The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is the largest art and cultural museum in the world, with more than 3 million items in its collection—only a fraction of which are on display in its 360 rooms. The main museum complex comprises six historic buildings on the Palace Embankment and includes exhibitions of works of art from the 13th to 20th centuries, as well as Egyptian and classical antiquities and prehistoric art.
Experiencing the spectacular Hermitage complex and collection could consume days, so plan ahead to tailor your visit. Given its massive size, taking a guided tour or renting an audio guide may be the most efficient way to see as much as possible. For a unique experience, book a private tour that includes visits to both the Diamond and Gold rooms. If you're short on time, consider visiting as part of a small-group walking tour around St. Petersburg, or as part of a full-day city tour that also includes attractions like Peterhof, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, and Peter and Paul Fortress.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Hermitage is a must for art lovers visiting St. Petersburg.
- Lines at the main museum complex can get extremely long, with waits well over an hour. Save some time by purchasing entrance tickets in advance.
- Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month and on December 7.
- Visits to the Diamond Room and Gold Room in the Treasure Gallery are by guided tour only.
- Cat lovers should keep an eye out for the many cats that live on the Hermitage grounds.
- The Hermitage Museum is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchair rentals are available.
How to Get There
The main museum complex, set in what was once the winter residence of the Tsars and royal court, is within walking distance of Nevsky Prospekt and can be reached by virtually all forms of public transportation. The nearest metro stations are at Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt, and Gostiny Dvor.
When to Get There
The Hermitage is open from 10:30am to 6pm, and until 9pm on Wednesdays and Fridays; it is closed on Mondays. Try to arrive as early as possible, both to beat the crowds and to allow yourself enough time to see what you want to see.
Branches of the Hermitage
The Hermitage is composed of several branches in addition to the main museum complex. The General Staff Building has a display tracing the history of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as several other collections of art from various eras. The Winter Palace of Peter the Great displays items that once belonged to the popular tsar. Menshikov Palace focuses on Russian culture in the early 18th century. The Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory is home to more than 30,000 objects, including porcelain, glass, photographs, and rare drawings.