Plan your trip to the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in advance to avoid lines and make the most of your visit to one of the world's largest museums. Use this guide to help you plan.
Book Tickets to Hermitage Museum in Advance
If your trip to St. Petersburg falls within the months of May through September, it is a good idea to buy tickets in advance online. Otherwise, you'll spend time and energy waiting in line at the ticket booth.
Advance purchase tickets include the fee required to use cameras or video equipment. You will be sent a voucher that you will exchange for a ticket (when you show proof of identity, so bring your passport or other photo ID with you) to enter the museum.
Two types of tickets are available: A one-day ticket that allows you entrance to the main complex or a two-day ticket that allows you entrance to any of the museums run by the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
Be sure to review the terms and conditions if you purchase tickets online – this document has important information that will help you have a worry-free visit to the museum.
Check Tour Times
If you would like to take a guided tour of the museum, check for tour times in advance. This can be done by contacting the Tour Bureau of the Hermitage. The museum has pre-scheduled tours in many different languages. You will be given times during which the tours in your preferred language will be leaving. Tours must also be arranged to view the Treasure Gallery.
Check Calendar and Schedule of Closings
The State Hermitage Museum sometimes makes rooms unavailable to the public for maintenance. If you are concerned about missing something you had hoped to see, you can check for this information on the Hermitage's website schedule of closings. The website also offers a calendar of events and exhibitions which may help you plan your visit.
Plan Your Day
Because the State Hermitage Museum is huge, you will want to plan the day you visit the Hermitage carefully. The museum doesn't open until 10:30 am, which means you can eat a leisurely breakfast and make your way to the museum using the metro, trolley, bus, or taxi.
Plan to arrive at the museum early so that you are fresh and ready for a day of walking and visual stimuli. Before you leave from your hotel, make sure you have with you the following items: your ticket voucher, ID, camera if you choose to use one, and some pocket money for purchasing souvenirs or a snack.
You may either decide to take your time visiting the museum, or you can go through it quickly once then plan a second visit so that you can examine exhibits of particular interest to you at a more leisurely pace.
Upon arrival, don't forget to visit the information booths, which offer suggestions for routes through the museums and printouts for these routes. These are useful if you have decided to forgo a guided tour.
If you get hungry, grab a bite to eat at the Hermitage Cafe. Food and drinks are not permitted inside the museum. If you prefer not to take advantage of the cafe, plan your visit to the museum after a meal so that hunger won't hurry you through the exhibitions.