Hermitage Amsterdam

Top choice in Southern Canal Ring

Hermitage Amsterdam

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There have long been links between Russia and the Netherlands – Tsar Peter the Great learned shipbuilding here in 1697 – hence this branch of St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum. Blockbuster temporary exhibitions show works from the Hermitage's vast treasure trove, while the permanent Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age has formal group portraits of the 17th-century Dutch A-list; the Outsider Gallery also has temporary shows. I Amsterdam and Museum cards allow free entrance or a discount, depending on the exhibition.

Admission includes a free audioguide; come before 11am to avoid the lengthiest queues. There's a pleasant cafe/restaurant inside the museum, as well as Dignita Hoftein in the garden. Flash photography isn't permitted.

The building was formerly a retirement home (for 'elderly' women aged over 50!).