An expression of imperial Russian grandeur, the Catherine Palace is one of the major attractions of St Petersburg.
Located 16 miles to the south of the city in the town of Pushkin, once named the Village of the Tsars (Tsarskoye Selo), the palace was originally built for Catherine I, the wife of Peter the Great. Expanded by the Empress Elizabeth, the palace would go on to be the summer palace for the Russian rulers until the 1917 revolution. One of the many highlights is the infamous Amber Room; originally a masterpiece of the pre-Second World War era, what some have dubbed as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ was dismantled by Nazi soldiers during the war and never recovered. In 2003, the resplendent Amber Room was reopened and vast crowds once again flocked to the palace. The gardens of the palace are equally impressive and perfect for a stroll around, especially for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With so much to see, it may be worth taking a private guide and setting aside a large part of the day to enjoy the palace. The on-site museum offers private tours, but it is best to contact them in advance so that they can personalize the tour for you.