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Peterhof Palace

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If you take a trip 18 miles (30 km) west of St. Petersburg, you’ll discover the Russian equivalent of Versailles: the Peterhof Palace (Петергоф)! The elaborate palace complex was commissioned by Tsar Peter the Great in 1717 after he visited the French court and was designed by Domenico Trezzini, one of the great architects of the Petrine Baroque style. Visitors can choose from a range of tickets, guided tours, and day trips.
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5 tips for visiting the Peterhof Palace

Garden of the Gods | Flickr: BPPrice CC BY 2.0
Explore the Glorious Park and GardensDon’t miss the gardens of the Peterhof Grand Palace, which combine popular garden design from two centuries.
Peterhof Palace Fountains | Flickr: Ninara CC BY 2.0
Enjoy the Spectacular FountainsIn summer, the fountains are turned on at 11 am with musical accompaniment. If you can, try to be there to watch them spring to life, but if you arrive later then don’t worry: you’ll be able to marvel at the water features throughout the rest of the day.
Pack a Picnic!The park and gardens at Peterhof Palace provide the perfect setting for a picnic, so bring some snacks and find a spot to rest after a busy morning exploring the rest of the complex.
Arrive Early to Skip the LinesIf you’re not visiting with a tour group, then be aware that ticket lines can be extremely long. Try to get to the palace early to beat the queue, or book online.
Photographers Beware!Photography isn’t allowed inside the Grand Palace and several of the other buildings in the complex, so look out for signs that let you know where you can take pictures. Don’t worry, outside of the palace you can snap as many shots of the architecture and gardens as you like.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Peterhof Palace?

Peterhof Palace, often called Petrodvorets by locals, was originally intended to be a place where Peter the Great could escape to the country and wasn’t planned to be particularly grand. However, in 1717 the Tsar visited the Palace of Versailles and was extremely impressed by the elaborate architecture and beautiful gardens. He hired foreign architects who developed the style that became known as Petrine Baroque, including Domenico Trezzini and Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, and the stunning Grand Palace and Monplaisir Palace are their work. There are several different buildings in the complex. The Monplaisir Palace was built first, largely based on Peter the Great’s own designs, followed by Marly Palace and the original Hermitage. The Grand Palace was also planned by Peter, but the wings were added by Empress Elizabeth. The park also includes an English-style estate built for Nicholas I and his wife Alexandra, who found the grandeur of the Russian court oppressive. Peterhof Palace was extremely badly damaged during World War II - specifically the Siege of Leningrad - so much of what you’ll see has been lovingly reconstructed over the years by historians and conservationists. Each of the buildings in the complex can be visited but incur separate entrance fees, so consider which you’d really like to visit before your trip. Read more.

What will I see on a visit to the palace?

It depends on which palace you want to visit! The Grand Palace is home to luxurious interiors, many of which were designed during the reign of Catherine the Great, and featuring expensive antique furniture, sculptures, paintings, and a mirrored ballroom. Monplaisir Palace includes a collection of 17th-century art from Peter the Great’s personal collection. It also includes the Lacquered Hall, a fine example of Chinese lacquering techniques with Russian themes, and the Maritime Study, which looks out over the Gulf of Finland. From one window you can see all the way to St. Petersburg and from the other, out to Kotlin Island. Marly Palace was used to store Peter the Great’s personal belongings, including his wardrobe and gifts he was given. Today it has been restored to appear as it would have looked at the time of Peter’s death in 1725. The Peterhof Hermitage was designed to be a secluded dining room for Peter the Great’s closest companions, and today it houses 17th- and 18th-century paintings of landscapes and battle scenes that approximate Peter’s taste. The original paintings were destroyed in a fire in 1808. One building which has nothing to do with Peter the Great is the Cottage Palace, which was built for Nicholas I and his wife, Alexandra. Read more.

What’s so special about the gardens?

The park and gardens at Peterhof were, like the palace, designed to rival those at Versailles. The Lower Park is a French formal garden, with paths, plants, and fountains laid out symmetrically. It is home to most of the palace’s fountains, featuring 26 groups of water features, each uniquely themed and elaborately designed. The Upper Garden is much smaller but is also symmetrically designed, and features four large groups of fountains. The most impressive fountain in the palace grounds is the Grand Cascade in the Lower Park, which features 64 individual fountains in addition to 37 bronze gilded statues, vases, bas-reliefs, coats-of-arms, busts, and sculptures of dolphins, lions, and frogs. Seeing the Grand Cascade in its full glory is one of the most impressive parts of any visit to Peterhof Palace. Read more.

Are there any other museums in the palace complex?

If you love museums, you’re in luck! The Grand Palace houses the Special Treasury, which features an exhibition of religious artifacts, jewelry, and clothing from Romanov Tsars and their families. The Grand Palace also houses the Museum of the Fountain Craft in its eastern gallery, which will teach you all about the design, construction, and maintenance of the garden’s impressive water features. Visitors will also learn all about the process of restoring the fountains after the damage inflicted by the Second World War. In the Lower Park, you can find the Royal Church Museum, where you can visit the imperial court’s personal church, built on the orders of Empress Elizabeth and still stunningly beautiful. It also houses an exhibit on the history of the Palace Church and its place in the daily life of the Imperial family. The Imperial Yachts Museum can be found next to the Peterhof pier and documents the history of the Imperial yachts from the time of Peter the Great to their post-revolutionary fate. Many were used as targets for testing missiles, but miniature replicas and photographs can still be seen at the museum. The most recent addition to the Peterhof State Museum’s collection of exhibitions is the House of Playing Cards, which focuses on the history and design of playing cards and their role in society. The exhibition is an exciting collection of digital installations, videos, interactive multimedia exhibits, and “live” exhibits featuring actors, plus 10,000 items including some extremely rare examples of playing cards. It’s definitely worth a visit! Read more.

What’s the best way to get to Peterhof Palace?

There are several ways to get to the palace, but the most impressive is to take a hydrofoil along the Neva River. The service is only available from mid-May to mid-October (unless the weather is worse than expected), and boats leave from a pier near the Winter Palace. You can also buy tickets that combine entry to areas of the Peterhof Palace and gardens with tickets for the hydrofoil transfer. Be aware that if you intend to both arrive and return by hydrofoil, you’ll need to buy two tickets to the Lower Gardens, because single tickets don’t allow you to re-enter the gardens on your way back to the pier. It might be a better idea to arrive at the palace using land transport (either a taxi or a combination of metros and minibuses) and then return to St. Petersburg using the hydrofoil. Read more.

Do I need to take a guided tour?

The grounds and palace at Peterhof are extensive, with lots to see and do. A guide will ensure you see all the most important features while filling you in on the history and context behind what you’re looking at. That being said, it’s easy to find the main attractions in the complex without a guide, and since most of what you’ll be doing is appreciating the beauty of the buildings and gardens, a guide isn’t necessary to enjoy the day. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Grand Peterhof Palace is open from 10.30 am to 9 pm, with final entry at 8 pm. The ticket office closes 15 minutes before the final entry.

The different museums are usually open from 10.30 am to 6 pm, but opening times may vary so please check in advance if there’s something specific you would like to see.

The Upper Garden is open from 8 am to 9 pm, and the Lower Park is open from 9 am to 9 pm.


Razvodnaya Street 2
198516 Peterhof
St. Petersburg


The ticket for the Grand Peterhof Palace costs RUB450 for Russian citizens and visitors from CIS states, and RUB1000 for other visitors. Entry is free for visitors under the age of 16 as well as members of other groups (please consult the official website for more details).

Tickets for the Lower Park cost RUB900 or RUB450 for Russian citizens, and the entry for the Marly Palace costs RUB400. Tickets for the museums within the complex (for example, the House of Playing Cards or the Royal Church Museum) cost between RUB250 and RUB500 each. Tickets for the Grottoes of the Grand Cascade cost RUB500 or RUB350 for Russian or CIS-state citizens.

Entry to the Upper Garden is free for all visitors. For ticket prices for other areas of the large complex and for further details about reduced-price tickets please visit the official website.

how to get there

Peterhof Palace can be reached via public transport by taking line 1 of the metro to the final station, Prospekt Veteranov, before transferring to either minibus number K-343 or K-639Б, by traveling to Leninsky Prospekt (line 1) and transferring to minibus lines K-103 or K-420, or by going to Avtovo station and taking minibus K-224, K-300, or K424 or public buses 200 or 210. Alternatively you can take a train from Baltiysky station to Noviy Peterhof station and take bus number 356 or 351-A.
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