Catherine Palace is one of the most beautiful attractions in Saint-Petersburg surroundings. It is the very palace with the legendary “Amber room” that attracts tourists from all over the world.
This post is written for those who plan to visit Catherine Palace on their own and contain a few instructions of how to get to Pushkin and what to see there.
How to get to Catherine palace from Saint-Petersburg?
Catherine Palace is located in Pushkin 35 km from St. Petersburg. There are 3 ways to get there: by train, bus and minibus.
- Trains to Pushkin go from the Vitebsk railway station. It is located at the Pushkinskaya metro station so firstly you need to get there and then change to the train station. When getting to the railway station you may take any train. Trains to Pushkin go every 15 minutes. Total travel time is 30 minutes. Get off at the Tsarskoe Selo stop.
- If you want to get to Pushkin by bus or minibus you need to get to Moskovskaya metro station and reach the bus stop which is opposite the fountains. You will easily find the needed bus as on the windshield it will be written: “Pushkin”, “Amber Room”, “Palaces”, “Parks”, etc. Travel time is 40-60 minutes.
History of Catherine palace in Pushkin
In the beginning there was a Finnish manor called Saari Mois (“a manor on a hill). In 1710, Peter the Great gave this manor to his wife Catherine I. So the palace was called in her honor.
During the reign of Elizabeth, Tsars’ Village (Tsarkoye Selo in Russian) became the official royal summer residence. It was a center of royal party life. The most famous masquerades and balls of the 18th century took place exactly in this palace.
It all was stopped in 1917. After the Russian revolution royal property was nationalized and transformed into kindergartens and sanatoriums. In 1937 – the city was renamed as “Pushkin”, in honor of the famous Russian poet.
Now the Catherine palace is not only a popular tourist destination that attracts tourists from all over the world, but also often plays the role of decoration in historical films.
The most famous halls of the palace are the Great Hall which is truly spectacular and the famous Amber Room
The ticket prices are 350 rubles for Russians and 700 rubles for foreigners. Kids under 16 can entry for free. You may buy tickets online on the palace official website Follow this link. It’s a good option to avoid the queues as at summer the place gets really crowded.
After taking a tour into the palace you may walk around and enjoy this magnificent park. By the way to enter the Catherine Palace, you first need to buy a ticket to the Catherine Park.
Catherine Park consists of two parts: the regular Old Garden and the English landscape park. There are also many interesting things in the park: palaces, monuments, various pavilions, bridges, and other buildings.
3 must-visit places in Pushkin besides the Catherine palace
Since the area has been being a royal summer residence for so many years there is much more than a palace.
1. Alexander palace
While the Catherine Palace takes on the main attention of tourists, there is another palace and park complex in the neighborhood.
The Alexander Palace is undeserved unknown to the crowds. It’s built in classicism style on request Catherine II as a gift to her grandson – Alexander I. After that, all subsequent emperors from time to time used the palace as a summer residence.
And it was favorite palace of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II. So inside the palace you may find a unique modern style exposition about the life of the last Russian emperor.
2. Alexander Park
This park is less luxurious than Catherine Park but more suitable for quiet walks and recreation. And the entrance to the park is free.
It’s a legendary place – a board-school where Alexander Pushkin the famous Russian poet have studied together with his high society mates.
In the museum you will find out how looked like the high society education in the early 19th century.
You may check the ticket prices and schedule on the museum official website Follow the link
Where to eat in Pushkin?
My favorite restaurant in Pushkin is called Giacomo. The restaurant is situated in a 18th century building that used to be a house of the famous architecture Giacomo Quarenghi.
The restaurant is very nice with a tasty and quite cheap food and locates close to the Catherine Palace.