World famous State Hermitage museum offers a fantastic collection of art and a must see for anyone visiting Saint Petersburg, Russia. One thing that can scare many visitors off is a huge line in front of the museum. No wonder – it is that popular and this kind of line can be expected at a museum like this. What to do, if you still would like to go? Here is our guide for how to buy online tickets to Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and skipping the line.
How to get to Hermitage?
Winter palace, which is now occupied by Hermitage state museum, is located on the banks of Neva river in the heart of old Saint Petersburg. The museum can be reached via various transpoirt options, depending on where you are staying. Getting to museum and moving around inside of it involves a lot of walking and requires a lot of energy. We easily walked 22000 step each day while occasionally using public transport.
If you are staying anywhere on the Nevsky, taking a local bus is the best thing for you. The ride only costs 40 Rubles (0.50$). Tickets can be purchased inside the bus from the lady in blue west. No worries, she will come to you and ask for the money. There are several lines going up to Dvortsovaja (Palace) square, such as 7, 10, 24. Metro is also an option, but you will need to walk a bit more. Nearest metro station is called Admiralteyskaya and can be reached with purple or green lines. Last but not least, taxis are pretty cheap in Russia, especially when using Yandex taxi app (similar to Uber).
Whats wrong with the line?
The amount of visitors in State Hermitage museum is always very high. The museum is famous for its collection of art, paintings, ceramics and religious artifacts. Combined with very good entrance price, this makes it a number one attraction for anyone visiting Saint Petersburg. Just like anywhere else in the world, mass tourism has arrived in Russia, too. The museum has made effort to solve the line problem by installing ticket machines. However, you will still have to stand in line, as only certain amount of visitors is allowed inside at the same time.
Online tickets to Hermitage in Saint Petersburg
Just simple as that – buy your tickets online! When Googling for online tickets, you may accidentally click on advertisement banners of local travel agencies offering tours. If you are looking to buy just the tickets and enjoy the museum on your own (or hire audio guide inside), follow this link to official website selling ticket.
Important is to remember that as a tourist, you will be paying higher price. Sadly, in English version of the website, the price is 17,95$. Don’t buy for this price, I will show you how to get them cheaper! Here is how it looks like on English version:
In the upper corner, change language to Pyc (Russian). Now the ticket price is 730 Rubles (around 12$)
Now click on the button with an arrow (Заказать билет). Choose whether you’d like a one or two day ticket. You can use the ticket on any date until the end of the year.
Click on the pink button. On the next screen, you will need to fill out some fields with personal information, such as name, phone number and email address.
First and last name need to be in cyrillic. You can translate your name into cyrillic on this website
Now fill the credit card information
Once you have filled your credit card details, electronic tickets will be sent to your email address. You can print them out or scan bar code from your phone screen at the entrance gates. If that doesn’t work, you can also exchange them for paper tickets at the counter of the museum. Simply name the number of your order.
Important is to remember that the entrance for E-tickets is different from the regular tickets and groups. It took us a while to figure it out and finally we had to ask security guards. If you are facing the museum, walk all the way to the right until you see Atlant statues (huge sculptures of men holding the building on their shoulders). Just before you reach them, turn left into a gate, you will probably see a small line, but it moves much faster than the usual line. We literally got inside within 20 minutes.
One or two day ticket?
If you are a huge art lover, you may probably need a two day ticket to see all of the museum. It is literally impossible to fully enjoy it in just one day. You will very soon be tired, as the museum is huge. We managed to see only main halls, most famous paintings and Egyptian/ Greek/ Roman sculptures in half a day. The cafeteria was quite packed and rather expensive, but it was such a relief to enjoy a coffee and grab a snack. By the way – you are not allowed to bring your own food and drinks to the museum!
I would recommend getting a two day ticket and enjoying the museum at a slower pace. Ideally you should be coming in winter, when all the masses are gone. This way you will have a chance to truly experience what a life was like during the Russian Empire and how tsars lived. For an even greater experience, we also recommend going to Pushkin and visiting Summer Palace as well as its beautiful garden.