Top things to do

Palace in Gatchina

Gatchina Great Palace

Shaped in a graceful curve around a central turret, the Gatchina Great Palace certainly lives up to its name – its enormous (if surprisingly plain) facade is quite a sight to behold, overlooking a vast parade ground…
Russian in Gatchina

Chasy

Hands-down Gatchina's best eatery, Chasy is a friendly spot for grilled meats and seafood, and sushi. It's also a fine afternoon spot for a pot of tea and dessert. Look for the clock over the entrance (more timepiec…
Park in Gatchina

Gatchina Park

Gatchina Park is more overgrown and romantic than the other palaces’ parklands. The park has many winding paths through birch groves and across bridges to islands in the large White Lake. Look out for the frankly bi…
Historic Building in Gatchina

Birch House

Built as a surprise present from Maria Fyodorovna to Paul I, the Birch House has a rough facade made of birch logs, but the interior is actually very refined, with a beautiful hardwood floor made from timber from ar…
Russian in Gatchina

Kafe Piramida

Serving a wide range of traditional Russian dishes as well as pizza, plus delicious cakes and coffees, this cosy place is near the Pavlovsk Cathedral. It's poorly signposted, but is handily located just off pr 25 Ok…
Gardens in Gatchina

Private Garden

Laid out in the late-18th century by Vincenzo Brenna for the private use of the royal family, the Private Garden is a charming place to stroll, full of sculptures, flowers and neatly trimmed hedges.
Church in Gatchina

Pavlovsk Cathedral

This baroque cathedral can be found at the end of the pedestrianised shopping street off the central pr 25 Oktyabrya. It has a grandly restored interior with a soaring central dome.
Historic Building in Gatchina

Venus Pavilion

Down on the lake, the Venus Pavilion juts out into the water and has an elaborately painted interior.
Church in Gatchina

Pokrovsky Cathedral

This red-brick building with bright blue domes is an important Gatchina church.