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Quick Guide: Peterhof Palace

Saint Petersburg is one of my favorite cities so far, it has a mix of old and new with many buildings that represented a design aesthetic of its epoch and palaces turned into museums. I also had this impression that the entire city is one big museum. During my visit, I went on a day trip to Peterhof Palace.


Travel Guide

I've heard and read good things about Peterhof Palace, so I decided to go despite the gloomy weather and the fact that one of the main attractions was no longer running (the fountains). The palace complex was just outside, around an hour, from the city center. Leaving the city was like moving out of a time warp, the buildings became bland, monotonous and unremarkable. They were just blocks of concrete compared to the architecture and beauty you'll see in the city. As the bus made its way closer to the palace, I could only imagine what life was like during the time of the imperial families. They had sprawling estates, beautiful gardens and opulent residences. This proved to be true when I entered the actual complex.




The Emperor's palace, recognized as Russia's version of Versailles, is a popular tourist attraction, rightly so at that. The exterior was beautiful, especially in the lower garden. Too bad the fountain show was no longer running when I visited in October. It was built in the 1700s, and added different sections years after its initial construction.


Golden statues lined the stair leading up and down the palace entrance.


No fountain show, but still beautiful, if you happen to be here during summer, you have to pay an extra 900 Rubles just to enter the lower garden. When I went (autumn, October), it was already free.



I missed the colors of the season, some trees no longer had any leaves or barely had any. I could only imagine what this place looks like during the peak of autumn or summer.

The palace is a UNESCO-listed Heritage List along with other monuments in Saint Petersburg.

Interior

I thought the exterior was beautiful and opulent, and then I went inside and I was blown away. The interior was restored to its former glory after being left in ruin and disarray just after World War II.




The display of opulence was obvious as soon as I entered.








The wealth and taste for beauty of the royal family that occupied the palace was on display each time I entered another section.




Furniture and paintings from known artists in different parts of the world, from Europe to Asia, decorated even the most mundane of rooms, even sections that connected the rooms of the royal family were elaborate.

Read more about my trip to Saint Petersburg here: Guide to Saint Petersburg

How to Get to Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace is easy to get to by public transport, don't let the language barrier intimidate you. I took the mini-bus or locally known as mashrutkas to Peterhof from Avtovo metro station. The buses are waiting on the other side of the exit. You can take buses K-300, K-424 or K-424A, you can also ask the conductors and drivers which one to take. Sometimes they would easily recognize a tourist and just tell you they're bound for Peterhof. Tell the driver to alight at the fountains or just show them this: У фонтанов, пожалуйста. 

Schedule:

Grand Palace - 10:30 to 19:00, Saturday until 20:00
Lower Park - 9:00 to 20:00, Saturday until 21:00
Upper Garden - 9:00 to 17:30, Saturday until 21:30
Alexandria - 9:00 to 22:00

*Grand Peterhof Palace is closed on Mondays and the last Tuesday of the month.

Here's the website: Peterhof Palace

Expenses

Everything's in Rubles

1000 - Entrance Fee
140 - Round trip bus from St.Petersburg

Depending on the season, you'll pay an extra 900 Rubles just to enter the Lower Park. There's also a fee of 300 Rubles for Alexandria.

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