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“Supposedly better in spring/autumn”

Tsarskoye Selo State Museum Preserve
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Private Tour: Tsarskoye Selo and Catherine Palace...
Ranked #1 of 78 things to do in Pushkin
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 12 July 2014

We were there in July (Wednesday) and it was terrible! Not the palace itself of course but the crowd! Half an hour waiting in a queue outside, then another queue to buy tickets and finally... yes, one more queue to get through control. Then we (willingly) added 10 mins waiting for the guide (instead going independently). More than 1 hour in total.

Then we were towed through all the magnificent halls by a very tired guide (we waited till afternoon hoping for the crowd to disperse a bit) within just 30 mins surrounded by other groups humming constantly around us. It was like in a mall during bargain sale.

Do not take me wrong: the palace is really magnificent - there is a lot of gold, amber, marble and expensive wood around and when you add Peterhof, Winter Palace and other near tzar's residences (Oranienbaum, Strelnya...) to it you will easily understand why the bolshevik revolution broke out and succeded in Russia and not somewhere else. But to appreciate it you need to visit in in spring or autum as we were told by the ticket-office clerk.

The park on the other hand is relatively quiet and really nice to visit. The same with "Agate rooms" - new exhibition of private tzarina's Catherine II wing.

Thank Marek M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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135 - 139 of 997 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2014

Unlike Peterhoff, this museum complex is amazing the whole year around. Both the palace and the park are stunning.

Of all the palaces in the area around St Petersburg, Catherine's palace is probably the most beautiful. It houses the famous Amber Room, which is truly one of a kind. Besides, the Grand Hall is also worth seing. At the same time, you can imagine that this place is very popular and there are always lines to see it. Of all the the places in St Petersburg, this one really needs some arrangement in advance. Otherwise, you'd stand in line for hours and ruin your own impression of it. Here I must say that I'm a representative of a company which can arrange such a visit in advance, but in this review I'm only expressing my opinion, not trying to advertise the company I'm working for.

The park is also worth seeing. Don't miss listening to a Russian choir in one of the pavilions, the Grotto, which is situated next to the big lake.

You can also enter the Hermitage pavilion, which is interesting from the technical point of view. When it functioned, the guests would go straight to the second floor as they entered, and the servants waited downstairs. When the guests were ready to eat, the table would be lifted up from downstairs already served. All those 200-years old mechanisms are preserved there.

If you get impressed with amber and want to buy some, in the palace (to the right from the park entrance) there is a very good amber store with probably the best prices in the area.

2  Thank Olga C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

This palace is a must see in St. Petersburg. The place was destroyed by nazis and took a huge effort to rebuild and it is perfect. You can feel the Tsar atmosphere and walk through the Tsar's gardens.

Thank AndZoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

I loved my trip to Catherine Palace and thanks to Trip Advisor friends got there easily by public transport however the queue to get in was 1 hour and then once inside there was A LOT of jostling with tour guides etc and very little instruction in English where to pick up the audio guide etc. Saying that once we got passed these hurdles we had a wonderful visit and the palace is a must see.

1  Thank carlynhill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 July 2014

Unbelievably, breathtakingly beautiful. I've seen photographs and documentaries about this palace, but until you've actually been there, you have no sense of the scale of the palace or the grounds and no concept of the beauty inside. The level of opulence is difficult to describe. The Amber Room alone is worth the trip. We were a group of five and had a private guide- definitely worth doing, as we didn't have to wait for hours on line to get tickets or be rushed through with a big group.

Thank Beth0744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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