Historically, the founding of Peterhof dates back to the city's very first decades: its first canals were constructed in 1715. Originally, Peter the First planned to place 22 fountains along the waterway that would've been themed after Esop's fables. Still, the original concept changed many times, and it wasn't until the 19th century that the ensemble that we now know was created.
Nowadays, Peterhof is internationally recognized as the capital of fountains, its Grand Cascade having long become the "postcard view" of all St. Petersburg suburbs. The place's rich architecture, vividly decorated trails and numerous lesser sights make it an ideal destination for a single day trip and an absolute must-see for anyone coming to St. Petersburg.
Ideally, you should come to Peterhof at least twice, in summer and autumn. The long summer days are best for exploring the place and enjoying its unique and mesmerizing atmosphere. During Russia's famous Golden Autumn, it comes the time for the grand Closing Ceremony: a grand show featuring theatrical and musical performances and a spectacular fireworks display. The ceremony usually takes place in late September; be sure to plan ahead, and order tickets in advance.
When planning your trip to Peterhof, there are several things that you should pay attention to in order to make the most of your day there.
First is transportation; the best option here is taking a Meteor boat that takes only 40 minutes to get to the place; with a fee of about 800 rubles, it saves you both time and the trouble of making your way from the railway station. The tickets can be booked online, which is quite comfortable. If you prefer the more traditional land transportation, buses and trains from the Baltic railway stations are also an option.
Another thing to consider is that there are two parks in Peterhof, and you only need to buy a ticket for entrance to the Lower Garden where the fountains are. The tricky part to consider is that once you enter the lower garden with your ticket you can't leave and re-enter with the same ticket - so plan your route accordingly.
Lastly, there are some "trick fountains" in Peterhof: these are concealed, and cover you with water when you approach some seemingly innocent object. So, dress accordingly and don't fret if you get a little wet!
To sum up, a trip to Peterhof can well become one of your best experiences of this summer - and we hope that our little advice will help you make the most of it!