Duration: 3 hours
Runs: every day, except Mondays (Monday visits are available upon special request); all year round
Language: English. Other languages available upon request
- Guide services
- All taxes and fees
- Skip-the-line passes
Every person who visits St Petersburg goes on a Hermitage tour. No wonder why – The State Hermitage is the largest and most well-known museum of Russia located right in the center of St Petersburg overlooking city’s trademark Neva River and gorgeous neoclassical wonder, the Palace Square. Its collections number around 3 million exhibits, thousands of which make the list of Hermitage Museum famous pieces. On average, 200 thousand + people visit the museum every week, which is Super Bowl 2020 attendance times three.
Tickets are always available, and that creates two problems: getting into the building without waiting in long lines (sometime for hours!) is impossible and after you bought your ticket it’s not at all easy to make the most of your visit because you have over a 1000 rooms to cover and all the people you stood in line with are now there with you bouncing off each other making you exhausted wanting to leave the building as soon as you can.
This tour offers a perfect solution to both problems: first our guide will hand you skip the line tickets and will make sure you have no problem getting into the museum. Then, he or she will be your ‘human Waze’ and show you everything worth seeing without wasting any of your precious time.
During this tour you will learn what the Hermitage is, where does the name come from, see the most important artworks as well as the most famous rooms:
Constructed as a Royal residence, Winter Palace happened to be a background for many historic events in history. Every monarch lived here since it was built in 1762. Bolsheviks stormed the building during the Russian Revolution days (you can still see the room where they arrested Russian Provisional Government in 1917).
You will walk up the Imperial Ambassadors’ Staircase, the largest and the most impressive of Winter Palace’s staircases.
The highlight of the palace is St Goerge’s Hall, also often called Grand Throne Hall.
You will also see: Field Marshals’ Room featuring famous chandeliers made of mixture of bronze and gold, Small Throne Room made in memory of Peter the Great, Emblem Room where Catherine the Great held her receptions, Palace Church, a gem of baroque style architecture, Gallery of 1812 featuring hundreds of portraits of Russian heroes who brought the victory home after defeating Napoleon, The Romanov Gallery which is now housing the exhibition of Western European Applied Art of the XI-XV centuries, Alexander Hall made in honor of Alexander I, the Emperor who commanded the Russian Army in the war of 1812, White Hall used as the reception room by Emperor Alexander II, Golden Drawing Room used by Alexaner II’s wife, Empress Maria, Crimson Drawing Room featuring famous Green Frog porcelain service made for Catherine the Great at the Wedgewood factory, Boudoir of the same Empress Maria, who used Golden Drawing Room, Tapestry Gallery displaying some of the finest in the world pieces of Western European tapestries dating back to XV-XVIII centuries, Rotunda famous for the Triumfal Column dedicated to Peter the Great, Small Dining Room where Russian Revolution happened almost literally, Malachite Room where over two tons of semi-precious stone were used to decorate it.
Hermitage Art Collection
Pavilion Room of the Small Hermitage is a work of art by itself, stands out for the world famous Peacock Clock exhibited there since the early days.
Collection of Italian Art
You will see the best works of masters that represent Venetian, Florentine, Umbrian and Sienese art schools:
Fra Angelico, Lippi and Della Robbia families, paintings by Sandro Boticelli, Leonardo da Vinci paintings – “Benois Madonna” and “Madonna Litta”, Giulio Romano, Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo’s “Crouching Boy”, Tintoretto, Veronese, Caravaggio, Canaletto, Canova and Mazzuola.
Collection of Spanish Art
Second in the world collection is represented by:
El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo, Goya and other famous masters.
Collection of Dutch Art
Russian Tsars loved everything Dutch since the foundation of St Petersburg and, as the result, there are many paintings by Dutch masters permanently exhibited in the Hermitage. There are 24 Rembrandt paintings in the museum making the collection of his works the second largest in the world to the Amsterdam collection. You will see Rembrandt’s Saskia as “Flora”, “Descent from the Cross”, “Danae”. The gem of the collection, the “Return of the Prodigal Son” as well as his trademark portraits.
Another great part of the Dutch Art collection is a number of works by “Little Dutch Masters”, who had worked in five big genres: animalistic painting, landscape, genre scenes, still life and portrait painting. You will see all five genres represented in Hermitage.
Collection of Flemish Art
No Hermitage tour would be complete without Peter Paul Rubens, and the museum proudly owns 42 of his works. You will see: “Descent from the Cross”, “Feast at the House of Simon the Pharisee”, “Union of Earth and Water”, “Perseus and Andromeda”, “Bacchus”, “Tarquinius and Lucretia” and his other famous works.
One of world’s most famous portrait painters, Anthony Van Dyck is is represented by 26 works, “Virgin and Prtridges”, “Portrait of Charles I” and “Self-Portrait” among them.
Artifacts and archeological finds
Hermitage has a whole big section dedicated to the Ancient world. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome being the three most represented cultures. You will see highlights of each of these sections.
My wife read dozens of reviews of larger tour companies—and even contacted quite a few—but finally decided on Eugene after being so impressed by his frank, informed and thoughtful communication. He is flexible and works with your schedule. We felt that on that entire day we were his only priority, even though the tour was only four hours.
Our tour was excellent. Eugene’s plan was to show us the “greatest hits” of the Hermitage, including the architecture, of course. However, Eugene’s knowledge was not limited to the most famous pieces. Rather, he could comment on literally EVERYTHING in the two buildings. He had details and insight on anything I pointed to, and he even took us on a special detour to see Nevsky’s coffin after I mentioned that I liked silver. Eugene followed our pace but also helped us along when we lagged. He was always conscious of the scope and scale of the tour, which was helpful because we could have stared at certain pieces of woodwork or a special example of Russian mosaic for literally HOURS
He will craft his tour to your interests. And—perhaps most important—he is kind and trustworthy. I highly recommend his services while you are in St. Petersburg.
Prices per person
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Hermitage Museum Tour Packages
Hermitage Museum is big enough to eat up all your time for the day you visit so it makes sense to prioritize the things you want to see the most. In addition to this general Hermitage tour we offer the following packages to help you make your tour perfect:
Hermitage Museum general tour + French Impressionists’ Collection
Hermitage collection of French Impressionists‘ works is one of the most extensive in the world featruing every major artist: Monet, Sisley, Pisarro, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gaugin, Rodin, Matisse and Picasso to name just a few. Tour of the collection is 2 hours extra. The price is additional $29/person.
Hermitage Museum general tour + Gold Room
Arhceological finds are not completely exhibited in rooms permanently opened to public. Hermitage has two Treasure Rooms – Gold Room and Diamond Room where you can see pieces of gold found by archaeologists in Russia. Large sections of both Treasure Rooms are dedicated to Diplomatic gifts given to Russian rulers by other fellow monarchs from all over the world. You will also see pieces of jewelry made for the Russian Royal family by world famous jewellers, clock masters etc. This tour is 1 hour extra to the overall time of the tour. The price is additional $29/person.
When you visit St Petersburg we want it to be your best experience and we work hard for that. We understand that sometimes, unexpected delays can occur, making schedule adjustments. If you need to cancel your appointment, we respectfully request at least 72-hour notice.
Related Single Tours
Make the most of visiting St Petersburg by adding these perfectly arranged excursions to your Hermitage Tour