St. Petersburg Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)
Royalty, revolutions, and reformers have swept through Palace Square in St Petersburg, a grand plaza at the foot of the magnificent Winter Palace. Alexander Column dominates the center of Palace Square, which is wrapped by government buildings and remains a favorite gathering place for city-wide celebrations and holidays.
As Palace Square rolls right to the edge of the Winter Palace—a royal landmark that houses the famed Hermitage Museum—it’s a key destination for visitors to St Petersburg. Hop-on hop-off tours of St Petersburg generally offer Palace Square as an included stop, and if you’re exploring St Petersburg on a tour, you may stop here as well. Visiting with a tour guide can be a good window into the fascinating history that has unfolded here.
Things to know before you go
- Palace Square is great for history buffs and travelers interested in imperial architecture.
- Costumed actors come to Palace Square to take photos with tourists for cash—it’s a fun photo opportunity.
- If you’re visiting the nearby Hermitage Museum, booking skip-the-line tickets in advance is a good way to avoid delays.
How to get there
The closest metro station to Palace Square is Admiralteyskaya (Kirpichnyy Pereulok, 3), with service from the #5 line. The Suvorovskaya Square, which is served by the #3 line, is a 15-minute walk away. Hop-on hop-off bus tours of St Petersburg also stop by the palace, and plenty of taxis are available on-site.
When to get there
Warm weather and long days make the period from June through September a popular time to visit St Petersburg, with the first really chilly days arriving in October. December and January can shine under a layer of snow, but you’ll have to bundle up for exploring the city. In any time of year, the weather in this high-latitude destination can be unpredictable, so packing layered clothing is a good idea.
Where to Eat Near Palace Square
Stay energized for exploring at one of these St Petersburg eateries, which range from budget-friendly cafes to chic bars. You’ll find old-fashioned charm and traditional Russian food at Gogol and at the cozy Yat Restaurant-Buffet, the waiters might even dress up in historic garb. As the name suggests, Literary Café has hosted some of the country’s great writers, whereas modern elegance is the draw at The Lobby Bar.
- Admiralty Building
- The General Staff Building
- State Hermitage Museum
- Stroganov Palace (Stroganovsky Dvorets)
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskiy Sobor)
- Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)
- Pushkin Museum
- Winter Palace of Peter the Great at the Hermitage
- Bronze Horseman
- Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (Kazansky Sobor)
- Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines
- The Republic of Cats Museum and Café
- State Russian Museum (Russkiy Muzey)
- The Menshikov Palace
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood