Fullday tour to Pavlovsk incl. - Peterhof gardens incl. Hydrofoil ride back

  • Start Time 9:00 AM
  • Duration 8 Hours
  • Tour Category Historical
  • Guide Language English



Pavlovsk (museum-reserve) is a monument of world architecture and palace and park art. It includes a palace and park ensemble of the late XVIII - early XIX centuries, the former suburban royal residence. Turned into a museum after nationalization in 1918. The museum-reserve received its current status in 1983.

The museum-reserve includes the following main places of interest:

Pavlovsky Park - one of the largest landscape parks in both Russia and Europe. The composition of the park includes 7 landscape areas: Pridvortsovy, Slavyanka River Valley, Big Star with a valley of ponds, Old Sylvia, New Sylvia, Parade Field and White Birch. The park is decorated with classic pavilions: the Temple of Friendship, the Colonnade of Apollo, the Aviary, the Cold Bath, the Round Hall, the Pink Pavilion; pastoral: Milkweed, Peel Tower; Memorial: Monument to parents, Mausoleum of the benefactor spouse, bridges over Slavyanka, marble and bronze sculpture. Palace rooms and park pavilions were built and designed taking into account the surrounding landscape.

Pavlovsky Palace - an architectural monument of Russian classicism, the center of the palace and park ensemble.

Church of Peter and Paul in the Pavlovsk Palace - a functioning Orthodox church.

Monument to Paul I is installed in front of the palace in the center of the parade ground. The emperor turned to face the entrance alley, "hosting guests" in his summer residence.

Private Garden - located under the windows of the "personal rooms" of the Empress. The garden is inextricably linked to the palace premises, balconies, terraces and stairs. Arranged in the character of small French-Dutch gardens, with a clear geometric layout, floral parterres resembling colorful carpets.

The Ceremonial Field - a picturesque area with a large pond and an island in the center.

Peterhof ("the court of Peter") was founded in 1710 as an imperial suburban residence, a city since 1762. In the city there is a monument of world architecture and palace and park art of the XVIII — XIX centuries - Peterhof museum-reserve. 

The museum-reserve includes the following main places of interest:

Grand Peterhof Palace - the main building of the Peterhof Palace and Park Ensemble. Initially, a rather modest imperial palace, built in the style of the "Peter the Baroque" in 1714-1725, was rebuilt under the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1747-1752 according to the model of Versailles in the style of mature Baroque. 30 halls, including richly decorated ceremonial halls with marble, with painted ceilings, inlaid parquet and gilded walls.

Upper Garden - a regular garden south of the Grand Palace was established in 1714-1724. 5 ponds, fountains (5 fountains and cascade: fountains of Square ponds, fountains “Mezheumny”, “Oak” and the fountain “Neptune” with the cascade of Apollo), statues and trellis arbors.

Lower Park - A regular park on the Gulf of Finland which was laid out on the model of the suburban residence of the French king Louis XIV in Versailles in a fashionable French style. The park has several artistically completed architectural and park ensembles: the Grand Palace with a cascade, a canal and flower beds, the Large Orangery with a fruit garden and greenhouses, the Monplaisir Palace with a garden and greenhouses, the Marly Palace with vegetable gardens, gardens and fish ponds. The unique and numerous fountains (more than 150 fountains and 4 cascades) brought worldwide fame to the Lower Park of Peterhof: A large cascade with the Samson fountain in front of it, twin fountains of the Chalice, fountains of Marble Benches and Voronikhinsky Colonnades, the Sea Canal with Alley of the fountains, Chess Mountain cascade, Orangery fountain, Roman fountains, Adam fountain, Sheaf fountain and Bells fountains, Sun fountain, Pyramid fountain, cracker fountains, Lion cascades and “Golden Mountain”, “Favorite” fountain, “Eva” fountain, “Whale” fountain, “M training "fountains, fountains" Clashes ".

Alexandria Park - seaside landscape park on the Gulf of Finland east of the Lower Park. Established in 1826-1832 as a summer suburban residence of the family of Emperor Nicholas I.

Complete tour of Pavlovsk and Peterhof

  • Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg
  • The Peterhof - Saint Petersburg
  • Return from Peterhof by the Hydrofoil - Saint Petersburg

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

30 kilometers, south of Saint Petersburg, there's a significant, fascinating palace that caught tourists' eyes.

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

In 1777, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia at the time, decided to give a palace to his son as a gift for him to live there. Since then, the palace and its territory are known as Pavlovsk. The Pavlovsk Palace, with its charming nature and fresh weather, was an amazing place for Tsars and their family to relax and hunt.

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

This golden Palace has seen lots of suffering and restoration in the past. The main architects of the palace were Scottish architect, Charles Cameron and Vincenzo Brenna from Italy, but Russia architect and painter, Andrey Voronikhin name was also mentioned as restoration architect. Fun fact about the palace form, from an aerial view, it looks like a horseshoe. The interior design of the palace, including offices, dining rooms, dance hall, and music hall, unlike its exterior, is noisy and antic. You would recognize Egyptian, Greek, or Romanian design in different rooms.

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

Without The Palace itself, there's an enormous park which attracts lots of tourists for its own in Saint Petersburg. The 600 hectares Pavlovsk Park is one of the largest public parks in the world. It splits into seven different segments with a different design on each one. You might notice a touch of Russian, Italian, British, or French design within the sections with the presence of ancient symbols and mythological figures everywhere.

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

Today, The Pavlovsk Palace which recognizes as one of the UNESCO's World Heritage Site has a quite differing usage from its history, like holding major classical performances or greeting tourists from all around the globe. The majority of these Classics are so high that some Russians define the Pavlovsk, the capital of classical music in Russia.

Pavlovsk - Saint Petersburg

Sure Saint Petersburg has lots of attractions in it, but, The Pavlovsk Palace and the Park alone should be enough motivation for any tourist who had personal plans for traveling to Russia or desires to sign for a Russia tour to check out this marvelous place.

Pavlovsk just like Pushkin which is less than 10 kilometers away from the Pavlovsk complex is a suburb imperial state of St. Peterburg. Both of these places have their attractions for tourists and considered to be two of the three top St. Petersburg's suburb attractions. St. Petersburg has five of these suburb attractions including Gatchina, and the closest thing to a suburb imperial state you can find in Moscow would be the Kuskovo Palace which locates 20 kilometers away from the center of the city. 

Unfortunately, many people don't know the Pavlovsk and its history and never visited it in their travel to St. Petersburg, but we at the Star Travel Group encourage people to visit more less-known places in their travel because the real joy in discovery is in the unknown. You can find more about places less famous than others in our blog.


The Peterhof - Saint Petersburg

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is heaven for tourists in Russia. From traditional attractions like palaces, gardens, and museums to modern entertainment. But one of the most attractive and popular of all is the grand "Peterhof." The Peterhof has included a series of palaces, fountains, and impressive cascades.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

The Peterhof is in 30 kilometers west of Saint Petersburg with excellent weather on the coast of Finland Gulf. The complete area of the Peterhof is around 4000 hectares. The Peterhof is both included in Russia 7 Wonders and registered as UNESCO world heritage sites. These two explain the reason behind its popularity in Russia.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

The area which now Peterhof exist, in eighteen century, was only a holiday residence on Finland Gulf shore at first for Peter I. In those years, Russia was in a fight for accessing the Baltic sea with Swedish Empire. After winning the war as a victory sign, Peter the Great which was fascinated with Versailles Palace in France commanded to build a look-alike palace in Peterhof. Peter I, who planned to make Russia modern more specifically Western, put lots of efforts to expand and more glorious as much as possible, even after his death, these efforts resumed by successors. Several architects, artists, and caretakers help The Peterhof became a majestic royal palace for Tsar to rule till 1917. The only exception was Catherine I's reign as she moved the royal residence to The Catherine Palace, but after her death, his son and successor Paul I went back to Peterhof.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

Unfortunately, during the second world war, after the short-time invasion of Russia by Nazi's army, The Peterhof complex and its possessions were almost ruined or gravely damaged. After the war ended, the government with the help of volunteers and the army, most of the Peterhof restored. This restoration which is still going on played an influential role in Russia restoration. During and after the war some anti-Nazi propaganda changed Peterhof which is a German phrase to "Petrodvorets" The Russian term for Peter's Palace, but in 1997 switched to its original name. The resemblance of the Palace of Versailles results in tourists to nickname Peterhof as "Russian Versailles."

Besides the variable past of Peterhof, today this place is one of the main fragments of St. Petersburg and Russia tourism. Its series of palaces became a great museum and galleries. The Upper Garden and Lower park other than its natural charm and decoration, are full of old sculptures and masterpieces. The Cascades and fountains are the most popular section of the Peterhof. So, assigning less than a day for this magical place is impolite. However, regarding the time and the places you should visit in your journey, it's understandable for agencies to consider a minor time for Peterhof in their tour of Russia. So it's good to know at least some of the main Peterhof sections for making a valuable plan for your trip.

The Peterhof divided into four main sections: The Grand Palace, The Grand Cascade, The Upper Garden, and The Lower Park.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

The Grand Palace was the summer residence for the royals and Tsars, might be the most exciting part of your tour. This gorgeous structure with its majestic design has thirty rooms. The Grand Palace which is a comprehensive gallery of golden decorates, paintings, Tsars' properties, and masterpieces, is the link between the Upper Garden and The Lower Park. The design and form combined with arts and sculptures turn the palace into an astonishing museum to explore.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

The Upper Garden which is the result of royal family’s years of efforts locates at the southern part of the palace. The place which had loads of extraordinary features was The Peter I's design that changed only slightly over time. Before 1730, The Upper Garden used as cultivation filed for fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants, and the big pool utilized as water storage, also breeding fishes. But then, there was a massive change at the palace. The area expanded a little, figures and decorative plants replace the farming lands, and breeding fish suspended to give the garden a royal look instead.

The Peterhof – Saint Petersburg

The upper garden has some beautiful landscapes and quite pleasant, but the real wonder of the Peterhof would be the lower park or as locals call it the Nizhny Park which required additional entering ticket, and we cover the information about it in another post. But one thing for sure, you can ask anyone who visit the Nizhny Park for confirmation, the additional ticket is completely worth the amazing scenes the park provides. So, don’t forget to check with your Russia tour administrators to add the Nizhny Park into your Peterhof’s tour program.

Peterhof is one of the main suburb attractions of St. Petersburg. While Oranienbaum is only 10 km away from Peterhof, most tourists have plans to visit only Peterhof, and most of them might have not even heard of the Lomonosov. Naturally, because of the distance and the time limits, it's only fair if someone wants to see the Peterhof completely rather than half of each place. There are also several ways to go to Peterhof, including buses, personal car, and Hydrofoils

There are also tons of other things such as buildings, galleries, small museums, fountains, and monuments that you should explore while visiting the place. All these things combined wrote the "Peterhof" at the top of any Russia tour’s list, but, if you're traveling to Russia by yourself, don't miss the chance to visit the Peterhof, you'll have a great time in there without a doubt.

To find more about Peterhof, Nizhny Park, and other St. Petersburg attractions, you can visit our blog at Star Travel Group, including this Visit St. Petersburg short guide and other posts. 


Return from Peterhof by the Hydrofoil - Saint Petersburg


Return from Peterhof by the Hydrofoil - Saint Petersburg

In other posts, we've discussed the beauty of Peterhof and the importance of visiting the place. Peterhof locates at 30 kilometers from St. Petersburg. There are many ways to reach the place. Visitors can use the public transport system such as buses and mini-buses in Peterhof routes, or reach there by personal vehicles. However, if you signed for the Peterhof tour, your tour agency would offer the best way to reach there for sure.

One of the best ways to reach Peterhof or get back to St. Petersburg from Peterhof is by riding the Hydrofoils in St. Petersburg-Peterhof route.


Return from Peterhof by the Hydrofoil - Saint Petersburg

The hydrofoil is a type of boat that uses lifting surface technology or foils to float over the water. When the boat gains the necessary speed, the foils lift the boat over the water which makes them be able to gain more speed without encountering resistance. Traveling with these kinds of boats would create a certain type of joy and fun memory in the passengers’ mind.


Return from Peterhof by the Hydrofoil - Saint Petersburg

Reaching Peterhof or traveling back to St. Petersburg from Peterhof by Hydrofoils will save you some time besides the fun and entertaining experience. However, the Peterhof and its tour's policies won't allow tourists to visit the Upper garden and the palace if they reach Peterhof by the Finland Gulf. The visitors can only enjoy the lower garden aka Nizhny Park, and for this very reason, the St. Petersburg tours recommend tourists to only get back to St. Petersburg by these Hydrofoils so that they wouldn't miss the chance to visit the whole Peterhof. The benefits of these Hydrofoils are one, the saved time which can be used for other attractions in St. Petersburg, and two, the unique experience of riding these boats on the Finland Gulf and the Neva River. We recommend you to sign for these boats' rides in your visit to St. Petersburg, and your Peterhof/St. Petersburg tour.

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Pavlovsk is a municipal town of the federal city of Saint Petersburg with the population about 16,000 people. The town is a popular tourist attraction due to its former countryside residence of Russian royal family preserved till today. The palace was built in the 18th century in accordance with the direction of Catherine II the Great and this very building is present at the moment. Also the original surrounding and the landscape (park, statues, bridges, etc) were planned and designed that days. The residence was the loveliest place of Paul (Pavel), Catherine's son, whose name the town bears till these days.

Peterhof is a borough of the federal city of Saint Petersburg with the population about 80,000 citizen. The town is famous for its Peterhof Grand Palace, which was built on a sixteen-meter-high cliff by the shore of the Gulf of Finland. The whole composition of the places of interest in Peterhof consists of such integral parts as the Petehof Grand Palace itself famous for its fantastic fontains in front of the palace, the Lower Gardens, an area of more than 1 square kilometer, which comprises the majority of the famous fontains of Peterhof, the Upper Gardens, a smaller area which is functioning only as a garden, and the Sea Channel, the unique place which provides sea acess to the sights of Peterhof starting its route from the city centre.

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