Copenhagen + Scandinavia/Baltic/Russia Cruise

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  1. Hi all!

    I'm thrilled to be able to go on a cruise this spring to the following ports:

    Harwich, England
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Helsinki, Finland
    St. Petersburg, Russia
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Visby, Sweden

    I'm also spending a few extra days in Copenhagen.
    I've done quite a bit of traveling throughout Europe before but I've never been to any of these cities or countries (other than England - but never been to Harwich!) so I would appreciate any recommendations of things that are a must see and/or do while I'm there.
    I like cruises on one hand as it gives you a taste of a bunch of different places so you can get an idea of where you would like to go back and spend more time. But on the other hand, most of these places I'm only spending 1 day there - not much time at all - so I would love to hear from experts on what can't be missed!

    As I will have more time to explore in Copenhagen. I would love to hear hotel and restaurant recommendations and, of course, great places for shopping :graucho:

    Can't wait to get the scoop!! Thank you :P
     
  2. Is it a river cruise? I'm so interested in them but haven't made the move yet!
     
  3. Have a great time. Awesome area of the world. Don't know where you are from, but I've said it before and I'll say it again. Check the conversion rate before planning any shopping in Copenhagen. It is extremely expensive there compared to many areas of the world.

    Other than that, a lovely city and I really want to go back. Take a side trip to Malmo too!
     
  4. I visited some of these cities last summer. I can reccomend the KGB Museum in Tallinn. It is the basically former KGB offices in a hotel just outside the old part of town which was left largely intact when the Soviet Union fell and the KGB pulled out. It' s only about an hour tour but you need to make reservations. Here is a link that might give you some more info.
    https://www.visitestonia.com/en/viru-hotel-kgb-museum
    The old part of Tallinn is very quaint but also pretty touristy. We walked around the old walls and saw some of the churches recommended in the guidebooks but the KGB museum was the highlight.

    The Vasa Museum in Stockholm is also fantastic and we also liked the Nobel Museum.
    St. Petersburg has a huge amount to see. We were there for 5 days so I might be able to answer some specific questions but if you only have a day or two, I would say go to the Hermitage and then look in a guide book to see what else interests you - there are some spectacular churches, smaller museums, you can take a boat tour of the city etc. If you have time, take a trip to Peterhof or Catherine the Great's Palace (Tsarskoe Selo) - both outside the city so you would need at least half a day and would need to book reservations.

    Have a great time - I'm sure it will be fantastic.
     
  5. Nope, it's not a river cruise, but I've heard good things about them :smile:
     
  6. Thanks! Yes, I've heard it's not cheap in Copenhagen.
    I'm learning that with my hotel research...
    I've also heard the side trip to Malmo is worthwhile. Do you have particular recommendations of things to see and do there?
     
  7. Thank you so much for all your info!

    The KGB museum is #1 on my list for Tallinn so I'm so happy to hear it's worthwhile!

    We have 2 days in St. Petersburg and I think we're going to do the 2 day organized tour through the ship. That way we will be sure to see everything. Also, we would require a visa if we want to go on our own there...and they aren't recommending that at this time anyway.

    I'm getting very excited!! :P
     
  8. Re: Malmo - I spent the afternoon walking around the city and eating some street food. It's really a cool, quaint town. There were some nice parks and if you are interested in architecture, there is a building called the Turning Torso, which is neat to walk by.

    I probably wouldn't spend more than a day there, but it is a nice little side trip. :smile:
     
  9. You don't have to use the tour companies from the ship. They charge a MUCH higher price then outside tour companies. There are a couple of companies in Moscow that does tours and they arrange for all the paperwork ahead of time. They are much cheaper. Check out cruise critic website and there are several good companies they recommend.
     
  10. Agree check prices with tours. We don't use your guides often, but is a must at The Hermitage. All time fav museum.
     
  11. First of all, do not plan on buying anything in Copenhagen, unless it is local and not found anywhere else :biggrin: If you give me your budget brackets for the hotel, I will be happy to recommend you which area and which hotel is worth the price (Danes are not big on customer service in general, so a less than stellar attitude has to be expected...). Food is also quite expensive, do you have any needs/requirements/wishes? Most places in Copenhagen are overpriced when it comes to eating and quality can be disappointing, so I can share tips with you on where to go.

    The city centre is not big, and there aren't that many places to see, compared to other European capitals. Double think going to Tivoli if you were planning on doing so, it is extremely crowded and expensive - you pay for the entrance, just so that they charge you for every attraction inside again. Are you into museums or maybe contemporary art? or do you just want to hang out and get the feel of the place? Free town of Christiania is always a good place to visit, if not for anything else, than just to see Danes that are of the rebellious kind - a very rare sight!;) Just let me know:smile:
     
  12. Great, thank you for the tip! I will definitely check it out if there's time. :smile:
     
  13. Thanks, yes I have done a little research on outside tours instead of ship tour companies...I'm on top of that part of it :smile:

    The Hermitage is definitely on my list. I've heard it's amazing!
     
  14. Hi Vanilla Bean!

    Thanks for your response. So let me get this straight - shopping is out as is it's too expensive, customer service is not great, food is overpriced and not great quality and one of the things I was excited about (Tivoli) is not recommended. Great. :P
    No, I'm kidding. I totally get what you are saying and I appreciate the information!

    As far as hotel budget - I don't want to spend too much as I don't really see the value. Maybe $150 a night tops, which I'm seeing will not get me far unless I want to re-live my hostel days - um no!! I was thinking city center would be a good location but I'm open to staying in other areas too.

    As far as restaurants go...I don't really have any specific wishes, my husband is vegetarian and I'm not much of a meat eater but we don't ever have a problem finding things to eat wherever we end up. I just thought if someone out there had a favorite restaurant in Copenhagen, it might be fun to check it out! (Or places to avoid too!)

    Yes, I definitely plan to see Christiania. As far as museums and galleries go, I do love contemporary art but I don't plan on spending all my time in museums etc. Unless it's a MUST SEE, I could skip it. I've been to so many churches and museums and really only a handful I even remember. I know that sounds bad. ;)
    I think for this part of the trip, I just want to hang out and get a feel for it - like you said. You never know though, I may get there and decide all I want to do is check out museums and galleries...especially since I can't shop, LOL!:lol:
     
  15. If the weather is nice I'd recommend Suomenlinna in Helsinki, an old fortress on an island just in front of Helsinki. Helsinki and it's city centre is very compact and easy to walk around. Sights most people want to see include are the Presidential Palace right at the Market Square (sadly you can't visit the actual building) and Helsinki Cathedral which is just a few steps from the Market Square. The Esplanadi park is also pretty and a popular place in nice weather. Most of the luxury boutiques are situated there as well. If you're interested in arts, there's Kiasma, the museum of modern art and Ateneum, Finnish National Gallery which holds a Tove Jansson (creator of Moomins) exhibition until 9th Sep 2014. I hope this helps and welcome to Finland! :smile: