Grand Peterhof Palace

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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Grand Peterhof Palace Saint Petersburg Reviews

vances vances
477 reviews
Fountain Fantasy Jun 27, 2016
The essential first part of any review around this masterpiece is getting there. Peterhof rests a bit outside of St. Petersburg and without a rental car there are two options. It is possible to ride the metro and get within a twenty minute walk to the front gate, though you can catch a marshrutka minibus to cover the final span more quickly. Otherwise you will need to hop on a hydrofoil from downtown. While slightly more expensive, this mode is quicker and easier, so more than cost justified. Multiple operators congregate around Dvortsovyy Most (Palace Bridge, by the Hermitage) and it is quite convenient. There are no reservations and you simply walk up and purchase your ticket. All the operators seemed to open at 10AM with hourly departures to Peterhof and back from Peterhof.

There is a separate entrance for boat arrivals, and I believe this is the superior way to arrive. If you make your way to Peterhof by land, the gate is beside the palace, but landing at the dock places you at the foot of the Sea Canal, with the superb Grand Cascade looming in the distance. This is a jaw dropping site, and the slow approach lends an added sense of wonder. Over 150 glittering golden statues stair step upwards toward the palace, spurting water across the entire ascent. Just completely magical!

The bonus is that the Peterhof estate spreads over 1,500 acres. Peter the Great drew inspiration for Peterhof’s design from a visit to Versailles, so the layout is fairly symmetrical and easy to get around without getting disoriented. There are many more splendid fountains sprinkled throughout this enormous green space and walking the woods is almost like going on an Easter egg hunt: you were always a few steps from tripping upon another marvel

In terms of sheer size, the huge cascades on either side of the palace impress. The Chessboard Hill Cascade is just wonderful, but rivaled by the Golden Hill Cascade on the opposite side. Both are stupefying simply by virtue of their enormity, but I preferred the Golden Cascade for its gushing dragon heads and marble accents.

The Neptune fountain is remarkable, perhaps more so because it had been built fifty years before Peterhof existed: originally located in Nuremberg, it was sold at bargain rates to Tsar Paul I in the late 1700’s because there was not enough water in its German setting for it to work properly.

Among the simpler fountain designs were several oversized umbrellas featuring water running off the covering. There were seats underneath the umbrellas, tempting one to dash through the downpour. I was tickled to see parents egging on their children and snapping pictures. What fun!

This is a wonderful destination to spend a full day. Food cart vendors are omnipresent and the lush setting is perfect to savor an impromptu picnic. There are also several restaurants on the grounds, one quite classy, so feel free to forego planning and follow your instincts after arriving. Once you have refueled, untold treasures remain to be reaped.

Striking back out after lunch revealed just how inexhaustible the delights at Peterhof are. Another fountain we chanced upon, the Pyramid Fountain, was not so remarkable until we read its story. The perfect pyramid created by symmetrical water flow was built during Peter the Great’s reign. In fact, Peter specified the design, a modification of one he recalled from Versailles.

If you have not been tempted by this introduction, please know I have only shared a few stories. Peterhof houses a multitude of remarkable fountains and there are a lot of smaller palaces sprinkled throughout the grounds as well. A stunning place to explore and it belongs near the top of your St. Petersburg list!
Boarding the Peterhof Hydrofoil - …
Hydrofoil on the move to Peterhof!
And now we are docked at our palac…
Pickpocket warning sign at Peterho…
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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cotton_foam says:
TBH, I do want to go back, Vance!! :))
Posted on: Nov 11, 2016
vances says:
Now you need to return, May!

:^)
Posted on: Nov 09, 2016
cotton_foam says:
That's why we gave it a miss of this place due to transportation...thanks for writing the information on how to get there though.
Posted on: Nov 09, 2016
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christl3 christl3
171 reviews
Do it like the Romanovs did Aug 30, 2015
If you are in Saint Petersburg it is absolutely necessary to go see the royal palaces for which the city is so famous.

Peterhoff was the summer residence of Peter the Great and it located outside of the city of Saint Petersburg. You can get there via the fast boat from the Admiralty Embankment at the Dvortsovvy bridge. The boat costs 800 rubles one way (500 if you are a student). It takes a half hour to get there and the boats leave every half hour so make sure to check the timetable so you're not left waiting. You can also get there via an underground and a bus, but that takes much longer.

On a beautiful day it is spectacular. The island with the palace is radiantly and extravagantly beautiful with vast gardens. The palace itself is located just as your disembark from the ferry and is at the top of a little canal boulevard.

The palace itself is closed for foreign tourists between 12 and 2.30 so make sure you time your visit well. There are also a lack of food options on the island.

The gardens are a place you could spend a few hours walking around, or the whole day. There are ornate fountains, flowers and lakes aplenty. You could really imagine the former Russian Romanovs wandering about the place and marvelling at the beauty. The day we went was wonderful because there were families and children playing about in the fountains having a wonderful time.

The only annoying thing about this attraction is that you pay to get there, you pay for entrance onto the island (about 250 rubles), you pay for entrance into the palace (about 300 rubles) and again for entrance into the upper gardens. It is a money-making racket. Because the ruble was so weak when we went you're talking about a grand total of 20 for the whole day but it is crazy to have to pay for everything separately.

Funny and weird fact: There were pictures around the island of the devastation it incurred during WW2. The palace was merely a shell after the bombing. The new palace is a total recreation. We wondered why the place was so heavily bombed. It turns out that Hitler was sending out invitations to a party he planned to have there when he conquered the city. So instead of run the risk of him succeeding in realising this dream, the Russians bombed the whole place THEMSELVES.
Check out the rainbow
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Mixal Mixal
23 reviews
Peterhof Sep 26, 2011
Unfortunately, I haven't been inside the palace, but walking around was enough to take my breath away.

Even the drive from St. Petersburg to the palace was great, you get the chance to see some bits of less industrialized Russia, and the nature is beautiful.

Luckily the weather was perfect when me and my friend arrived so the visit was even more spectacular. The park is huge, and make sure that you spend the whole day to see everything if you can. I gotta say these fountains looked slightly better on pictures tho :)

The park is full of squirrels & birds. We fed squirrels with chocolate and they actually approached us and took the chocolate from our hands - that was so cute! We gave bread to birds (mostly pigeons) and they actually landed on our hands!

The highlight for us walking through the park to actually get to - the sea! Marly Palace was also beautiful.

Next time I'm definitely going to visit the interior!
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mkarinaa mkarinaa
48 reviews
Peterhof Sep 16, 2010
Gorgeous, is probably the best word to describe this place.

I was there at the end of August and the whole place looks like something out of a fairytale. The Garden is huge, everything was green and in bloom. Lots of different fountains for anyone's taste. The entry fee to the gardens is about 500rubles which is approximately 17 USD, there is nothing to do there except for walking around and enjoying the scenery with tons of picture opportunities.

There is also the grand palace, the cost is about the same but you get a group guided tour in Russian or English. The palace is incredible. The outside is well preserved but the inside is even better. I won't tell you about it, its just one of those things you have to see for yourself.

Its a beutiful place, definitely recommend.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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laurensteer laurenst…
9 reviews
Amazing Jul 05, 2010
I would highly recommend a visit to Peterhof if you are in that neck of the woods. The palace was pure splendor and I brought a nice postcard collection at the end so I would never forget it!

The gardens are a must too. If the weather is right then a leisurely walk round all the fountains and there are plenty of places to buy ice cream! You can also visit the restaurant in the gardens which had nice food but a little expensive for me.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day here and even sore feet couldn't spoil it!
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arcoseno21 arcoseno…
5 reviews
Raccomandato ma attenzione ai costi Aug 22, 2008
Il Petherhof si trova a circa 20 Km ad ovest di San Pietroburgo, per raggiungerlo la soluzione più economica sono i "marshrukta" (minibus) che partono all'esterno della stazione metro di Avtovo o di prospect Veteranov. Se non avete problemi di budget potete arrivarci in aliscafo, costo 300 rubli per tratta.

(costo del viaggio in agosto 2008 € 1,50 ovvero 50 rubli). Il posto è molto bello sopratutto i giardini (10 euro) ed il great palace (10 euro) e consiglio a tutti di pagare il biglietto solo per queste due attrazioni perchè le altre forse non valgono il prezzo richiesto per entrarvi.

Godetevi una passeggiata nei magnifici giardini tra la grande cascata e il viale dell'acqua, oltre a tante fontane giochi d'acqua, dopo aver visitato il "gran palazzo" che avendo un percorso obbligato e per la grande folla di visitatori in estate si compie in modo frettoloso e superficiale. Se vi scappa di andare in bagno tenete disponibili un po di rubli, perchè anche questo è a pagamento.
the great palace
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portia portia
216 reviews
Jul 28, 2006
The Great Palace started by Peter the Great is outside of St Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland. I recommend taking the hydrofoil there from St Petersburg, either one way or both. That way you get to see the river Neva, and St Petersburg from the river as well as seeing Peterhof as guests would have seen it when arriving on a boat or ship.

The palace is not the only thing to see there. The gardens around it has many many fountains, and the Grand Cascade leading to the terrace of the palace from the gulf is magnificant. I suppose if you come at night, the lights would be even more spectecular. After visiting the palace, you should walk around the garden, maybe through some trick fountains like the kids do, and have lunch at the restaurant Standard. You can have photos taken with people in period costumes in many parts of the palace and gardens. They wanted more money than I felt like spending, but maybe I should have taken ONE photo with them.

The palace itself was also enhanced by Elizabeth the spender and Catherine the Great. However during WWII it was almost completely destroyed. So it was amazing to see how the restoration has so marvelously brought it back to its glory. Please see my blog for more photos of Peterhof.

If you visit St Petersburg, this is a must-see place, you should plan on at least half a day here.
The Grand Ballroom in Peterhof pal…
View of the top of the Grand Casca…
Part of the gardens at Peterhof
View of the coast of Gulf of Finla…
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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