Thursday, 3 May 2018

Tourist tips for avoiding the queues at State Heritage Museum, St Petersburg - self-guided

There are a bank of tickets machines (marked with red "T" on map) on the left and right after you pass through the archways into the main courtyard from Palace Square. The machines are in English and Russian. Admission: 700 roubles, change given.
We went both in the morning and afternoon (early May) and the wait at the machines was only a few minutes. You can then proceed straight to main entrance - we choose the left side, avoiding the long, slow-moving queues. The long queues are for Russian citizens who can claim ticket concessions. At the front of the gate there is a sign saying entry for pre-bought tickets.
Buying tickets from the museum website is much more expensive, plus you will still have to queue to show your printed-out ticket (at a separate entrance on Millionnaya Street).
Don't forget to visit the General Staff Building (across Palace Square). Entry is covered by your ticket. Priceless 19th century masterpieces on the 4th floor - Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, Picasso, Van Gogh, Lautrec, Cezanne, Renoir - self-guided, allow 1-2 hours.

Other tips:

  • After you enter, use the free cloakrooms - for coats, umbrellas, backpacks - or you will have to queue up twice when you are sent back.
  • Wednesdays and Fridays hours are extended to 21:00. 
  • Arrive in the afternoons (after 16:00 if you want to avoid more crowds), this allows you 5 hours of viewing if you visit on those 2 days.
  • The first Thursday in each month is free, if you don't mind the queues. On free-Thursday there are 3 other Hermitage Museums that offer free entry. We found no queues for these: Winter Palace of Peter I, Menshikov Palace and the Museum of Imperial Porcelain.
  • Frees are available near turnstiles, make a note of the number of the room show above doorways (from 11 to 400), mark off with a pen so you don't miss a room - the place is a maze.
  • The Middle Floor will take the longest amount of time.
  • This is crucial if you have a 60 year old bladder....there only 2 toilets inside the museum (both hidden on the Ground Level). The other toilets are near Cloakrooms but you will have to exit, so this is a problem.
  • Closed on Mondays.
  • The Summer period is the busiest.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments welcome. Spam and links will be deleted by administrator.