This massive museum spans six buildings and holds more than three million items from the Stone Age to the 20th century. The Winter Palace, in it’s blue-and-white frosting like beauty, is just one of the museum buildings along the Neva River, and used to serve as the main residence of the czars.
The State Hermitage was founded in 1764, when Catherine the Great purchased 255 paintings from Berlin to launch the collection. Western European art dominates the museum. Take in Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Picasso and Goya, among many others. Make sure to see the Treasure Gallery’s Gold Rooms, highlighting items from the Orient and the Black Sea Littoral in Antiquity.