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  • General | Russian Federation
    Updated at Jul 12,2015

    Moscow Kremlin (Moskovsky Kreml) (Московский Кремль):
    Attractions: The Kutafiya Tower, The Trinity Tower, The State Kremlin Palace, The Arsenal, The Senate, Tsar Cannon, The Patriarch's Palace, The 12 Apostles' Church, The One-Pillar Chamber, The Archangel's Cathedral, The Ivan-the-Great Bell Tower, Belfry Assumption, The Filaret Annex, The Tsar Bell, The Annunciation Cathedral, The Terem Palace, The Assumption Cathedral, The Faceted Chamber, The Church of Laying Our Lady Holy Robe, The Grand Kremlin Palace, The Secret Tower, The Water-Supplying Tower, The First Nameless Tower, The Armoury Museum, The Diamonds Fund, The Borovitskaya (Saviour) Tower, The Secret Garden, The Tsar Cannon, The Saviour Tower, Alexander Gardens, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    Tip 1: General instructions.
    Tip 2: from the Kremlin entrance to the the Annunciation cathedral in the Cathedrals' Square (Sobornaya Ploshchad).
    Tip 3: from the Faceted Palace or Faceted Chamber in the Cathedrals' Square (Sobornaya Ploshchad) to the Diamonds Fund.
    Tip 4: The Armoury Museum.
    Tip 5: The Kremlin Gardens, from Spaskaya Tower to Borovitskaya Tower  and back to Alexander gardens.

    Tip 6: Tourist Hotel Complex "Izmailovo" (Gamma-Delta).

    Introduction:
    The Moscow Kremlin (Russian: Московский Кремль) is a historic fortified complex at the very heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River (to the south), Saint Basil's Cathedral (often mistaken as the Kremlin) and Red Square (to the east) and the Alexander Garden (Alexandrovsky sad) (to the west). It is the best known of Kremlins (Russian citadels) and includes four palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. The complex serves as the official residence of the President of Russia. WOW, there is just so much to see and steeped in history - if you're in Moscow you need to take the time to visit !


    Transportaion: The nearest subway stations are "Arbatskaya" (Dark Blue line) (see photo below), “Borovitskaya” (Боровицкая) (Grey line), “Biblioteka imeni Lenina” (Red line) and "Alexandrovsky Sad (Light Blue line)". They are all, actually, one big station - subdivided into four stations - according to their correspondent Metro line.

    From Arbatskaya station (see photo below) (the Dark Blue line):

    Head northeast toward Vozdvizhenka St, 95 m. Turn right onto Vozdvizhenka St, 550 m. You see the Lenin National Library of Russia and Dostoyevsky sculpture in front of it - on your right.

    Pass through the subway tunnel and you face the Moscow Kremlin.

    From Biblioteka imeni Lenina” (Red line) and "Alexandrovsky Sad (Grey line) - exit to Vozdvizhenka street, pass the tunnel and you face the Moscow Kremlin.

    From Borovitskaya (Боровицкая) TO Kutafya tower (the main entrance / Ticket office): From Borovitskaya Metro station head north on Mokhovaya ulitsa (Мохова вул./ул. Моховая) toward Vozdvizhenka street (ул. Воздвиженка) and Biblioteka imeni Lenina Metro station, 500 m. Turn right, pass the tunnel and you face the Moscow Kremlin.


    General hints:

    • You must arrive to the ticket office in time to snag one of the limited number of Armoury tickets (only on-the-spot purchase) ! If you do want to go to the Armoury, you better get to the ticket office by 09.00.
    • I recommend to purchase tickets online as the lines can be very long. There are TWO queues. To buy tickets and for the security check. Avoid the the queues for the tickets by booking tickets through the Kremlin web site http://tickets.kreml.ru/en. This the most reliable place to check whether the Kremlin premises are open on a specific date. The reservation is easy, straight-forward and safe. You change your printed vouchers (sent to your email address ONE DAY after your online reservation) to FORMAL ENTRANCE TICKETS in cashiers 11-12 in the Kremlin visitors centre. All other cashiers are for on-the-spot tickets with heavy-loaded, long waiting queues. Waiting for your turn to exchange online voucher(s) with usual ticket(s) will take no more than 5-10 minutes. Prepare your passport in advance. You must show it in the cashier.


    The Kremlin Visitors Centre courtyrad. On the right side are the tickets cashiers:

    there is vast garden opposite the tickets cashiers and the visitors centre:

    Without online tickets reservation - it might take time to purchase entrance tickets:

    • Take an umbrella. There is a shelter queuing-up for the tickets. THERE IS NO SHELTER - queuing-up for the security check - along the stairs leading to the security detection machinery hall.


    • Both of the queues - might be chaotic. The personnel does not speak English.

    • The staff that sells the tickets and tours and the security staff members out and in the Kremlin premises are not friendly and might be tough. Be prepared to either have money change and knowing what to purchase or otherwise you will be screamed and mishandled. Obey the policemen into the Kremlin. Walk ONLY through the paths.
    • Restricted areas: several Kremlin buildings and sites - might be closed, frequently, due to presidential / military events, holidays, religious services and technical reasons. Expect, for example the Senate and/or the Arsenal to be encircled with "no-access" signs. Policemen will dictate (using their whistles) special policies of motion and access in various sites into the Kremlin walls.
    • Do not bring rucksack or any other big bag. The are not allowed to enter into the Kremlin premises. Your luggage will be denied in the security check process. No weapons. No knives.


    Opening hours: TOURIST CENTER TICKET OFFICES:10.00 - 17.00. MUSEUM SHOP (Alexander garden): 09.30 to 16.30 except of Thursdays.

    May 9 - closed. Note: The Kremlin is sometimes closed to the public during state visits, and other important ceremonies. Check with the Kremlin web site, your hotel or tour guide before you go.

    Prices: In the tickets office / Kremlin web site you can buy tickets for: the Kremlin grounds and Cathedrals (500 Rub.), for the Armoury (700 Rub.) and for the Museum of History of the Kremlin architecture in the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower (500 Rub.).

    What you CANNOT BUY - either, online or through the tickets office, are the tickets to the famous Diamond Fund (500 RUB/person), the small two-room museum with the Catherine the Great's diamonds crown and the collection of jewelry, biggest ever mined uncut diamonds and platinum and golden nuggets in the country. For that, you'll need to go inside the very building of the Armory Museum and buy tickets right in there in front of the Fund's entrance, because both of the museums are in the same building OR outside the armoury through an outside cashier - a few metres from the Armoury entrance.

    Types of tickets:

    -Ticket for visiting the architectural complex of the Cathedrals Square and Kremlin grounds (ACTUALLY, THE MAIN ENTRANCE TICKET) - 500 RUB (available online). For persons under the age of 18 the visit to the architectural complex of the Cathedrals Square is free of charge. The ticket for visiting the architectural complex of the Cathedrals Square allows free access to: several museums, cathedrals, the Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe, the Patriarch's Palace, museums' permanent expositions: "Russian wooden sculpture" in the cloister of the Church of Laying Our Lady's Holy Robe, "Treasures and antiquities of the Moscow Kremlin" in the Annunciation Cathedral, "Ancention convent" in the South annex of the Archangel's Cathedral. Cost of the guided tour (for a group under 20 persons): 4000 RUB.

    -Ticket to the Armoury Chamber - 700 RUB (available online). For persons under the age of 18 the visit to the Armoury Chamber is free of charge. Exhibit sessions in the Armoury Chamber start at 10.00, 12.00, 14.30 and 16.30. The Armoury Chamber is open for visitors till 18. 00. Cost of the guided tour (for a group under 20 persons): 4000 RUB. Audio guides in English are available and worth the 150 ruble price tag if you're not with a group.

    -Ticket to the Museum of History of the Kremlin architecture in the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower - 500 RUB (available online). NO DISCOUNTS. Exhibit sessions in the Ivan the Great Bell-Tower start at 10.15, 11.30, 13.45, 15.00 and 16.00. Not more than 10 visitors are admitted for one single session. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to visit the Bell-Tower. You can climb to the top of the the tower - 137 steps.

    -Ticket to the Diamonds Fund - 500 RUB. You must have a ticket to the Armoury Museum in advance (on line or purchased in the Tickets booths). NO ONLINE TICKETS - just in the tickets offices. This price is ON TOP of the Armoury Museum ticket. You can enter the Diamonds Fund after entering the Armoury Museum or outside of it. It is a museum into another museum. They don't accept credit card.

    Kremlin entrepreneurs recently reintroduced the centuries-old changing of the guard on Cathedral Square -- but for a fee. The elaborate and carefully choreographed ceremony, which involves 12 horses, 45 soldiers in czarist-era uniforms, and the presidential orchestra, is held every Saturday at noon for visitors who pay 700 rubles for a special ticket. In addition to the guard-changing ceremony, the ticket includes tours of the churches on Cathedral Square (but not the Armoury or Diamond Fund).

    Entrances:

    There are 2 entrances.

    • The northern and the main one is through the Kutafya Tower, Troitskiy most and Troitskaya Tower.

    • To visit the Armoury chamber and the Diamond Fund go to the southern end of the Gardens along the Kremlin wall to the Borovitskaya Tower. Immediately, after you enter - you see, on your left the: Armoury chamber, ATM, public toilet and first-aid station.

    Buying tickets through the Automatic (Vending) Machines:

    The big white machines are at the farthermost side behind the queuing lines. The first thing you need to know about it - is if the machine is out of tickets. These machines are for locals with Cyrillic instructions. First of all, check out if the top button is sensitive or "clickable". If it is pale and transparent -, the station is out of tickets. Try another machine. Next click the middle one of the three. Next press as many times, the brown button "Увеличить" (more) as many people you want to add to your single ticket chosen by default. Press the button on the bottom-right part of the screen "Далее" (next). Insert the amount of money written on the display - to the narrow green-lit slot on the right (accepts 100, 500 and 1000 RUB, gives change). Count down 25 seconds and take your ticket and change behind the brown glass, above which you actually can see the only thing translated here: Tickets and Cash.

    Luggage Deposit:

    Bags must be deposited at the Left-luggage office just north of main ticket office. The Left-Luggage Office is open daily from 09.00 till 18.30. On the occasion of religious services, held in the Kremlin cathedrals, the Left-Luggage Office is open from 07.30 till 18.30. During cultural events, celebrated in the State Kremlin Palace, luggage can be stored from 09.00 till 23.00. The baggage storage service is provided on presentation of the entrance tickets. The baggage storage service is free of charge. Big bags or backpacks are not allowed inside.

    Security check:

    Show your ticket, climb the steps, put your mobile and metal things on the narrow brown table on the right side of the metal detector, your bag on the X-Ray moving belt and yourself through the detector's arch.

    Photography:

    Taking photos is forbidden inside the Armoury or the Diamonds Fund. It is allowed into the Cathedrals but without flash.

    Weather:

    This routine can be done in any weather - even in sporadic rain day. In case of rain - you miss the Kremlin gardens and, probably, small-scale military parades into the Kremlin territories.

    Rest rooms:

    Facilities for tourist inside the Kremlin are very poor. There is a busy WC in the entrance of the Visitors Centre. There is one near the Armoury entrance (near the end of our route). The problem is around the Cathedrals' Square. There you can find a modest WC near the souvenirs shop. You have to pay 30 Rub. for using it. It is always busy and concerned with a long queue of patient-waiting persons.

    Food:

    Just sausages and sandwiches in a sporadic stall(s) here and there. Bring sandwiches and drinks with you.

    Duration:

    Allow, at least, 4-5 hours (including the gardens and the armoury). With the Diamonds Fund - allow additional 1-2 hours. Paying for permanent or temporary exhibitions in the Kremlin museums will add 1-2 hours more. With its five palaces, four cathedrals, vast array of governmental sites, the wall, the towers and its gardens - allow 1 day.

  • General
    Updated at Jan 30,2016
  • General | India > Jaipur
    Updated at Feb 7,2017

    Hi! I am Jonathan Steward from United Kingdom. This is about one of the Golden Triangle Tour Packages one of my friends Margaret had booked for me last year from delhitajmahaltours.com Agency. Here's my experience to a 'Passage to India':

    “Why Golden Triangle Tour?” I asked Margaret.

    “Well, India is a huge country!” she laughed. “It takes months to travel around the entire nation. And for a person with no time like you, Golden Triangle tour is the perfect way to know India” she said.

    So with this package, I had experienced a tour to Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. These three cities are the most popular tourist destinations of India. The best part is that all of these beautiful cities are connected to each other making travel easier.

    “Why is it called 'Golden Triangle?” I teased Margaret.

    “The name comes from the way these cities look on a map. Start drawing a line in between each of them. You'll get a triangle shape!” she was serious.

    “And these are located at around 250 km of distance each” I interrupted.

    “Stop teasing me, Jon” Margaret got annoyed.

    All of these cities are different from each other. These are also worth taking a tour to. Delhi is a beautiful amalgam of metropolis feel, ancient history, and cultural diversity. Jaipur will have surrounded by vast, enigmatic deserts and colourful grand structures. Agra – The City of Love will take you to the era of Mughal grandeur.

    During your Golden Triangle Tours, you are going to live a wealth of experiences that you cannot do outside of India. Although, of course, what you do depends on whom you tour with. All of them though will provide you with a dedicated tour guide. Perhaps your favourite experience will be shopping through the traditional Indian Bazaars and picking up a couple of local wares, or maybe you want to ride an elephant all the way up to the Royal Palace, the choice is yours, but one thing if for certain, this is going to be a true adventure for you.

    If you are looking into a trip to India within the near future, why not check out some Golden Triangle Tours? There is a plethora of different ones out there, each offering a slightly different experience. Honestly, going on one of these tours is likely to be one of the most exciting things you have done in your life and for good reason too. The culture is unbelievable, the scenery unbelievable and you really will get to see the best of India within a short period of time.

    Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – The 3 places of the Golden Triangle Tours

    The majority of people who head to India with tourism on mind head to the three cities that makes up the Golden Triangle, Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. This is mainly due to their close proximity to one another, and the fact that these locations are geared up already to accept tourists. If you are lucky enough to go on one of the many golden triangle tours, then you will be able to visit all of them! One of the things that surprises many people is how vastly different these locations are, and that is something that I wish to take a look at. Let’s take a brief glance at the various cities in the triangle.
    Delhi

    This was the starting point of my trip. I guess most of the golden triangle tours gave Delhi as their starting point. The Delhi tour is divided into two parts:

    - New Delhi
    - Old Delhi

    The food and shopping options available in Old Delhi is worth every effort a tourist make. Delectable food of Old Delhi streets will blow your mind. I kept asking the hawkers and restaurant staff to keep the dishes as low in spice as possible! Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, and Qutub Minar were some of the places I enjoyed visiting. The Old Delhi trip has a historical approach to it.

    The ‘Old City’ quarter possesses a very traditional Indian feel to it. I was quite impressed with the place. On the other hand, buildings in New Delhi has a very posh, modern, and British feel to it. Connaught Place, India Gate, Raj Ghat, Lotus Temple, Akshardham Temple, and various restaurants of the New Delhi are a stark contrast to Old Delhi.

    Agra

    A visit to Agra was memorable. I always wanted to visit this beautiful city. Why? One of the most obvious reasons is Taj Mahal. This magnanimous beauty, a live painting and pride for Indians stole my heart. I couldn't take my eyes off it. I wanted to visit the Taj every day after a visit. Such is the effect of this unparalleled marvel constructed by a lovelorn emperor in memory of his wife. The food here is amazing, especially the sweets. They call it 'petha' made from bottle gourd. I also visited Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid, Chini ka Rauza, and a few more mausoleums. The full moon view of Taj Mahal was an experience I simply can't describe in words.

    Jaipur

    Jaipur is a beautiful city set in the beautiful desert. It was the last stop on my Golden Triangle Tour. Right from the colourful traditional Indian Bazaars to the magnanimous buildings describing the tales of Maharajas, their queens and grandeur, everything about the city was amazing. What I personally liked about the Jaipur is the forts of Maharaja Jai Singh II. These beautifully reside in the Aravalli Hills right outside the central part of the city.

    City Palace is another major highlight of Jaipur. Presently, it serves as a museum detailing the plush history of Jaipur.

    To Sum Up

    The above mentioned is simply an outline of my trip. You may take it as the tip of the iceberg. The rest is an experience – hard to describe in words! The diversity of the area is best experienced.

    Here’s a brief on my Golden Triangle tour package:

    Delhi:

    - Arrival.
    - Sightseeing at Akshardham Temple.
    - Relish street food.
    - Sightseeing of historic Old Delhi.
    - Visit to Qutab Minar.
    - Sightseeing at Lotus Temple.
    - A visit to Humayun’s Tomb
    - A walk through Rajghat and India Gate.
    - Dinner at Connaught Place.

    Agra:

    - Transfer to Agra.
    - A visit to the Taj Mahal
    - A visit to Agra Fort & Itmad-ud-Daula.
    - Enjoy sunset views of the Taj.
    - Street food safari in Agra’s Chaat Gali.

    Jaipur:

    - Transfer to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri.
    - A Bollywood movie at Rajmandir cinema hall.
    - Authentic Rajasthani dinner.
    - Next day, sightseeing at Amber Fort.
    - A visit to City Palace.
    - Hawa Mahal.
    - Lunch at very popular food joint Laxmi Misthan Bhandar.
    - Shopping at Johri Bazaar & Tripolia Bazaar.
    - Enjoy sunset views of Jaipur from the mighty Nahargarh Fort.
    - Transfer to Delhi for Return flight

    The packaged proposed to me included a Private cab, a Chauffeur, food, and a guide.

    An Important Tip: Taj Mahal is closed on a Friday.

  • General | Russian Federation > Voronezh
    Updated at Feb 27,2017

    lool

  • General
    Updated at Sep 18,2017

    Backwaters of Kerala are one of the most attractive and enticing parts of Kerala tourism. The beauty of the places with golden glowing waters and the complex water bodies offer the tourist the best experience of the waters. One of the main attractions of the backwaters in Kerala is the presence of house boat which acts as one of the major tourist attractions. Tourists from around the world avail different Kerala backwater packages to experience the well-known backwater rides through some of the best and well-known backwater stretches of the land. Some of the main attractions of the backwater tours are the view it provides of the glowing waters, rich green paddy fields, blooming water lilies, the view of different backwater villages and the moon lit waters at night. These breathtaking elements of the water attract a number of tourists from around the world. Some of such backwater destinations in Kerala which offers the best view of the waters are:

    Kuttanad Backwaters:

    The mesmerizing geographical elements of Kuttanad are a factor that attracts a number of tourists from all around the world. The place is the lowest in India which lies below the sea level has a different water texture which makes the place unique. The place is mostly known as “The Rice Bowl of Kerala” due to the presence of a large number of fields and is the largest producer of rice. Kuttanad covers the very heart of the backwater stretches being a part of the Alappuzha District. Other than the presence of a number of paddy fields the place also has a rich growth of banana, yam and cassava which makes agriculture the main source of employment and income for the people living in the place. The presence of a variety of crops grown with the beauty of blue waters and green fields makes the place beautiful and vibrant.

    Kasargod backwaters:

    Kasargod is small and beautiful village which not a known tourist hub yet offers backwater tourism facilities. The place is more secluded and is least affected from commercialism which helps it maintain the natural beauty and texture. The place located to the Northern most District of Kerala is a place that holds its own essence. The main attraction of the place is the traditional touch that one can feel in every aspect system of the place. Being in isolation for long the backwater villages in the place have not been influenced by the modernity which brings the visitors closer to the traditional and original lifestyle of the local backwater villages. One of the main attractions of the place is the team village called the oyster Opera which highly indulged in the activity of oyster farming

    Kochi Backwaters:

    Kochi, mostly known as the “Queen of the Arabian Sea” is one of the best tourist destination with a number of small islands on Lake Vembanad which is opened to the Arabian Sea. One of the main attractions of the city is the presence of a number of Chinese Fishing Nets and destinations like St. Francis Church, Jewish Synagogue Dutch Palace, Historical Fort Cochin and much more. The place also offers elegant backwater trips through some of the beautiful islands of the city like the Bolgatty, Vyppin, Gundu and Vallarpadam which offers the best view of the backwaters, water birds, wild flowers and rich greenery along the bank.

    These are some of the best backwater destinations in Kerala which offers the travellers a different view of the village life and backwater stretches of Kerala. The main element that attracts the travellers to the backwater stretches of Kerala is their keen interest in experiencing the entertainment and happiness in the houseboat rides which are offered in almost every backwater stretch of Kerala. The house boats which are now used as a key factor in backwater tourism were once used by the farmers to transport different materials to different town and cities. House boats now used are made in traditional style by adding more features to it to make the trip more pleasure able. A number of best Kerala houseboat packages are offered and organised by different tour operators like Lifemadeasy to attract tourist to the land to let them experience the waters and the tradition of the sand. One could enjoy the waters by arranging a stay in the boats which will let the travellers experience a different side of the waters and the backwater villages.