Tips for Visiting The Hermitage

By  |  7 Comments

if you ever get the opportunity to visit russia, please schedule at least 4-99 days to spend in The Hermitage. do it.
relationship blog herimtage russiawe took a last minute trip from moscow to st. petersburg and i highly recommend Aeroflot airlines for a zippy 1 hour and 10 minute flight AND they feed you a sandwich and apple juice-you don’t even get that on a 6 hour flight on any US domestic flight! amazing.

tip: i received excellent advice from my friend, jenn who said you have to get there about an hour before it opens (gate swings open at 10:30am and close 6pm tuesday, thursday, friday, saturday and sunday. wednesday from 10:30am-9pm). very important…CLOSED on mondays!

st. petersburg only experiences about 75 days of sunshine and we were lucky enough to bask in it while watching bus load after bus load of tourists pour in.

relationship blog the hermitage entrance chelsea and ryan averytip: when you get your admission ticket to go inside, they will also ask if you want to pay for admission into the gold or diamond room. we thought it was worth the roughly extra $10 each. the cost for non-russian citizens is about $12.50 (400 rubles).

then something terrible happened. my camera’s battery died and i am a fool and left the charger in my other packing pile for our upcoming tour of north america. learned that lesson the tough way. i am certain even with my clunky big camera-there is absolutely no way to capture the magnitude of this museum. thanks to my trusty phone…i captured some of the adventure!




P1040718tip: cameras (with no flash turned on) are allowed in the hermitage but they will charge you 200 rubles for a camera permit (about $6.20 US dollars). you will get a little sticker like this and official hermitage people may ask to see it (no one asked for ours though).

IMG_0470tip: you have to check your coat when you get in (not really an option to hang on to it) but there is no charge for this. be sure to hang on to your plastic number and give the friendly coat check person a few dollar tip when you return after miles and miles of walking around the magnificent museum.

IMG_0528tip: if you only have 1 day (like we did) be sure to scout out the artists/sculptures/rooms you want to see to ensure you have enough time to see what you want! again, if you can spend more than 1 day here-do it. towards the end i felt as though i was getting whiplash trying to turn my head fast enough to see what we were passing. i couldn’t drink it all in fast enough.

davinci’s “madonna and child” topped our list

madonna and childyou are going to be walking a ridiculous amount so make sure you are wearing incredibly comfortable shoes or you will find your experience here a whole lot less enjoyable and your feet nastily filled with blisters.

tip: bring some protein bars or heartier snacks along with you in your bag for lunch. they had a small internet cafe open and it was not good food. i also made a horrible mistake by not learning the word “banana” in russian because that delicious looking cake was actually flavored with banana-ew. the “turkey” is actually ham…i was okay with that but my husband detests ham so we not only wasted money on that but then he was a hungry guy. the chips were delicious though.

IMG_0474tip: the tours for the diamond and gold rooms are at set times so make sure to have some sort of time telling device on your person to keep track of time! we snuck in lunch between the two tours.

towards the end of closing time…you will most likely come to terms with the fact that you didn’t get to see everything you wanted, your eyes may hurt from trying to read the russian signs on most of the descriptions of things and awe that you were able to be among over 3 million pieces of art. this is normal.


tip: to remedy this situation, search for a quiet restaurant full of lots of carbs, comfy chairs, wine (or vodka) and excellent company!

relationship blog italian restaurant in st petersburg

the hermitage was a very moving experience and i feel so lucky to have experienced this. i am already putting this back on my list of places i want to come back to and spend more time learning and exploring.

the new wifestyle: sometimes you aren’t prepared for something to impact your life the way it does. appreciate it and the opportunity. 

1) what is something or somewhere you’ve been that has really moved you?
2) how do you feel about banana flavored things?
3) are you interested in art and museums or would you rather do something else with your time (no judgement…they aren’t for everyone)


  1. Dmite

    September 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    You must visit the Louvre one day!!!! That will keep your head spinning! Great hearing about your Russian adventures! Quite the world traveller!!!

    • chelsea

      September 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      yes dmite! the louvre is totally on my list! i hear it’s magnificent. russia was quite the adventure-we need to add denmark to our list too 🙂

  2. Kathy

    September 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    We had such a marvelous time!

    • chelsea

      September 21, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      we really did!!

  3. Beki

    September 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    1. The Vietnam Memorial in DC was probably one of the most moving places I’ve ever been. Just seeing all those names is one thing, but then stepping back and watching other people have “moments” was so intense.

    2. I tend to like sugary banana flavored things (like RUNTS oh man) but in reality, I’m not a huge fan of actual bananas. The opposite for watermelon – I love watermelon but anything I’ve had that is watermelon flavored is just awful.

    3. YES for sure, I really like museums. I tend to enjoy experiencing them on my own though and usually break away from other people I go with, at least for awhile.

    • chelsea

      September 21, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      ohhh vietnam memorial is super intense and moving, beki- absolutely. i recently only started liking bananas in real life but i wish you would have been with me here so i could give you cake and then maybe you’d trade me for yours 🙂 ravery and i definitely broke off for a bit and then we even split up….totally agree with solitary museum exploration! thanks for commenting 🙂

  4. Pingback: One of the Most Transformative Years of My Life! No, Seriously. | the new wifestyle