The State Museum of the Political History of Russia
This museum is an exhaustive and immersive look at Russian political history over the last century. Permanent exhibitions cover important historical periods and events—such as the Russian Revolution, the Soviet years, and the collapse of the USSR—as well as important historical figures and prominent personalities, like the ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. Lenin’s office and memorial room and the room of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party are also on display.
The museum is split over three buildings: the Main Building is located in the Kshesinskaya and Brandt mansions on Kuybysheva and houses the majority of the collection. There is also a museum at 2 Gorokhovaya Str with exhibitions about Soviet security agencies and espionage and a building at 13 Bolotnaya that contains a children’s museum with workshops and exhibitions (in Russian only).
Things to Know Before You Go
Tickets allow access to all three museums, though most visitors stick to the main building.
Give yourself at least a couple of hours to take in the highlights of this huge museum; you’ll want a few hours if you plan to see everything.
Some of the exhibition information is offered in English, but an audio guide—available in six languages, including English—is highly recommended.
Be sure to pick up a map at the entrance—the huge museum can be tricky to navigate.
There is a café and gift shop at the museum.
The museum is accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The museum is located on Ulitsa Kuybysheva, a short walk from the Peter and Paul Fortress. The closest subway station is Gorkovskaya, about a 5-minute walk away.
When to Get There
The museum is closed on Thursdays. Although weekends are the busiest time to visit, the museum’s huge size means it rarely gets very crowded.
History Museums in St Petersburg
There are many museums in St Petersburg where you can learn more about Russian history. Notable options include the Museum of the Siege of Leningrad and the Memorial to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, which chronicle the events of the notorious WWII siege; the Central Naval Museum, which is one of the world’s largest maritime museums; and the Military Historical Artillery Museum, which houses an impressive collection of arms and military equipment, including canons, tanks, and armored vehicles.
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- Military Historical Artillery Museum
- Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost)
- St. Petersburg Planetarium (Sankt-Peterburgskiy Planetariy)
- Neva River (Reka Neva)
- Leningrad Zoo St. Petersburg
- Summer Palace of Peter the Great (Letniy Dvorets)
- Winter Palace of Peter the Great at the Hermitage
- State Memorial Museum of Leningrad Defense and Siege
- Pushkin Museum
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
- Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines
- State Hermitage Museum
- Mikhailovsky Castle (St. Michael's Castle)
- State Russian Museum (Russkiy Muzey)
- Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)