Something To Declare: Moscow; Antwerp; Europe for the weekend
Where to go, how to save, what to avoid
Saturday 26 April 2008
Warning of the week: Moscow
The Russian capital hosts the Champions League final for the first time on 21 May. The finalists will be decided in the coming week, when Chelsea take on Liverpool and Manchester United are at home to Barcelona. But fans of the clubs keen to make the journey to the Russian capital face potential problems with visas – as do other travellers intending to visit Moscow at this time.
The red tape for prospective travellers is actually more tangled that it was in the days of the Soviet Union. Every fan will need a visa before he or she is even allowed on the plane to Moscow. It seems likely that a match ticket, issued by one of the clubs, will be accepted as sufficient supporting evidence.
Rumours that extra consular staff will be made available to process the visas have not yet been confirmed.
Steven Penney, director of the Asla travel group, says fans will need to move fast to be certain of getting out to Moscow: "Russian and UK public holidays mean there will only be eight or nine working days to process visas after the second semi-final."
Destination of the week: Antwerp
Diamond Divas is the title of the new exhibition at Antwerp's Diamond Museum (00 32 3 232 01 03; www.diamonddivas.be). It is a homage to the role of jewellery in Hollywood and, in particular, to the memory of Grace Kelly. Exhibits include an armband worn by the silent movie star Gloria Swanson, Grace Kelly's engagement ring and a Cartier art deco Rivière necklace that was given to her by Prince Rainier.
The museum, adjacent to the city's central station, opens 9am-5.30pm daily except Sunday, and until 10pm on Thursdays; admission €12.50 (£10.40). The exhibition runs until 8 June.
Antwerp is 40 minutes from Brussels, and any Eurostar ticket to the Belgian capital entitles you to free onward travel to the city.
Bargain of the week: Europe for the weekend
Fed up with the hassle of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted? BMI is aggressively selling its full-service flights from a number of UK regional airports to a select few European cities. East Midlands to Cologne (pictured) and Copenhagen are available for £99 and £119 return respectively. The £119 price also applies to Edinburgh-Zurich and Manchester-Lyon.
These deals are aimed squarely at city-break tourists, and the old "Saturday night" rule is imposed to ensure that business travellers do not take advantage of the low fares. Book at www.flybmi.com to secure flights at these prices.
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