Catherine Palace
Enter your dates to find available activities
Top pick

Catherine Palace: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Catherine Palace

Top sights in St. Petersburg

See all 227 tickets & tours

History of Catherine Palace

Though this former residence of Russian tsars has experienced architectural influences and succumbed to the plunders of a war in its 300-year history, this grande dame of palaces still exudes the opulence that reflects the golden era of Europe's royal houses.

What's in a name?

The tsars founded the town of Pushkin in 1710 as a royal residence known as Tsarskoye Selo, or "Tsar Village," which comprises the Catherine and Alexander Palaces and parks.

A labor of love

Peter the Great commissioned the initial palace in 1717 and named it after his wife, Catherine I. Yet, today's structure dates to 1756, thanks to their daughter, Empress Elizabeth.

Money's no object

The Empress spared no expense after razing the original palace to the ground, in order to build an austere summer residence. The exterior alone drips in 100 kilos worth of gold.

Out with the old and in with the new

When Catherine the Great ascended the throne in the 18th century, she found the Rococo style old-fashioned and had some rooms refurbished and parts expanded in Neoclasical style.

Amber Room

The Nazis removed the original 450 kilos of amber panels in 1941 and sent them to Königsburg, but the ultimate whereabouts of these remain a mystery.Today's room dates to 2003.

Our insider tips

Opening hours

During the peak summer season (June - August), the palace is open from Wednesday - Sunday from 12:00PM to 7:00PM; Monday from 12:00PM to 8:00PM; Closed Tuesdays.

Tickets

You can purchase tickets only at two park entrances from 10:00AM: at the Main Entrance and the Hermitage Kitchen, also known as the Red Gate. Tickets indicate the time you may enter the palace. Admission includes entry into Catherine Park and costs 520 rubles for adults, children under 18 are free. An audio guide costs 150 rubles. Tours in English are free for a group minimum of 15 people.

Advanced bookings

You will receive a voucher once you book your tickets in advance online. You need to present this voucher at the Church Gate entrance (May - September), in order to get the actual tickets. Don't forget to bring your photo ID and arrive no later than 10 minutes prior to your scheduled entry time.

How to get there

Take the suburban trains from either Vitebsy Railway Terminal or Kupchino Railway Station to "Tsarskoye Selo" (Pushkin) station. Then transfer to bus 371 or 382 or minbus taxi 377 to Catherine Palace and Park. From Moskovskaya metro station, take minibus taxi 342 or 545 to Catherine Palace Park. Bus 186 runs from Zvezdnaya and Kupchino metro stations to the palace.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    From June to August, the palace is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12:00PM to 7:00PM; Monday from 12:00PM to 8:00PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Adult tickets are 520 Ruble, which is just under $10.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It will definitely help. Might be worth it to check out these best-selling tours.
  • How to get there
    Check trains from your location, then buses 371, 382, 186, or minibus taxis 377, 342 or 545 to Catherine Palace/Park.
  • Additional information

    • Consult a map to plan your visit in advance.

    • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

What people are saying about Catherine Palace

Overall rating
4.7 / 5
based on 1,093 reviews

Very nice tour and time effective (you still have half a day left)

It is difficult to get to see Catherine Palace in Carskoe Selo as an individual visitor. In particular if you do not want to spend the full day there (long queues and individual visitors cannot go in during the morning until noon). I wanted to have a different programme in the afternoon and still wanted to see Carskoe Selo including the interior of Catherine Palace. This trip was an excellent way of achieving that. We departed from Sankt Peterburg at 9 am and returned back around 2 pm so I still had most of the afternoon. I would not be able to do that individually. Oleg the guide was really active, trying to pass information, checking whether we understand, whether we are satisfied. We were not waiting anywhere in a queue, it all worked very smoothly. Transport in a van was comfortable. Well done!

Great value for rich history & time saved

Tickets were hassle-free. After our tour of the palace we saw the queue....... no wonder some people spend up to 4 hours waiting for tickets. Totally worth the price given the time needed to stand in line. Our guide, Alexandra is an extremely lovely girl. She told us the best spots for pictures and of course the rich history of Catherine Palace. She is very knowledgeable and helpful. (and she also gave us tips on best restaurants in St Petersburg!) Couldn't have asked for a better guide. Overall a great experience and would 100% recommend the tour instead of doing this on your own!

Pushkin: Catherine Palace and Gardens Guided Tour Reviewed by

Une visite guidée très bien organisée avec une guide exeptionnelle

The visit to Catherine Palace in Pushkin was ideally organized with a private car and driver to make it very confortable to visit. Plus we had a delightful and warmful guide, Elena, who made it possible to pass before the long line-up and arrival of tourist groups. Elena was a knowledgeable and devoted guide anxious to share and to help with wise advice to enhance our ongoing stay in the city. Elena is totally fluent in speaking French with an amazing conversational level. The four members of the family are unanimous to fully recommend Elena.

Great experience with tour guide Alexander!

I’ve had a lovely experience visiting the city of Pushkin! The tour guide was excellent, he (Alexander) had a great knowledge about the St. Petersburg and specifically about the Cathrine Palace. He explained everything in detail fluently. I really enjoyed it! Also, on the way going to Pushkin, he gave us a great information about the city and it’s major buildings. Moreover, the mini bus was clean and comfortable. Highly recommended!

From St. Petersburg: Bus Tour to Pushkin Reviewed by

Sophia was a fantastic guide and made our trip unforgetable.

First of all I want to thank Ekaterina Povalkina form ULKOtours as her assistance and communication went excellent and she did everything to fulfull our wishes. Second we had a very good match with our guid Sophia. She was very friendly and had a good knowledge of the places we visited and in addition she was also very helpful when we had questions related to general information.

Things to do near Catherine Palace

Cover photo: Frank Prieto, CC BY 2.0