Crowded - not the tour organizer's fault but there is no way that so many people should be allowed in at once! An interesting museum, and an example of collecting and showing things from outside your own culture.
the art inside is amazing, but the crowd was killing!! there were so many people, and it was almost impossible to take a look at any art. but our guise, was very efficient and managed to show us some of it, even in the midst of that pandemonium.
We were a group of 15 a booked a visit with a tour guide for before the general public. It was worth it to be able to get into the museum, see exhibits up close without crowds. As we were leaving, we saw the lines of people waiting to get into the museum.
Others have commented about rudeness of staff. I saw some of this at the Hermitage, but more at Catherine's Palace were we did not get in before the crowds. Take my advice, book with a guide that knows the museum and staff (critical). You also have to understand the culture. It is Russia, not the US midwest.
We were in St. Petersburg overnight. We did a shore excursion (PZ28) to the Hermitage Museum – you must visit this Museum. The architecture in the Winter Palace was exquisite. We spent over four hours in the Museum and only scratched the surface, as there are over 3 million items on display. Photographs are permitted in the Museum, but not in the Gold Room. Do not bring large bags or backpacks to the Museum as you will have to check them in the checkroom. In Russia, if you are not booked on a tour, you must obtain a Visa. Several of our friends booked excursions with private operators and were provided group visas.
Of the six countries we visited, this was our least favorite. The people are not friendly and the city is drab. Going through Russian Immigration was an experience in itself – and not a pleasant one. There were several souvenir shops in the terminal building; all were selling the Matryoshkas nesting dolls.
We would have liked a LOT longer at the Hermitage Museum as had to keep moving all the time to try and keep up with our guide. We had no time to stop and study anything or we would lose her so had to buy a guide book when we got back to the port so we could see pictures of what we had only been able to glimpse. This should have been a really fantastic experience but was just a blur, hence only scoring "average".
Covered this above. Slow through immegration due to RC withhoding passengers. The promise that the excursion would not be cut short as a result was a lie. We had 45 mins in the museum as opposed to the afternoon excursion who had over 2 hours. Significant queue outside the museum with other groups seemingly being fast tracked through (MSc). The excursion was don't at a gentle jog over only 2 of the 3 floors. Most of the time was spent trying to work out which door the rep had taken to leave a room just before you entered it. We were all connected by a remote earpeice which only worked within a certain range. Certainly not for the elderly or even vaguely infirm.
The Hermitage Museum was excellent; however, there was no food involved and a repeat of a daily visit to the Museum. On the positive side, it was very nice to have the museum all to yourself so that you had time to truly admire the paintings and the palace. The tour guide was excellent.
I only gave this 4 stars because our 3 hours there weren't enough. Even we hurried through, we were only able to see a few of the over 2 million paintings, sculptures, etc. Phenomenal museum with some of the most famous paintings in the world.
One of the major parts of the two day package. Be prepared to queue and the place is absolutely packed so there is no hanging around to admire things. Think of it as a taster rather than "seeing" the Hermitage.
Not enough time, impressionists moved out of museum to another museum not included in tour, what we did see was rushed due to the need for tour to get to souvenir shop. We spent more time in souvenir shop than in museum.
A 'must' for any visitor to St. Petersburg. I marvelled at the palace itself but found the tour slightly disappointing because we didn't have enough time in the galleries with so many other tour groups there. Most disappointing of all was the absence of the collection of Impressionists which has now been moved to another building.
This museum housed mainly in the "winter Palace" is unbelievable. The artifacts, paintings, memorabilia, sculptures, etc. has to make for one of the most extensive collections in the world.The Grand Staircase is very "grand" to say the least. Our guide said it would take 7 years (yes, years) to go through the whole collection of everything contained there giving each article more than just a walk by. There is lots in the "basement or wherever things not on display are kept.
THe Hermitage opened at night just for the cruise passengers on the Sat. we were in port. What a wonderful perspective of the art work and palace with all of those candelabaras and chandeliers glowing!
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