Oranienbaum State Museum Reserve#13 in Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg
While Menshikov Palace deserves exploration, the palace is part of a larger estate known as the Oranienbaum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area also encompasses the Palace of Peter III and the Chinese Palace, both of which were designed by the Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi. The Oranienbaum consists of an Upper Park and a Lower Park. The former features artfully planned canals, ponds and bridges, while the latter was decorated with fountains and sculptures.
Recent visitors praised the impressive gardens adorning the Oranienbaum's grounds and said the palace and its attractions are not as popular as some of St. Petersburg's other royal residences, so the Oranienbaum is much quieter and less crowded. Reviewers were also quick to recommend touring the inside of the Chinese Palace for its opulence.
The Oranienbaum is located in Lomonosov near the Peterhof Palace & Garden, about 40 miles west of central St. Petersburg. It can be reached by car or via the Avtovo metro station or the Baltiysky Railway station. Separate fees are charged to enter the various buildings. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from May to October, its costs 200 rubles (or about $3) to enter the park, which is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the rest of the year, it's free to visit the park. While the park is accessible via wheelchair, the various palaces are not. For more information about Oranienbaum and its various attractions, visit the official website.
More Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg
#1 Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in 1764 as a place to house her private art collection. The main museum complex comprises six buildings, including the Winter Palace, which was the home of the czars for almost 200 years. It finally opened to the public in 1852, and since then has been one of the largest and most interesting museums in the world. It draws more than 4 million visitors each year – in fact, this museum is the main reason some travelers visit St. Petersburg in the first place. Recent travelers offered fulsome praise for both the art on display and the opulent building housing the works. For many, the only downside was the constant crowds.
Bursting at the seams with art from masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso, the Hermitage demands a substantial commitment of time to see even a portion of its collection, which encompasses 3 million works of art and artifacts. Some previous visitors reported spending seven hours touring the grounds. If you plan to spend a considerable amount of time admiring the works, consider purchasing the two-day entrance ticket.
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