The blue-and-gold Catherine Palace is a highlight for visitors to St. Petersburg, from where it makes an easy half- or full-day trip destination. Many travelers combine a visit to Catherine Palace with a city sightseeing tour of Pushkin or stops at Peterhof Grand Palace and Pavlovsk Palace. It’s also possible to combine a palace tour with a tour of St. Petersburg’s most beautiful Metro stations.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Plan to spend at least three hours exploring the palace’s 18th-century decor and exhibits, plus its sprawling park, to which entry is included in general palace admission tickets.
Lines can get long, especially in summer; consider purchasing tickets in advance or booking a tour.
Photography is not allowed in the Amber Room, and selfies are not allowed in Catherine Palace at all.
Official palace tours are typically in Russian, but most tours from St. Petersburg include an English-speaking guide. Audio guides are also available in English and several other languages.
The palace is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Catherine Palace and Park are located about 12 miles (25 km) outside of St. Petersburg in the town of Pushkin (formerly Tsarskoye Selo). To visit by public transport from the city, take a suburban train from St. Petersburg’s Vitebsky railway station to Pushkin and then catch a bus or minibus to the palace. Alternatively, take the Metro to Moskovskaya or Kupchino and then take a minibus to the palace, or book a small-group or private tour that includes hotel pickup and dropoff in St. Petersburg.
When to Get There
Catherine Palace and Park are open year-round, but the park is best visited in late spring when flowers are in full bloom and in fall when the leaves change colors. The palace’s opening hours vary by season, but the site is generally open to the public Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 5pm or 7pm.
Things to See in Catherine Park
After touring Catherine Palace, travelers should definitely check out Catherine Park. More than a dozen pavilions are spread throughout the green space, including the Grotto, the Upper and Lower Bathhouses, the Cameron Gallery, the Creaking Summer House, and the Concert Hall.
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