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Old 11-15-2017, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,665 posts, read 6,502,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
If you are foodie, I recommend to visit Rogacki Deli, in Charlottenburg, for quick lunch. Outstanding deli food quality! Iconic!
https://berlinfoodstories.com/2016/11/10/rogacki/
Thanks! We are staying pretty close there so I will see if we can foot it over there.
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:02 PM
Status: "Disagreeing is not the same thing as trolling." (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Texas
9,878 posts, read 3,757,706 times
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Not sure if this is "Eastern" enough but Prague is a great city, and easy to get around on foot.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: NEPA
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Moscow and St Petersburg can be worth at least a week-long trip on their own (I grew up and spent a huge part of my life in Moscow, visited St Petersburg several times).
If you are into "local food", I would also add Kyiv (Ukraine) to your list and probably Minks (Belarus), but that's just my IMO and those are a little off your itinerary.

Also - not sure if you are aware of it, but if you are a US citizen, you will need a visa to enter Russia (but this may change as there are some movements towards unifying the visa system with Belarus and Belarus allows US nationals to visit for either 3 or 5 days without visa).

Based on your list of "cities we will visit for sure", I'd say the best way to go might be getting from Helsinki to St Petersburg by train or by bus, then getting from St Pete to Moscow by high-speed train (it's called Sapsan and it connects Moscow with St Pete with travel time of like 3 or 4 hours). Not sure you'd want to travel west from Moscow as there are almost no high-speed trains that direction, so even a relatively short trip to Minsk will take almost 12 hours by train. Honestly I'd make Moscow the last point in your itinerary and fly back home to the US from there...
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Austin
29,555 posts, read 16,543,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PriscillaVanilla View Post
Not sure if this is "Eastern" enough but Prague is a great city, and easy to get around on foot.
Yes, it is, but we've been there. Loved it.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Austin
29,555 posts, read 16,543,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikka1 View Post
Moscow and St Petersburg can be worth at least a week-long trip on their own (I grew up and spent a huge part of my life in Moscow, visited St Petersburg several times).
If you are into "local food", I would also add Kyiv (Ukraine) to your list and probably Minks (Belarus), but that's just my IMO and those are a little off your itinerary.

Also - not sure if you are aware of it, but if you are a US citizen, you will need a visa to enter Russia (but this may change as there are some movements towards unifying the visa system with Belarus and Belarus allows US nationals to visit for either 3 or 5 days without visa).

Based on your list of "cities we will visit for sure", I'd say the best way to go might be getting from Helsinki to St Petersburg by train or by bus, then getting from St Pete to Moscow by high-speed train (it's called Sapsan and it connects Moscow with St Pete with travel time of like 3 or 4 hours). Not sure you'd want to travel west from Moscow as there are almost no high-speed trains that direction, so even a relatively short trip to Minsk will take almost 12 hours by train. Honestly I'd make Moscow the last point in your itinerary and fly back home to the US from there...
Thanks. We plan to take a train from Helsinki to St Petersburg and then to Moscow. We are searching for where to go from there. At this point, I'm only looking for places to consider.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
14,299 posts, read 45,047,758 times
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There are a lot of great restaurants in Kiev, several museums worth visiting, if you need/want a suit, in Kiev there is the Voronin tailoring firm, if, like me, you are more athletically built than the average American, you can find suits that need only minor tailoring rather than recut the pants, a very good value for your buck if you are paying in dollars.

Of course it helps a lot if you can at least get by in Russian - although you can find bilingual tour guides.
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Old 11-15-2017, 05:50 PM
 
Location: NEPA
58 posts, read 79,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
Thanks. We plan to take a train from Helsinki to St Petersburg and then to Moscow. We are searching for where to go from there. At this point, I'm only looking for places to consider.
No problem, let me know if you have any specific questions about Moscow (not sure I can help much with St Pete though )

If you want to keep exploring Eastern Europe from Moscow, I might see two immediate potential options:

1) Go to Kyiv, Ukraine. You can do so by air, I think it's just 1.5-2 hrs flight. I personally think Kyiv is a paradise for any kind of "local food junkie" - at least when I visited it many years ago everything was much cheaper than in Russia and much-much better/tastier. Culturally it might be a good option too - it is a very nice city overall if you ask me, well worth 2-3 days.

2) Go to Minks, Belarus - you can do so either by air (1-2 hrs flight) or by train (9-12 hours in a train). I've only been to Minsk in transit for a few hours, but from what I've heard from people who live there or frequented it for a job, it is a very nice calm city with its distinct personality. I've heard that local food is great there too.
It gets a little tricky from here. If you are already in Minsk, you might add one more city to the list - Vilnius, Lithuania - it is just 150 miles or so away and there are many trains and buses connecting two cities - I know of a few people who live in Minsk and go to Vilnius from time to time for shopping and stuff like that.

I visited both Vilnius, Lithuania and Riga, Latvia over the same trip and I liked Vilnius much more than Riga, but that's just my opinion. I'd say 1-2 days can be spent in Vilnius, but I don't see it as a destination for a week or more (hope people from Vilnius would forgive me for saying this lol).

You might have some interesting logistical options from there - there are lots of low-cost flights from there (or from Kaunas, not far from Vilnius) to almost any point in Europe, notably London - lots of Lithuanians / Latvians fly back and forth to the UK and tickets are often very cheap. Ryanair and EasyJet are probably two airlines worth looking into if you go this route.

For Kyiv you might also find some nice flight options with Wizzair (at least it was in the past, maybe something changed recently).

Hope that helps!
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Old 11-15-2017, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Seattle Eastside
640 posts, read 336,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
I'm researching a Summer trip and looking for suggestions. So far, we will definitely go to these cities;

Copenhagen
Stockholm
Helsinki
Tallinn
St Petersburg
Moscow

From Moscow we will go west via train stopping in one or two cities before flying home from a major city (Frankfurt, Berlin,Prague, Warsaw, etc).

My question is, what places in Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine or Poland are interesting to visit? We've only been to Krakow in Poland and loved it. We have not been to the other countries listed above.

We primarily enjoy the local food, bars, shopping districts (local, not upscale) and architecture. Also wineries. Art Museums are not high on our list, but we do enjoy historical (WWII) museums. We frequently do food tours.

Thoughts?
Riga is beautiful but very small, not a ton to see. I haven't been to Poland but I feel that it would be big enough to support a larger city with its own unique culture.

If you are open to other countries, Croatia is gorgeous and cheap, mountains and the Adriatic. Can't be beat. Prague is a vacation in and of itself and I love it. Budapest?

Or you could go to Sochi in Russia. I haven't been there since the Olympics but it's always a nice place to get plastered and lay on the beach, lol.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:00 AM
 
Location: garland
1,595 posts, read 1,720,956 times
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another recommendation for Kyiv. The dining options are less tourist-centered than Moscow (better quality food and lower prices imo) and the city is very walkable. The arboretum is nice even in January and a short walk to Maidan Square. I would also add either Lviv or Odessa. I prefer Odessa as a seaside city but Lviv would probably work out better for you during winter and it's more convenient for your other destinations.
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:34 PM
 
2,291 posts, read 3,945,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadking2003 View Post
We primarily enjoy the local food, bars, shopping districts (local, not upscale) and architecture. Also wineries. Art Museums are not high on our list, but we do enjoy historical (WWII) museums. We frequently do food tours.
I have only been to Latvia and Lithuania out of your list of possibilities although I have read/heard great things about the others. Out of the 3 Baltic capitals I liked Vilnius the most, and Tallinn the least (although old town Tallinn has great spots for food). I think Riga might have the most to see/do. Vilnius had more varied architecture it seemed, especially baroque Catholic churches which you are not going to get elsewhere on this trip (of course if you have been to the rest of Central Europe or Italy that's not such a draw but it'd be a change after Russia).

In terms of WWII or Soviet-related stuff both Vilnius and Riga have great museums -- Jewish museum and museum of Genocide Victims (ie. Lithuanian 'liberation') in Vilnius, Museum of the (Soviet) Occupation in Riga. Riga also has a few memorials close by but you might need a car to get there, while south of Vilnius near the Polish/Belarusian border there is Grutas Park, a sculpture park full of USSR-era monuments. The hill of Crosses about halfway between Riga and Vilnius is kinda crazy, overall there's plenty of quirky stuff in Lithuania.

Riga also has a very impressive Art Nouveau district (around Alberta iela), and a "Stalin birthday cake" building like they have in Moscow or Warsaw. If you are open to renting a car the Latvian countryside has a few medieval castles and countless manors in various states of neglect, it is pretty surreal, and also a nice palace (Rundale) by Rastrelli, the architect behind many of St. Petersburg's landmarks (Winter Palace, Smolny Convent, Catherine Palace) -- not as impressive as Peterhof or Catherine Palace but pretty, and the gardens are nice.
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