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Guidebook Updates for ‘Rick Steves Snapshot: St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn’

When we learn of important changes to the information in our St. Petersburg, Helsinki & Tallinn Snapshot guidebook, we post them here. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Helsinki

For books printed before July 2021, the following may also apply:

  • Because of route changes, the Helsinki Tram Tour, which features a loop through Helsinki on public trams #2 and #3, now requires a transfer at the Auroran Sairaala stop (which is several stops past the original transfer point of Töölön halli).
  • Helsinki's main tourist information office is now in the train station. The location near the Esplanade has closed.
  • Hotel Torni, home to the Ateljée Bar, with excellent city views, is scheduled to reopen in late 2021 — but it's unclear if the bar will return after renovations are completed.
  • Academica Summer Hostel has closed.
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia.

For books printed before June 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Helsinki's tram lines have been reorganized. New route maps are available on the transport network's website.
  • Temppeliaukio Church now charges admission (€3).
  • Sundmans Krog Bistro has closed.
  • The Erottajanpuisto hostel is now called "Hostel Diana Park."

For books printed before April 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Helsinki City Museum is now located at Aleksanterinkatu 16 and is open Mon–Fri 11:00–19:00, Sat–Sun 11:00–17:00.

St. Petersburg

  • The departure point for Peterswalk bike tours has changed. They now leave from the courtyard of the Berthold Centre at Grazhdanskaya 13.

For books printed before October 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg has closed. For passport and other services, contact the U.S. embassy in Moscow: +7 495 728 5577, emergency +7 495/728 5000, https://ru.usembassy.gov.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The cost for a Russian visa has increased significantly: Plan on at least $400 per person to cover the visa, service fee, and secure shipping.
  • The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works belonging to the Hermitage Museum are no longer displayed in the main museum building but are now installed in the General Staff Building (across the square from the Hermitage).
  • Private guide Natalya German-Tsarkova has a new website: www.tzar-travel.com.

Tallinn

  • Baltic Hotel Imperial is closed.
  • Grillhaus Daub and Wadabus are closed.
  • Rixwell Old Town Hotel is now part of the Rija chain: Rija Old Town Hotel.
  • Tickets for Tallinn’s public transportation are now available as QR tickets for use on a mobile phone (€1.50 for any ride up to 1 hour, can purchase up to 10 rides per ticket, shareable with other riders, purchase at tallinn.pilet.ee or with the mobile app Pilet.ee). For travelers staying longer, the Ühiskaart smartcard can be purchased for €2, then loaded up with credit (€1.50 per ride, €4.50/24 hours, €7.50/72 hours).
  • The KGB Prison Cells, recently opened in Tallinn's former KGB headquarters, give visitors a glimpse into the prisons and interrogation rooms once used.
  • Linda Line has ceased ferry service between Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia.
  • The Museum of Occupations is now called the "Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom." The museum was recently upgraded and expanded to include a new permanent exhibit exploring Estonia's occupations, resistance, and rise to freedom. The former audioguide has been replaced with an "etour guide" mobile device that brings the displays to life.

For books printed before June 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Budget eateries Road Food, Eat, and Balti Jaama Kohvik (at the outdoor market) have closed.