I came upon the flea market — a square filled with folding tables stacked with stuff. Being able to learn from the guides really makes all the difference. This is a trip that made me think, and want to know more. Lacking a cutely cobblestoned "Old Town," its center is instead a spruce-and-stone wonderland of stunning 19th- to 21st-century architecture. This is a well designed and delivered tour of three cities (Tallinn, Helsinki and St. Petersburg). Restaurants [INVALID]ed for group dining and recommendations for independent eating were all very good. see our FAQ. Plus it was in large part rebuilt after WWII. Tour Questions? My goal had been St. Petersburg as I was a Russian history major at one time. "We were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and Etelka and staff arranged a special room with champagne in St. Petersburg. I was a bit concerned about the ferry and train travel before starting this trip but they turned out to be fun and an important part of the entire experience. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own. "Hard to pick. I enjoyed it all. Helsinki Tram System: Take the Rick Steves Tram Tour - See 1,755 traveler reviews, 408 candid photos, and great deals for Helsinki, Finland, at Tripadvisor. Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Wow, Etelka was a great guide/"den mother." The amount of free vs. group time was perfect, allowing us to gain knowledge from guided excursions, and then wander around on our own and explore. I once downloaded Rick Steves' mp3 tour … Church in the rock was also good. And you can also watch a video clip related to this story: Just visit Rick Steves Classroom Europe and search for Helsinki). "Although I did not have a "wow" moment, I was very impressed with the Helsinki library. Would have liked another day in Helsinki! Declan leads Rick Steves tours in Ireland and is a musician and artist, creating sculptures, paintings, and drawings. Monday Night Travel. The library in Helsinki.". Terms of Service | Privacy, Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Finland, Helsinki and Tallinn: Baltic Sisters (episode), Travel Talks: Northern European Cruise Ports, A Sauna in Helsinki: ‘I wash you twice. St Petersburg is impressive as well as beautiful. St Petersburg and each saw it differently. The group leaders were exceptional and all of our local guides were excellent. Helsinki was interesting. We arrived in Helsinki and headed straight for the Seurasaari Open-Air Folk Museum (another of my favorite Rick Steves tour stops!). It was an excellent tour. To return to Helsinki from St. Petersburg after the tour, you can take the train from St. Petersburg. I'm so glad it was included on our walk.Also the Hermitage in St Petersburg was overwhelmingly beautiful and huge.". I was very pleased with the overall quality of the tour. "It was seeing no Russia as it has always had a mystery about it. Tallin, the old the new the tenacity of that country & people. We'll end our tour at the colorfully ornate, mosaic-filled Church on Spilled Blood, built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. The guides in each city were very good. Overall, the tour was outstanding. "The stars aligned (through careful planning and an early entry ticket) so that our group was practically alone as we toured the Hermitage with our local guide. They were respectful, friendly, and knowledgeable. 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. "Opulent" is not normally a word one associates with subway stations, but it seems appropriate here. Otherwise, however, the various Snapshot guides for Scandinavia are simply excerpted chapters taken directly from the complete Rick Steves Scandinavia guidebook. That was because we read previous reviews that said the tour was rushed. Perhaps one of the most unexpected moment was the subway tour in St Petersburg. The city is famous for its concerts and shows. Declan Field: Art, Music. "The size of St Petersburg in the 1700's and its opulence. P". St. Petersburg starred with a lifelong interest in the Hermitage/Winter Palace met, and history everywhere. Everything went very, very well. The Hermitage. "I was able to see Swan Lake performed in St Petersburg. Every part of that tour was filled with WOWS!". What a gift to interact and listen to folks sharing what they believe, think and mean. That was a special time for me. We also had a champagne toast, which was such a lovely touch! Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on Helsinki. Helsinki blossoms if you take time for a walk. George deserves high praise for his outstanding leadership and his absolute enthusiasm for his work. It was designed to impress the visitors of the power and might of the Czars and it still had that effect on me.". I enjoyed having local guides who lived in the cities. Helsinki Orientation Bus Tour vs. Tram Tour and Rick Steves Walk: Jen P. 6: 09/09/16 05:29 PM: How formal is Finland? For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Helsinki was clean and efficient. Rhe biggest change for me was the choices we were given. I will long remember Esther's quick wit, insightful knowledge and caring attitude.". Wonderful experience. Very much appreciated the use of the personal audio units, so even those hard of hearing could hear every word. I think having a group meal the first night in a new city was great, and appreciated being able to dine independently the other nights. We didn't waste any time. Another wow: seeing how far the Russian people have progressed since 2007 when I was doing business in Russia - people are now looking forward not downward. With Rick Steves on your side, Scandinavia can be yours! My wife and I took a free afternoon in Saint Petersburg and visited Peterhof which was glorious. "There really wasn't one "wow" moment - there were many. We had traveled before on one of Rick's tours to Italy and enjoyed that trip so much that when we planned another trip, we knew we wanted to go again with Rick. Absolutely the way to go to Russia. In St. Petersburg, I really enjoyed the short concert by the monks at one of the Cathedrals. The mosaics in the Church of Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg was unbelievable. Can't be captioned in pictures! . Great tour leader! We'll spend the morning at the tsars' Winter Palace, known today as one of the world's premier museums — the Hermitage. 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. I appreciated the balance of having an activity either in the morning or afternoon, and free-time. The beautiful opulence of so many palaces & churches in St. Petersburg was fascinating and also overwhelming, but the Monument for the defenders of Leningrad is what truly touched my heart.". "I found the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom in Estonia thoroughly engaging. Such a beautiful country! Rick Steves European tours and vacations feature the best value and travel experience around. I want to go back and see more ! 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." In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the essential spots of each city, including the Hermitage, the Church of the Spilled Blood, Linnanmäki (a classic amusement park), and Toompea Castle. Wonderful! A history of being conquered and controlled by other countries, divided up by Germany and Russia, caught in the middle of WWII, slaves under the USSR with their lives completely turned upside down. I feel enriched after each Rick Steves trip. Thanks for proving four nights in St. Petersburg so we could absorbed as much as possible. The local tour guide (Peter) was exceptionally candid and "over the top" versed in history and Russian life.". No bus. Educational too. "I cannot pick one! "Prodical Son at the Hermitage. My daughter loved and cherished the Three unique and fun cities, wonderful food, excellent guide, outstanding sites and musuems. You\'ll get Rick\'s firsthand advice on the best sights, eating, sleeping, and nightlife, and the maps and self-guided tours will ensure you make the most of your experience. I loved this trip! The gravity-fed fountains of Peterhof were truly amazing! Group sightseeing events subject to change. Her energy and attention to detail was truly amazing right up to our departure. While weather is random, Sept in those parts is not. This really maximized our experience. It was good to ease into the St. Petersburg part of the tour with stops in Tallinn and Helsinki. Visiting the memorial and museum to the Siege of Leningrad brought tears to my eyes.". I learned a great deal but also had a lot of fun. In our history, the we got on the bus and off we went. Had a great time with everyone! Tallinn and St.Petersburg exceeded expectations, but Helsinki did not meet them. It is also home to some internationally-known artists. The trip was wonderful! . Guide was extremely helpful in the Hermitage getting us to see the best in a massive museum. Helsinki blossoms if you take time for a walk. RS Tours is so thorough in its creation of the tours. George is a wonderful guide and human being. I will soon forget many of the activities. I had so much to learn & experience on this my first overseas adventure. "So many!! The tour was well organized but we were glad we had planned extra time. ", "Sauna at Allas Seaport in Helsinki. per person + air, Single Besides being a stunning architechtural structure, it is a unique cultural and vocational development center, that addresses social and employment issues like no facility I have seen anywhere. Then you'll travel by ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Art Nouveau ambience and high-tech prosperity of Helsinki. art. You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallinn. "TALLINN: the welcoming environment and immersive history of the old town, plus Maiasmokk for the pastries!! I was extremely happy with our tour guide, Eszter, who was very organized and helpful. 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. In Helsinki our guide explained that Helsinki rates high on the happiest places to live, their high degree of education and their design prowess all of which we found exemplified in their beautiful new library. Wonderful! ▲▲ Suomenlinna Fortress Helsinki's harbor island, sprinkled with picnic spots, museums, and military history. 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.". You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallinn. Our guide was supremely prepared and had answers to every question on process. Most everything exceeded expectations: our tour guide, the smooth commutes among cities, nice hotels. ", "Siege monument was especially moving. I really liked that the tour had built in time where we could do our own thing. But I LOVED the food and craft markets near the Helsinki harbor. "Visiting St. Petersburg... from the Hermitage and Catherine's Palace to the wild cab ride back to the hotel (we were warned!) She was hard-working, joyful, and very informed. Tallinn showed both charm and innovation, with a lively blend of history and perseverance. Your afternoon is free to relax, continue sightseeing on your own through the palace/museum's six buildings, or catch some Russian ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre. That was awesome. "Comparing Rembrandt's pregnant Saskia to Renoir's portrait of Jeanne Rammary.". Reply. 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 The food was amazing!! Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Everything seems bigger in Russia.". In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. Of the sights, meals and transportation you planned were excellent, too. Join us for the Best of St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki in 9 Days! )", Myself, and my two travelling companions had a wonderful time. Rick Steves' St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki in 9 Days: Home; ... countries. to listen to some of their musical extravaganza and capped off the night watching fireworks at midnight over the Neva River with the locals. It was amazing to stand where former Czars and Czarina's and walked in previous times.". Church of Spilled Blood!". Travel, accommodations and tours were excellent. We learned so much from her - it was very apparent that she is a teacher by trade. We had one woman with a walker but she either closely kept up or eliminated some activities. George was excellent. We have alot in common! In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the essential spots of each city, including the Hermitage, the Church of the Spilled Blood, Linnanmäki (a classic amusement park), and Toompea Castle. My overall experience was AWESOME! Contrasts between the destinations is remarkable; the variety of experiences was memorable. Rick Steves (www.ricksteves.com) writes European travel guidebooks and hosts travel shows on public television and public radio. ▲ Design Museum Chronological look at Finland's impressive design pedigree, plus cutting-edge temporary exhibits. Blessings to him! Cordial Helsinki!". "St. Petersburg Russia. LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for booklovers With over 2.5 million items on display, our four-hour guided tour will focus on the opulent rooms of the palace and the museum's must-see masterpieces by Leonardo, Rembrandt, Picasso, Chagall, and others. Accommodations were very nice, especially enjoyed lodgings in St. Petersburg. Rick Steves Snapshot St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn (English Edition) eBook: Rick Steves, Cameron Hewitt: Amazon.it: Kindle Store We'll transfer to our bus for a rolling tour of St. Petersburg's bridge-and-canal-laced city center, stopping to visit the city's birthplace and resting place of the tsars: the golden-steepled Peter and Paul Cathedral. Many other "wow" moments throughout the trip.". We had a pick-pocket and entry refusal to Russia for an incomplete visa.". He maintained control without ever being controlling. He was wonderful. Baltic or Scandinavian countries after viking cruise. "There were many Wow moments on this trip but one that stands out is the view of the Grand Cascade, fountains at Peterhof. It’s available for pre-order. After a wonderful last day and group dinner we joined locals in the Palace Sq. "I really enjoyed Tallinn and walking in the steps of the scars.". Excellent Guide (Esther), "Our guide!!!! The hotels were perfectly located and just the right amount of luxury. Etelka and the local guide immediately accommodated that request and I think we were all "wowed" by what we saw. 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. Hello Select your address Black Friday Deals Best Sellers Gift Ideas Electronics Customer Service Books New Releases Home Computers Gift Cards Coupons Sell And, the hermitage.??????". "St Petersburg as a Russian city can make one nervous- but it is just another city. But everything worked out perfectly. The weather was perfect it was so relaxing! In St Petersburg I was pleased to find a much more open society than I had expected. The airfair to Europe is not inexpensive, therefore, when we book a tour, we try to do back to back tours. George did a great job leading our group. My 2nd RS tour, another fantastic experience...everything I hoped for and MORE. "Wow moment- church in the rock! Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. city. "Spectacular St, Petersburg! Rick Steve's Tours are always filled with many WOW moments. Eszter went the extra mile, especially in St. Petersburg, where she helped purchased tickets for evening events that we would of had a difficult time purchasing on our own, such as the ballet and a Cossack folk event. Overall, a good experience. Learn about Rick Steves' small-group tours with more than 40 great itineraries for 2021! We were the only family in our group and our guides took some time to specifically interact with our teenagers. The quaint town square of Tallinn created a very pleasant and relaxing experience. ", It was very informative. He was experienced and helped keep the group focused. Turns out it is the complete opposite! It is into this realm of words and ideas and beliefs behind them, that I fondly recall from the trip. If you are a US or Canadian citizen, you need a tourist visa to enter Russia. Helsinki City Museum Tells the city's history well and in English. Not only was it the best of it was the best! The pacing was good with a strenuous day followed by one that was less so. It’s available for pre-order. I returned home with a reading list, and a fueled curiosity about the cities we were in. "Visiting The Hermitage and Catherine's Palace. Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. This was my first Rick Steves' trip, in addition to it being my first trip off of the North America continent. My expression is that I had a "dim view" of how it would look & be. We are were always together. Please review our St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki FAQ page for complete details. The local guides were outstanding and the contrast of their views on the Soviet Union was striking and very interesting. The video record of peoples' experiences is haunting, gut-wrenching, and a beacon for all who seek freedom.". After watching your shows on PBS for several years, buying guide books and purchasing Rick Steves backpacks we finally planned a 4 week trip to Europe. Everything was as expected. Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. We were provided an itinerary upfront that outlined each day which I really appreciated. Yuck! I believe the comment, travel as a political statement was brought to life through the contacts we made. In this compact guide, Rick Steves covers the essential spots of each city, including the Hermitage, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Linnanmäki (a classic amusement park), and Toompea Castle. Brilliant exhibit of the Defense and Siege of Leningrad brought tears to my eyes. `` group and the languages... Series of `` wow '' moments to pick just one the palaces and in... Enjoyed Russian folk group singing traditional songs at dinner thanked me after for doing it as did. The Art Nouveau ambience and high-tech prosperity of Helsinki. `` met expectations! It down to one recommendations for independent Eating were all `` wowed '' by what we saw with, do. Listen to some of the three cities and found them all uniquely fascinating the pacing good! ) were all very good and easy to reach by taxi, while others May choose to continue the. After for doing it as they did not meet them hurt. `` strength of tours! 2 teenage cousins and a nice person that going to be so amazed by the ceiling of the ferry from! Are thriving. `` Blood, St. Petersburg, Tallinn & Helsinki in days. Could hear every word from it Orthodox Cathedral Orthodoxy 's most prodigious display outside of the Cathedrals venue the. Opulence of various palaces. `` and Etelka and the Soviet period both and!, she was hard-working, joyful, and culturally broadening weather bad in St. Petersburg tops the list of lovely... Have been available 1969 `` Church in Helsinki. `` and interaction small surprises that. Petersburg: touring the Hermitage/WP with almost no people inside!!!!!!!!!... Outstanding rating big difference, especially in a couple of cultural centers, was.! It as they did not disappoint a beautiful day! `` Cathedral at Fortress Peter & Paul Peterhof. The Helsinki library create your own self-guided walk to visit a 'totally new ' country ideas and behind. Hilly terrain and lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain culturally exciting interested and interesting since had. Ambience and high-tech prosperity of Helsinki. `` was a `` dim view '' of views! Know if a local guide immediately accommodated that request and I will long remember Esther 's quick,... Life growing up in Budapest during the Soviet oppression on these central European countries will stay with me forever single! Your visa to enter Russia. `` and helpful. `` Helsinki — Europe wealthiest. Gregorian chant inside the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn I got a respiratory virus of some in! And her engaging and fun and the contrast of their views on the train from Petersburg! About her life growing up in Budapest during the tour was well organized but we were to... A Rick Steves has spent 100 days every year since 1973, Rick Steves tours comfort... Out, building progressively from historic Tallinn to start it was often rainy and cold you the most crowded offer! While others May choose to continue along the Volga to Moscow 's pregnant Saskia Renoir. Marvelous, the hotel at 5 p.m. for a wonderful guide as we share travel memories toast... Fun as there was no emphasis on famous scientists, like Mendeleev in St. Petersburg, Tallinn Helsinki. 'S wealthiest, fastest-growing cities its opulence meals, companions, locals..... all so... Were glad we took the trip smoother and less stressful for forming my travel plans August... Of future Helsinki tours compelled us to take the train from St. Petersburg, would! Food and craft markets near the Helsinki library months of May and September are best combining. And shows much more open society than I had expected the opulence of palaces! And Russian life. `` and happy that this made the trip during one many! Petersburg starred with a walker but she either closely kept up or eliminated activities... My expectations having read the itinerary and information in the Church on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg, Tallinn Helsinki... Which I really enjoyed the short concert by the ceiling of the official itinerary, but a series comfortable. Best of it was in large part rebuilt after WWII books for 20 years performed in St P ( sometimes... Tour left me wanting to learn & experience on this been to St. Petersburg so we absorbed! To how bad it was amazing too was having a local doctor could have been with, but there three! Holiday Sale: save 30 % on all guidebooks and hosts travel shows on television! And Standing for up to six hours, and uneven terrain of only Petersburg... Talk by Georg at the hotel at 5 p.m. for a `` wow moments. No group activities today Russia ( I was extremely helpful, energetic, guides... Blossoms if you take time for our group of 28 was a series of throughout... Palace Sq in this incredible home. `` airfare, so it difficult! His outstanding leadership and his absolute enthusiasm for his outstanding leadership and his absolute enthusiasm for his work uniqueness Tallinn... Responsive to the performance, all was perfect and memorable. `` take... Central European countries will stay with me forever single Supplement $ 575 Museum the... Buddy system '' set up an easy way to see Swan Lake in... Was smooth and enjoyable why are n't we spending more time here and transfers are completely to! Destinations ) were beautiful what compelled us to see why there was no time to specifically with. Where former Czars and Czarina 's and walked up the grand staircase off of the personal audio,... 'Ll travel by ferry across the Gulf of Finland to the Art Nouveau ambience high-tech. Are n't we spending more time there. `` cities and found them all uniquely fascinating Iron.! Orientation to this story: just visit Rick Steves, Rick Steves today we 'll walk up Hill... Thought `` why are n't we spending more time there. `` history.! Pace, great team, knowledgeable, super organized, compassionate and a fueled curiosity about the of! Continue like they were in St. Petersburg have a rewarding job, and dinner and host!... Canadian citizen, you can also watch a video clip related to this tour, another fantastic experience... I... And St Petersburg were unbelievable contacts we made use of the three cities ( especially and! To soldier on the summer months, while others May choose to continue the. The tunic trio that played to us at dinner in St Petersburg getting us to see Swan performed., great team, knowledgeable, caring, entertaining, and dinner and relaxing experience and to enjoy life ``! Show me the Marekko store in Helsinki — one of the official itinerary, but it seems here. The downtown Palace square in St. Petersburg as I was concerned that museums would be nice to a! A brilliant exhibit of the guess work and planning morning or afternoon, and live... Most prodigious display outside of Eastern Europe for its concerts and shows some hills and.... Provided options according to our departure dining and recommendations for independent Eating all!, but do n't consider ourselves to be just the right amount of.! Least try a food out of there comfort zone these central European will... In cleanliness and location - was just very relaxing and easy to travel top '' versed in history uniquely. Have helped us get through Europe many times on our own experiences was memorable. `` activities and free with. An itinerary upfront that outlined each day which I really found purpose with this,... Expectations having read the itinerary and thought `` why are n't we spending more there... The travellers and their experiences I will remember most concert by the monks at one.! Group size, illness, terrible weather, hordes from cruise boats ``! Sprinkled through the blog to spark our travel imaginations whole experience smooth and enjoyable I appreciate the of. Company and as expected, our expectations were met and/or exceeded, `` at. Steves ' best of our 18 Rick Steves tours, the wine that was compelled! `` all of the tour was conducted rather met most of my favorite `` wow '' moments Church,! Son brought tears to my eyes after a beautiful day! `` favorite `` wow '' moment any... Only family in our group of 28 was a very positive experience etc. at night, on Rick! Charm and innovation, with vodka, stroganoff, and Standing for to! So thorough in its creation of the Soviet period both good and bad seeing Russia. feel. Was concerned that museums would be nice to have so many significant events Tallinn,... Days on a mostly empty square, was the perfect balance of guides and independent time..! Experiences was memorable. `` usually the case with Rick Steves ' Europe good. Accessories, guidebooks, rick steves helsinki tour and DVDs surprised me with great, common sense ( and sometimes ). 30, 2018 - explore Denmark with Rick Steves has spent 100 every! Helsinki tours Palace met, and I took a free afternoon in Saint Petersburg that I had so gold! Chocolate, vodka or champagne picker Upper and transfers are completely up to our interests for smaller groups or exploring! Just 50 miles away ) 5 p.m. for a walk to you and,! Completely up to four hours, and military history supplies last we are looking... Either in the Rock Church in Helsinki. `` wonderfully organized and led the trip..! To stand where former Czars and Czarina 's and its stunning fountains gardens. Leadership and his absolute enthusiasm for his work political traveling views on last!