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Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Isle of Arran...
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Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Hi

I am planning to visit a friend in Moscow next year (April perhaps), and since I have a flight problem, i've planned a somewhat interesting route, but would welcome any thoughts / advice (!). I am in Scotland, so was planning on getting the boat from Newcastle to Amsterdam, then train to Copenhagen. From there I would get the bus up to Stockholm, then boat to Riga, before a final bus or train to Moscow. On the way back I would probably get a bus from Riga to Warsaw, then a train back to Amsterdam. All this avoids Belarus (not that I dont want to see it, I just dont want the extra hassle of another visa!), and is also a lot cheaper than the direct train from Paris (which does go through Belarus).

Has anyone done any of this route? And am I mad?!

Thanks in advance,

Emma

p.s. im not new to solo travel; I unexpectedly ended up having to do it through Southern Africa earlier this year....

33 replies to this topic
Moscow, Russia
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1. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Another great way to reach Russia from Stockholm is an overnight ferry to Helsinki and then fast train to St. Petersburg+fast train to Moscow, probably the most comfortable and civilized overland way, or a direct sleeper train from Helsinki to Moscow. All info and tickets for Russian trains at www.rzd.ru

Moscow, Russia
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2. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

I traveled from Riga to Moscow by train (in the cheapest wagon,4-сl. open sitting) several times, if you want to sleep, you need to come to the landing earlier and take the top shelf (otherwise you will sit all night).With another type of ticket, everything is OK .Also, from Copenhagen to Malmo a bus is possible too, but it schedule is not frequent (It's a bit cheaper). Next, the local train to Stockholm

Ferry Stockholm - Riga is not very cheap pleasure.

You can go from Poland via Ukraine (possibly without a visa), there is a new cheap train Przemysl-Lviv

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29537…

(about 8 euros). Further to Kiev cheap train, then to Moscow by bus, for example, Ecolines bus. Ecolines bus through Ukraine and the Baltic countries offers different routes, there are sales on Fridays and just big sales to 50% for different option trips.

Also from Lviv or Kiev you can use a direct train to Moscow, but it's more expensive.

Edited: 19 November 2017, 09:36
Isle of Arran...
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3. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Thanks for getting back to me - I have looked into Helsinki, and it seems a lot more expensive than Riga for some reason, and is further from Moscow. But am keeping options open :)

Isle of Arran...
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4. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Thanks for the message re Riga ferry - I appreciate it might not be too comfortable, but I am used to travelling in very uncomfortable situations in Southern Africa (!), and compared to the other ferries it was cheap. I also looked into Ukraine yes, as an alternative to Riga. I couldnt find very much, but will have another look thank you. I know it takes longer, but it does not really matter. Thanks again for advise about night travel from Riga train - is there much to see? Just wondering if it would be worth travelling by day as I have never been to Latvia either..... I will get to Russia one day ! :)

(I promised my friend i'd be there in December.....but I havent been very organised with the visa!!).

Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

In Riga from the interesting only a small old historic town (this is the center, not far from the railway station and bus station, on the outskirts there is nothing to do ( perhaps, only shopping ,in malls, such as "Spice", etc.)

In summer you can go to Jurmala on the beach ( about 1 hour by suburban electric train), but in winter there nothing to do, too.

But this is not the theme of the city of Moscow

The ferry leaves once a day, the train too, without options

https://www.tallinksilja.com/stockholm-riga

https://www.ldz.lv/en

, with buses you can experiment a little ( different bus companies)

From the window of a train or bus you will see the usual dull rustic winter landscapes

Edited: 19 November 2017, 10:49
Berlin, Germany
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6. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Emma,

"have looked into Helsinki, and it seems a lot more expensive than Riga for some reason, and is further from Moscow. "

===

This sounds very strange. I cannot comment on your other questions, but I very much doubt the way via Riga would be cheaper. Or even closer. There is fierce competition on Stockholm-Helsinki, with "tax-free" stop in Åland (20 minutes something, hardly noticeable) pushing the ticket prices down even further.

Stockholm-Riga is a monopoly route and without tax-free.

Lastly, as Vasily mentions, there are several convenient trains Helsinki-Russia, the cheapest and most convenient in your case being the night train Helsinki-Moscow. I think it leaves Helsinki at 5 PM something which makes it possible to spend a leisurely half day in downtown Helsinki after getting off the ferry from Stockholm arriving Helsinki around 9 AM.

Edited: 19 November 2017, 11:11
Moscow, Russia
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7. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Helsinki-Moscow (Lev Tolstoy) is a good train, I once used it, but there, I think there are no cheap types of wagons, because of this it seems expensive.

https://pass.rzd.ru/tickets/public/en…

If you compare the same type of wagons, it is possible, the prices will not differ from the Riga train (not sure, this need to see)

Edited: 19 November 2017, 11:42
Isle of Arran...
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8. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Thanks Anders B, I will look into it again, the website I used showed much higher prices for Helsinki, compared to both Tallin and Riga. Maybe it changes from time to time, I will check again. Riga is geographically cheaper, and I did find a bus that takes 15 hours (im more used to 30hr + journeys!!), which I didnt think was bad. I seem to be going from North (Northern Scotland) to South, then to North, then back down South Again (!).....Moscow is further South than where I am in Scotland now.....

Perhaps Ukraine would be more sensible, even if it takes longer. Yes, Igor (I think that is your name in English?) the trains from Finland do seem to be expensive :(

I am very much a budget traveller (that is an underestimate!), but sometimes it can be fun. Thank you for all your very quick replies. I sometimes wish I could get over my plane phobia :)

Isle of Arran...
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9. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

p.s....I meant Geographically closer (!)..sorry lack of sleep...

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10. Re: Overland / sea trip to Moscow

Helsinki is much more expensive city but does it matter for transit? In Riga you can eat for 4 euro in Helsinki more like 15. Bus ride in Riga is 1.15 euro but in Helsinki mostly 4 euro or more. McDonalds is twice cheaper in Riga but alcohol is like 4 times cheaper and beer is better. So I don't know. In Riga- Moscow train there are many classes - business, first, second, third and fourth. I suggest at least third class for guaranteed sleeper. It cost like 75 euro one way in third class or 120 in second class. Fourth class is cheap but you may end up seating not sleeping.

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