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Lonely Planet's Laura Lindsay answers your travel questions

I’ve heard people say Bolivia is brilliant, but I don’t know a great deal about what there is to do there. What are the highlights? I’ll be visiting for two weeks – what’s unmissable? Rob, via email

Bolivia’s appeal is its diverse landscape – this enormous country boasts mountains, rainforest, salt flats and volcanoes.

As Bolivia is such a vast country, two weeks won’t be enough to see all of it, so I would recommend concentrating on one area. Base your trip in the south-west of Bolivia, where there are a number of highlights relatively close to each other.

If you are flying into La Paz, allow some time to take in this spectacular high-altitude city.

Spend a couple of days adjusting to the altitude, trying some of the incredible food in the city (such as salteñas, which are meat or vegetable filled pastries) and walking around the cobbled streets.

From here take one of the large tour buses to Copacabana, the gateway to Lake Titicaca.

The world’s largest high-altitude lake is a sight to behold, with sapphire blue waters lined with traditional villages.

Stay the night on the lake’s Isla del Sol, home to ancient ruins, traditional villages and a rugged landscape that will feel a world away from the buzz of La Paz. Boats operate to the island from Copacabana.

If you have time and want to visit Bolivia’s rainforest, you can hop on an internal flight from La Paz to Rurrenabaque (amaszonas.com) to explore the Amazon Basin, too. I’m visiting St Petersburg,

 

Russia, on a flying visit and want to spend my few days there exploring the city. What would you recommend see while there? I’m very much into art and culture.  Anna, via email

St Petersburg’s top sight is the State Hermitage Museum, so you should devote at least a few hours to this treasure trove of history.

The museum is largely housed in the magnificent 18th-century Winter Palace, but its three-million items span five buildings.

It can get very busy though, so it is wise to arrive early and try to see at least some of the works of Raphael, Rubens and Matisse which are housed here.

 Tear yourself away to visit the city’s colourful Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood – the church is one of St Petersburg’s must-sees as the domes are a fantastic example of Russian romantic architecture.

Get a great view by climbing the impressive dome of St Isaac’s Cathedral or, for a different panorama, take to the water and cruise the rivers and canals.

Anglotourismo offers one-hour English language boat tours (£10) and also a night boat tour for only £4 more.

If you have the time and money, a night at the Mariinsky Theatre to enjoy the ballet is a quintessential Russian experience.

The theatre’s golden interior alone makes it worth the visit.

Tickets for the ballet start from around £25.

There isn’t a strict dress code but it is a good excuse to dress up!

Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsaywill give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to traveltips@tntmagazine.com. 

If your  question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.


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Lonely Planet expert's travel tips: Unmissable Bolivia and St Petersburg highlights
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