A town of Pushkin 7 km away from St. Petersburg is being often preferred by tourists to visiting Peterhof, though Pushkin doesn’t have fountains and so many sightseeings of architecture and landscape design as Peterhof. What’s the reason? The Amber room in the Catherine (Ekaterininsky) palace which is just an hour trip away from the St. Petersburg’s downtown.
Essentials On Pushkin, Amber Room And Catherine Palace
Pushkin is administratively a district of St. Petersburg. In fact, it’s a small town of 50+ thousand inhabitants many of which daily travel to the «main land» to work. The place is known to be the residence for the lyceum of Tsarskoe selo (Tzar’s village), from which Russian poet №1 Alexander Puhskin graduated in 1817. It served as a residence for the Romanovs, the Russian ruling family till 1917. The former status is reflected in a few big palaces, the biggest and the most famous is the Catherine’s named after Catherine the Great.
Catherine palace park
For most non-Russian visitors, all this theme of Russian poetry and emperor’s suburbs is no more than a few pages in a guide, but Pushkin contains one thing that is, owing to the mystery surrounding it and its own beauty, attracts here thousands of travelers. This is the Amber room, of course, newly built. Originally, it was inspired and created by German masters and then presented to Peter the Great in early XVIIth century, then stolen by the fascists during the World War II when Pushkin was occupied by the nazis. The story of attempts to trace the way of the masterpiece and to find at least the remains of it have undoubtedly contributed to its popularity. The original has never been found as a whole, only some parts were discovered. Art and amber experts as well as specialists from many other areas reconstructed the room again, while the seekers still don’t lose a hope to find out what happened to the amber pieces in April 1945 when the British aviaforces bombed the Königsberg (now a Russian city named Kaliningrad) castle where the room had been on display.
Anyway the Amber room, albeit made in our times, exists and is even reportedly better than the previous one. You can enjoy yourself with a 3D panorama here: http://tzar.ru/en/objects/ekaterininsky/amberhall (just scroll down the page a bit). To see it «live», you must visit the Catherine palace http://tzar.ru/en.
Train And Bus To Pushkin
There are two ways to get to the Catherine palace: by train and by bus.
1. Trains depart from the Vitebsky railway station, you get off at the Tsarskoe selo station after a 30-minute trip. Trains go nearly every 15 minutes, but we don’t recommend this means of transportation as you’ll have to take a bus from the station of Tsarskoe selo to the palace. And sometimes trains get too much busy, especially in the peak off when Pushkin residents are coming back to their homes from their jobs in St. Petersburg.
2. Buses both public and commercial (of different sizes) depart from three metro stations: Moskovskaya, Zvezdnaya and Kupchino. These three are located near each other on the same metro line (blue). Most tourists prefer going from metro Moskovskaya, though the fastest way is from Kupchino. But okay, we’ll give you a tip on how to find bus stops at both stations.
Buses To Pushkin From Metro Moskovskaya
For going from Moskovskaya, follow the next instruction.
Once upon coming out of a wagon (you’re still underground), try to find this sign on the wall:
You have to choose the exit toward Tipanova street
You have to choose the exit toward Tipanova street etc.
When you get out of the metro in the street (there are four exits), you see this Stalin`s empire style building on the picture below:
The bus station is just at the main entrance of the building.
You can see buses behind of the monument of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
If you cannot see the building (you’ve come out from underground in the wrong direction), then anyway you see this stele:
Stele on Pobedy Square
So to find the building just turn your back to the stele wherever you’re and go ahead. In a minute or even less you’ll see the building.
P.S. The monument on the picture with the building is to Vladimir Lenin, world communism leader, the founder of the USSR. The stele is the monument to the defenders of Leningrad during the WWII. And the building itself was designed in the Soviet times as a residence of the city government, that’s why it’s Lenin here. But the residence remained where it is now.
If the description is too complicated to you, follow the map below on which all the points, the monument, stele, bus stop and metro exits are specially marked.
So, as you’ve got to the bus stop, choose №№ 347, 545, 287 or 342. We usually choose 287’s big and convenient buses. Duration of a trip depends on traffic intensity, usually it takes 40-50 minutes.
Buses To Pushkin From Kupchino
There are two exits from Kupchino metro station, you have to choose one leading to the Vitebsky avenue (there are signs in English). Just near the exit is the stop of commercial bus №286, across the road (use an underground walkway) of bus №545a. You can choose both, duration is about 40 minutes.
Common tip: ask a driver to stop near the palace, («u dvortsa»), though you are likely to spot the park and palace yourself and ask for a stop. Most buses stop nearly 200 meters from the entrance to the park.
Keep in mind all the options to purchase tickets to the Catherine Palace, and don’t forget that it’s very difficult to visit it during a high season.
You can easily book excursions online through an international aggregator which secures your payment in your currency and a seat and ensures a safe deal: