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Hermitage: University students free? Also, buy in advance

Hermitage: University students free? Also, buy in advance

Old Aug 3, 16, 10:15 pm
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Hermitage: University students free? Also, buy in advance

On the Hermitage website it says, "Free Entry Ticket [includes] students (regardless of nationality);"
Does that include University students with a valid Univ. ID?

To redeem a free student ticket, we have to visit the "Internet Ticket Booth". How busy is their Internet Ticket Booth? As bad as the regular lines?

We'll be there in a couple weeks, so still in August. What's the latest advice on whether we should buy tickets online in advance? I've read that the lines can truly be horrible, but more recent posts seem to suggest kiosks outside can let you avoid the lines. Most of what I can find online suggesting buy-in-advance is from a few years back (pre-kiosks?).

Buying online costs about double of the day-of ticket window. Any chance of getting tickets through my hotel there?

Last edited by flyernick; Aug 3, 16 at 10:34 pm
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Old Aug 4, 16, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by flyernick View Post
On the Hermitage website it says, "Free Entry Ticket [includes] students (regardless of nationality);"
Does that include University students with a valid Univ. ID?

To redeem a free student ticket, we have to visit the "Internet Ticket Booth". How busy is their Internet Ticket Booth? As bad as the regular lines?

We'll be there in a couple weeks, so still in August. What's the latest advice on whether we should buy tickets online in advance? I've read that the lines can truly be horrible, but more recent posts seem to suggest kiosks outside can let you avoid the lines. Most of what I can find online suggesting buy-in-advance is from a few years back (pre-kiosks?).

Buying online costs about double of the day-of ticket window. Any chance of getting tickets through my hotel there?

We were there last month and bought the tickets online thinking we would save time and it costs ~$18 USD. At the kiosk by the line it was only 600 Rubles. Personally, I think it was just as easy to buy the tickets at the kiosk and hop on the line.
The day we went the lines wasn't too bad. It took us 15 minutes to get in and we went there when it opened in the morning.
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Old Aug 5, 16, 2:59 am
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Originally Posted by flyernick View Post
On the Hermitage website it says, "Free Entry Ticket [includes] students (regardless of nationality);"
Does that include University students with a valid Univ. ID?

To redeem a free student ticket, we have to visit the "Internet Ticket Booth". How busy is their Internet Ticket Booth? As bad as the regular lines?

We'll be there in a couple weeks, so still in August. What's the latest advice on whether we should buy tickets online in advance? I've read that the lines can truly be horrible, but more recent posts seem to suggest kiosks outside can let you avoid the lines. Most of what I can find online suggesting buy-in-advance is from a few years back (pre-kiosks?).

Buying online costs about double of the day-of ticket window. Any chance of getting tickets through my hotel there?
Yes, foreign university students are able to benefit from free admission.

(Bear in mind that if you are a regular visitor, the RUB ticket price on the Russian language version of the Hermitage Museum online shop is much cheaper than the USD ticket price; you'll need to transcribe your name in Cyrillic when completing the booking form, which shouldn't be too difficult thanks to the migration card you receive at passport control on arrival in Russia)

There weren't any lines for the Internet Ticket Booth when we went there at the end of June. The Internet Ticket Booth is located right under the main gate of the Hermitage Museum (entrance from the Palace Square) before you enter the courtyard – it's easy to miss it so keep an eye out for it as you go through the main gate. The process was quite simple – just show a printout of the online booking + student card and you will be given an entry ticket.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by dvdbuddy View Post
We were there last month and bought the tickets online thinking we would save time and it costs ~$18 USD. At the kiosk by the line it was only 600 Rubles. Personally, I think it was just as easy to buy the tickets at the kiosk and hop on the line.
The day we went the lines wasn't too bad. It took us 15 minutes to get in and we went there when it opened in the morning.
If you got there right when it opened and it still took 15 minutes to get in, that seems like a lot. That's longer than it took me to get into the Louvre.
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Old Aug 10, 16, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by pacolovestacos View Post
If you got there right when it opened and it still took 15 minutes to get in, that seems like a lot. That's longer than it took me to get into the Louvre.
Not sure what's the average waiting time on line is for the Hermitage. It's our first time there. It was definitely shorter than getting on the ferry to Peterhof that was across the street. It took about 30 minutes total to buy the tickets and to board the ferry the day earlier. Not sure if that's quick or slow either. We just went with the flows.
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Old Aug 20, 16, 8:33 pm
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Hermitage and Peterhof tickets.

A follow-up to our Hermitage experience:
Yes, our US Univ. student was free. She only had her ID card issued by her university, not an ISIC card. The ticket agent didn't seem too happy about seeing the univ. ID but accepted it and didn't say anything.

We bought our tickets online. Like the other poster said, it was still a pretty lengthy line at the Internet Ticket Office at opening (maybe 15 min). But nothing compared to the standard lines. OMG! You'd spend half the day in that line. There were 2 kiosks next to the Internet ticket office. One was out of order. All-in-all, it was worth it spending extra to have the tickets ahead of time.

The Hermitage itself was awesome, of course. But so amazingly crowded (we were there on a Sunday). The Greek & Roman statue area was mercifully uncrowded, but the rest was completely full. Worse than the Louvre on its free-admission day.

Also, it turned out that our hotel (Ren. Baltic) has a special relationship with the Hermitage that lets you skip to the group entrance, if we didn't have tix bought online ahead. So that may be another option.

On a line-related note: We also went to the Peterhof, which was also awesome. But we didn't have tickets bought ahead of time. So we had to wait in the palace ticket line, which took an hour, starting about about 4:30 p.m. The palace was jam-packed with Russian-language tour groups, but we were just on our own.

We wouldn't have minded the one hour ticket line so much, but we arrived by boat and had already had to wait in the lower-garden ticket line for our tickets to that. They couldn't sell both garden and palace tickets from one ticket booth. We took the hydrofoil boats and do be aware, that if you take the boats, you *have* to buy the lower garden tickets (500 rubles). The hydrofoils were a pretty simple way to get there, if not the cheapest (700 rubles one-way, slight discount for RT).

Last edited by flyernick; Aug 21, 16 at 9:27 pm
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Old Aug 25, 16, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by flyernick View Post
We wouldn't have minded the one hour ticket line so much, but we arrived by boat and had already had to wait in the lower-garden ticket line for our tickets to that. They couldn't sell both garden and palace tickets from one ticket booth. We took the hydrofoil boats and do be aware, that if you take the boats, you *have* to buy the lower garden tickets (500 rubles). The hydrofoils were a pretty simple way to get there, if not the cheapest (700 rubles one-way, slight discount for RT).
Totally agreed with you OP on the ticket sales part to Peterhof.
I'm assuming the hydrofoil is run by private company and Peterhof is state owned, that why it's operated like that.

Another thing to note was if you exit the lower garden to the upper garden, you can not get back to the ferry unless you pay for admission again.

We had a party of 4 and took Uber back for 2000 Rubles. We almost noticed that there weren't any lines if you enter from the upper garden when we left around 3pm.
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