The two-hundred-metre-long Baroque Winter Palace along the banks of the Neva River is the city’s largest, most opulent palace, and was the official residence of the tsars, their court and 1500 servants until the revolution of 1917. Today the building houses one of the world’s greatest museums, the Hermitage (Tues–Sat 10.30am–6pm, Sun 10.30am–5pm; R400, free to students, free admission first Thurs of every month), launched as Russia’s first public art museum in 1852. The Hermitage collection embraces over three million treasures and works of art, from ancient Scythian gold and giant malachite urns to Cubist pieces. After the elaborately decorated staterooms and the Gold Collection, the most popular section covers modern European art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an array of works by Picasso, Gauguin, Van Gogh, Rodin, Monet and Renoir.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Russia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Baikal: exploring Siberia's epic frozen lake

Anita Isalska explores the frozen surface of the epic Lake Baikal in Russia.  During Siberian winters, the mercury drops as low as minus 35ºC (minus 95ºF)…

12 May 2015 • Anita Isalska insert_drive_file Article
20 places to get utterly lost

20 places to get utterly lost

Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea It’s strange to think that at the heart of one of the most densely populated places on the planet, just a stone’s…

23 Oct 2014 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Travel news: Moscow to Beijing in just two days?

Follow us on a whistle-stop tour of the latest travel stories, including news of a super-fast train line between Moscow and Beijing, the suitcase that heats up …

21 Oct 2014 • Steve Vickers insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month