Lonely Planet review
There are art galleries, there are museums, there are the great museums of the world and then there is the Hermitage. An unrivalled collection of art treasures housed in the magnificent palace from which the Romanov tsars ruled the Russian Empire, the State Hermitage will inevitably be the focus of any first visit to St Petersburg, and rightly so. At the information kiosk of the State Hermitage Museum you can pick up a free colour map of the museum, available in most European languages. Immediately after ticket inspection you can hire an audio guide (R250) with recorded tours in English, German, French, Italian or Russian. Groups enter from the river side of the Winter Palace.