The 10 Best Museums in Saint Petersburg

Ah, Saint Petersburg! A city that’s as steeped in art and history as it is in the bracing Russian air. If you’re anything like me, a day spent wandering through a museum, getting lost in the stories of the past and the beauty of art, is a day well spent. And let me tell you, Saint Petersburg is a treasure trove of such experiences. So, grab your walking shoes and let’s embark on a journey through the 10 best museums this city has to offer.

The Hermitage Museum

First up, and arguably the crown jewel of Saint Petersburg’s museums, is the Hermitage. It’s not just a museum; it’s an epic tale told through over three million pieces of art. From Egyptian antiquities to Renaissance masterpieces, the Hermitage is a feast for the senses. You could spend days here and still not see everything. Trust me, the grandeur of the Winter Palace alone is worth the trip.

Russian Museum

Next on our list is the Russian Museum. It’s the first state museum of Russian fine arts in the country and it’s a national treasure. The museum’s collection is a vibrant tapestry of Russian culture, showcasing everything from ancient icons to avant-garde paintings. It’s a must-visit for anyone wanting to delve deep into Russia’s artistic heritage.

Fabergé Museum

For a touch of opulence, the Fabergé Museum is a sparkling gem. Housed in the Shuvalov Palace, the museum displays the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Fabergé, including the famous Imperial Easter eggs. These intricate masterpieces are a testament to the extravagance of the Russian Imperial court.

Yusupov Palace

Speaking of extravagance, the Yusupov Palace is not just a museum but also a witness to Russian history. Once the residence of the wealthy Yusupov family, the palace is perhaps best known as the site of Grigori Rasputin’s assassination. The opulent interiors and the exhibition on Rasputin’s murder are equally captivating.

St. Isaac’s Cathedral Museum

St. Isaac’s Cathedral is not only a place of worship but also a museum that offers breathtaking views of the city from its colonnade. The climb to the top is a bit of a workout, but the Panorama is well worth the effort. Inside, the cathedral’s lavish decorations will leave you in awe.

Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art

For a change of pace, the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art is the largest private museum of contemporary art in Russia. It’s a dynamic space where you can engage with the art in a way that traditional museums often don’t allow. The museum’s philosophy is all about creating a personal connection between the visitor and the art.

If you’re keen on maritime history, the Navy Museum, officially known as the Central Naval Museum, is a treasure trove. With a vast collection of naval artifacts, ship models, and maritime paintings, it tells the story of Russia’s naval prowess. It’s a fascinating dive into the country’s maritime past.


The Kunstkamera, or Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, is Russia’s first museum, established by Peter the Great himself. It’s famous (or infamous) for its collection of natural and human curiosities. The museum’s aim is to celebrate human culture in all its diverse forms.

Museum of Political History

For those interested in the more recent past, the Museum of Political History offers an insightful look at Russia’s tumultuous 20th century. Housed in the former residences of ballet impresario Mathilde Kschessinska and Lenin, it provides a unique perspective on the political upheavals that have shaped modern Russia.

Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology

Last but not least, the Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology is a tribute to the pioneers of space exploration. Located in the Peter and Paul Fortress, this museum celebrates the achievements of the Soviet space program. It’s a fascinating look at the race to space and the people who made it possible.


  • Do I need to purchase tickets for each museum in advance?

    It’s a good idea to buy tickets online to avoid long queues, especially for the Hermitage and Fabergé Museum.

  • Are there any days when entry to museums is free?

    Yes, many museums offer free admission on certain days, but these can be particularly busy. Check individual museum websites for details.

  • Can I take photos inside the museums?

    Photography policies vary by museum. Some allow it without flash, while others may require a photography permit or prohibit it altogether.


In conclusion, Saint Petersburg’s museums are not just buildings filled with artifacts; they’re gateways to other worlds. From the grand halls of the Hermitage to the intimate galleries of the Fabergé Museum, there’s a story waiting around every corner. Whether you’re a history buff, art aficionado, or just looking for a glimpse into Russia’s soul, these museums offer a window into the heart of Saint Petersburg. So, next time you’re in town, make sure to give these cultural havens a visit. You won’t regret it!

Remember, each museum in Saint Petersburg offers a unique slice of history and culture, making them collectively an unparalleled experience. Whether you’re marveling at the grandeur of Russian art or exploring the depths of space, these top 10 museums are sure to leave you with memories that last a lifetime. So, why not start planning your cultural adventure today?

Kurby Team

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