We will be in St. Petersburg for two days at the end of June on a Princess cruise. I understand there is a new Faberge museum in there. Would a visit there be a good way to spend some of our limited time?
I've not been to the museum, (I was in St. Petersburg summer 2012 for a Russian River Cruise) as it wasn't open yet, but it gets great reviews thru Tripadvisor and the pictures look incredible. If I were back in St. Petes, I'd try to go! Another thing I'd highly recommend is a canal cruise. The canals of St. Petersburg are lovely, as is the city itself. I did a lot of things during my time there (The Hermitage, shopping, the ballet, Catherines Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, etc) and the canal cruise was my favorite thing, by far. But DO go to Catherine's Palace and the Hermitage if you get the chance (AND the Faberge museum)!
Have a great time!
ABSOLUTELY !!!!! A brief history -- Prior to 2004 , a large Faberge collection was owned by Malcolm Forbes , the capitalist business magnate . The collection was housed in the Forbes headquarters in downtown Manhattan , and the estate ( Forbes died in 1990 ) sold the collection in 2004 to the Russian capitalist Viktor Vekselberg for $ 100 million . It was Vekselberg's intention to have the works publicly displayed . Now , after ten years of acquisition , and the restoration of the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka embankment , it is open . I had seen the Forbes collection while it was here in my hometown of NYC , and there was ( I believe in the nineties ) a major retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art . I was sad to see the collection leave New York , but they are Russian cultural icons and St Petersburg is certainly an appropriate home for them . Of note in the collection is " The Duchess of Marlborough Egg " made in 1902 for Consuelo Vanderbilt , the American who had married the ninth Duke of Marlborough in 1895 ( A real life Cora Crawley ; -- ) ) . It was purchased by Malcolm Forbes in 1965 following Consuelo's death . I am headed to St Petersburg for two and a half weeks this fall , and being a longtime lover of Faberge , this museum is at the very top of my list .
ONE MORE THING !! --- Sorry you will have limited time but please have a look at this wonderful book -- " Land of the Firebird -- The Beauty of Old Russia " by Suzanne Massie ( 1980 ) . This book is a series of beautiful and engaging essays about the arts and culture with a great focus on Russia in the " Silver Age " ( 1890 - 1917 ) . One of the most thoroughly enjoyable books , I have ever read , the chapter " Ice Slides and Easter Eggs -- Russia Celebrates ! " will certainly activate your salivary glands --- Enjoy !!