Summer in St. Petersburg is the famous season of “white nights,” but the fall is not less attractive — it is the multicolored season. Flames of fiery-red and golden foliage contrast the pale sky, the facades of the palaces are illuminated by the rays of the dull sun; the gold of the cathedral domes gleams softly.
The fall gives guests of St. Petersburg an opportunity to see the different city: without crowds of tourists, sky-high prices and lines to get to the museums. Fall is the best season for a one planning to explore some special and secret sights.
Pavlovsk and Gatchina
The parks and palaces of Pavlovsk and Gatchina are very different in terms of their unique architecture, style and character. Both were once imperial residences of Paul I- the son of Catherine the Great – one of the most dramatic figures in the Romanov dynasty.
Pavlovsk boasts one of the largest landscape parks in Europe. Put your guide-book aside and enjoy the postcard views of the lakes and grasslands, bridges, boscages and garden sculpture. Turn to the palace to explore the enfilade of the staterooms and secret corners of the private chambers.
The palace in Gatchina is quite different. Its austere look reminds of a medieval castle, but it is the apparent asceticism. Before World War II Gatchina Palace had been known as “The Hermitage in the Country” for the richness of its interiors, during the war the palace was badly damaged.
The palace and park in Oranienbaum transforms magically in the fall. This place is linked to one of the most odious figures in Russian history. Its first owner was Prince Alexey Menshikov, the close associate of Tsar Peter the Great. This land was given to him as a present. The eastern part of the park called the Northern Switzerland is especially picturesque. Winding paths spangled by fallen leaves, ponds and creeks murmuring among stones- it is hard to believe that this park is not a natural wonder but the result of landscaping.
St. Petersburg is also richly colored in autumn. The scarlet maples in the Summer Garden overlook the pink building of Mikhailovsky Castle. The gold of linden in the Alexander Garden match the color of the Admiralty spire.. The silhouette of Peter-and-Paul Fortress seems to shimmer and glow with an inner light under the low milky-blue sky.
This essay was prepared with the support of the St. Petersburg Committee for the Development of Tourism. For more information, please follow this link: www.visit-petersburg.ru
Good to know
How do I get to Pavlovsk and Gatchina?
Take a commuter train to Pavlovsk from Vitebsky Railway Station (Pushkinskaya Metro Station), and to Gatchina – from Baltiysky Railway Station (Baltiyskaya Metro Station). Tickets cost around EUR 1.00. To get to Gatchina from Pavlovsk, take Bus No. 529 departing from Pavlovsk Station.
How do I get to Oranienbaum?
Oranienbaum is located in the Town of Lomonosov. You can get to Lomonosov by commuter train from Baltiysky Railway Station (Baltiyskaya Metro Station) to Oranienbaum-1. You can also take Bus No. 200 from Avtovo Metro Station.
St. Petersburg Restaurant Festival (November 1-30, 2016)
The St. Petersburg Restaurant Festival will take place in St. Petersburg in November. During this festival of savory flavors, city restaurants will serve dishes prepared by the leading chefs of St. Petersburg and their foreign colleagues. This event will last a whole month, and dozens of restaurants will offer their guests special set menus at attractive fixed prices.
Festival of Lights 28-29 October, 2016
The Festival of Lights will become another colorful event in St. Petersburg. Organizers promise to use cutting-edge technologies to bring life to the historical buildings. St. Petersburg’s leading performers, artists and musicians will take part in the project.
72 hours without a visa
City guests who arrive in St. Petersburg by sea enjoy the privilege of visiting the city without having to file for a visa. For visa-free entry for up to 72 hours, use the regular Helsinki-St. Petersburg connections by St. Peter Line ferryboat, or choose one of the multitude of Baltic Sea cruises.