The Hermitage Museum is located in St. Petersburg, on the Neva River. It is considered one of the most famous, oldest and most important art museums in the world. There are more than 60,000 exhibits in nearly 1,000 rooms with nearly three million items kept in the reserves. Apart from the pieces of antiquity, there is an excellent collection of paintings with the names of remarkable artists such as Rembrandt, Matisse, Gauguin, Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso among others. Several buildings, classified as World Heritage by UNESCO, built between XVIII and XIX centuries, form the museum (Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, Theater Hermitage, New Hermitage and the Winter Palace). Part of the State Palace (on the other side of the Palace Square) and the Menshikov Palace have been added to the Hermitage complex. The museum was born thanks to the empress Catherine the Great and her collections of paintings that she began to place in the Winter Palace. Originally the Hermitage was exclusive to family members and loved ones but in 1922 was opened to the public with free admission for the first five years. Since the opening of Russia, the Hermitage has become for foreign tourists the main attraction of the country. It still has annexes in Amsterdam and Las Vegas.
You can take photos for private, non-profit purposes.
It is possible to visit the Hermitage without a guide with the existing smartphone app (Russian or English only).
The cats of the Hermitage are well known and in the spring the Party of the guardian cats takes place. For the occasion, there is an exhibition of art representing cats, visits to cat areas, games for children and adults, etc. This event is a way of collecting money to feed cats and their maintenance because this expense is not part of the museum’s budget.
On Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum has more opening hours and on the first Thursday of each month, admission is free.
The fastest way to buy the tickets is online or on the automatic machines on site. Note that children and students (regardless of age or nationality), do not pay but students will have to queue for get their entry with a student card.