The State Hermitage Museum

The renowned State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and most-respected museums in the world. Situated along the beautiful Neva River, it is comprised of seven impressive buildings and hosts over three million items. A trip here should certainly be at the top of your list when visiting. Learn about Russia's past through incredible architecture, ancient relics and artifacts and see interesting items from all over the world. The collection here is so big, it is sure to have something to wow you.

Step inside the Winter Palace

One of the world's oldest museums, the Hermitage was founded in 1764 by famed Russian Empress Catherine the Great and originally featured her small, private art collection. The museum now features everything from Paleolithic-era artifacts to Renaissance masterpieces by the likes of da Vinci and Raphael. The collections are spread across seven buildings including the beautiful Winter Palace. The Winter Palace is part of the main complex of the museum and is a marvel in itself. This incredible building stretches out along the river's edge in the center of the city. It was once the official residence of the Russian Monarchs and now plays host to priceless souvenirs from the past. For those wanting a greater insight into Russian culture and history, the Hermitage's extensive collection of Russian artwork literally paints a picture of the nation's captivating past. Step into Peter the Great's Study, see 19th-20th century interior design and visit the private rooms of Empress Maria Alexandrovna.

Making the most of your visit

There is so much to see and do here and with over three million items on display, you will need to plan ahead. The complex is open seven days a week and tickets can be bought in the foyer of the Winter Palace or on the museum's website. You can also create a tour for yourself online or sign up for a guided trip. No matter your choice, you will want to set aside a full day to visit. A 25 minute walk from the museum is our contemporary hotel in St Petersburg. Grab a room here and be right in the center near all the best attractions.