1. St. Petersburg: Skip-the-Line Hermitage Tour
The State Hermitage Museum ranks with the Louvre, Prado, and Metropolitan Museum of Art as one of the world's most important and richest art galleries. Explore the museum and learn more about its founding and collections during a 3-hour guided tour in St. Petersburg. Starting with 225 paintings purchased in 1764 by Catherine the Great, the museum collection now comprises more than 3 million objects and works of art. Raphael and Leonardo's "Madonna", Titian's "St. Sebastian", and Rembrandt's "Return of the Prodigal Son", as well as "The Golden Peacock" by James Cox and "Crouching Boy" by Michelangelo are just a few of the superb works of Western European art in the Hermitage. Treasures and artifacts from almost every culture known to man are housed in the museum, including the unique collection of Greek jewelry from the Black Sea region, Scythian gold, ancient Egyptian sculptures, Iranian silverware, Chinese manuscripts, Russian icons and Byzantine applied art. You can visit the Treasury of the Hermitage as a special add-on tour. Please note that the Treasury tour is by request and subject to the confirmation by the museum. After you have been given a comprehensive overview by your guide, you will be able to remain in the Hermitage, admiring the vast array of art, for the remainder of the day. The other popular add-on to the highlights tour is a tour of the Impressionists' collection located in the General Staff Building.