Meet your guide at Palace Square, and then head inside Hermitage State Museum, St Petersburgs incredible art gallery. Having started out as a small collection of artwork by Empress Catherine II to impress her guests, the Hermitage has grown into one of the worlds premier art museums, holding a treasure trove of Western European, Oriental, and prehistoric artwork.
Spread across four buildings (comprising the Winter Palace, Little Hermitage, Large Hermitage and Hermitage Theatre) plus more than 120 rooms, the Hermitage is vast and a visit can be overwhelming. So, let your guide take away the hassle, introducing you to the museums highlights while explaining the art.
The Western European collection includes art from the Middle Ages right through to the modern period, with artists from nearly every Western European country represented. See masterpieces by Italian greats like Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael; admire Impressionist paintings like Two Sisters (On the Terrace) by Renoir; and gaze in awe at sculptures such as Rodins The Age of Bronze. Hear of the artistic periods that are featured at the Hermitage, and learn how to spot differences between Impressionist and Renaissance art.
Besides the impressive artwork, the museum boasts an interior that is notable in its own right. Admire the gilded glamour of the Winter Palace with its crystal chandeliers and grandiose staircases, and then marvel at the Loggia of Raphael an opulent gallery based on Raphaels Rooms in the Vatican.
After three hours exploring the rooms with your guide, finish your tour inside the museum. If your visit has whetted your appetite to see more, then stay inside and admire the art independently.