The Hermitage has been recognized as the best museum in Europe by TripAdvisor, a popular publisher of tourist guidebooks.
The St. Petersburg museum beat out the Florence Academy of Fine Arts and the Paris MusОe d'Orsay to take first place in the ranking, titled the "Top-25 Traveller's Choice." It was compiled based on reviews of tourists from all over the world.
The Hermitage was the only Russian museum to rank among the best in Europe. The museum is one of the oldest and largest in the world, founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. Currently, the 350 halls of the museum boast more than 3 million works of art — from the Stone Age to the modern era.
The museum first opened to the public in 1852. Currently, five of the museum's six historic buildings are accessible to visitors: the Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage Theater.