When I travel, I do enjoy some of the more typical and touristy activities and sights, like, taking a boat tour through the canals in St-Petersburg.
But, i loveeee getting off the beaten track as well and exploring on my own, or visiting places that most people don’t go to. On my last day in St-Petersburg, I decided to take the train outside the city and visit Oranienbaum, locates some 30km west of the city, on the gulf of Finland.
Orenienbaum means “Orange Tree” in German. In 1707, Peter the Great gave Orenienbaum to his right hand man Alexander Menshikov. Later, Catherine the great also added some constructions and palaces, and by the end of the 18th century, it became a naval college.
It is the oldest of the imperial palaces in the area, and the only one that was not taken over by the Nazis during the Second World War. However, it was slightly destroyed by some bombardments and has yet to be fully restored, since other places in Russia were prioritized.
I was by far the only non-Russian tourist there, and barely anyone spoke English. There were some Russian visitors, and I did see some Chinese visitors as well, but in general, no crowds here!
The site is very big, and it has many nice parks, gardens, and ponds. You could bring a picnic and enjoy a little time in nature after your visit.
—> How to get there:
Enjoy the lush green landscape during the train ride. At some point, you will also have a beautiful view of the Gulf of Finland. The train ride lasts 1h from the Baltic Metro Station in St-Petersburg. Get off at station Oranienbaum 1 and walk to the site (about 1km).
Cost: train, 81 rubbles + metro, 45 rubbles(one way).
—> Pricing information
Entrance fee: 300 rubbles.
Access was limited since some parts were under repairs.
There is an entrance fee for each different palace you might want to visit: choose wisely since this can become costly. Also, no English nor audio guides are available in most.
Outside each location there is a descriptive panel in English. I just followed and read these.
Main Palace can be visited with an audio guide (or reading panels). It costs 400 rubbles or 500 rubbles (for access to more). The one worth 400 rubbles was fine for me. All audio rooms are in Russian so do not pay for this part.