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    Obviously there is an increased threat of terrorism from Chechnya and Dagestan, but is the national security high enough to ensure a safe visit?

    If so, which would be better for a 10 day visit - Moscow or St Petersburg? Or should I spend 5 days in each, allowing me to soak in more culture?

    Thanks

    (Also, any personal accounts would put me at ease)
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    Ha, don't worry about stuff like that, it's what makes it more interesting I went to St Petersburg for a week to stay with my friend studying there. It was beautiful, but I would have loved to go to Moscow as well. Fire away with any questions you have about travel arrangements and the trip etc.
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    Obviously there is an increased threat of terrorism from Chechnya and Dagestan, but is the national security high enough to ensure a safe visit?

    If so, which would be better for a 10 day visit - Moscow or St Petersburg? Or should I spend 5 days in each, allowing me to soak in more culture?

    Thanks

    (Also, any personal accounts would put me at ease)
    Best of all to stay somewhere near these cities. If you have doubts about the danger, you must remember that main risk is to stay at overpopulated places for a long time. Anyway small towns are different, and some of them certainly not the best choise. Moscow and Peterburg have serious money, that's why there are so many problems. It's not a secret that all people from all former USSR, who like fraud, or just common rob, do their best to get exactly to Moscow.
    After visiting Moscow you'll understand the situation with local ecology, cause your handkerchief will be black of city smoke finally. Each time I return home from Moscow there occurs a lot of black dust at my nose. At summer it's rather difficult at Moscow, again not enough clean air - if the weather will be hot. All Moscow residents during summer do their best to leave the city and go to the places around Moscow. Each summer weekend cars with Moscow numbers provide traffic jams at my town. This event happens regular at warm months and sometimes is called Moscow Exodus.
    My town Sergiev Posad is part of Russian Golden Ring and is situated on the railroad from Moscow to Yaroslavl, which goes through Rostov the Great too. This town is also part of Golden Ring. One more town of Russian Golden Ring is Alexandrov, about 30-40 minutes by the local train from my town. We also have special short railroad which connects us with Dmitrov, very ancient town with sightseeings. Bus station connects us with another Golden Ring town - Pereslavl Zalesskiy. To the south from my town there are several museums-estates, for example Abramcevo, famous cause local Lords knew many famous artists and writers. So their friends gave them a lot of original presents, which nowadays in local museum. Near Abramcevo there are town Hotkovo, there are ancient Russian monastaries, Chuch had repaired the buildings fo several years, so now they look much better. Not far from Hotkovo are the ruins of the most ancient town of the district, motherland of St.Sergey, founder of my town. Although there are not much left, former ground walls around the town exist and know. The town was destroyed by war, at the begin of 17th century. At the district there are also Gremyachiy Waterfalls, place which becomes popular pilgrimage during last years.
    As for Moscow, that's not far, if to sit on morning train around 9:00, will be at Moscow at about 10:20, and in 25-30 minutes by metro - Red Square. So to get to Red Square is about two hours. For example if I would like to Red Square once again, I would sit on the train at 7:00, would be already there at 9:00, would have a breakfast at local KFC, and have a walk around. In 9 hours, I would return to 18:00 hours train from Moscow, and would be home at 20:00.
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    (Original post by ----------)
    Ha, don't worry about stuff like that, it's what makes it more interesting I went to St Petersburg for a week to stay with my friend studying there. It was beautiful, but I would have loved to go to Moscow as well. Fire away with any questions you have about travel arrangements and the trip etc.
    Was the Visa arrangement difficult/time consuming? And how long would you suggest that I leave before I send it away?

    Was there a lot to do in St Peterburg, in terms of stuff to see and do?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Paul PTS)
    Best of all to stay somewhere near these cities. If you have doubts about the danger, you must remember that main risk is to stay at overpopulated places for a long time. Anyway small towns are different, and some of them certainly not the best choise. Moscow and Peterburg have serious money, that's why there are so many problems. It's not a secret that all people from all former USSR, who like fraud, or just common rob, do their best to get exactly to Moscow.
    After visiting Moscow you'll understand the situation with local ecology, cause your handkerchief will be black of city smoke finally. Each time I return home from Moscow there occurs a lot of black dust at my nose. At summer it's rather difficult at Moscow, again not enough clean air - if the weather will be hot. All Moscow residents during summer do their best to leave the city and go to the places around Moscow. Each summer weekend cars with Moscow numbers provide traffic jams at my town. This event happens regular at warm months and sometimes is called Moscow Exodus.
    My town Sergiev Posad is part of Russian Golden Ring and is situated on the railroad from Moscow to Yaroslavl, which goes through Rostov the Great too. This town is also part of Golden Ring. One more town of Russian Golden Ring is Alexandrov, about 30-40 minutes by the local train from my town. We also have special short railroad which connects us with Dmitrov, very ancient town with sightseeings. Bus station connects us with another Golden Ring town - Pereslavl Zalesskiy. To the south from my town there are several museums-estates, for example Abramcevo, famous cause local Lords knew many famous artists and writers. So their friends gave them a lot of original presents, which nowadays in local museum. Near Abramcevo there are town Hotkovo, there are ancient Russian monastaries, Chuch had repaired the buildings fo several years, so now they look much better. Not far from Hotkovo are the ruins of the most ancient town of the district, motherland of St.Sergey, founder of my town. Although there are not much left, former ground walls around the town exist and know. The town was destroyed by war, at the begin of 17th century. At the district there are also Gremyachiy Waterfalls, place which becomes popular pilgrimage during last years.
    As for Moscow, that's not far, if to sit on morning train around 9:00, will be at Moscow at about 10:20, and in 25-30 minutes by metro - Red Square. So to get to Red Square is about two hours. For example if I would like to Red Square once again, I would sit on the train at 7:00, would be already there at 9:00, would have a breakfast at local KFC, and have a walk around. In 9 hours, I would return to 18:00 hours train from Moscow, and would be home at 20:00.
    What is the likelihood of a repetition of last years forest fires? I heard that it was equivalent to smoking 10 packs of cigarettes. I'm on a gap year from the summer onwards, so would you suggest that I go during the winter?
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    What is the likelihood of a repetition of last years forest fires? I heard that it was equivalent to smoking 10 packs of cigarettes. I'm on a gap year from the summer onwards, so would you suggest that I go during the winter?
    Russian newspapers said that such hot summer will happen every ten year now. As for the forest fires, at first fires were in the south swamps of Shatura and so on, the smoke came to Moscow. Was very difficult there, most of all at metro. At my town smoke came later, when our swamps started to burn too.
    At winter it may be too cold for you, too much snow. Imagine - you get out in the morning, take the dog for a walk and see that in several hours of snowing the road had dissappeared. On the other hand too warm winters also happen here. If I don't mistake there was a winter several years ago, so we got snow only at New Year time. But winter 2010/2011 was rather cold.
    So the weather may be different, you never can be sure, when is better. For example several years ago tornado happened at Krasnozavodsk. Just as in Texas. Serious damages for several local blocks of flats, several deaths of local residents. As I understood main danger was from the trees, which flew out.
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    At first local residents were interested, after that, when they finally understood what happened they were shocked. Not far from Moscow btw. This could happen and there. So the weather is different.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF-pXtQvG44
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    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    Was the Visa arrangement difficult/time consuming? And how long would you suggest that I leave before I send it away?

    Was there a lot to do in St Peterburg, in terms of stuff to see and do?

    Thanks
    Try getting it as soon as possible, it took over a month for mine to get through, but there were a few problems along the way with it. Also, when you travel there its cheaper to go through Riga by cheap flights then train it to St Petersburg than to fly straight there.

    In terms of sight seeing, everything! The 18-19th century architecture is beautiful, as well as many of the newer buildings, any tour guide book would tell you about those though. I was lucky and my friend had lots of Russian housemates that showed us more of the 'real' St Petersburg, in terms of bars and clubs, not that I could pronounce any of them, if you meet any though, be warned, do not try to out drink them!
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    The main difference between Peterburg and Moscow. Peterburg is a rather young city, which was built on the swamp at 18th century. Moscow is already well-known at list since 1147 as border fortress. Peterburg was built cause during Dark Time - begin of 17th century (after the death of Boris Godunov, who was burried at my town Sergiev Posad), Sweden have captured last Russian old Baltic sea ports. At first Sweden were allies, helped a lot against Poland, but later striked in back and attacked Novgorod and some other places of old Russian north.
    Peter the Great had great problems at Great Northen War, but finally after he took several Sweden fortresses and saw the sea, he immidiately founded the city Peterburg, just on the place of a swamp. Peterburg was built not only by Russians, that's mostly western city, in short that's mostly example of western architecture.
    So if you are going across the border just to another Europen city - that's Peterburg, but if you are looking for something original that's Moscow and Golden Ring of Russia (several towns and cities around Moscow).
    For example I like history, cause I live on the border of Moscow Oblast with Twerskaya Oblast (Kalyasin district), Yaroslavskaya Oblast (Pereslavl-Zalesskiy district), Vladimirskaya Oblast (Alexandrov district), so these is old Russia.
    The history.
    Kiev Russia - Moscow Russia - Peterburg Russia - Soviet Russia with capital at Moscow - Russian Federation.
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    Traditional Russian architecture style. Many years ago there was time when part of my ancestors lived about 300 f from the wall, and I live now in twenty minutes walk.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRmrLgKIhSk
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    The threat from terrorism is really pretty low, especially if you stay in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You don't need to factor it in to your travel plans any more than you would when travelling to any other country.

    As for which city, I am quite biased. I'm totally in love with Saint Petersburg and don't like Moscow very much. I'd recommend going to both if you can though, because then you'll get to see both and make your own mind up. Personally, I just find Saint Petersburg a lot easier to get around as the metro is easier to use and the city itself isn't so vast. Also, here there aren't so many ugly buildings surrounding the beautiful ones. A lot of the city centre is basically untouched. There is a lot to do here as well, absolutely loads of museums, cathedrals, churches and palaces. But do go to both cities if you can, as Moscow does have its good points.

    As the poster above already said, it's cheaper to fly to somewhere else then get the train, or a connecting flight to Petersburg. You can get direct flights to Moscow for pretty competitive prices with BMI though, I think.

    If you need any help with anything, feel free to ask me Good luck with your travels!
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    (Original post by mimimimi)
    I'm totally in love with Saint Petersburg and don't like Moscow very much.
    When I was a child I often thought why do I feel myself so uncomfortable at Peterburg. In my memory some-how: the colour of the city is always gray, there are always raining and strong cold wind. One day elder sister of my granny have told me a story, which she heard from her granny at the age of 12 years. So for me Peterburg is the city of the stolen dreams of my ancestors (I possiably will never know ) and a kind of family crypt.
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    Every year people in Moscow and St Petersburg are killed by falling icicles. You are more at risk of an icicle attack than a terrorist attack.
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    (Original post by mimimimi)
    The threat from terrorism is really pretty low, especially if you stay in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You don't need to factor it in to your travel plans any more than you would when travelling to any other country.

    As for which city, I am quite biased. I'm totally in love with Saint Petersburg and don't like Moscow very much. I'd recommend going to both if you can though, because then you'll get to see both and make your own mind up. Personally, I just find Saint Petersburg a lot easier to get around as the metro is easier to use and the city itself isn't so vast. Also, here there aren't so many ugly buildings surrounding the beautiful ones. A lot of the city centre is basically untouched. There is a lot to do here as well, absolutely loads of museums, cathedrals, churches and palaces. But do go to both cities if you can, as Moscow does have its good points.

    As the poster above already said, it's cheaper to fly to somewhere else then get the train, or a connecting flight to Petersburg. You can get direct flights to Moscow for pretty competitive prices with BMI though, I think.

    If you need any help with anything, feel free to ask me Good luck with your travels!
    Hey, I'am Asian (obviously) and am fascinated by Russian history especially the period from reign of Peter the Great to the collapse of the Soviet Union (in particular Stalin). I'am learning Russian and want to visit the country but I'am worried by the apparently considerable threat posed by the Neo-Nazis who I've read a fair bit about and who seem somewhat mainstream instead of on the fringe minority groups. Would I be safe do you reckon?
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    Safety issues are always explained by the foreign office, who give recommendations about travel.

    (Original post by Helpful_Charlie)
    What is the likelihood of a repetition of last years forest fires? I heard that it was equivalent to smoking 10 packs of cigarettes. I'm on a gap year from the summer onwards, so would you suggest that I go during the winter?
    Smoking 10 pack of cigarettes wouldn't do much to your health
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    (Original post by Inzamam99)
    Hey, I'am Asian (obviously) and am fascinated by Russian history especially the period from reign of Peter the Great to the collapse of the Soviet Union (in particular Stalin). I'am learning Russian and want to visit the country but I'am worried by the apparently considerable threat posed by the Neo-Nazis who I've read a fair bit about and who seem somewhat mainstream instead of on the fringe minority groups. Would I be safe do you reckon?
    If you have any doubts to go to Russia or not, you may find places which may be much more interesting for you than Moscow or Peterburg.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...ollage_big.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Sharif%22.jpg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XDymkUMouA
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    (Original post by mimimimi)
    The threat from terrorism is really pretty low, especially if you stay in Moscow or Saint Petersburg. You don't need to factor it in to your travel plans any more than you would when travelling to any other country.

    As for which city, I am quite biased. I'm totally in love with Saint Petersburg and don't like Moscow very much. I'd recommend going to both if you can though, because then you'll get to see both and make your own mind up. Personally, I just find Saint Petersburg a lot easier to get around as the metro is easier to use and the city itself isn't so vast. Also, here there aren't so many ugly buildings surrounding the beautiful ones. A lot of the city centre is basically untouched. There is a lot to do here as well, absolutely loads of museums, cathedrals, churches and palaces. But do go to both cities if you can, as Moscow does have its good points.

    As the poster above already said, it's cheaper to fly to somewhere else then get the train, or a connecting flight to Petersburg. You can get direct flights to Moscow for pretty competitive prices with BMI though, I think.

    If you need any help with anything, feel free to ask me Good luck with your travels!
    Thank you for your informative response, I appreciate it

    When is the best time to go? Summer or Winter? Thanks.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Safety issues are always explained by the foreign office, who give recommendations about travel.



    Smoking 1 pack of cigarettes wouldn't do much to your health
    Thanks, I keep up to date with the Foreign office. It said 10 packs, not 1 which is why I was so concerned.
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    I love Russia!!!
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    (Original post by Tesphena)
    Every year people in Moscow and St Petersburg are killed by falling icicles. You are more at risk of an icicle attack and a terrorist attack.
    That is quite bizarre, and strangely enough, comforting.
 
 
 
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