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Visiting Tsarskoe Selo and Pushkin

While Peterhof may be the most elegant of the Imperial Palaces around St. Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo is undoubtedly the richest and most varies in terms of architecture and historical interest. To fully explore the two palaces, the ample parkland, and the other sights of the town of Pushkin would require considerably more than a single day. In the summer, when there are regularly over 7000 visitors a day, queuing for the Catherine Palace can further cut into your time, so arriving early is strongly recommended.

Tourists in the Catherine Park in Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), south of St Petersburg, Russia
Tourists in the Catherine Park in Tsarskoye Selo

To get to Pushkin from St. Petersburg, you can take a suburban train from the Vitebsk Station to Pushkin Station, and then take buses 371 or 382 to the park gates. Alternatively, numerous marshrutka minibuses (K-286, K-287, K-299, K-342) run from Moskovskaya Ploshchad, next to Moskovskaya Metro Station. Tsarskoe Selo is 25km south of St. Petersburg, and journey time is a little under 30 minutes. Bear in mind that, during rush hour, the road to Pushkin regularly suffers appalling traffic jams.

If your time in St. Petersburg is limited - and if you have the energy - it is worth considering combining Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk into one trip. While there is far more to see and do at Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk is an ideal place to spend a relaxed summer evening. To travel between the two towns, use minibuses K-545 or K-299.

Address:7, Sadovaya Ulitsa, Pushkin (town)
Phone:+7 (812) 465-5308, +7 (812) 466-6071, +7 (812) 465-2196
Website:http://eng.tzar.ru/
Information for Visitors:http://eng.tzar.ru/info/price

Catherine Palace

Built by the same architect as the Winter Palace, the Catherine Palace is a gilded rococo masterpiece, and home to the famous Amber Room, one of St. Petersburg's top tourist attractions.

Open:May & Sep: Wed to Sun 12.00-17.00.
Jun - Aug: Wed to Sun 12.00-19.00; Mondays: 12.00-20.00. Closed: Tuesdays.
October through late April entry hours: 10.00-17.00 Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00-20.00 on working Mondays. Closed on Tuesdays and the last Monday of each month.
Entry hours for individual visitors during national and school holidays: 12.00-17.00 (12.00-20.00 on Mondays). All other times are reserved for organized groups.
Palace tickets include Catherine Park entrance fee and are available from 10.00 only at two entrances to Catherine Park (Main Entrance near Lyceum and Hermitage Kitchen). Daily quantity of tickets is limited.
Admission:13.00-16.00: Adults - RUB 720; Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 360; Visitors under 16 - free. 12.00-12.40 & 16.20-18.40 (Mondays 16.20-19.40): Adults - RUB 520; Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 260; Visitors under 16 - free.
Audio-guide (English, French, German, Chinese): RUB 150.00.
Photo: included. Individual Guided Tour - RUB 5,000: admission includes park fee, escort to palace via VIP Room, guided tour in English.
Accessibility note:The Catherine Palace is wheelchair accessible - a special elevator/lift was installed. Please call in advance as staff assistance may be required.

Catherine Park

This large park shows the tastes of several generations of Romanovs, combining ornate formal gardens with a rambling landscaped park that contains several beautiful follies.

Open:Daily, 7.00-23.00 (May 1 through Jul 31), 7.00-22.00 (Aug 1-30), 7.00-21.00 (Sep 1 through Apr 30).
Admission:Adults - RUB 120, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 60, Visitors under 16 - free (Ticketed admission 10.00-19.00 from April 27 through October 20. Keep your park ticket - you will need it at Catherine Palace's ticket offices!). Park fee currently includes admission to: Grotto, Maids of Honour Garden, Hanging Garden.
Accessibility note:The Catherine Park is wheelchair accessible

Alexander Palace

A superb example of neoclassical grandeur, the Alexander Palace is less famous than the neighboring Catherine Palace, but is slowly being restored to its former glories.

NB:Since 1 September 2015, the Alexander Palace has been closed for restoration and is no longer open to the public. The date of re-opening for the palace has not yet been announced.

Hermitage

Like the Catherine Palace in miniature, this charming blue-and-gold pavilion was designed for private dining, and has superb 18th century interiors that have survived almost completely unaltered.

Open:Open till Sep 30 daily, except Mondays and in rainy weather. Entry hours 11.00-18.00
Admission:Tours with raiser-equipped table demonstration (12.00, 12.30, 15.00, 15.30): Adults - RUB 350, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 180, Visitors under 16 - free.
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Turkish Baths

Designed to resemble a mosque, this eccentric pavilion on the shore of the Great Pond has beautiful interiors in "Moorish" style, including some pretty mosaics.

Open:Open till Sep 30 daily, except Wednesdays and in rainy weather. Entry hours 11.00-18.00
Admission:Adults - RUB 200, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 100, Visitors under 16 - free (audio guides in Russian, English and German included)
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Grotto

Built for Empress Elizabeth, this pretty folly was used by Catherine the Great to display classical sculptures and vases, and now houses temporary exhibitions.

Open:Daily, except Mondays, 10 am to 6 pm.
Admission:Free admission with valid ticket to Catherine Park
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Upper Bathhouse

Although its exterior is unusually simple in comparison with the surrounding buildings, this elegant neoclassical folly is richly decorated inside with copies of Roman murals.

Open:Open till Sep 30 daily, except Wednesdays, Thursdays and in rainy weather. Entry hours 11.00-18.30
Admission:Admission fees vary depending on temporary exhibits.
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Lower Bathhouse

Bearing some resemblance to a Russian church, this peculiarly shaped pavilion actually has a highly functional design, as can be seen in the recently opened exhibition inside.

Open:Open Friday to Wednesday. Entry hours 11.00-18.00. Closed: Thursdays and in raiy weather
Admission:Adults - RUB 150, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 80, Visitors under 16 - free (audio guides in Russian, English and German included)
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Concert Hall

Designed as a temple to the goddess Ceres, Giacomo Quarenghi's large musical pavilion has strictly elegant facades and richly decorated interiors.

Open:Open till Sepr 30 daily, except Mondays, Tuesdays and in raiy weather, 11.00-19.00
Admission:Admission fees vary depending on temporary exhibits.
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.

Museum of Festive Horse Carriages

Displaying a wide array of conveyances, many of them astonishingly luxurious, this collection is based on a museum founded by Tsar Alexander II.

Open:Open 10.00-18.00 (last entry 17.00) daily except Wednesdays and the last Tuesday of each month.
Admission:Adults - RUB 200, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 100, Visitors under 16 - free
Accessibility note:Fully wheelchair accessible

Cold Bath Pavilion (incl. Exhibition Agate Rooms: The Way to Revival)

Less famous than the Amber Room, the remarkable 18th century interiors of the Cold Bath pavilion were no less unique, and are currently being painstakingly restored.

Open:Open daily, except Thursdays and in rainy weather. Entry hours: 11.00-18.00. Admission every 30 minutes.
Admission:Adults - RUB 300, Students (with ID), Schoolchildren above 16 - RUB 150, Visitors under 16 - free (audio guides in Russian, English and German included)
Accessibility note:Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.
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