Gdansk/Kaliningrad/Palanga/Tallinn/Petersburg/Moscow - Tips anyone?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Apr 27, 2013 5:42 AM Last Post By: kazysmmm
Apr 24, 2013 7:46 AM
Gdansk/Kaliningrad/Palanga/Tallinn/Petersburg/Moscow - Tips anyone?hi,
i'm starting to plan my summer trip for this year and since this forum was extremely helpful with my last one (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=2238628), i'll ask for some advice again.
my plan is a two week trip in the end of july, beginning of august, and this is my itinerary so far:
GDANSK - 1 night
KALININGRAD - 1 night
PALANDA - 4 nights
bus via RIGA to
TALLINN - 2 nights
train or bus to
ST. PETERSBURG - 3 nights
overnight train to
MOSCOW - 2 nights
flight back to
most of the travel informations aren't hard to find, so there won't be much of a problem.
these are the questions i have:
- concerning visa supply: i need a two-entry-visa for russia, so do i need to get invitations from both hotels in KALININGRAD and ST. PETERSBURG or is one enough?
- i planned a longer stay in PALANDA for some lazy days at the beach, it that the right place?
- any special routes i should take? last year i took the land route from odessa to constanca, which was quite an adventure.
- any additional thoughts for this trip?
thanks in advance!
Apr 24, 2013 12:14 PM
1Personally I think you are trying to cover too much territory in too short a period of time.
You will need invites from all hotels in all locations to get a double entry Russian tourist visa or you will need to purchase appropriate documents from an online vendor. Documents from a hotel in Petersburg will only be good for nights that you spend in that hotel.
I'm not a beach person but I have never been impressed with the beaches on the Baltic coast.
Apr 24, 2013 12:42 PM
2"...i planned a longer stay in PALANDA for some lazy days at the beach, it that the right place?..."
Palanga is a right place if the weather is OK. Beginning of August usually is an ideal season. If you're bored with the beach there is enough of watering holes outside the beach, Palanga is a right place for that too. If you want something more cozy and lazy without a noisy nightlife - go to Šventoji, few km north of Palanga. The beach is same. I think the bus from Klaipėda to Riga stops at Šventoji too.
"...any special routes i should take?..."
I generally agree with #1, for more adventures the territory is OK but you have to allot more time. More as twice would be cool, but since Russia is involved, and St Peter and Moscow are the two biggest cities of the largest country in the world, i'd say allot some 10 times more time for Russia than you think now. Special routes always can be arranged (and everywhere) but i see that you only have time to get from one bus to another. If you are going to have a tough nights in Palanga you'll need a week for recovery ;) .
Apr 26, 2013 3:02 AM
3thanks for the tips!
of course, the time is too short to see everything - but that's all the time i have (and can afford...)
it's more about the feeling of travelling than to see evrey place worth seeing. i've done a similiar distance last year and it worked fine for me.
but i guess, i'll skip MOSCOW, that will get me a bit more time. i'll need two nights in KALININGRAD instead of one.
additional i've heard very good stories about RIGA, so i'll also skip TALLINN and go to russia from RIGA directly.
i don't need partying on my holidays because that's my profession here in germany ;)
any ideas about a good way to get from ST PETERSBURG to COLOGNE other than flying? i've searched for overnight trains, but that doesn't seen too practical for this distance.
Apr 26, 2013 8:31 AM
4"...any ideas about a good way to get from ST PETERSBURG to COLOGNE other than flying.."
You'll need to change anyway. There is a train St Pete - Vilnius, and there is a bus Riga - Köln (departs at 12:00, goes via Kaunas and not via Vilnius, and except Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays).
2 or 3 nights in König (like local russians call it) is OK, just consider to explore more than that city itself, i mean Svetlogorsk is supposed to be the nicest resort town, also Jantarny (Yantarniy, ex-Palmnicken) may be interesting, it was a closed town previously (amber mines).
Zelenogradsk, although everybody remember (i.e. know in theory) the fame of Cranz as a coolest resort, is rather disappointing, the beach was the main attraction in the past but after the reconstruction it's rather displeasing. Kurische Nehrung (Russian half) is wild (really wild) but the transport is scarce, and e.g. to get to LT border itself may be difficult if you missed the bus (in LT from Nida to Klaipėda no problems).
Riga of course deserves good words, just as always everything depends on what ones interests are :) . Brits usually go there to drink to death and represent their kingdom in some weird ways (they became really famous) :D .
Apr 26, 2013 10:47 AM
5Some random thoughts:
I`d personally do it the other way around. Fly Cologne --> St. Petersburg and then take a train to Kaliningrad and travel to Palanga and Riga from there. This way you only need a single entry visa to Russia.
Palanga in summer is a fun place . I recommend it.
Riga was exiting ten to fifteen years ago but has gone down the mass tourism route since then.
I would not plan the return journey to Cologne from any of these places now. Leave it open. Opportunities will arise. E.g. I found myself by accident on a prostitute shuttle car from Klaipeda to Hamburg and it was great fun and convenient too. Or buses run from Riga to different places in Germany. You won`t find these online. Find out once you get there. Don`t overplan, I`d suggest.
Apr 27, 2013 5:42 AM
6"...take a train to Kaliningrad ...
Train St Peter-Kaliningrad crosses Belarus (between Vitebsk and Smarhon), i suspect the transit visa is needed. Though the train is sort of "designed for russian citizens": they can cross LT without a proper Schengen visa in this train. The question is how Belarus border guards react if non-russian citizen is traveling without a Belarus visa. And the train runs only on Wednesdays and Sundays.
The train St Peter-Vilnius is daily and does not cross Belarus.
I actually also like the "other way round" option more, you'll have more flexibility to decide how and when to get back home.
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