One of the highlights of our trip to Saint Petersburg, apart from visiting Pushkin and Hermitage, was checking out famous fountains of Peterhof. It’s been 16 years since my last visit, so I was curious to revisit this place once again, now with a different perspective. The place has impressed me in every possible way.
Peterhof day trip from Saint Petersburg – the Palace
The Palace and nearby garden were originally ordered by Peter the Great himself back in 17th century. It was supposed to be the Versaille of Russian Empire. The majority of attractions are located in the lower park, along with supporting structures and small palaces. The most impressive sculpture is, without doubt, Samson tearing open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War.
The Palace itself is rather small, with only 30 rooms. Still, its great to pay a visit and see The Chesma Hall, decorated with twelve large paintings of the Battle of Chesma, The East and West Chinese Cabinets and few other rooms.
Where is Peterhof?
Peterhof is a small town in the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. It’s only about 40 minutes ride away from the last metro stop (Prospekt Veteranov). The cheapest way to get there is riding the red metro line until the final stop and boarding a local bus outside the metro station. Once you are outside, you will spot the buses with the sign „Фонтаны“ (Fountains). All these buses go to the park gates, which is much more convenient than riding a train. Ticket price was 60 Rubles (1$).
The entrance to the upper park is free of charge. Once you enter the gates, you will immediately be stunned by the beautiful palace and the nicely decorated park area with numerous smaller fountains. Take a walk towards the palace and enjoy the beauty.
Once you reach the palace, its time to pay for the entrance fee to the lower park, where all attractions are located. Ticket counters are located to the left from the palace, just walk through the arches. Ignore a huge line of Chinese tourists – they are probably part of the group. We didn’t experience any major queues and got our tickets very quickly. The price was 900 Rubles (15$).
Lower park is beyond amazing, and you should start with the main Fountain cascade at the back of the palace. Walk all the way down the stairs in order to get a better glimpse of the composition. The fountains are best viewed during sunny days, when the gold shines at its best. It was a struggle to get good photos due to immersive amount of visitors, even though it was Monday.
However, the park is not limited to the fountain cascade. Take your time to discover all the hidden treasures of the lower park. Also, don’t underestimate it – the park is huge! Needless to say, Russian Emperors had pretty good times in these premises. You can see all kinds of innovative constructions, which is impressive considering they were built in the early 1700s. We particularly liked the joking fountains, that were splurging water totally unexpectedly.
For those of my readers, who don’t enjoy very long walks, there are fantastic electric car tours with audio guide explaining everything you are passing by. Sadly, I could only see them talking in Russian.
Where to eat
In terms of food and drinks, you will only find some snacks, ice cream and fast food stalls. We weren’t in the mood for this kind of food and decided to wait until we get back to the city for a proper lunch. It doesn’t hurt to bring a sandwich with you, as well as plenty of water.
Getting back to Saint Petersburg
As our day was coming to an end, we decided to splurge a little and get back to town in style. These is no cooler way than taking a speed boat – so called Meteor. You will find ticket counters at the pier of Peterhof garden. There is no need to purchase them in advance, just show up when you feel like going back.
The speed boats run until 18:30 every day and cost from 900 Rubles one way (15$). Total trip time is only 30 minutes and they arrive at Dvortsovaya Nabereznaja (pier right behind the Winter palace/Hermitage museum). This trip is also a chance to see Saint Petersburg from water and get a different impression of the city.
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