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A travel agent shared his experience of returning from Europe via the Baltic states on a budget

The head of the travel company Loyalty Travel, Tatyana Kirsanova, shared her personal experience of returning through Latvia and Estonia from a trip to Europe on Telegram.

Now entry for our tourists from Russian territory to these two Baltic states is closed, but is it possible to travel in the opposite direction? The travel agent tried this option by chance. Tatiana flew to Europe on a connecting flight through Istanbul. A visit to Latvia was not part of the original plans, but fortune turned so that she spent the final days of her trip in Riga and Jurmala. And it was logical to go home from the Latvian capital.

From Riga there are daily scheduled buses through Estonia to St. Petersburg. I managed to buy a ticket for 21:00 online for 5.2 thousand rubles. “There were few passengers in the cabin, so I sat comfortably on four adjacent seats. If it weren’t for the stops for border formalities, we could even sleep,” writes Tatyana. The road to the border with Estonia took 3 hours, its passage took about an hour. Checks at the Russian-Estonian border checkpoint take about 4 hours. The bus arrived in St. Petersburg at 10 am.

What came as a surprise was the fact that from Latvia and Estonia they are not allowed to export any cash European currency – neither euros, nor Polish zlotys or Swiss francs, etc. An unspoken, maximum allowable amount, which there is a chance that they will not be taken away if discovered during an inspection at the border – the equivalent of 150 euros “for personal needs”. Bus drivers are ready to assist passengers. They are not inspected; you can transfer money “for safekeeping” for a fee of 50 euros, which is what some tourists do. Drivers are also not averse to exchanging currency for rubles, but the rate they offer is not the most humane.

“The option of returning to Russia through the Baltic states turned out to be working, but, of course, the nuances must be taken into account. For example, the bus that departed from Riga ahead of us traveled to St. Petersburg for almost a day – it was stuck at the border for a long time due to the border guards changing shifts. As for the cost, the benefits are not obvious. Tickets to St. Petersburg are inexpensive, but tourists from other Russian cities will also have to spend money on the journey from there to home,” summed up Tatyana Kirsanova.

Source: Tourdom

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