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Global Citizen
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Добрый дeнь!

From 23rd August to 3rd September I will be visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Seeing as it will be my first time in Russia I have a few questions:

Train
I would like to take the Sapsan from Moscow to St.Petersburg. Seeing as the website of the Russian Railways where you can purchase tickets online is only in Russian, it is impossible for me to buy tickets there. There are also a few western travel agencies which can book the tickets for you, but they charge high fees.
So I would like to know if it is advisable to book well ahead, or whether the Sapsan trains are usually not booked out and I won’t have a problem to buy the train tickets 3 or 4 days before the journey directly at the train station in Moscow.

Observation Decks
Are there any public observation decks in Moscow or St.Petersburg? And with that I don’t mean some rooftop bars in 5-star hotels, but regular observation decks on top of skyscrapers, churches, etc.
Also, I have heard that the Ostankino Tower is now open for the public again, but that you have to register in advance to visit it. Is that true?

Off the beaten path
Of course I will visit all of the major tourist sights in the two cities, but I would also like to go off the beaten path and explore areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg that get rarely visited by foreign tourists.
Do you have any recommendations about such areas, which also offer a lot and which you personally enjoy?

Photography
Being an avid photographer I look forward to capturing the two cities in detail.
Are there any restrictions on photography I should be aware of? I know Russia has become much more liberal in regards to photography in recent years, but could you get into trouble or have run-ins with security guards and police officers when taking photos in places such as metro stations or the Moscow City CBD?


Cпаcибо
 

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Banned
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Well, I can give some advice, but I'm not from Moscow or St.Pete..Regarding the train tickets - there should be terminals on each railway station where you can choose the English language and buy tickets yourself. I think 2-3 days ahead is enough for Sapsan (but this needs to be checked).

There's also the English version of rzd site http://eng.rzd.ru/ but it seems like it was made by some kind of sadistic idiots and simply to find the " buy ticket online" button is literally impossible. So, the best option is to go to the station and buy the ticket in terminal, I guess.
 

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Moderator
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Добрый дeнь!

From 23rd August to 3rd September I will be visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Seeing as it will be my first time in Russia I have a few questions:

Train
I would like to take the Sapsan from Moscow to St.Petersburg. Seeing as the website of the Russian Railways where you can purchase tickets online is only in Russian, it is impossible for me to buy tickets there. There are also a few western travel agencies which can book the tickets for you, but they charge high fees.
So I would like to know if it is advisable to book well ahead, or whether the Sapsan trains are usually not booked out and I won’t have a problem to buy the train tickets 3 or 4 days before the journey directly at the train station in Moscow.
There is a lack of tickets for Sapsan, they are being sold immediately. Actually it's hard to buy a ticket for train from Moscow to Spb and back - it's very popular direction. But I think there should be expensive VIP-tickets for sale...
When I travelled to Spb last year, I bought tickets almost a month before the trip.


Добрый дeнь!

Observation Decks
Are there any public observation decks in Moscow or St.Petersburg? And with that I don’t mean some rooftop bars in 5-star hotels, but regular observation decks on top of skyscrapers, churches, etc.
Also, I have heard that the Ostankino Tower is now open for the public again, but that you have to register in advance to visit it. Is that true?

[
Yes its true
Hard to get there.
Use the observation place at Vorobyovy Mountains, or try to get to any skyscraper in Moscow, for example in Moscow City - Federation Tower is open. Hotel 'Ukraina', 'Leningradskaya Hilton', may be...


Добрый дeнь!

Off the beaten path
Of course I will visit all of the major tourist sights in the two cities, but I would also like to go off the beaten path and explore areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg that get rarely visited by foreign tourists.
Do you have any recommendations about such areas, which also offer a lot and which you personally enjoy?
You can just walk all around the historical centre, there are a lot of nice places.
Visit Kolomenskoye Village (subway station 'Kolomenskaya"), or Petrovsky Monastery ('Pushkinskaya') Victory Park ('Park Pobedy') Moscow Zoo ('Barrikadnaya')

Photography
Being an avid photographer I look forward to capturing the two cities in detail.
Are there any restrictions on photography I should be aware of? I know Russia has become much more liberal in regards to photography in recent years, but could you get into trouble or have run-ins with security guards and police officers when taking photos in places such as metro stations or the Moscow City CBD?


Cпаcибо
There is no problem with photographying in Moscow (I never had)

Пожалуйста

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Moscow_tourist_attractions
 

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Cotton
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9,426 Posts
Off the beaten path
Of course I will visit all of the major tourist sights in the two cities, but I would also like to go off the beaten path and explore areas of Moscow and St. Petersburg that get rarely visited by foreign tourists.
Do you have any recommendations about such areas, which also offer a lot and which you personally enjoy?
Moscow's Boulevard Ring is a quiet and nice place for walking. Also you can search for XVII century chambers, there're lots of them near Maroseika and Pokrovka streets.

http://www.mmsk.ru/objects/unit/?id=11777
 

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Global Citizen
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4,358 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for your help.

I decided to book the Sapsan tickets through an internet travel agency to be certain that I get the tickets for the date I want to travel on.
 
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