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Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

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New Orleans...
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Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

My daughter wants to visit Moscow next month. She speaks some Russian but knows no one there. Does anybody know of a low key (non-herding type) tour she could join? I'm a little worried because she is olive skinned and I've heard there is much hostility at present against gypsies and darker skinned people. Any advice?

Phoenix, Arizona
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1. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

I would be more worried about her being bothered by gypsies than by Russians. Gypsies will hit you up for some cash, but they will not harm you. The best thing for her to do would be to talk to them first in english, (both Russians & gypsies) so that they know that she is from America or England. (with gypsies, just act like you do not understand them and they will walk away). No one will bother her in the main tourist areas, or near her hotel for that matter. Do tell her to hold her purse infront of her body with both hands. A purse snatcher will not hurt her, but he will cut the strap from behind her and run off with her purse. Just like any big city stick close to the main (populated) areas, and hang out where the other tourist are and all will be fine. For a tour she could go to red square and take one from there. The crowds should be long gone by november. Just inside of the square have her look for a woman with a hand held bull horn, this woman will be selling seats for the next, almost hourly tour. (This tour should be cheap also)? To avoid crowds go early. When she just/first enters red square, if she looks to her left she will see KAZINSKIES church, (yes you can go inside, she will love it). Further up to her left will be GUM (huge fancy department store). To her right will be a very nice museum, (not to miss), further up on the right will be Lenins tomb, (she will want to see Russia's 138 year old grandfather, don't worry he looks good for his age)? Also to her right she will see the outside of the kremlin wall, (enterance is about 1 block to her right around front). And ofcourse St Basils is right in the middle (far end) of red square, (the work is now complete, so she can go inside). Also across the street from red square will be the famous white house, (the same bldg that Yeltsin had bombed years ago). So there you go, a days tour with out ever getting on a bus!!!! Don't worry she will have a great (& safe Time).

Moscow
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2. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

To American in Moscow,

just a small correction to your wonderful comment: The White house (The house of the Government), which you refer to, is quite far from the Red Square - on Krasnopresnenskaya embankment. Next to the Red Square is the building of the State Duma of Russian Federation, which has never been attacked, but nonetheless interesting. Inside the Kremlin there is the Presidential Palace, which can also be visited with a tour.

To jurypro,

I second the opinion of American in Moscow that "hostility" issue is relatively exaggerated. As for gypsies, being nomads, by November they will likely move to warmer places.

In general do not worry, Moscow is not as scary as it looks from abroad. It is just more chaotic.

Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

Thanks for the info pupsa, I was told by someone that the white building next to red square was the white house? I never questioned this, and took it as a fact! Now I know, Thanks.

New Orleans...
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4. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

Thanks for the advice. She's not afraid of gypsies, we've read that darker skinned people in Russia have been subject to random attacks. That's my worry for her.

Moscow, Russia
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5. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

I have many dark skinned friends in St.Petersburg and Moscow (I was in student organization for foreign students). Some of my friends were attacted but not often. Better avoid to walk when it's late. If you want I can accompany you on weekend (I work during weekdays)

Moscow, Russia
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6. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

These guys offer nice tours as well

http://www.capitaltours.ru/

New Jersey
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7. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

I have gone to Moscow several times and would advise your daughter to stay away from bars, avoid the metro at night and avoid walking alone in the late evening hours. if she is taking a Taxi anywhere, she should only ride on official Taxis (no gypsy cabs)!! Of course, there are dangerous people in Moscow (the home of the Russian Mafia). She should also avoid talking to men that approach her and ask her in english if she's from "America". Moscow is a wonderful city but you need to be leary of overly friendly guys, drunks that are a dime a dozen throughout the city, careful if staying out late at nightclubs alone and of course watch out for pickpockets, criminals, etc. I went to Moscow alone for the first time when I was 30 years old and had no incidents. However, on subsequent trips I encountered a couple of unsavory characters on the famous Arbat Street. You just need to be careful and use common sense.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

Hi. I will be making a brief trip to Moscow (my 1st) the 2nd week of November. I may put in a day and a half to see the sights. I've been reading about the so-called Gypsy and Mafia cabs as against official cabs. How does one know the difference?

Moscow
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9. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

To Pinoy,

gypsi/mafia cabs are not cabs, these are usual cars with a driver, who earns some additional cash in this manner. The difference of official cabs is that they have some signs on the cars, as a rule, the name and the phone number of a taxi company, sometimes they have specific color (yellow, black and yellow, silver grey, red,etc.)

enjoy your trip

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10. Re: Low key tour ideas for 26 yr old woman?

Hi Jurypro,

While planning our trip to Russia in 2005, I found a company called Beetroot Express, out of Britain, that specializes in low cost, youth oriented trips to Russia. I do not personally know anyone who has used this company, and their offerings did not suit our needs (as we are in our 50s), but their tours did sound like fun, and I would consider looking at their website if I were in my twenties and wanted to travel with others.

Good luck to your daughter.