Travel bucket list idea:
St. Petersburg , Northwestern Region, Russia|www.hermitagemuseum.org
The State Hermitage museum’s main building and biggest draw, famous for its eye-wateringly opulent central staircase and ornate halls; if you only have time to do one building, this is the one to see.
Start with the atmospheric Egyptian collection, including sarcophagi, mummy cases and statues, before delving into the vast array of European Art from the 13th to 20th Centuries, which spreads across three other buildings.
The Winter Palace is also home to one of the two ‘treasure galleries’, filled with jewellery and gold – only visitable as part of a guided tour.
Getting there & doing it
See our summary on how to visit the State Hermitage Museum.
When to do it
If the State Hermitage museums are a priority for you on a visit to St. Petersburg, consider visiting in winter when the crowds thin out.
In high season, take advantage of the museum’s late openings on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays until 8pm and visit the museum in the early evening. Some tours offer early access to the museum, before the crowds arrive. The museum is closed on Mondays.
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The great civilisations of the past have left a legacy of constructions that still stand out and inspire. Built without the wonders of 20th-century technology, many are also monumental feats of engineering; others offer such grace and beauty, that they’ll literally take your breath away.