State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, St. Petersburg

(4.7/5 based on 16,000+ reviews on the web)
Saint Petersburg's prime cultural attraction, State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace houses a collection of over 3 million artworks from around the globe. The massive palace-museum, once the official residence of Russian emperors, provides an elegant setting for priceless works by Rubens, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Degas, and many more. Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great and open to the public since the 1850s, the museum displays only a small portion of its collection of paintings, the largest in the world. The easiest and quickest way to see the highlights is by guided tour in your native language. The lines at the on-site ticket office can be quite long, so avoid the wait by booking your visit online. Using our custom trip planner, St. Petersburg attractions like State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Hermitage is the first place where you should go when came to St. Petersburg. In the Hermitage, a great number of artifacts and paintings by famous artists. Most of them taking pictures is prohibited. To bypass at least part of the Hermitage you will need somewhere to 5 hours and by the time you need to add another 30 minutes that you will stand in line (for the sake of seeing you can endure). I advise you to go with your family or friends.
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  • Simply cannot be missed while in St Pete. Fantastic art, deep history. We hired a private 2-day tour and our guide made certain we didn't miss any of the most important art while informing us of the i...  more »
  • In the Hermitage, you can walk for hours and still not see everything, not overpower. Be sure to see the Peacock clock, Knight's Hall, Rembrandt's Danae. Hall, where met interim Government.
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Google
  • I was standing quietly in an empty room and taking a picture of an old painting with my phone (no flash), while suddenly a resounding "ARE YOU DEAF???" thundered across the room. Turns out an old staff lady sitting in a chair far away from me and not bothered to stand up and come near, decided to arbitrarily deny photography to me, despite it being allowed in the museum. Upon my attempt to ask why, the reply was, literally, "if you don't like it, get the hell out of here". Sadly, the museum does not only exhibit some outstanding heritage of the world's cultures, it also shows a nasty slice of the Soviet life, with unjustified rudeness, crowds of people, incredibly long queues, police/security guards all around, and every piece of text there is in the museum being exclusively in Cyrillic. And you sponsor all those people by visiting.
  • Despite the long queues and having to dodge to tourist parties in the museum, this is a museum of so much history and grandeur. A lavish golden entrance and amazing paintings can keep you walking around for hours. The shop is just as expensive as the interior, but it comes as no surprise. It's popularity is for a sound reason.
  • Before you enter, ensure you have a whole day to spare. This place is so huge that by the time you come out - may be after six or seven hours, you might have walked at least 10 miles. Full of grandeur, history and huge collection of articles you may have certainly studied in your curriculum. It is a must watch for anyone in Petersburg.
  • Extremely long wait, not really well organized. People cutting the line are not kept in check. Groups with guides are too big. People needing a rebate ticket (like student) can't use the ticket machines. The exhibits themselves are of course amazing. Worth going if you want to see da Vinci and Rembrandt and such.
  • Museum is amazing. Make sure you get a map at the entrance, otherwise you will feel completely lost. I just bought the tickets before entering, and had to queue up for 45 min. I would recommend you to check if it's feasible to book in advance.