Hermitage Museum

st petersburg hermitage museum

A visit to St. Petersburg Hermitage museum must be on your to-do list if you come to our city. And for good reasons! It is one of the largest museums not only in Russia, but in the world – the museum covers the area of 233 345 sq. meters, its collection totally numbers over 3 000 000 exhibits displayed in more than three hundred rooms, including 1 013 653 works of art, 1 125 623 numismatic objects, 784 395 archaeological artefacts as well as other items. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, St. Petersburg Hermitage museum also mounts temporary ones, demonstrating works of art from its enormous reserves.

The main exhibits of one of the world’s largest museums are located in five interconnected buildings facing the Neva river and Palace Square. They form a single complex that took about a century to build – from 1754, when Empress Elizabeth decided to have a new Winter palace built, to 1852, when the Imperial Museum (New Hermitage) was constructed on the orders of Nicholas I.

The must-sees of the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg

We will start the tour of St Petersburg Hermitage museum with a walk through the Winter Palace, one of the largest palaces in the world, containing over a thousand rooms, with a total floor area of about 46 000 square meters. The general tour takes you up the Ambassadorial staircase to the state rooms of the first floor, including the Armorial Hall, the Peter the Great Hall (Small Throne Room), the Gallery of 1812 and St. George Hall (Large Throne Room). Individual tourists can also explore the splendid and luxurious private rooms of the royal family that are not on the route of the big tour groups.

The next building on our way is the Small Hermitage. In the galleries of this building the first art collections of Catherine II were displayed. The Small Hermitage is actually the birth place of the museum. The name Hermitage was firstly referred to this building. The picture gallery was the private property of the empress and only very few people would be invited here to see the collection. It was a secluded place, like hermit’s dwelling. That’s why the picture gallery got the name of Hermitage. Do not miss the Pavilion room with the famous Peacock Clock and the collection of mosaics decorating the floor and table tops.

Now explore the vast collection of Western European Art of the 13th to 19th centuries, it is the largest display in St. Petersburg Hermitage museum, the most famous and probably, most valuable. It includes masterpieces by Giorgione, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Cranach, Velazquez, Gainsborough and other great masters of world art. All the known schools of European painting are represented as well as numerous items of decorative and applied arts.

The Hermitage museum collections of the impressionists and post-impressionists

The impressionist’s collection in St. Petersburg Hermitage museum is one of the largest in the world. It used to occupy the 2rd floor of the Winter palace building but a few years ago was moved to the General Staff Headquarters building across the Palace Square. Nevertheless, if you have time, a visit is surely recommended. You will see the works by Claude Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse, Pablo Picasso and others.

Treasure rooms of St. Petersburg Hermitage museum

Visitors to the Hermitage show a great interest in the collections of masterpieces of art and rarities displayed in the halls and rooms of the museum. But it is jewellery that has always been regarded as a symbol of wealth. At the present time the Hermitage owns several thousand gold and silver articles from all over the world. Today two sections specially equipped for a display of jewellery are open in the museum. One of them demonstrated the works gained as a result of archaeological excavations (The Gold Room) and the other one based on the Gallery of Jewellery of the Imperial Hermitage displays works created in more recent times (The Diamond Room).




Notes for the visitors of the Hermitage museum

Unfortunately, visiting St. Petersburg Hermitage museum is quite challenging in summer. The museum is very crowded and has limited interior seating and no air-conditioning. You’ll have to walk approximately 120 steps covering 2 stories. Large carry bags, umbrellas and heavy coats are not permitted and must be checked prior to entering the museum. Amateur camera and video fees are included in the tour cost. Flash photos are usually not permitted in areas displaying paintings.

Individual tourists spend several hours in lines before they can enter. Tour companies on the other hand, have separate entrances for the organized planned tours, the entrance tickets are bought in advance which saves a lot of time. Arranging a tour with a company, you will also have a professional licensed tour guide who speaks your language and will tell you everything you want to know. Keep in mind, that usually the general Hermitage tour does not include exploring the collections of the French impressionists, a ticket to the General Staff Headquarters building has to be bought separately and more time has to be added to the overall tour duration.

It's also possible to add a tour of one of the Treasure rooms of the Hermitage at extra cost (150$ per group up to 15 people, the price is the same for the group of 2 or 15 persons). Kindly note, that due to the large number of tourists wanting to see these rooms we have to book the tour of the Gold or Diamond room at least a MONTH before the tour date. Moreover, this tour should be fully paid for right away so the money for this tour is non-refundable in case of a no-show or cancellation.

Closed on: Monday

Duration of a tour:4-6 hours (depending on whether you add a tour of the General Staff Headquarters building to the tour of the main museum complex, including the drive there and back)

Official web site: St. Petersburg Hermitage museum

Please contact us if you would like to arrange a tour.


Please see below the itineraries that cover the Hermitage museum

  • A day in St. Petersburg with the Hermitage

    A day in St. Petersburg with the Hermitage

    4 votes

    This is a relaxed tour for those who want to focus on exploring one of the biggest museums in the world - the Hermitage. You will see the Winter palace, along with other 4 buildings of the museum and even go to the General Staff Headquarters building where they display the collection of French impressionists.

    9 hours

    From: $145

    Highlights: extensive sightseeing, Hermitage with the Winter palace and General Staff Headquarters, shopping (optional)

  • St. Petersburg for Newcomers

    St. Petersburg for Newcomers

    212 votes

    This is a relaxed tour for newcomers who want to get acquainted with our beautiful city. You will have extensive city tour with many photostops, walk along Nevsky, visit Peter and Paul's fortress, try Russian cuisine at a local cafe and of course visit the...

    8 hours

    From: $160

    Highlights: extensive sightseeing, walking along Nevsky Avenue, Hermitage, Peter and Paul's fortress, shopping (optional)

  • Intensive weekend tour

    Intensive weekend tour

    222 votes

    The tour is very active, including the absolute must-sees of St. Petersburg.

    11 hours

    From: $285

    Highlights: Peterhof fountain park and Upper garden, the Hermitage (special early entrance), Church on the Spilt Blood, Catherine's palace in Pushkin, sightseeing

  • Amber room, Hermitage and Peter&Paul Fortress

    Amber room, Hermitage and Peter&Paul Fortress

    235 votes

    This tour takes you to the summer residence, the winter residence of the royal family as well as to the historic birth place of St. Petersburg.

    10 hours

    From: $189

    Highlights: Catherine's palace with the Amber room, Pushkin park, the Hermitage OR Peterhof park, Peter and Paul's fortress and cathedral, shopping