Yelagin Island

Yelagin Island information

Location
St Petersburg , Russia
Getting there
Metro: Krestovsky Ostrov
More information
http://elaginpark.org
Prices
admission Mon-Fri free, Sat, Sun & public holidays adult/student R70/30
Opening hours
6am-11pm
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This island is one giant park, free of traffic, and is a serene place to wander. It was attractively landscaped by the architect Carlo Rossi, and its centrepiece, also by Rossi, is the beautiful restored Yelagin Palace , which Alexander I commissioned for his mother, Empress Maria. The gorgeous interiors, with detailed murals and incredible inlaid-wood floors, are furnished with antiques.

At the palace it's possible to arrange temporary hire of period costumes in which to have your photos taken – it's a really fun thing for children and families to do together. Concerts are also held here on Wednesday evenings. Other nearby estate buildings host temporary exhibitions too.

The rest of the island is a lovely network of paths, greenery, lakes and channels. At the northern end of the island, you can rent row boats to explore the ponds or in-line skates to explore the paths; in winter it’s an ideal setting for sledding, skiing and skating. At the west end, a plaza looks out to the Gulf of Finland: sunsets are resplendent from here.