Around St Petersburg

This humble, sea-facing, wood-panelled villa was always Peter the Great’s favourite retreat and it’s easy to see why. It is snug, elegant and peaceful, even when there’s a crowd – which there used to be all the time, what with Peter’s mandatory partying (‘misbehaving’ guests were required to gulp down huge quantities of wine).

Also in this complex is an annex called the Catherine Building, which was built by Rastrelli between 1747 and 1755. Its name derives from the fact that Catherine the Great was living here when her husband Peter III was overthrown, paving the way for her ascension to the throne. The interior contains the bedroom and study of Alexander I, as well as the huge Yellow Hall. On the right side is the magnificent Bath Building, built by Quarenghi in 1800, which is nothing special inside. Look out for some more trick fountains in the garden in front of the buildings.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Around St Petersburg attractions

1. Catherine Building

0.04 MILES

Built by Rastrelli between 1747 and 1755, this building was where Catherine the Great was living when her husband Peter III was overthrown, paving the way…

2. Bath Building

0.07 MILES

In the complex of Monplaisir, this was built over various periods. Although the interior isn't spectacular, it does provide insight into life among the…

3. Orangery

0.25 MILES

A former greenhouse that today houses a simple restaurant.

4. Water Avenue

0.29 MILES

Criss-crossed by bridges and bedecked by smaller sprays, the Water Avenue is a canal leading from the hydrofoil dock to the palace. It culminates in the…

5. Grand Cascade

0.36 MILES

Peterhof's uncontested centrepiece is the Grand Cascade, a symphony of over 140 fountains and canals partly engineered by Peter himself. To see the…

6. Special Treasury

0.42 MILES

This small museum within the main palace is a repository for the personal effects of the Romanovs from Peter the Great onwards. On display you'll see…

7. Grand Palace

0.45 MILES

The Grand Palace is an imposing building, although with just 30-something rooms, it is not nearly as large as your typical tsarist palace. From the start…

8. Park Alexandria

0.54 MILES

Even on summer weekends, the rambling and overgrown Park Alexandria is peaceful and practically empty. Built for Tsar Nicholas I (and named for his…