Tag Archives: city attractions

Getting ready for long weekend getaway in Stockholm.

Spring is almost here & so is Easter. I’ll use this long weekend – 4 days are almost like a sort vacation ūüôā – for¬†visiting a Stockholm, Sweden. Have been there long ago but then someone was showing the best¬†visitor’s attractions to me. Now I’m¬†looking forward doing sightseeing on my own and exploring one of the beautiful Scandinavian cities during the spring time.

¬†Swedish capital has great architecture and¬†many points of interest to visit.¬†¬†Stockholm is very nice for sightseeing because¬†there is¬†an easy access to many tourist attractions. Right now I don’t have a particular plan for my visit but I know that¬†one of the first things I’ll do is¬†visit¬†Stockholm’s¬†Tourist Center (right across the¬†street from the Central Train Station) to get ¬†some city maps & latest updates for events during the Easter. Then¬†I’ll just walk around the central part of Stockholm to get an ideas what I’d like¬† & need to see.¬†

What comes to this trip is that this is the first time I’ll be using Ryanair – popular¬†low-cost airline.¬†This is kind of new experience for me. I have heard o lot of stories about traveling with Ryanair. Many of my friends & relatives are using this airline a lot. The good¬†part is the cheap price¬†for the¬†tickets for traveling within European destinations but down side is the little service and location of airports served.

Ryanair uses Skavsta Airport for Stockholm destination  Рaround 100 km southwest from city therefore one of the issue is how to get to/from Airport to Stockholm. The  easiest & cheapest option is to use Flygbussarna direct buses. Return ticket for adult costs 238 SEK with online advance purchase. Tickets can be purchased at the Airport & on the bus as well. But important note, that from Jan 1, 2011 busses are cash free Рwhich means payments are accepted just by credit cards (and no Maestro or Visa Electron).

One thing that I already learned is that you can register & get boarding pass for the flight 15 days in advance.  And many people are doing it as soon as online registration is open to get better seating. When I was checking in 4 (and 7) days in advance I got seating somewhere at the end of  the plane.  Good that you can register for both Рinbound and outbound flights Рin same time. But why do they need to have my ID for trip within the Europe? Havent seen that anywhere else.

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3 more places to visit in Moscow

Here are some pictures from the places I went on my last day in Moscow.

Some of the buildings & Lenin monument in VDNK

Some of the buildings & Lenin monument in VDNK

VDNK РAll-Russia Exhibition Center Рestablished in 1935. The exhibition center was rebuilt by the vision of  J. Stalin to creat a cultural center by a soviet city figure that glorify the ideology of communism and socialism. Now it  large trade show park, exhibition center.  Has a lot of attractions & entertainment going on every day. Interesting place to visit to see the buildings & monuments representing achievements of previous Soviet Republics. In the nearby area there are few famous monuments & Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics to see.

Friendship Fontain at the VDNK

Friendship Fontaine at the VDNK

GUM - Central Department Store in Moscow

Building of Central Department Store in Moscow

¬†GUM¬†– Central Department Store. One of the shops worths to visit just to see the building itself.¬†GUM has a long history¬†and¬†is positioning himself as a country’s main department store. There are¬†three lengthways with three-floor passages, deep basements & the glass roof.¬†At this place you can see fusion of¬†world-famous¬†fashion¬†brands and ‘Soviet time’ attributes.

Inside interior of GUM

Inside interior of GUM

Last but not least – Red Square – most famous place of Moscow or even whole Russia.¬†I would say the Red Square is a ‘must’ for every visitor in Moscow. Good sightseeing place to visit & gives the feeling of being in Russia. From Red Square there is an easy access to other memorable sightseeing places.

Moscow. Red Square

Moscow. Red Square

Sightseeing of New York

If you want to discover the best of city attractions, sightseeing passes are something you should be interested. With so many unique attractions, world-famous museums, theaters there is always plenty to do in any big city.

During¬†my resent trip to New York¬†I decided to explore the place like tourists would do. I’ve been in NY before but never did sightseeing itself.¬†My¬†idea was to¬†spend 2-3¬†days¬†with sightseeing and visiting museums. To make it easier to go from place to place I was wondering about hop-on hop-off double-decker sightseeing bus.

To make it short, I was glad¬†to found¬†this offer ‚Äď The New York Pass for attractions and CitySightsNY¬†for hop-on hop-off bus. In the¬†website of New York Pass¬†there was a¬†combine offer of 2-day Adult pass and 2-day CitySightsNY Hop-on Hop-off – sightseeing package for $136 (there are discounts for online purchase).

At first day I did Downtown and Brooklyn tours to see Manhattan and area (and added some shopping there) with double decker bus. My suggestions from practical point Рgo to Battery Park, explore area of Financial district, take Brooklyn Tour (1 1/2 hours), wonder around the area, go shopping (Century21 is nice place for it), catch sightseeing bus back to Midtown. Downtown tour itself takes approx. 2-21/2 hours, depending on traffic. On Sundays with less traffic you can get to Financial District  and back much faster.

The next¬†day I¬†started with¬†Uptown Tour and activated¬†my New York Pass. Cathedral of St.John the Devine, Guggenheim¬†Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art are on the route of sightseeing bus. If you intend to visit Metropolitan Museum of Art plan for 2-3hours¬†at least – there are so many exhibitions¬†to see. And don’t forget to go on the roof of Museum – nice views from there.

Third day of sightseeing was for attractions in Midtown area of Manhattan¬†and Circle Line Cruise. My picks for beginning were Rockefeller Center for Top of the Rock Observation Deck and NBC Studio Tour. If you are interested in arts, can add a visit to MoMA¬†(same area). From Rockefeller¬†Center¬†I went to Madame Tussauds¬†(can explore are of Time Square on the way as well). To have some rest from walking Circle Line sightseeing¬†Cruise for 75min¬†is nice. Enjoy views of Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. After all this activity during the day didn’t feel like to do more walking¬†– so¬†I went to Observation Deck of Empire State Building.¬†

It’s not just good price for visiting NY attractions but great value of it. Because they are separate tickets, I could activate them in different times (first usage). The New York Pass is valid for calendar day, but hop-on hop-off bus is for 48hours. As result I had 3 days of great New York City sightseeing.

P.S. If you wonder wich one to take РTop of the Rock or Empire State Building Observation Deck, my choice is  Top of the Rock. It was more dynamic. In Empire State Building it takes time to get to the ticket counter, then long way to the elevators. though Observation Deck of Empire State Bldg is higher up Рthe view of Manhattan are better.