Catherine Palace in Tsarskoe Selo is a very popular attraction and the main reason of this popularity is the amber room, which has become a kind of a tourist mecca. During the second World War, the amber room was completely destroyed, and only a few fragments were kept in the Hermitage museum collection. In spite of this fact, the “renovated” amber room attracts more than a million tourists annually, as it was recreated in 2003 for Saint-Petersburg 300th anniversary.
If you want to visit Catherine’s Palace, keep in mind that there are long queues at the entrance. There can’t be no more than 900 people in the palace at the same time. The queue starts at 7 am. The ticket office opens at 12 and by this time in the park there are already several thousands people.
The situation is little changed by the measures which were taken by the administration of the museum: The opening hours of the Catherine Palace are increased: in summer it opens at 08.00 to service organized tourists and runs until 20.00 for single visitors. The museum extended its work until 21:00 on Monday and Wednesday.
The situation is exacerbated by numerous of Chinese tourists. Despite the fact that the rules for visiting the Catherine Palace included a clause prohibiting tourism groups from taking up a queue for single visitors, they ignore it. As a result, the organizers of the excursions take the turn from the park as individual visitors. In the queue people do not go anywhere for hours and then a whole group of 40 Chinese tourists suddenly stand before them.
In August 2018, guide Oksana Trubetskaya was bitten by a Chinese tourist.
So, there are only two ways out of the situation: be patient or visit Tsarskoye Selo in late autumn, winter, or spring – when there are not so many tourists.