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Review of Grand Palace

Grand Palace
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Half Day Tour of Peterhof (Petrodvorets)
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Private Tour: Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg
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Small-Group Tour of Peterhof: Grand Palace and Park
Ranked #1 of 64 things to do in Peterhof
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Once a formal garden built for Peter the Great, this popular park still has more than 80 of the original marble statues and sculptures and houses Peter's Summer Palace, a simply designed two-story building that now displays many of the ruler's own artifacts.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 29 October 2012

Peterhof (Peter"s Court) is the summer palace of Peter the Great built originally in the early 1700's and severly damaged in WWII. Peter built it, Elizabebeth the granddaughter renovated it and added much of the gold gilding and further renovation was done under Caherine the Great. Damage during WWII lead to major reconstruction. Today Peterhof is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. The Russian Baroque grand design was influenced by Versailles. No photos are allowed in Peterhof although I did see some people taking pictures on the sly.
Security is all about and they did not seem friendly. Slipper bags to put over shoes are provided to those entering the palace.The major rooms are the Ballroom, Blue Dining Room and the Picture Hall. Much gold gilding of molding makes the rooms seem rich and opulent.
The gardens are spectacular. Entrance to the gardens is an additional charge of about $18 US. The marble Grand Cascade is the focal point with the Statue of Samson in the central fountain. There are trick fountains which activate when you approach, sit down or touch something. The Sun foutain rotates once activated. People in period costumes walk about and pictures are available at a cost. Peterhof is about an hours bus ride from St. Petersburg. There is a hyrofoil which leaves from the Hermitage which will also take you there. A doubledecker bus leaves at the Baltic Train station. It is pay toilets only at the palace.

1  Thank duck8to
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 October 2012

We opted to catch a hovercraft outside the Hermitage and not go as part of a guided tour, this proved to be a good idea as most tour guides rushed people through Peterhof, when there is so much to see.
The jouney up the Neva river took about 30 minutes, it is also a nice way to see St Peterburg as well. When you arrive at Peterhof after a short walk you see the stunning palace through the gardens. The fountains were incredible and so many of them. The tour within Peterhof was interesting but so crowded with large tour groups and unhelpful staff. I was somewhat surprised to hear that the palace was largely destroyed during WWII, not by the invaders but by the Russians themselves to prevent the Germans occupying it. The external walls are all new although the contents and some internal walls are authentic.
The grounds are extensive and was really nice to walk around. Located in the grounds was asuperb restaurant which served good food washed down with a couple of beers at reasonable prices. A trip to Peterhof was a great day out.

2  Thank AvidTraveler12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

I have grown up in Peterhof, spent my childhood there, worked as English speaking guide and it was the first place where I took my Norwegian husband when we came to Russia this spring.

This place must be visited by all tourists, especially those, who did not have such a luxury royalty like it used to be in Russia. This place includes over 20 palaces and their number is growing every year! Everybody wants to visit Great Palace, that is why lines for going in are so big, that it can be a nightmare to get there. So I strongly advise everybody to pay attention to smaller palaces, it is a lot of them even on the territory og the Lower Garden, for example "Mon plaisir", Peter the Great's favourite house just on the cost of the Gulf of Finland. "Royal Baths" is also an extremely interesting place.

But my all favourite is "Cottage Palace" - the private residence that was built for the family of Nicolas the First. It is located in the Alexandtia park, so you can take one stop by buss, or to have a nice walking tour there. It was built in Gothis style in 19th century and is the only one that was preserved when Nazis bombed and destroyed the city, because they had hospital for soldiers there. It is an extremely cosy and nice place, where you feel yourself like at home, not like a big and cold Hermitage! Strongly recommended!!!

The park and fountains are amazing! Versailles is nothing in comparison with that, Peterhof's fountains are working every day during the season, from mourning til night, with amazing musical opening ceremony! A lot of gold and splendour!

The prices for food and souvenirs there are very high, but this is a tourist attraction, so people pay these money, that is why prices are made like this. And don't forget about pick pockets - it is a highly over crowded place, so no wonder that they make their job there!

Thank Brennvesle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

A gorgeous palace built overlooking the Gulf of Finland. We didn't go inside but the outside and the stunning fountains, gardens and waterworks were well worth the visit. Lots of gold bling

1  Thank nsojer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

We went there by boat. It just takes 30 minutes from the peer in front of L'Hermitage to here. Though you have to pay a tourist fee that is the double than for locals. We visited the gardens and the Palace. This is such a beautiful place. We had nice weather.
At the Palace, we were trap in the middle of a couple of big Japanese groups, so it was very crowded. Also, assistant people keep yelling at you, because you have to walk with the group, you cannot stop and look the place. So, my advice is to visit this palace in the afternoon where not that much groups are there. After of before visiting the Palace use restroom in this area because there are not too much restrooms in the compound.
The gardens and the fountains are beautiful. When we were there Autumn was beginning and see the leaves in different shades of brown was beautiful.
Outside the gardens is located the Church of Peter and Paul, and it is as beautiful as the Church of Spooling Blood, and no busy at all! If you leave the gardens you have to pay a ticket to come back, but if you show your boat card, you can come back for free.

Thank isaHolanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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