The Hermitage Museum must be among the must-sees in Saint Petersburg, Russia. If you are looking to learn more about the history, culture and life of this city, the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg is the best option.
When speaking of the Hermitage Museum, one speaks of a group of buildings together, which make up the Museum. Each of them is characterized by the immense art gallery and collection that they house within themselves. The vast majority are objects and furniture used by the czars who once lived in buildings. The Hermitage Museum is located on the entire edge of the Nevá River. This is amplifies its appeal considerably, to such an extent that the Museum is among the most important art galleries in the world.
Why is it called the Hermitage Museum?
The name of the Hermitage comes from the French ”ermita” which can be referred to as the ”home of the hermit”. It was named after Catherine the Great (Catherine II). Originally, the Hermitage was built as a residence for her and her butlers. Until it became what it is today: one of the most striking and interesting museums in the world, with more than 2 million visits a year.
What to see at the Hermitage St. Petersburg?
As we have already mentioned, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is made up of seven buildings, each with unique characteristics.
The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace takes first place as the oldest in the group of buildings of the Hermitage, and is also considered to be the most important of all. The project was carried out under the supervision of the Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli between 1754 and 1762. Later it underwent several reconstructions, mainly due to a fire in 1837 that seriously affected the mansion.
Who lived in the Winter Palace in St Petersburg Russia?
The Winter Palace was originally the home of Empress Catherine the Great. In addition, it was the place where the Tsars stayed between the 18th and 20th centuries.
The Little Hermitage
This building, as its name suggests, is a small version of the original Hermitage. It was built between the Winter Palace and the other buildings that make up the Hermitage Museum. The small Hermitage consists of two side rooms, in which art galleries are exhibited.
The Old Hermitage
This block is interconnected with the other buildings through a dome that passes through the winter channel, which communicates with the Nevá River.
The Hermitage Theatre
You can find it on the other side of the winter channel. Nowadays it continues working delighting its viewers with theatrical programs organized by the same museum.
The New Hermitage
It’s a building located at the first entrance of the museum. Right after the canal.
The Menshicov Palace
Known as one of the most luxurious and gallant buildings in the Russian cultural capital. It is one of the buildings that form part of the Hermitage Museum.
The General Staff Building
This building is located in the eastern part of the Hermitage Museum. It was built with a bronze work that is a visual marvel.
How much does it cost to visit the Hermitage Museum?
The entrances to the Hermitage Museum are structured in this way:
- 300 rubles is the only entrance to a building, whether it is the Porcelain Palace or the Menshikov Palace.
- If you wish to enter the main buildings and galleries of the museum, it will cost you 600 rubles per ticket. In the summer season the entrance fee is 700 rubles. This type of ticket is valid for one day only. However, it can take a whole day to get to know the main building of the Hermitage.
- In other instances, you can visit the ”Treasure” Gallery, but only within a guided tour. The Hermitage plans tours through the Treasure Gallery. On the tour you will visit the ”Diamond Room” (Collection of the Romanov lineage) and the ”Golden Room” (Collection of objects from up to 3000 BC and the beginning of the 20th century).
Although of the prices that represent to know the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, there are other possibilities to know its buildings for free.
Every 7th December and the first Thursdays of every month, entrance to the public is completely free. Normally on those days there is a lot of influx of tourists.
Entrance to the Hermitage for students and children, regardless of age and nationality, is free. If you present your student card at the ticket office, you do not pay, although you will still wait your turn in line like everyone else. There are people who, despite being able to enter for free, still pay for their ticket from an automatic machine just to avoid waiting in line.
Tickets for the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg can be purchased in three ways. In person at the ticket office, waiting in line. This, for many, is not the best option, since so many tourists, students, children and Russians queue up to justify free or reduced tickets, as they can only justify themselves through the person attending the ticket office.
In the courtyard leading to the Winter Palace you can also buy your ticket from the automatic machines on the premises. If you do not have a free ticket, your best option is to go to one of these machines and buy your ticket. To buy these tickets you do not have to queue, the interface of the machines is in English and Russian. But if you want to buy your ticket in advance, you can go to the official website of the Hermitage Museum. There you buy your ticket to enter. You can send it by e-mail and print it out the bar code,then scan it at the Hermitage entrance panel and go in to the buildings. One thing to note is that the Hermitage Museum website, in its English version, the ticket is more expensive than the Russian version, with a price of $17.95. In the Russian version the tickets are a bit cheaper. They cost 580 rubles ($9.34). Buying the ticket online even costs 20 rubles less than buying them through automatic machines and ticket offices.
Hermitage museum St. Petersburg opening times
The best days to visit the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg are Wednesday and Friday. These have more extensive opening hours, opening at 10:30am and closing at 9:00pm.
On the other hand, the other days they open their doors from 10:30am to 06:00pm. It is closed on Mondays, as well as on Russian public holidays: January 1st and May 9th.
The Hermitage Museum receives more visitors during the holiday season and at weekends. If you want to enjoy a quieter visit it is advisable not to go on those days.
The Hermitage Hotel St. Petersburg Russia
Just as the Hermitage Museum is composed of a group of 7 buildings, it also has its hotel. A building characterized by its strategic position in front of the sea and magnificent architectural design. You can locate this hotel in the central area of St. Petersburg. The Hermitage Hotel is a brilliant option for all those visitors from other countries who wish to spend the night in the city. Whether for tourism or business, its location close to shopping malls, restaurants and a fast track to the airport represents, above all, the best place to rest after a tiring trip.