Ask Joan: When is the best time to go to Moscow?

Moscow on a budget, finding the best holidays deals and the Dingle Way

Great Kremlin Palace and Bol Kamenny Bridge, Moscow

Great Kremlin Palace and Bol Kamenny Bridge, Moscow

 

My husband has a significant birthday this year and I would like to treat him to five days in Moscow. Can you advise me when is the best time of year to go, where to stay, hotels etc? My budget would be about €1,200 for flights and accommodation but I could stretch it if there was something special that you would recommend. CG, Clare

There are some great guided tours from Ireland to Russia but most are for up to nine days and cost in the region of €1,500 each. You would need to be looking at spring next year, from the end of April onwards for a good time to visit to Moscow, and also for better prices.

With some early planning you should be able to do Moscow with flights and accommodation within your budget. Easyjet has started a service from London Gatwick to Moscow and prices at present in May are about £100 (€127); with a Shannon to Gatwick flight from Ryanair at about €50, you are looking at a great deal on this routing. Depending on timings you may have to overnight in Gatwick.

Hotels too, if booked in advance will mean budgeting from €100 per room per night for a three or four star property in the city centre, leaving money in the fund for some city tours. See hotels.com and booking.com for good deals.

You will need a visa. This can be obtained from the Russian embassy in Rathgar, Dublin, Ireland.mid.ru. You will also need to accompany your application with a letter/voucher from the hotel you book. See Moscow.info for tourist information.

I would like to receive a regular email newsletter from a website that gives information on inexpensive holidays, whereby you simply put in the dates of departure, give or take a day or two, and it gives you all the options.

On most sites you have to put in your destination first, but I always want to look first at what is available on the dates that I can go and base my decision on that. I would love to not have to keep entering destinations all the time: it makes searching more of a chore. MW, Dublin

I know exactly what you mean and it is very hard to find a one-stop website like that. There a few that may be of some help. Holidaysonline.ie will show availability, mostly charter and sun resorts, if you leave out the destination in the search field.

Lowcostholidays.ie has a Specials area on its site. Here you can put in a month and choose from city breaks, sun holidays or worldwide destinations and a variety of offers will come up.

On the Ryanair website there is a Fare Finder option, on the third line down on the first page. Using the sliders, you can choose your dates and maximum price and a selection of cities comes up.

There is also Skyscanner.net where you can search flight options from any airport to any destination. Ebookers.ie will also show options without your putting in the destination and then shows lowest price first.

Some friends and I are planning to walk the Dingle Way next spring, probably over eight days. Are there any firms which offer baggage transport between overnight locations? JH, Belfast

The Dingle Way is a popular route for walkers and there are companies that can provide a luggage transfer service. Dingleshuttlebus.com and autocabs.com will take your luggage from your accommodation to the next point each day. For a one vehicle transfer, prices will be about €20.

Send your travel queries to jscales@irishtimes.com

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