Formerly known as Tsarskoye Selo (Царское Село), the "Czar's Village", Pushkin is known for its numerous imperial parks and palaces.
Local trains run from St. Petersburg's Vitebskiy station (not the main hall, but the smaller hall for local trains to the right and around the corner as you face the main hall) to the Detskoe Selo station in Pushkin. A round-trip train ticket costs 72 Rubles, and trains run at 15-20 minute intervals starting at 6:00am until midnight except:
- Leaving St. Petersburg, there is no train service between 10:00am and 12:00 noon on weekdays. The trains during that interval only operate on weekends and holidays; trains outside that interval run 7 days per week. Note that ALL LOCAL TRAINS leaving the Vitebskiy Station stop at Detskoe Selo and Pavlovsk; this makes it a bit easier for non-Russian speakers, since you don't have to worry about which train to board even though different trains go to different terminus stations.
- Returning from Pushkin toward St. Petersburg, there is a gap in service between 12:30pm and 2:30pm weekdays, although trains do operate during that interval on weekends and holidays.
Catherine Palace: entry fee is 520 Rubles for foreigners, 220 Rubles for Russians. If you are not with a tour group, the palace is only open to individuals during limited hours: 12:00 to 2:00pm and 4:00pm to 5:00pm. However, if there is a dearth of tour groups during the appointed hours for groups (i.e. 10:00am - noon and 2:00pm to 4:00pm), the palace does allow individuals enter during those times. This is more likely to happen in the off-season, such as deep winter, and not at all likely in the summer.
Alexander Palace: entry fee is 300 Rubles for foreigners, 150 Rubles for Russians. Only one wing of the palace is currently open, which includes displays of the reconstructed rooms, including Alexandra's bedroom and the room where Rasputin was typically received.