Visit Eremitase and Winter Palace – St Petersburg, Russia
October 13, 2018
Guide for visiting the Eremitase
One of the things from the trip to Russia that deserves it’s own post it the Eremitase and winter palace in St. Petersburg.
The best place to start exploring is the Palace Square just outside the museum. Like many things in this city the Winter Palace is build grand and royal and it’s impossible to miss it. Here you start getting the ideas how life has been before with the royals.
3 months is the time that it would take to get through the museum if you looked at all the three million art pieces for just a few seconds. Can you believe that?
Winter Palace history
This is the royal palace used by the Russian emperors and their families. The building of the palace started in 1754 and took almost ten years to complete. The palace looks royal worthy already from the outside before even going inside. It served as a home and office for the Russian emperot families over 150 years. Imagine that history!
The original Winter Palace was also a home to a huge art collection and after getting bigger was extended by the completion of the Eremitase museum. Currently the Eremitase is sa vast that it includes four buildings counting in the Winter Palace.
The decoration of the palace has followed the different styles of art durig the centuries. Unfortunately some were lost in the fire which damaged the palace in 1837.
The palace is located on the bank of the Neva river for amazing views and easy transport connections over the water.
Tickets for Eremitase
Today the you can visit the Eremitase museum on your visit to St. Petersburg to get a look at the amazing art and royal decoration.
If your visit is during the busy summer months I’d recommend getting a ticket in advance online on the Eremitase website. This way you can avoid the queues in the ticket desks and getting in.
The price for a single day ticket for adults is 700 rubles (around 9€). This gets you access to all the general collections and the palace for a whole day. There might be some separate shows that you can get a ticket for like the treasure room.
When visiting during the more quiet months like I did now in September you can buy tickets from the ticket desk or the machines outside. During my visit there was no queu so getting in was really quick.
Once outside the Eremitase you can find many promoters approaching you selling guided tours. I haven’t tried this but I believe majority are ledged and will show you around for a price.
Prepare for your visit
Grab a map and start wondering! No matter which direction you choose to go I promise you’ll be amazed.
Good way to go is pick a floor and do a full walk around the palace from one room to another. I would take atleast half a day if not a whole on to exploring Eremitase so you don’t feel too rushed. I ended up walking around for hours without even noticing.
It’s a good idea to packa water and put on good shoes for this art marathon even if there is a cafe and areas to rest downstairs.
What to see in the Eremitase
As said before the art collection is huge. This means it’s worth to plan your visit and make atleast a loose plan what to see.
In the first floor you get to see the different rooms and interior decoration of the palace. It was such a surreal feeling walking around the rooms and imagening the past lives lived here. Here you find many royal halls, studies and libraries.
Once moving on the next rooms hold worlds biggest collection of art from different famous painters and centuries. For example two full rooms of Picasso’s work.
The palace has three full floors of art so it will take more than one visit to see all of it. Just the interior decoration is breath taking and so full of details that it’s hard to choose where to look.
You can get a map of the rooms once you arrive or online here.