In 2014 the Hermitage was celebrating it’s 250th anniversary since the first purchase of the first art collections by Catherine the Great. There was a special 3d show devoted to that event with a brief history of the building and it’s exhibits.
Also due to the birthday of Hermitage in addition to a free entrance on the first Thursday of the month (as usual) there was a free
entrance on the 10th of December – the buildings of Hermitage complex had a free entrance. Some lucky people were able to see the Peacock clocks at work (I wrote the time of it’s work in my tripadvisor review)!
I am pleased to share with you the knowledge about this amazing museum mentioned in the lists of the ten best museums and art galleries in the world (actually the museum is usually ranked as one of top three), because:
a) it is possible to spend the whole day in the Hermitage and manage not to see the most beautiful exhibits and interiors because of ignorance of their existence or lack of time or tiredness of seeing everything;
b) personally, the Hermitage is the best museum for me, incomparable and comprehensive, I’m happy to go there alone and call my friends to accompany me.
Let’s start from the beginning.
- Location of the museum, it’s ticket offices
- Day and time of the visit
- Rules of visiting the Museum
- Tips for exploring the collections of the Hermitage
- Collections of the Hermitage and the Hermitage complex
- Hermitage through my eyes
- Hermitage. It may be interesting
- Food nearby
Location of the museum, it’s ticket offices
For a full impression I would recommend you going to the Palace square through the Arch of the Main Staff (it is situated on Большая Морская улица between the houses 16 и 18 on Nevsky Prospect), otherwise you will approach the palace from the side, which, of course, will not diminished impressions, but will not increase it.
The main entrance to the museum is carried out through the central arch, decorated with delicate gate. If you have already bought a voucher for an entry online, you will need to exchange the voucher for a ticket at a special place, either inside the palace or in a special box office, details are here https://www.hermitageshop.ru/tickets/ (unfortunately, they didn’t translate that page, you can use google translator). Tickets for online purchase cost 550 rubles, they are profitable for those citizens who have no privileges for entry (for instance, students or the museum workers, more information is here http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/wps/portal/hermitage/tickets. Please, note that for getting the privileges you will need to show the document that gives you the right for a benefit. Having privileges doesn’t equal skipping the line), because they allow to avoid lines at the ticket office and already have the right to make photos and video. In a small courtyard in front of the main entrance are special devices for purchasing the tickets without benefits; there are also light boards with the schedule of available tours.
The ticket offices close 30 minutes before the museum. Honestly, 40-50 minutes are not enough for exploring the Hermitage- the visit will visit chaotic, incomplete.
Day and time of the visit
Please, note that Hermitage and it’s complex of museums are not open on Mondays! Also, not everyone notes that on Wednesday the museum works more hours than usual (till 9pm), which gives everyone the opportunity to have a longer more detailed visit. On Sundays, on the contrary – the schedule of work is shortened.
Even if you do not plan to visit Hermitage during the free day (the first Thursday of the month), be ready to stand in the line! As a case of early bird tourists, the ones who come 10-15 minutes before the opening of museum see the smallest line, which can be passed during 10-20 minutes,
later the average time in wait is about 1-1,5 hours upon availability in the cloakroom.
When there are no empty spaces in the cloakroom, no one is let to come in (only those who have the prepaid tickets or the tickets with scheduled tours)! For visitors who already stand in the line this situation is usually surprising, often supplemented by gifts of nature such as rain, snow or frost (the usual things there).
Concerning the seasons, the best season with the smallest lines is winter during the working days (that means not weekends and not National holidays or pupil’s holidays). Summer is the most overcrowded season – even with the absence of problems with full cloakrooms (cause during sunny warm days they are not actively used, only during raining days when people want to leave their umbrellas) there are big groups of people from cruise ships waiting in the lines.
Rules of visiting the Museum
The main rules of visiting the Hermitage are stated on the official website of the Hermitage. Among other rules it is not allowed to carry liquid to the museum – all the bottles with water will be left near the turnstiles at the entrance. Even if you bought the right to make photos and videos (that should be purchased with the entrance tickets, at the ticket office), you should know that you are not allowed to use flash for the photos and to make photos at the temporary exhibitions.
Shooting with professional camera costs more, the right to make photos should be purchased at the ticket office.
There are no restrictions for the appearance of the visitors (except the fact that all the outerwear should be left in the cloakroom), but the ladies with heels will definitely attract a lot of attention of museum workers – in order not to make the damage to unique historical parquet, women should walk very accurately.
Tips for exploring the collections of the Hermitage
I would like to recommend you using the official website of Hermitage to get ready for one of the most exciting museum walks in your life =) There you can make the list of the masterpieces you want to see with the help of Hermitage online program, you can save that list, download to portable device and/or print it and use during your promenade.
If you wish, you can download a Hermitage app for exploring the museum through your device: Аудиогид по Эрмитажу – The State Hermitage Museum.
After passing the turnstiles you can use the free helpful English-speaking terminals, which are showing basic information about the museum’s collections, also they can display and print the route to an attraction that interests you.
It is possible to rent an audioguide if you want to get information about some specific points of interest (as it seems to me, the majority of exhibits have the numbers, which you can type for listening to the story). The audioguides are available on the 2nd floor after you pass Main Front stairs. Renting a device requires a deposit (deposit is about 1500 r plus \ minus 500 rubles), you will receive it back after use of audioguide.
If you are not going to visit St. Petersburg and also the Hermitage, i would highly recommend to visit unique Diamond Room and Golden Room, which are available only with the guided tours (the tours are conducted in English, too). Among those two places (which are not just one room each, they have a set of rooms, of course) i would recommend a Diamond Room as it is more unusual and outstanding than the Golden one (you will see gold practically at every step in the museum, but not diamonds!), it’s collection of items made of precious stones, impress even discerning connoisseurs of jewelry (you will not see there the Faberge works, they are exposed in a separate museum – museum of Faberge, on Fontanka river).
An advice: if you do not want to start exploring the Hermitage with a guided tour to Diamond or Golden room or an observing tour, but would like to go there at 3-4 pm (if it is on the schedule), i would recommend you coming to Hermitage early (before or at the opening time) to buy the tickets (for the entrance and for the tour) and come back later at a desired time. Otherwise, you will stand in a long day line and your place at the tour will be bought by someone else.
Hermitage. It may be interesting
If you have ever been to Kazan or are going to visit it, you will never miss a sculpture of impressively sloppy cat that is set on the main street of the city (Baymana street). Of course, the reason for the cat to be there was not random, it was directly connected with the history of the Hermitage. Since there were numerous collections in the museum, not all works of art were exhibited in the halls, some of the showpieces were kept in cellars of Hermitage, where after a while the unexpectedly emerged rats started attacking them. To save the rare collections from the invasion of rodents, the administration of Kazan sent the cats to St. Petersburg which ever since became a reliable protection of museum collections. St. Petersburg, in order to thank Kazan for such a generous and helpful gift, decided to send a statue of a cat that was absolutely understanding its superiority over other, less museum-educated neighbors. By the way, right next to the entrance to the Hermitage there is the sign “Beware of cats!“, which protects animals from ignorant drivers. you’re unlikely to find such a sign anywhere else in the world.
Petersburg Card – a card specially created for an easy exploration of St. Petersburg. With it’s help active tourists all over the world can have their stay full of exciting activities and positive memories. Also this card offers the discounts for the guided tours, souvenirs, restaurants and hotels. Here is the link to official website. […]
Hello, dear residents and guests of St. Petersburg. I invite you to walk along my favorite route: along and a little bit around the Nevsky Prospekt. In this article I have tried to show you the most interesting sights, which make this city unique. If you want to get acquainted with the beauties of the […]
Dear readers of the website! I hope you remember the passed events of the previous year: an exciting Petersburg Card contest and a tasty competition =) this year is going to offer more entertaining and unbelievable options to you! Now you are offered an opportunity to win the Hermitage tickets which also provide the permission for photographing and option of bypassing the line […]
After viewing the photos, you can find my most favorite places of the Hermitage, hopefully they interest you, too. Photos of Hermitage halls Photos of Hermitage pictures The rest artworks of the Hermitage Interiors in conjunction with exhibits on the premises: Halls (in my list there are only 31) are listed in an increasing order of […]
As it is not allowed to bring beverages to the Hermitage and to eat food in the museum halls, most likely, after the qualitative long walk around the Hermitage, you will get hungry, very hungry! There is a cafe in the Hermitage, but it does not have a big selection of savory and is quite expensive. If you want […]
You can see the plan of the palace online, on the official webiste of the Hermitage. I decided to upload the informational plans of the museum that you can take near the information stand after purchasing the tickets in the ticket booths. The maps are available on several languages. On the 1st (lowest floor) of […]
If you do consider the information on the website to be useful/money saving / time saving, you can send some kind of financial support/gratitude by clicking the button below.