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Russia to London
Thack
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I want to travel from St. Petersburg or Moscow to London over the course of 7-10 days. I know there are direct trains that take you most of the way, but I would like to be able to stop in Poland, Germany, and France, or possibly go through Scandinavia and then through Germany and France. What would be the most cost effective way to do this? Should I get a Eruorail pass and then separate tickets out of Russia? Has anyone done this before and knows the best way? Thanks!

oldlady
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There is no economical way to do this, and frankly 7 to 10 days is barely enough time for any kind of overland/sea route between these cities — much of your time will be spent on a train or boat, with very little time to visit any place along the route. I’d look for a cheap flight out of either Moscow or St. Petersburg to any city you want to visit and then start your trek to London from there.

Best bet by train would definitely be to take the train from St. Petersburg to Helsinki. From there you can ferry to Stockholm and find train/ferry connections to just about anywhere in Europe. Final jump to London is probably best on Eurostar, the chunnel train, from Brussels, Amsterdam or Paris.

It’s will be very difficult to buy train tickets in Russia if you aren’t fairly fluent in Russian. Trains between St. Petersburg and Moscow (particularly on weekends) often sell out 2 or more weeks in advance. I bought my train tickets for Russia in advance through a travel agent — which makes them outrageously expensive. We took the train from Helsinki to St. Petersburg (it would be relatively easy to buy that ticket in Helsinki) then an express train from St. Petersburg to Moscow — totally sold out on a Sunday afternoon. We took the overnight train from Moscow to Tallinn, Estonia, then the ferry (fast, cheap and generally great) back to Helsinki.

What’s your country of citizenship? Have you worked out the visa issues for a trip to Russia? Getting a Russian visa may be expensive and time consuming.

Thack
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I have worked out the visa. I am a US citizen completing a master’s program in Slavic/Sino Studies, and will be taking some courses at a university in St. Petersburg this summer. I am fluent in Russian, so purchasing train tickets won’t be a problem. I will be meeting up with some friends who are moving to Edinburgh the middle of September, and my program finishes at the very end of August. I want to be able to see at least a few places along my way to get to Edinburgh.

Thanks for all of the input. The Scandinavia route sounds like it would give me the most time. And may be the most cost effective. If I go that route do you think it would be beneficial to purchase a eurorail pass? Or would it be more effective to take ferries?

oldlady
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Quote:
I am fluent in Russian, so purchasing train tickets won’t be a problem.
Just be sure to buy well in advance and ask your local friends the best way — I think there’s an issue with scalpers and travel agencies buying lots of tickets immediately after they go on sale ….
Quote:
If I go that route do you think it would be beneficial to purchase a eurorail pass?
Some kind of railpass will probably save money if you travel much on the train as train travel (like everything else) is expensive in Scandinavia. The railpass provides a 50% discount on Viking and Tallink ferries between Helsinki and Stockholm and a 30% discount on the Tallink ferry to Rostock. Plus there are discounts and free passage on local ferries, buses, etc. throughout Scandinavia. I’d look at a Scanrail pass or maybe a select pass if you end up going beyond Scandinavia. The ferries are relatively cheap and quite luxurious, so I’d plan on the ferry from Helsinki to Stockholm.

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There is no way to take a train through Scandinavia. Railway networks of Finland and Sweden are not connected. You’d have to take a ferry or a bus in between these two countries.

If you have any questions about Prague or Czech and Slovak republics, ask me.
If you only want to search train or bus connection within Czech&Slovakia and/or to neighboring countries, use www.cp.sk or www.idos.cz search engines. For domestic transport, they also show prices.

oldlady
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You’d have to take a ferry or a bus in between these two countries.
I believe the bus is covered by a railpass.

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This might help you a little bit
http://www.seat61.co…

I am leaving from nyc with $2000 for 8 days
London, Leeds, Manchester