Begin with a short drive through the city to the Hermitage Museum. Located on the banks of the Neva River, the Winter Palace is home to the Hermitage Museum. The enormous complex comprises five buildings and displays one of the greatest art treasures. Today, the museum contains more than 3 million exhibits, which rival the Louvre and Prado in architectural, historical, and artistic magnificence. The Winter Palace itself is an incomparable work of art. This enormous edifice designed by Bartholomew Rastrelly in the Baroque style comprises of 1800 doors, 1900 windows and 114 staircases. The contoured ceilings, precious woods, chandeliers, magnificent halls, staterooms and elaborate staircases represent the utmost in opulence and beauty.
The guided tour in the Winter Palace will include numerous reception halls - the Small Throne Room, the Armorial Hall and the Grand Throne Hall. Proceed to the Small Hermitage, famous for its exquisite decoration with marble colonnade, crystal chandeliers and the amazing Peacock Clock.
In the Old Hermitage, you will see a collection of Italian Renaissance including masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci and Rafael. Your guide will lead you to the New Hermitage, where the 16th - 18th Italian art is presented. The halls with The Dutch collection are so rich that you can observe Rembrandt's artistic career from his early masterpieces to the very last revelations of the genius.
The culmination of your day will be a visit to the Golden Treasury Room. The Gold Room presents a significant collection of archeological finds - the famous Scythian and Greek gold, numerous royal gifts, and a collection of Western European jewelry made by the most prominent jewelers of the time.
Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 1.5 miles over uneven and cobblestone surfaces. This tour is not recommended for persons who have difficulties walking. The Hermitage has limited interior seating and no air-conditioning. There are approximately 120 steps covering 2 stories and 2 wheelchair accessible lifts in the Hermitage; however, 4 - 7 steps that must be climbed first to reach the lifts. There are two lifts in the Hermitage Museum, one of them goes to the second floor only, the other goes to the second and third floors. Large carry bags, umbrellas and heavy coats are not permitted and must be checked prior to entering the museum. Camera and video fees for the Hermitage Museum are included in the tour cost. Flash photos are usually not permitted in areas displaying paintings. Museums may change their expositions or close some of the halls without notice. There are small gift shops and stalls throughout the museum. The visit to the Gold Room (approximately 30 minutes) is only performed by pre-arranged appointments, no exceptions. Please note that photo/video is not allowed inside the Gold Room.