The State Hermitage Museum was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 when she purchased her first collection of paintings. However the museum was officially opened to the public in 1852 and now it is one of the most important and oldest museums in the world.

The Hermitage Museum also has one of the largest collections of paintings in the world and is considered to be one of the most popular attractions in St Petersburg. As in any other museum we will buy a ticket for you well in advance for any of our tours in St Petersburg and there will be no need to stand in line (which is quite long in the summer time).

It is said that if you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Hermitage Museum it would take you a full 11 years to see everything. On Wednesday’s the museum is open until 9:00 pm, so if your trip happens to be on a Wednesday and you would like to spend more time in the museum we can organize it for you.

The Hermitage Museum is not just the Winter Palace. The main complex consists of five buildings including the world famous Winter Palace – the official winter residence of the Russian tsars – and the Small Hermitage which was a private palace of Catherine the Great called “the Hermitage” – meaning the place of solitude – and actually gave the name to the whole museum later. But apart from these there are many more buildings in St Petersburg which belong to the Hermitage.

Please note that starting from this year the collection of the French Impressionists is not exhibited in the main complex, you can enjoy all the paintings in the General staff building which is conveniently located on Palace Square just opposite the Winter Palace. However if you wish to see the collection please inform us, so that we can build your trip in such a way for you to have enough time to visit both buildings. Please contact us for further information.

Since the Hermitage Museum possesses countless treasures, each visit can offer a unique experience. There are also temporary exhibitions taking place at the Hermitage which enhance the majestic experience of the museum.

For more information about the Hermitage Museum click here.

There is also an enchanting and magnificent movie titled «Russian Ark» which includes Russian history and shows numerous rooms of the Hermitage.

Russian Ark movie poster

Russian Ark is a 2002 Russian historical drama film directed by Alexander Sokurov and was filmed in rooms of Hermitage Museum using one unbroken shot lasting the entire length of the film (96 minutes). 3 centuries of Russian history are wrapped into a Russian film including artwork of the Hermitage and visitors to the Hermitage throughout the years.

2,000 actors, 3 orchestras, 33 rooms of the Hermitage Museum were used to shoot the film. All of this work was done in 1 day. So there could be no mistakes as there is only 1 shoot.

The story starts with a French nobleman who is strolling through the Hermitage Museum and at different times of Russian history. It feels as if you are following him in his dream but in fact he has died in a terrible accident and is a ghost who is wandering through the Winter Palace. Upon entering each room he is introduced to various real and fictional people from different time periods of St Petersburg’s three-hundred-year history.

Visions of Peter The Great, Catherine the Great, Tsar Nicholas I, among others are there to grace your presence and intrigue your view of Russia. Viewers witness many interesting stories including a grand ball, Catherine the Great searching for a toilet, and Peter the Great and his discussion with a general. In addition, Tsar Nicholas I is offered a formal apology from the Shah of Iran for the death of an ambassador and citizen of Leningrad living during the Siege of Leningrad during WWII. We see the citizen making his own coffin.

Roger Ebert wrote: «Apart from anything else, this is one of the best-sustained ideas I have ever seen on the screen…. the effect of the unbroken flow of images (experimented with in the past by directors like Hitchcock and Max Ophüls) is uncanny. If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening. Russian Ark spins a daydream made of centuries.»

We recommend this movie and hope you will find it educational and enchanting. You can buy this film right now from our Amazon store.

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The Faberge Museumhas the world-class collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs), gift boxes, Russian enamels etc.The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace. It was opened in November 2013 and was founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselbergto repatriate lost cultural treasures to Russia.

The fourth tallest dome construction in the world. St Isaac’s Cathedral used to be the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Russian Empire. The enormous decoration of the interior of the cathedral, was created in the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.Gilded bronze, malachite and lapis lazuli together with countless paintings, columns, mosaics, will take your breath away.

One of the best private palaces in the Europe .Its real gem is a home theater. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed there.In this palace young Felix Yusupov, the heir of the family, and other conspirators assassinated Grigory Rasputin.  During a visit to the palace you will learn about the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.

Peter and Paul Fortress here our city was founded in 1703.Peter the Great started a fortress to protect the lands won back from Sweden. Now it is one of the most important 18th century fortresses in Russia and Europe.St Peter and Paul Cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Many metro station vestibules and platforms are adorned with marble, granite, bas-reliefs and mosaics which makes them look like underground palaces. The very first 10 stations appeared after WWII and have various military and Soviet symbols reminding visitors about the glorious victory over Nazi Germany. Owing to the city’s swampy subsoil, most of the lines were built extremely deep underground.

Peterhof is definitely “a must-see” for any first-time visitor to St Petersburg.It is often called the “Russian Versailles”: it is a real “kingdom of fountains” and true paradise for little children (as well as adults) with amazing cascades, a variety of unique and playful fountains, Grand Peterhof Palace, and other small ones.

Catherine Palace Is a must to visit. Inside you will find a succession of interconnecting rooms in Baroque style and somewhere in the middle of that enfilade is the famous Amber Room which was called by contemporaries “the eighth wonder of the world”. The palace was badly damaged during WWII and amber panels were stolen by the Nazi. But they started restoration in 1979 and finished it in 2003.

St Petersburg Siege Memorialcommemorates the hardship that Leningrad‘s (the soviet name of our city) citizens endured during the siege which lasted 900 days (1941-1943) and took away about 1.5 mln lives. The most striking part of the memorial are the tableaux of soviet citizens facing south towards the enemy. It was designed to be viewed from a distance. In the subterranean memorial hall are relics from the siege.

Offers fresh food from all over the former Soviet Union: melons, tomatoes, farmhouse honey, pickles, sour cream, ham and gherkins, not to mention imports such as kiwi fruit. Most vendors offer the chance to taste a sliver before buying. Outside the market are “babushkas” (pensioners) who sell things they have grown at their dacha (summer cottage) or gathered in the forest.

Hermitage Museum one of the most important and oldest museums in the world. It has one of the largest collections of paintings. If you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Museum it would take you11 years to see everything. The collection of the French Impressionists is exhibited in the General staff building which is located opposite the Winter Palace.

Most famous for almost 21,000m² of mosaics that cover both the interior and the façade of the building. The mosaics were created in Russia, which makes them even more valuable. It is the only building in our citybuilt in the style of Moscow churches. The church was built on the place where Alexander II was assassinated, hence the name.

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

Alexander Palace was commissioned by Catherine II for her grandson, future Russian tsar Alexander I and later became the summer home of a succession of Imperial heirs, each of whom left their mark on the building.