Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lodging Bargains in St. Petersburg, Moscow

This fall seems to be a good time to find reasonable rates in Russia's two main cities. During summer prices can be quite high, but it seems that cooler weather brings some deals.

In beautiful St. Petersburg, an apartment for one person is listed for as little as $61 a night on Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com. The Acme Hotel on Nevsky Prospect also has rooms for as little as $60, while at the STN Apartments near the Moscow railway station flats cost $66 per night. Of course, the advantage of an apartment is that you can prepare your own meals and thus save money and having to get dressed for breakfast, one of my least favourite travel activities.

Moscow, which a few years ago was notorious for high hotel prices, also seems to have cut its rates. Even the elegant Metropol with its mosaic murals by Mikhail Vrubel, is now offering rooms for as little as $228 per night on average. The cost is still high, but a lot less than it used to be and than some newer luxury hotels still are. I love the Metropol for its Art Nouveau design and great location, but because of its price I have yet to stay there.

Budget offerings include a bed and breakfast called Petrovka Loft, where a  double room goes for $68. Petrovka should be a very safe neighbourhood, since it is the site of Moscow's main police headquarters. It's probably like the area where I stayed in 2005 in St. Petersburg, just a block and a half from the Big House of the KGB/FSB. I wondered why there were so few people on the street when I went out for walks.

Even less costly is the Napoleon Hostel in Kitai-Gorod, a central neighbourhood in Moscow. A bed in an eight-bed room you share with people of both genders goes for only $19 per night. I obtained these prices by checking the same October dates in either Trip Advisor or www.Hotels.com.


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