I've always wanted to go Russia and very glad that this dream is coming true. :) I will be arriving into St. Petersburg in early June and thinking of doing Pushkin and Peterhof on my own. From my reading, I can take a train from St. Petersburg's Vitebskiy station to the Detskoe Selo station in Pushkin. The trains run at 15-20 minute intervals starting at 6:00am ( there is no train service between 10:00am and 12:00 noon on weekdays). This look pretty straight forward.
I initially planned to do the Catherine Palace in the morning and thereafter to Peterhof. However, I think the palace is only open to individuals during limited hours: 12:00 to 2:00pm and 4:00pm to 5:00pm. Therefore I guess I have to reverse my plan.
Below are my questions and hope someone can help me to answer :)
1) What is the best way and best mode of transport to Peterhof? hydrofoil, train or bus?
2) How do I get to Pushkin from Peterhof?
3) Can I purchase entrance tickets for these 2 places in advance? Catherine Palace (including amber room) and fountain & gardens of Peterhof
4) Is Pushkin far from the train station (need to take train back to St. Petersburg)
5) I dont speak Russian, would it be difficult to travel on my own? I plan to get the hostel to write places that I wish to go and some words in Russian on a piece of paper to facilitate communication
Many thanks in advance. :)