Visit Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg: tickets, prices, opening hours

Visiter le palais peterhof à Saint Petersbourg

If you’re on vacation in Russia, don’t miss your chance to discover St Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace!

Located 25 km from downtown St. Petersburg, Peterhof Palace was home to several Russian tsars. It stretches over two hundred meters on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, and covers an area of over six million square meters. It’s one of the region’s star attractions, and it would be a shame not to visit if you’re staying in the city.

To help you prepare for your visit to St. Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace, we’ve put together a mini-guide containing the most useful information about the site.

History of the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg

Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg was built between 1714 and 1723 as the residence of Peter the Great, Tsar of Russia from 1682 to 1725. After a trip to France, he ordered the creation of a palace even more prestigious than the Château de Versailles.

It was later slightly altered by Empress Elisabeth Petrovna, before being left untouched for over a century. However, during the Second World War, the building was ravaged and burned by German troops, and it took almost twenty years to rebuild it, finishing in 1964.

Today, the palace is listed as a historic monument and is one of the Seven Wonders of Russia. What’s more, it was added to Unesco’s World Heritage List, increasing the number of people traveling to St. Petersburg to visit the Peterhof Palace in its entirety.

What to see and do at St Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace?

Que voir et faire au Palais Peterhof à Saint-Pétersbourg ?

It’s probably impossible to visit the entire Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg in a single day, not only because it’s so vast, with a surface area of 6.4 million square meters, but also because its various spaces are relatively complex. If you’d like to get there, here are the main things to see at the palace to make the most of your visit:

The Grand Palais

The Grand Palais is the first thing to see when you arrive. Although you may have to wait a long time to get in, it’s well worth it: from the immense ceremonial halls to the oriental-style cabinets, from the dozens of rooms with prestigious floor-to-ceiling gilding to the hall of three hundred and sixty-eight paintings, you’ll be left speechless.

The Lower Garden

Covering more than one hundred and two hectares, the lower garden is home to the most prestigious and important fountains and features of the palace’s exterior. Designed by Jean Baptiste Le Blond, it is a French garden with a fairly geometric structure.

After the Grand Palace, it’s a must-see when you visit the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg. In addition to a quiet stroll through the surrounding vegetation, you’ll discover impressive features such as Roman fountains, a labyrinth, the great waterfall and the Voronikhin colonnades.

The Upper Garden

Covering almost 15 hectares, the upper garden is a natural extension of the lower garden. It also boasts several fountains and, above all, various sculptures and statues by Italian and German artists.

Peterhof fountains

With a total of 176 fountains scattered across its grounds, the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg was designed to rival and even surpass Versailles. They all work by gravity, and the two most impressive and well-known fountains are the Great Cascade and the Samson Fountain.

The grand cascade is a set of dozens of water jets overlooking a marble staircase decorated with sculptures and gilding. It ends with the Samson fountain, where you can see Samson wrestling a lion.

Sound and light show

The Peterhof Palace sound and light show takes place twice a year. These are the opening and closing ceremonies of the high season, when the fountains are put back into operation. The opening ceremony takes place on the 3rd weekend in May, and the closing ceremony in mid-September.

How do I get to St Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace?

You can easily reach the Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg by cab or car by entering the following address in your GPS: Razvodnaya St, 2, Peterhof, St. Petersburg 198516. The journey from the center is around thirty kilometers, depending on your point of departure.

Nevertheless, if you want to avoid the Russian roads or simply take a slightly more special form of transport, here are three ways to get to the palace from the city center:

Hovercraft

Hovercraft, or hydrofoil boats, are one of the quickest and easiest ways to get to St. Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace.

These depart every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. at St. Petersburg Quay. The round trip costs 1600 rubles and takes about 30 minutes. You arrive directly at the Peterhof dock, the park’s lower quay.

Bus

From the Avtovo metro station, you can take bus 200 or 210 to the palace in around fifty minutes, depending on traffic. The journey costs 40 rubles and you’ll need to get off at the Pravlenskaya Street stop.

Train + bus

If you want to take the train, the journey from St. Petersburg station, or Sankt-Peterburg Baltii, to Peterhof station, called Novyi Petergof, takes an hour and costs 140 rubles.

What’s more, as the palace is a thirty-minute walk from the station, you may wish to take a bus. If so, allow twenty minutes for the journey and 40 rubles for the bus. Simply take bus 350, 351A, 356 or 3516 to the stop nearest you and get off at Pravlenskaya Street.

Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg opening hours & prices

Horaires et tarifs du Palais Peterhof à Saint-Pétersbourg

SCHEDULES

Timetables for visiting St. Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace are a little special, as each area has its own opening hours.

Upper garden

  • Monday to Friday, Sunday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday

Lower garden

  • Monday to Friday, Sunday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The fountains

  • Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Please note: The fountains are only in operation from the last weekend in April to mid-October.

Peterhof Palace

  • Tuesday to Friday: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays
  • Saturday: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Closed on Sunday and Monday

La grotte de la grande cascade

  • Monday to Friday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Pavilions

  • Daily, 10:30 am to 6 pm.

RATES

Each part of the monument has its own prices and if you wish to visit the Peterhof Palace in its entirety, here are the entrance fees for the different areas:

  • Upper garden: free
  • Lower garden: 900 rubles, except in winter when admission is free
  • Peterhof Palace: 1,000 rubles
  • The grotto of the great waterfall: 500 roubles
  • Pavilions: up to 500 rubles per pavilion

GOOD TO KNOW

– An audioguide can be hired for 500 rubles. However, it is only available in English.

– The official website of St. Petersburg’s Peterhof Palace offers a comprehensive guide to the various pavilions, including timetables, prices and other interesting information.

– Admission is free for children under 16, regardless of nationality.