yes I hate people that misbehave in the subway). So here are some basic rules:

  1. Walk fast, please. And if you want to admire the ornaments, stop on a side.
  2. In escalators, stay on the right. Or go on the left only if you’re not stopping.
  3. Let your seat to elders, children, bearing women, or (if you’re man) to women
  4. Stay close to the door only if you go out at the next stop.
  5. The station before your stop, go closer to the exit door.

Thank you. And it will prevent you from any Russian grannies assault (beware, they’re quite intolerant and violent).

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To finish this very long post, I would advise you to always check your directions and especially when you want to go out of the subway. Choose the wrong exit and you’ll find yourself about 1km away from where you wanted to be! To help you, many indications have recently been translated in english… or at least in the Latin alphabet. In addition, the voice in the wagon indicating stops and directions are different according to where you go! If you go towards the center you’ll hear a male voice, on the contrary if you leave the center, it will be a female voice.

After reading this it can seems scary but trust me it isn’t. Russian transports and especially subways are very comfortable, clean, safe, fast and you almost never wait! So let’s go!

 

Want to book a guided-tour? Check out Tsar Visit!