Russian Museum#7 in Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg
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The Russian Museum boasts the world's largest collection of Russian art. Its main exhibition space has been housed in the neoclassical Mikhailovsky Palace since 1895. The Russian Museum also consists of several other buildings, including the Marble Palace, the Mikhailovsky Castle (St. Michael's Castle), the Stroganov Palace and the Benois Wing. For many travelers, a visit here offers the chance to view artwork not often seen outside of Russia.
The complex is massive, so be prepared to spend several hours here, according to past visitors. It's a good idea to figure out what you want to see beforehand, so you can better plan your tour of this fascinating museum. The rooms in the Benois Wing, which hold works by Kandinsky and Malevich, are particularly popular (and often crowded). The museum usually has at least one excellent special exhibit on display. With a massive collection of more than 400,000 works from the 10th to the 21st century, the museum may be best viewed with a tour guide or by using the corresponding free English-language smartphone app, which offers an audio guide.
The museum is open every day but Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It stays open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. You can reach it from the Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospekt metro stations. There are several ticket tiers that grant entry to different museum buildings. Admission to the Mikhailovsky Palace and the Benois Wing costs 800 rubles (about $12.50) for adults and 400 rubles (or $6.25) for students. For more information, visit the museum's website.
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#1 Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in 1764 as a place to house her private art collection. The main museum complex comprises six buildings, including the Winter Palace, which was the home of the czars for almost 200 years. It finally opened to the public in 1852, and since then has been one of the largest and most interesting museums in the world. It draws more than 4 million visitors each year – in fact, this museum is the main reason some travelers visit St. Petersburg in the first place. Recent travelers offered fulsome praise for both the art on display and the opulent building housing the works. For many, the only downside was the constant crowds.
Bursting at the seams with art from masters like Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso, the Hermitage demands a substantial commitment of time to see even a portion of its collection, which encompasses 3 million works of art and artifacts. Some previous visitors reported spending seven hours touring the grounds. If you plan to spend a considerable amount of time admiring the works, consider purchasing the two-day entrance ticket.
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