Best way to travel from Moscow to St.Petersburg

Best way to travel from Moscow to St.Petersburg

July 3, 2010  |  Moscow  |  4 Comments

There are many ways to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg. You can go by car (slow, uncomfortable, …), by plane (expensive but fast) or by train. I’d recommend this last option because you save time (departs at 23:55 and arrives at 7am), it’s cheap (you save the price of the hotel for that night) and you feel like if you were in the movie “Doctor Zhivago”.

Amongst all, the best is the Red Arrow that started its first regular service in 1921 and even has its own theme song that plays as it departs from Leningradsky Station (Komsomolskaya Metro Station, the most beautiful in Moscow). You won’t see any tourists (just locals), you’ll get a great night’s sleep (trust me…)… and its exciting! I went with my wife. At the beginning she wasn’t very convinced, but in the end she finally loved it!

The official web site for the train system of Russia and the CIS
More info here, here and here.

These are some of the highest ranked books in Amazon about Moscow, one of the best places in the world:

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Best metro/subway stations in Moscow

Best metro/subway stations in Moscow

June 14, 2010  |  Moscow  |  6 Comments

I lived in Moscow for almost a year from 1998 to 1999. One of the things I liked the most was visiting the different metro stations. In this post I want to share the ones I liked the most, those I consider the best metro/subway stations in Moscow.

First, let’s start with some facts: Moscow metro is the world’s second most heavily used with an average of 6.6 million users a day. Besides its beauty, the Moscow Metro works efficiently and the trains run very frequently and very fast. The original plan for building a metro system in Moscow dates back to the times of the Russian Empire, but had to be postponed because of World War I, the October Revolution and the Russian Civil War. In 1931 Stalin finally decided to start the construction of “the people’s palaces”, a display of the best Soviet architecture and design. During World War II many of the larger stations were used for important political meetings. During the Cold War, Arbat line stations were planned as shelters in the event of nuclear war with the United States.

Many of Moscow’s metro stations are elegant architectural masterpieces, with sculptures, giant chandeliers and mosaics. The ones I like the most are:

  • Ploschad Revolutsii: opened in 1938, the station features 76 magnificent bronze statues of soldiers and workers who defended the Soviet nation. This is the best station for visiting the Red Square.
  • Mayakovskaya: Impressive, elegant and large station with glistening chrome columns and vaults adorned with mosaic panels.
  • Komsomolskaya: Designed in the 50s, this is the most popular station in Moscow. A beautiful Baroque style palace adorned with arched yellow ceiling decorated with intricate medallions, giant chandeliers and large mosaics.
  • Other amazing stations are: Arbatskaya, Belorusskaya and Kievskaya. Among the new ones and far from the center, you´ll find beautiful stations such as Dostoyevskaya or Strogino. On your way to Ismailosky Park’s Market, which I imagine you’ll visit in your first time to Moscow, stop by Eletrozavodskaya. I loved that one too.

I recommend getting a cyrillic and phonetic metro map so you can compare the symbols, it will help you get around.

Did I miss any special station?

Is there a station that should definitely be listed in this post and I have forgotten? Have you got any suggestion to improve this blog? If so, please place a comment 🙂

Interesting links about the Moscow Metro, definitely the most impressive metro in the world:
Official website
Interactive evolution of Moscow Metro
Map in two languages (really useful)

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Ostankino Tower in Moscow

Ostankino Tower in Moscow

June 14, 2010  |  Moscow  |  No Comments

Ostankino tower is one of the best places to visit in Moscow. It’s a 540m tall television and radio tower that seems to be from another planet. In fact, it used to be the tallest structure in the world. The highest floor is 360m tall and it has a glass floor that is really scary… It’s far from the center and not easy to access (except by taxi). In my opinion, worth a visit if you spend more than 3 days in Moscow.
Wikipedia
Official website



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Helikon Opera, best small theatre  in Moscow

Helikon Opera, best small theatre in Moscow

June 13, 2010  |  Moscow  |  No Comments

Helikon Opera is also one of the best places to visit in Moscow. Among all the theaters in the city, this is the one I prefer the most. It’s a tiny theatre close to the Kremlin, managed by young, original and talented artists. However, the tickets can bee expensive and hard to find. Usually, the 250 seats are always full. I recommend the KaffeeKantate: a wonderful 40 minute Bach cantate while they serve you an excellent coffee.
http://helikon.ru/eng_default.php

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