Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace

#1 in Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg
Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace
Punxutawneyphil/Flickr

Key Info

34 Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya

Details

Castles/Palaces, Museums, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.7scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in 1764 as a place to house her private art collection. The massive complex has six buildings, including the Winter Palace, which was the home of the Tsars 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 on the globe. It draws more than two million visitors each year -- in fact, this museum is the main reason some travelers visit St. Petersburg in the first place. Recent travelers are full of praise, with one TripAdvisor user claiming, "This place makes other museums look unimportant."

Bursting at the seams with art from masters like Da Vinci and Picasso, the Hermitage is "virtually wallpapered with celebrated paintings," says Fodor's, who goes on to suggest you budget a substantial amount of time to explore. "It has been estimated that in order to spend one minute on each object on display, you would have to devote several years to the museum," they write.

A one-day ticket is about $18 USD and a two-day ticket costs $26 USD. Recent travelers and the Hermitage website both suggest purchasing tickets online here to avoid the (usually very long) line at the ticketing office. Closed on Mondays, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The ticket office shuts down an hour before closing. For more information or a "virtual visit," check out the Hermitage website.

  • Planning is key to any Hermitage visit, and an online tour can be a great preparation…. The audioguide is quite helpful, but the official English-speaking guides hovering around the entrance can offer more detail and nuance. Be sure to ask if you can set your own itinerary or if they will show you only specific rooms." -- Frommer's
  • The best deal is to buy a two-day combined-entrance ticket, which allows you to visit the State Hermitage Museum and three other splendid museums: the original, wooden Winter Palace of Peter the Great, accessible through a tunnel (historians believe this is the site where Peter the Great died) from the museum; the General Staff Building; and Menshikov Palace."  -- Fodor's
See all Hotels in St. Petersburg »

More Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
St. Isaac's Cathedral
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 6
#2 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main attractions in St. Petersburg, drawing crowds to its ornately decorated onion domes and the stunning mosaics housed within.

Read more
YoTuT/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in St. Petersburg »

Explore More of St. Petersburg

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019