Russia museums expose visitors to the rich cultural, artistic and literary history of this expansive country. Whether you are visiting St Petersburg, Moscow, or both, you should include a visit to a Russian museum on your itinerary. Other popular attractions in the major cities include Lenin’s tomb and St Basil’s Cathedral, both in Moscow's Red Square, and in Volgograd the Stalingrad Memorial. Churches form a backbone of attractions to visit while in Russia as well. No matter what your interest is, there is a museum in Russia to match.
In Moscow, the Tretyakov Gallery is the national gallery of Russian fine art. Located not far from the Kremlin and Red Square, in one of the oldest districts in Moscow, the Tretyakov Gallery features Russian artwork from the eleventh through the twentieth centuries. Divided into two buildings, an old and new building, twentieth-century art is featured in the newer portion of this Russian museum. Some world-renowned artists are also featured prominently in the collection of the Tretyakov Gallery, including Wassily Kandinsky.
The Pushkin Museum is another Russian Museum of fine art in Moscow. The gallery features art beyond Russian pieces, such as exhibitions of Japanese art. The permanent collection of this museum also contains a room dedicated to Claude Monet and one dedicated to Paul Cezanne. American art is also featured across the six buildings of the Pushkin Museum. The museum is closed on Mondays, and is open from 10 am to 7 pm. You won't have time to see everything in this museum in one trip, however, so choose among the visiting exhibitions and permanent collections when you first arrive at the museum.
Of course, not all Russia museums are in Moscow. The State Hermitage Museum is in St Petersburg, and it features more than 3 million works of world art and culture; it is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world. Whether you are interested in paintings, sculpture, or archeological findings, there will be an exhibition of interest at the Hermitage Museum. Tickets can be booked online to avoid waiting in line when you arrive, and the museum is closed on Mondays. The State Russian Museum, located in the Mikhailovsky Palace, is another popular option for a fine-art museum in Russia. Museums in Russia are usually closed one day a week, and though Monday is the most common day, it is best to check the directory of each individual museum before you go.
Other Russia museums showcase the homes of literary figures, including the Chekhov House Museum and the Dostoevsky Museum. Poetry enthusiasts may also enjoy a trip to the Mayakovsky Museum, which reveals details about the life and work of Russia’s famous futurist poet. If Tolstoy is more your cup of tea, he also has a museum dedicated to him that showcases original manuscripts. A Museum of the History of Moscow, Metro Museum, and Archaeological Museum are all choices as well, in case the weather drives you indoors. There are also numerous museums in other major cities in Russia, so if you're venturing farther afield to Ekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, or even Vladivostok, you'll still find plenty of opportunities to learn about Russian history and culture.