Yusupov Palace picture
konstantinks/Getty Images

Key Info

94 Nabereshnaya Reki Moyki

Details

Castles/Palaces, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 3.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Also known as the Moika Palace, Yusupov Palace is a St. Petersburg landmark. It was the main residence of the House of Yusupov, which was a wealthy family of Russian nobles.

Travelers come here to take in the luxurious interior. Those with a deep interest in Russian history find the palace especially fascinating. Others said the palace provided a more convenient option than Peterhof Palace & Garden, which sits about an hour outside St. Petersburg.

However, the palace's real claim to fame is that it was the location where Rasputin – a controversial holy man and mystic – was assassinated in 1916. Felix Yusupov and his co-conspirators carried out the act – which ended up being far more difficult than he'd anticipated. According to him, Rasputin ingested enough cyanide to kill five men; he was shot multiple times, then bludgeoned with an iron bar and dumped in the Moika River. Once Rasputin's body turned up, it turned out that he had actually died from drowning. Whether this story is fact or fiction doesn't seem to matter to recent visitors, who say it only adds to the palace's overall appeal. Note that the area of the palace pertaining to Rasputin's assassination is not open to visitors at all times. Some reviewers reported that it is only open to visitors in the evenings.

Yusupov Palace is accessible from the Sadovaya metro station and open daily from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tickets start at 450 rubles (or around $7) for adults; prices fluctuate depending on how many areas of the palace you wish to tour. Audio guides are available for an added fee (and according to past visitors, the guide is worth the extra rubles). For more information, visit the official 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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