15 BEST Museums in St. Petersburg [August 2019]

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15 BEST Museums in St. Petersburg [[date]]

St. Petersburg is a city that is often synonymous with opulence. As Russia’s cultural capital, it seems that there is something jaw-dropping and stunning around every corner. To put it simply, St. Petersburg lives by the motto, go big or go home.

One of the most impressive things about St. Petersburg is the grandiose structures that line the streets and riverbanks. These colorfully eclectic buildings come in an array of every type of design, from Baroque to Soviet, and even Modern.

But the architecture is just one example of the city’s cultural wealth. Everything in St. Petersburg seems to be larger-than-life, especially when it comes to the museums. The museums here are some of the largest and most extensive in the world!

So when you visit St. Petersburg, make sure to come prepared for a fascinating experience. We guarantee that you’ll find something just as intriguing as this bustling city itself!

 

#1 – The State Russian Museum

Art Museum

The State Russian Museum

Photo credit – http://www.saint-petersburg.com

  • 40-hectares of Russian and International art
  • See stunning palaces, gardens, and courtyards
  • Cost: 300 – 1,000 Rubles (adults), 150 – 500 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 4 – 5 hours

With over 40,000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings, the State Russian Museum is more than just one of the largest museums in the world. But in fact, it also contains the largest collection of Russian artworks!

Covering over ten centuries of art, the State Russian Museum is also housed in a beautiful, neo-classical palace complex right in the middle of the city. The museum is also home to the Summer Palace of Peter I, St. Michael’s Castle of Emperor Paul, and the Marble Palace of Count Orlov.

See all the highlights of the State Russian Museum with a private walking tour!

 

#2 – Faberge Museum

Art Museum

Faberge Museum

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Opulent Russian treasures
  • Nine Faberge eggs
  • Cost: 700 Rubles
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Located on the banks of the Fontanka River, the Faberge Museum contains thousands of valuable Russian treasures. Within its walls, you’ll find gold and silver jewelry, porcelain, and even bronze statues.

And during your visit, don’t miss the Faberge Imperial Easter Egg collection. Designed for the last two Russian Tzars, there are only 57 known existing eggs in the world, nine of which are right here in the museum.

Skip the line at the Faberge Museum and learn even more from a private tour guide!

 

#3 – Hermitage Museum

Art Museum

Hermitage Museum

Photo credit – annees-de-pelerinage

  • Opulent Russian treasures
  • Nine Faberge eggs
  • Cost: 300 – 1,000 Rubles (adults), 150 – 500 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 4 – 5 hours

The impressive Hermitage Museum seems to have a never-ending list of accolades. With over 3 million pieces of art, it’s the second largest art museum in the world. And it contains more paintings than any other museum.

Highlights include masterpieces by Michelangelo, Picasso, Raphael, and van Gogh – to name a few. Situated on the Neva River, the baroque buildings are equally as impressive as the museum itself.

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in St. Petersburg!

 

#4 – Russian Vodka Museum

Specialty Museum

Russian Vodka Museum

Photo credit – http://www.visit-petersburg.ru/

  • Learn about the history and production of Vodka
  • Samples!
  • Cost: 170 – 500 Rubles
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

No trip to Russia would be complete without learning about the country’s most iconic beverage – vodka! At the Russian Vodka Museum, you can see how vodka is produced and how it became the cultural staple that it is today.

At the end of your tour, you’ll get the chance to taste a few samples yourself! As we like to say, when in St. Petersburg!

Upgrade your visit with an exclusive Caviar and Vodka tasting!

 

#5 – Naval History Museum

Maritime Museum

Naval History Museum

Photo credit – https://petersburgcard.com

  • One of the largest naval museums
  • Model ships, equipment, and thousands of art pieces
  • Cost: 600 Rubles (adults), 400 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 5 – 6 hours

If you’re interested in naval history (or even if you’re just an amateur sailor), then St. Petersburg Naval History Museum is for you! Inside, you can find everything related to Russia’s navy, including tools, equipment, art, and even uniforms.

However, the main highlight is the 2,000 model ships. The main exhibit contains 19 halls worth of artifacts, but that’s not all! There are six other buildings filled with enough objects to keep you mesmerized for the whole day.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Try our hotel guide for St. Petersburg!

 

#6 – Erarta Museum

Art Museum

Erarta Museum

Photo credit – https://www.inyourpocket.com

  • Over 2,800 pieces of art
  • Check out their experimental installations
  • Cost: 550 Rubles
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

As the largest private museum of contemporary art, the Erarta Museum has been delighting art lovers for the last nine years. In the museum, you’ll find paintings, sculptures, and installations from over 300 artists.

The biggest draw for visitors is the interactive U-Space exhibit, which takes people into private chambers intending to evoke deep, hidden emotions. But besides the exhibits, the Erarta Museum is also home to a workshop facility, and art store, and cinema hall.

Make the most of your visit to the Erarta Museum with a knowledgeable guided tour!

 

#7 – Museum of History of The Photography

Art Museum

Museum of History of The Photography

Photo credit – http://www.saint-petersburg.com

  • Antique cameras on display
  • Many photographs and illustrations
  • Cost: Free
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Photography buffs will love learning even more about their favorite hobby at the Museum of History of The Photography. As you explore decades of photographic history, you’ll find tools, equipment, and models that have been used in the past.

Besides containing a vast collection of rare and antique cameras, the Museum of History of The Photography also shows how cameras, and photograph styles in general, have evolved over time.

Prepare for your trip! We think knowing the history of St. Petersburg is as important as packing the right dinner shirt!

 

#8 – Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory

Specialty Museum

Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory

Photo credit – https://petersburgcard.com

  • Learn about the first porcelain factory in Russia
  • See many delicate items and objects on display
  • Cost: 300 Rubles
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Run by the Hermitage, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory consists of more than 30,000 delicate items and artifacts. You’ll find glass, drawings, portraits, and of course, a lot of porcelain!

The museum was initially created to display the collection from the Lomonosov porcelain factory museum back in 2003 but has evolved to become a popular spot to visit in St. Petersburg.

Need some inspiration? Check out what you can do in St. Petersburg no matter how long your visit is!

 

#9 – Street Art Museum

Specialty Museum

Street Art Museum

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • 20+ large wall murals
  • Located inside a Laminated Plastics factory
  • Cost: 350 Rubles (adults), 250 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

Located inside an active Laminated Plastics factory, the Street Arm Museum is an eclectic space filled with one-of-a-kind urban art. The permanent exhibit includes giant murals and wall paintings artists including Radya, Kirill Kto, Escif, and P183.

And even if those names don’t ring a bell, you’ll still be in awe of their larger-than-life installations inside the factory workshop. The juxtaposition of the gorgeous paintings and industrial setting is something that can’t be missed!

 

#10 – Museum of Optics

Science Museum

Museum of Optics

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Learn about light and optical illusions
  • Many interactive exhibits and installations
  • Cost: 350 – 400 Rubles (adults), 300 – 350 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 2 – 3 hours

As one of the most unique museums in St. Petersburg, the Museum of Optics is a treat for the eyes. Here, you’ll learn all about the scientific (and in our opinion, mystical) properties of light and optical illusions.

Virtually paint a picture with color, freeze your shadow on a wall, and even manipulate time and space! Fun for the whole family, the Museum of Optics unlocks a new world of science and technology by showing you the magic of light!

 

#11 – The Shadow Museum

Science Museum

The Shadow Museum

Photo credit – https://en.shadowmuseum.ru/

  • Mixing art and science
  • Included guided tour
  • Cost: 350 Rubles (adults), 250 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 30 min – 1 hour

The Shadow Museum is an entertaining and quirky museum located in the heart of St. Petersburg. As you walk through the gallery, you’ll see visions and images in art that you never knew existed!

Learn about the connection between light and shadow, be amazed by stunning optical illusions, and even get a chance to make a few shadow puppets yourself! All tickets come with a 30 minuted guided tour.

 

#12 – Grand Maket Russia Museum

Specialty Museum

Grand Maket Russia Museum

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Small scale model of Russia
  • See what daily life looks like
  • Cost: 540 Rubles (adults), 320 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Have you ever wanted to travel around Russia but simply didn’t have the time to do so? Well, at the Gran Maket Russia Museum, you can! The museum contains a small-scale model of the different cities and regions in Russia.

See miniature people playing sports, going to school, working in the countryside, and even traveling! The interactive railway and vehicle system (which you move yourself) brings the models to life!

Combine a visit to the Grand Maket Russia with a St. Petersburg highlight and attraction tour!

 

#13 – Artillery Museum

Military Museum

Artillery Museum

Photo credit – http://www.saint-petersburg.com

  • Thousands of military memorabilia
  • See tanks, missile launchers, and machines
  • Cost: 400 Rubles (adults), 250 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 3 – 4 hours

Dive deeper into Russia’s military history with a visit to the Artillery Museum. It contains a vast collection of equipment, uniforms, weapons, and transportation.

And while most of the museum focus on WWII and the Soviet Union, you’ll still find objects and memorability dating as far back as the Middle Ages! And in the outside courtyard, you can view real artillery and missile launchers that were used in battle!

Visit the Artillery Museum on your city tour with a professional guide!

 

#14 – Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Specialty Museum

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Photo credit – Tripadvisor

  • Play your favorite games from childhood
  • All USSR produced arcade games
  • Cost: 450 Rubles
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

This quirky museum is one of it’s kind! The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines has an extensive collection of Russian produced arcade machines from the 1970s.

But instead of merely admiring the antique games, you get to play them! Fun for kids (or simply those who are kids at heart), the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines has over 40 different machines and games to choose from.

 

#15 – The Pushkin Apartment Museum

Biographical Museum

Karolina Protsenko

Photo credit – http://www.saint-petersburg.com

  • See Puskin’s greatest works
  • Explore a 19th century preserved apartment
  • Cost: 200 Rubles (adults), 100 Rubles (reduced)
  • Suggested duration: 1 – 2 hours

Celebrating the life of Russian’s most prominent writer, The Pushkin Apartment Museum is located inside Alexander Pushkin’s actual residence. Inside, his furnishings and decor have been carefully preserved, and are excellent examples of prosperous life from the mid-1800s.

But besides walking around his home, you can also re-experience his move notable novels and poems, including “Eugene Onegin” and “The Queen of Spades.”

 

FAQ

How many museums are in St. Petersburg?

There are over 200 different museums within the city limits of St. Petersburg. And while that may seem like an impressive number, it’s the elaborate architecture and rich history of the museums that are equally as stunning!

How many free museums are in St. Petersburg?

Most museums in St. Petersburg charge an entry fee. However, you might be able to find smaller, more independent museums that are free to entry. And remember, some museums, including the Hermitage, offer free visit days throughout the year.

What are the hours of museums in St. Petersburg?

It’s common for museums to open around 10 or 11 in the morning, and close around 6 or 7 in the evening. And while some museums are open seven days a week, it’s not unusual for a museum to be closed at least once a week, usually on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday.

What can I bring into St. Petersburg museums?

Each museum in St. Petersburg has its own rules of what is allowed inside. Most art museums, including the Hermitage, prohibit video and photography, food and drinks, and large items like suitcases or strollers. You can check the specific museum’s website to see what you are allowed to bring.

 

Final Thoughts

Boasting some of the best visual, fine, and architectural arts in the world, St. Petersburg is a magnificent place to explore Russia’s culture. You could easily spend years in the city and not even scratch the surface of everything it has to offer.

But by now, we hope you have an idea of what museum you’d want to visit during your time in St. Petersburg. And while this is just a small list, we’re sure you’ll find something that sparks your interest. With over 200 museums, a lively atmosphere, and a wealth of culture, you can’t go wrong in St. Petersburg!

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.