St. Petersburg is not without reason referred to by local residents
as the gorod muzei or "city museum." The former capital of a vast
and glorious empire which reached from the Barents Sea to the Silk
Road and Central Europe to the Pacific Ocean, St. Petersburg is
brimming with history, and fortunately for us this history is well
preserved in the city's more than 50 museums. Whether you want to
immerse yourself in the world-renowned Hermitage Museum's more than
1000 rooms which collectively house one of the world's greatest
collections of Western European Art or visit the widely acclaimed
Russian Ethnographic Museum's truly rich exhibit of the life and
culture of the over 100 peoples of Russia, you are sure to be
impressed and wanting to come back for more.
Academy of Fine
Arts Museum - On the bank of the northern bank of the Neva River
behind the imported and ancient Egyptian sphinxes, the historic
academy houses a permanent collection of art by former students and
faculty since the its founding in 1757. It also exhibits various
The Applied Art Museum - One of the more underrated
museums in the city, the historic Applied Art Museum boasts
permanent exhibits of about 3000 original items ranging from
interesting and unique glass works to ceramics and porcelain. It
also hosts regular exhibitions by students of the academy.
Arctic and Antarctic Museum - Exhibits the northern sea
route, culture of people who live in the far north and the discovery
and exploration of the Antartic.
Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Signal Corps - This
museum is home to more than 50,000 exhibits including an array of
artillery pieces, battle paintings, engineering equipment, heavy
artillery, firearms and other weapons.
Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace - This mid-19th century era
palace houses the City Cultural Center and has a varied and
interesting cultural program including classical music concerts,
folk dance and historical performances. The first floor is home to a
wax figure museum of Russian Emperors.
Central Railway Museum - Established in 1813, the museum
has more than in-house 50,000 exhibits, which depict the development
of the railways in Russia and explain various railroad technologies.
The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood - It's unique
decorations include icons and panels made from majolica and mosaic,
which were made from drawings by the leading Russian artists of last
century. Restorers say the church contains more mosaics than any
other cathedral in the world. The church also houses a permanent
exhibition "Tsar Alexander II".
The Cottage Palace in Peterhof / Petrodvorets - Located
about 30 km west of St. Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland, this was
the cottage where Peter the Great was quartered while building while
building an entire series of palaces along an estate called
Petrodvorets or Peter's Palace.
Cruiser Aurora - Famous for firing the first shot in the
Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the cruiser has been turned into a
floating museum containing documents and photographs related to the
Dostoyevsky Memorial Museum - The museum opened in 1971 to
celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the great Russian
novelist. He spent the last years of his life here and wrote one of
his greatest novels "The Brothers Karamazov" here. The restored
rooms, belongings, literary display and photographs shed light on
the writer's interesting personal life and outstanding career.
The Hermitage Museum - A world-class museum founded in
1764. It occupies several buildings including the Winter Palace,
Small, Old and New Hermitages. The museum boasts more than 3 million
works including applied art, archaeological finds, coins, graphic
art, paintings and sculptures. The museum recently acquired Soviet
painter Kazimir Malevich's famous black square painting for $1
Icebreaker "Krasin" - Built between 1917 and 1927 and
named for the Soviet government official Leonid Krasin the
ice-breaker took part in research expeditions in the Arctic and is
considered the world's only floating museum of Arctic navigation.
The Marble Palace - A branch of the Russian Museum, famous
Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi built the palace for one of
Catherine II's favorites Count Grigory Orlov from 1768-85. The
palace houses a permanent exhibition of European artists of the 18th
and first half of the 19 centuries who lived and worked in Russia.
It also houses an exhibit of modern art from abroad.
The Mikhailovsky (St. Michael's) Castle - A branch of the
Russian Museum, it regularly hosts a variety of art exhibitions. It
also has a permanent exhibition of portraits of members of the
Romanov dynasty and the Russian aristocracy.
Monument To The Heroic Defenders Of Leningrad - An
impressive monument and museum complex in nationwide recognition of
the 900-day Siege of Leningrad during World War II. Pay special
attention to the map of the Leningrad defenses, the short
documentary, and the beautiful mosaics, which decorate the eastern
and western walls of the hall.
The Central Navy Museum - Founding on Peter the Great's
decree in 1709, the museum is one of the oldest in the city.
Attached to the golden-spired Admiralty building, the museum is
dedicated to Russian naval history. It houses more than 1500
exhibits including various flags, historical documents, weapons and
Peter and Paul Fortress - This is the oldest building in
St. Petersburg. Be sure to visit the baroque interior of the SS
Peter & Paul cathedral with its landmark golden needle spire. This
is also the resting site for many Russian Tsars including Peter the
Great. The grounds outside the fortress are a major venue for
several city festivals held through out the year.
Alexander Pushkin Museum and Memorial Apartment - The
museum honoring the great Russian writer and poet opened in 1949 to
celebrate the 150th anniversary of Pushkin's birth and is the oldest
literary museum in Russia. It includes a display of all of Pushkin's
Russian Ethnography Museum - Houses an exhibit of the
culture and life of the more than 150 peoples of Russia including
various adornments, cut objects, embroidery, folk costumes, furs and
The Russian Museum - Founded in 1898, this is the largest
and most complete museum of Russian art. The museum's collection of
art is housed in the Mikhailovsky Palace, which was built by famous
Russian architect Carl Rossi from 1819-25. It houses works by great
Russian artists including renowned painters Pavel Fedotov, Isaac
Levitan, Orest Kiprensky, Ilya Repin and many others.
St Isaac's Cathedral - The lavish interior of the
grandiose and skyline-dominating cathedral completed in 1858 and
designed by French architect Ricard de Montferrand. Be sure to check
out the views from the colonnade surrounding the cathedral's
beautiful landmark golden dome.
The Stroganov Palace - The palace is currently being
restored. However, an interesting exhibition of about 30 wax figures
representing the Tsarist dynasty and 300 years of Romanov family
rule in Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Nicholas II is open. The
figures are all dressed up in authentic clothing.
The Summer Palace Of Emperor Peter The Great - houses a
permanent collection of Peter the Great's personal belongings from
the 18th century including bed, clothes, mirror and pieces of
furniture. The palace was built between 1710-12 to the design of
famous architect D. Trezinni.
Aleksander Suvorov Memorial Museum - This museum has a
display devoted to the great Russian generalissimo Alexander Suvorov
who is considered one of the greatest military leaders in world
history. The building has been renovated and its new interior is
The Yelagin Palace - Completed in 1822 and designed by
renowned architect Karl Rossi, the palace was the summer home of
Empress Maria Fedorovna. It now houses an exhibit of decorative
applied art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The Yusupov Palace - A marvel of 18th and 19th century
architecture and home to one of the wealthiest and powerful
pre-Revolutionary Russian families, the palace is also famous as the
site where Gregory Rasputin was murdered in 1916. The palace offers
guided tours and is a venue for regular concerts and other cultural
Zoological Museum - The museum has an impressive display
of over 40,000 exhibits of fauna from every continent and climate.