Practical information : Sightseeing Saint-Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург)
The normal opening hours of the museums and main visits are from 10 am to 6 pm. Please note that the main points of interest usually have a weekly closing day (Monday for the Hermitage, Tuesday for the Russian Museum). Night visits are frequent and are a good alternative to avoid the crowds of emblematic museums (until 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday for the Hermitage, Thursday for the Russian Museum). Due to the harshness of the winters, many sites with exteriors, such as the Peterhof Palace and Park or the Catherine and Alexander Palaces and Parks in Pushkin, have summer and winter hours. Whether they are private or public, there is no absolute rule and it is a question of inquiring beforehand on a case-by-case basis to avoid inconveniences! Please note that the Hermitage is closed on 9 May and 1 January.
To be booked
In order to avoid heavy traffic and restrictive queues, we advise you to book your tickets in advance for the main points of interest. This is possible directly on the sites (usually in English) of the museums concerned. The local agencies listed in this guide can do this for you and will be able to advise you. Booking is particularly necessary in high season, during the Sleepless Night, in summer or during school holidays (most of May in Russia).
Budget & Tips
Because of the advantageous relationship between the rouble and the euro and the difference in the cost of living with France, visits are generally cheap and the rates charged should not push you to make any cornelian arbitrages. Most sites also offer one free day per month, such as the Hermitage on the third Thursday of each month. For L'Ermitage, it is possible to buy an electronic voucher in advance on the website. 1-day ticket: 830 RUB (Main Complex + Major State), 2-day ticket: 1,020 RUB (the 2-day ticket also includes admission to the Menshikov Palace, Peter the Great Winter Palace and the Porcelain Museum). This second ticket is not only advantageous, but it is also a good value for money, given the size of the museum. The voucher is valid for 90 days from the moment of purchase
Sleepless Nights are magical for discovering the city's great sites, but expect not to be the only one to visit during the period! For the past few years, St. Petersburg has been taking part in the European Museum Night on the 3rd weekend in May. Many points of interest are free of charge on that day, alas not the headliners.
The selected guided tours allow original and/or highly cultural thematic visits to the main sites of the city. As the city is criss-crossed by rivers and canals, a boat tour is a superb experience. Beware of the many whimsical or "slaughtering" operators. Address yourself to the incoming agencies selected in these pages to avoid unpleasant surprises and find quality French-speaking visits.