Which palace to visit in St Petersburg

Aug 18th, 2011, 07:01 AM
Original Poster
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Which palace to visit in St Petersburg

Going on a private tour but have time to visit either Peterhof or Catherines Palace to see the Amber Room. Whihc would you choose?

David J
davidjac is offline  
Aug 18th, 2011, 07:49 AM
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OK, I did both just over a week ago. But I honestly don't know which I'd suggest. I don't think you can go wrong with either. Perhof is more about the fountains, but the interiors you see are pretty splendid. The Amber Room at Catherine's palace is pretty impressive, but less so when you realize that it's all been recreated, some isn't amber, and some is just painted in. Odd thing, by the way. You are strictly forbidden to take pictures in the amber room, but when I got through it to the next room with the doors wide open, several people stood in the doorway and took pictures back into the room. The "warden" sitting there watched them and was perfectly fine with it, so I finally joined in and took a picture also.

I don't understand if this is part of your tour, or doing this on your own, but I did Peterhof by myself taking the hydrofoil. It was great and very easy, arriving in time for the fountains to be turned on. But I joined a group to do Catherine's as I found out that sometimes they are fully booked ahead with group tours and actually don't let individuals in -- or make them wait several hours. I just signed up with one of the groups on Nevsky Prospect and loved the tour -- including extensive coverage of the gardens and other buildings.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Aug 19th, 2011, 12:30 PM
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I think it also matters which you do first. I saw Catherine's Palace and Pushkin the first day, which were a great contrast to each other in size/style. The next day was Peterhof and I was so palaced-out at that point that I really only cared about the gardens and the fountains, which were amazing. The Amber Room is something to behold, however!
amyb is online now  
Aug 19th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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but less so when you realize that it's all been recreated,

The same thing is true of the Peterhof which was on the front lines during the 1000 day siege of Leningrad.
Michael is offline  
Aug 19th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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Both are spectacular and it's a shame you only have time for one. Depends on the time of year you're visiting: Peterhof fountains are turned on around the end of May and turned off around mid-end October, so if your visit isn't during these times, I'd choose Catherine's Palace.
madamtrashheap is offline  
Aug 19th, 2011, 06:23 PM
Original Poster
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We are actually going on a cruise in July 2012 and have two days for our private tour. But time restraints mean we can only visit one of them.

Thanks for the help

david J
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Aug 22nd, 2011, 10:03 AM
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May I ask, is there something you've done to customize your tour to take away the time to see both palaces? It was a full day, but we were able to see both in a private tour.

That said, if I had to pick one it would be the Fountains at Peterhof.
Ryan is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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With only one, I would go the Catherine's palace. The palace is so incredible. While the main attraction of Peterhof is the fountains, if you truly want to get a sense of the outrageous living, Catherine's is the better choice.
dmcowan is offline  
Sep 20th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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You can most likely arrange a private tour for both as mentioned. I would try to do that seeing your time is so limited. It should be doable and I am sure you will have had your fill of palaces for a decade or so. I enjoyed both and would also not be able to suggest one over the other.

The first tour from this group does both the same day, that would leave you the hermitage for the second day with a canal boat trip.

There are many companies you could contact.

lincasanova is offline  

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