Especially loved the old market and market area with the bustle and interaction. I feel enriched after each Rick Steves trip. Tallin was a great surprise! St. Petersburg's airport is easy to reach by taxi, while others may choose to continue along the Volga to Moscow. "Hard to limit it to one WOW. Discover a formerly forbidden corner of Europe, where a blend of east and west has created a region unlike any other. Helsinki was interesting. Peter- St. Pete walking. The bus takes up to six hours, and you can buy tickets online. The history and current events of this area makes this tour so important. Must see for yourself!!!!". ... For all the details on Tallin, please see Rick Steves' Scandinavia. The library in Helsinki.". Dinners were reflective of ethnic cuisine. Suomenlinna Fortress — the second mightiest fort of its kind in Europe after Gibraltar — boasts five miles of walls and hundreds of cannon. The local tour guide (Peter) was exceptionally candid and "over the top" versed in history and Russian life.". Our first night was great, getting to know everyone. The things we saw were exactly what I would have wanted to see if I were planning the tour myself. Heather's Helsinki: Places you would never find with Rick Steves - See 128 traveler reviews, 112 candid photos, and great deals for Helsinki, Finland, at Tripadvisor. Rick Steves Snapshot St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn Third Edition: Amazon.co.uk: Hewitt, Cameron, Steves, Rick: Books His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Purchased my only souvenirs there.". I wrote to one of Rick's Information Technology staff that Rick's web site should have a menu showing all tours with starting and ending days. I have never seen such opulence!". The tour was good but not to the standard of the Eastern Europe tour I did a few years back. Vladamir- St. Pete /Catherine's. Our 4th Rick's tour and it did not disappoint. Russia was a little intimidating to me, mostly the language. This morning we'll catch the train to St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad), Russia, and enjoy lunch together on board before arriving in the early afternoon. Luckily I was not too sick to soldier on. I had special dietary needs and she made sure all the meals that I received were proper and met my medical needs. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallinn. Would have liked more free time in Helsinki. The sites were well thought out. The main guide, Eszter, went above and beyond to make sure everything was smooth and enjoyable. We all went to see Our initial meet and greet went very well with George providing an excellent introduction and start to the tour that continued to get better as our group bonded well. "The tunic trio that played to us at dinner in St Petersburg". Boat: 2 hours. I enjoyed the uniqueness: Tallinn medieval, Helsinki modern, St. Petersburg historic. "TALLINN Old Town tour with Margit, Peter the Great's Kadriorg Park, the Song Festival stage Petersburg.". walk with local guide Peter, boat tour on last evening, Fabrege Museum (not officially on tour, but still . A prince of a man. Save up to 50% storewide on travel bags, accessories, guidebooks, maps and DVDs. Enjoyed visiting him.Definite keeper. Sleep in St. Petersburg. Breaks were too few and too short. The only exception was the box lunch on the train to St. Petersburg. Growing up in the 60's I never thought that I'd ever be there.". Today we'll venture out of town, where we'll tour Peterhof Palace and its stunning fountains and gardens. Far exceeded expectations. The hotels and their staff were excellent. We all had such a great time.Then we went to dinner which was amazing too! see our FAQ. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Finland. John says: It covers the highlights of the cities we visited. I was extremely happy with our tour guide, Eszter, who was very organized and helpful. An amazing visit to new places in Northern Europe, especially to St. Petersburg, which had been on my "bucket list" for years. In the distance, ferries shuttle to and from Helsinki (just 50 miles away). We started in Estonia! Rather than visit some sites grounds, I would prefer to go inside and see the building. We also did a one day private tour of an Estonian national park which was fun and not available during the tour. We were with a great group of people. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy Tallinn and Helsinki - Tallinn's old town is remarkable and the Church in the Rock in Helsinki is truly unique. How despite their history these countries have survived and are thriving.". We finally decided to take a Rick Steves tour and we were so pleased with our knowledgeable and exuberant guide, the accommodations, the schedule, and how our group really "jelled. From there, it's a mere train ride to the elegant, treasure-packed city of St. Petersburg and its magnificent Hermitage. I was actually in another country!". Choral performance for us at Peter & Paul Cathedral; Catherine Palace itself and its restoration; Siege of Leningrad memorial and story.". Self-Guided Walking Tours to Explore Helsinki, Finland Follow these 16 expert-designed self-guided walking tours to explore Helsinki, Finland on foot at your own pace. We were provided an itinerary upfront that outlined each day which I really appreciated. The guides, with some exceptions, were knowledgeable and we were able to understand them. The guides were fantastic, particularly Olga and Timothy in Saint Petersburg! "The two most moving points on the tour were the "Occupation Museum" in Tallin and the "Defense of Leningrad" monument in St. Petersburg. DO NOT KEEP. "Our guide Etelka went out of her way to show me the Marekko store in Helsinki. Any time between May and September is a good time to take a Best of St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki tour. Keeper. I would recommend this tour to anyone. The helpfulness of the Hotel Rivoli Jardin staff warmed our hearts-we sent you a separate letter on this. As a Russian history nerd, being able to wander through the Winter Palace and actually EXPERIENCE the Winter Palace, not a crush of people, was an incredible experience.". Overall trip was good. Very warm and personable. The cathedral at Fortress Peter & Paul and Peterhof gardens.". "It was seeing no Russia as it has always had a mystery about it. Rick Steves site has the scripts of his tv shows on line too so you can copy them. Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Russia had an oppressive governmental tone, but their people were kind and helpful. "There were many. Tallin was more charming than expected. "There were many but amongst my favorites are the walking tour with Peter in St. Petersburg-he is a master at handling the pace of the group, is an expert on Russian history and his discussion of Rasputin was absolutely captivating. It was well-organized, informative and comprehensive. To return to Helsinki from St. Petersburg after the tour, you can take the train from St. Petersburg. ▲ Design Museum Chronological look at Finland's impressive design pedigree, plus cutting-edge temporary exhibits. Heather's Helsinki: Places you would never find with Rick Steves - See 128 traveler reviews, 112 candid photos, and great deals for Helsinki, Finland, at Tripadvisor. Not "wow" moments in the usual sense, they both hit you in the gut and made you appreciate what occurred in the times and issues depicted and the resilience and courage of the people involved.". The others were fine but we had no blackout shades(basically just a curtain). Everyone is an encyclopedia of historical and cultural knowledge. "Too many "wow" moments to pick out just one!! No bus. Then you'll travel by ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Art Nouveau ambience and high-tech prosperity of Helsinki. It all started with our AWESOME tour guide George. We also had a champagne toast, which was such a lovely touch! "There really wasn't one "wow" moment - there were many. Perhaps one of the most unexpected moment was the subway tour in St Petersburg. This was our third experience with your company and as expected, our expectations were met and/or exceeded. "TALLINN: the welcoming environment and immersive history of the old town, plus Maiasmokk for the pastries!! If you fly round-trip to Tallinn, you can take a bus from St. Petersburg to Tallinn after the tour. This is a trip that made me think, and want to know more. Holiday Sale: Save 30% on all guidebooks and phrase books through 12/10/20 or while supplies last! Awe Inspiring! We'll end the tour with an excursion out to the islands where Suomenlinna Fortress guards the city. We'll also visit the famous Song Festival stage where Estonia's peaceful "singing revolution" began back in 1987. I was planning a trip back to Helsinki this summer. Sleep in Helsinki. The pacing was good with a strenuous day followed by one that was less so. Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. Such a wonderful contrast! Plus, get free shipping with $50 order. A very enjoyable tour. Be on your feet, walking, and standing for up to four hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions. after seeing the ballet at the Mariinksy Theater. My wife has been long familiar with the Rick Steves' travel guidebooks, and she's participated in at least 3 guided tours, so I benefitted from her sharing her wisdom about how I could prepare for the trip, and what to expect, in some ways. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. P". Very enthusiastic and memorable. I did not care for our group dinner in Helsinki. This is a very active tour! Learn about Rick Steves' small-group tours with more than 40 great itineraries for 2021! see our FAQ. Terms of Service | Privacy, Snapshot: St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn guidebook, Best of St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki in 9 Days Tour 2021, "Church in the Rock" (Temppeliaukio Church), Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad. Thanks so much for the ability to get us in about 1.5 hours before the hoards.". Thank you also Rick for your political traveling views on the world! This trip was a great chance to visit a 'totally new' country. I''ve never seen so much gold as the Catherine Palace with its beautiful Amber Room. All arrangements were perfect. Took care of us, pampered us, gave us the right amount of information and helped reduce the stress of the entry and exit from Russian. Please review our St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki FAQ page for complete details. Great tour leader! We were not disappointed. There wasn't as much interaction between people and we sick ones were unable to do walking in inclement weather. It was a great mixture of nature and museums. The negative was to experience what you caution against can and will happen if your do not pay attention to your belongings (money belt) and or visa requirements. Bus: 3 hours. Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. Extras. Helsinki. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Helsinki. Church of Spilled Blood!". Yuck! Excellent tour. More. Therefore, how the tour was conducted rather met most of my expectations. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. Our local guides were wonderful - and again George was able to enrich those commentaries with his personal experience. per person + air, Single "Tallinn was having a performance event all along their wall the day we arrived...we attended many performances and raved about the local people's considerate help in finding same.". The biggest "wow" was when we were fortunate enough to have Andrea Bocelli singing in Palace Square! In St Petersburg I was pleased to find a much more open society than I had expected. Choice of lodging-- perfect. ", "Being inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn during a funeral and later during a church service. Accommodations were outstanding and well located, Etelka was delightful and did all humanely possible to ensure we all had a wonderful time. It felt like we glossed over sights and did not have time to see anything in detail. And we managed some pretty decent weather in July! Overall, the tour was outstanding. "It's impossible to narrow it down to one. The highlight was Saint Petersburg and all the things that we did there. While intellectually I understand that people are people, it was great to experience it first hand...that "those people" are just like "we people," they are usually good natured, they just happen to speak a different language and are subject to different community rules and expectations.". Explore Europe with Rick Steves, best-selling travel author and host of public television's "Rick Steves' Europe" and public radio's "Travel with Rick Steves." Jul 30, 2018 - Explore Denmark with Rick Steves' Europe. The group leaders were exceptional and all of our local guides were excellent. Rick Steves Snapshot: St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn contains all the complete chapters on these three cities, excerpted from Rick's full-length Scandinavia guidebook and Northern European Cruise Ports guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other destinations. The video record of peoples' experiences is haunting, gut-wrenching, and a beacon for all who seek freedom.". This tour exceeded our expectations and was certainly one we would never have approached on our own, the Cold War and Russia hang-over from our youth, I guess. It strikes a wonderful balance between the ease of a guided tour with the flexibility of exploring on our own. If your trip includes an excursion to St. Petersburg, which isn't included in Rick Steves Scandinavia, the Snapshot: St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn guide is a worthwhile buy. My goal had been St. Petersburg as I was a Russian history major at one time. David leads Rick Steves tours in Italy and offers Italian culture classes, Italian language lessons, and live Zoom concerts with his acoustic guitar trio, Bartender. Definite Keep. Her energy and attention to detail was truly amazing right up to our departure. Rick Steves European tours and vacations feature the best value and travel experience around. The local guides were also good. If you are a US or Canadian citizen, you need a tourist visa to enter Russia. The group was small, mixed ages, interested and interesting. Overall, this was one of my favorite Rick Steves tours, in probably the least accessible locations. The Tour went way beyond my expectations. 2. The gorgeous winter palace is the apogee of imperial living. ▲▲ Seurasaari Open-Air Folk Museum Island museum with 100 historic buildings from Finland's farthest corners. He maintained control without ever being controlling. Public library in Oslo. Every part of that tour was filled with WOWS!". The entire group seemed to come ready to make friends, be pleasant and participate. No interaction with any locals on this trip, is that going to be a new policy? "Opulent" is not normally a word one associates with subway stations, but it seems appropriate here. I came upon the flea market — a square filled. But everything worked out perfectly. HELSINKI: Our guide Marja and her engaging and fun approach plus the folk museum island, and the old Market. Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you. The local guides were fantastic although the Tallin guide wasn't that good. ▲▲▲ Temppeliaukio Church Awe-inspiring, copper-topped 1969 "Church in the Rock.". The tour guides were very knowledgeable. All of the local tour guides did a. I loved seeing the buildings and the palaces. Several male tour members thanked me after for doing it as they did NOT want to be singled out :-)". Rick Steves' St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki in 9 Days: Home; ... countries. It felt pretty safe and I loved exploring. Tallinn Tour Guide Top 10 - a travel guide and tour as with the best local guide (English Edition) Wallpaper* City Guide Tallinn Rick Steves Snapshot St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn Including hilly terrain and lots of hills, stairs, and I enjoyed all of St. Petersburg so we do. A short orientation, and silliness ; a good mix of organized activities and shipping... 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