Yussoupov Palace: What Difficulties Visitors Can Face Touring it on their own
Yusupov palace

Within the last couple of months we’ve received several negative reviews on TripAdvisor from people who didn’t use our services, but visited the Yussoupov Palace on their own. And they were highly disappointed with their experience. Putting aside the fact, that they misplaced their reviews (which should go to the Yussoupov Palace museum page ), I can’t but write on the museum rules and what to expect from a Yussoupov Palace visit.

Yussoupov Palace

Yussoupov Palace Expositions

Yussoupov Palace (other spelling is «Yusupov Palace») doesn’t have the official status of a museum yet. Officially it is the “Palace of Culture for Educators”, exactly as it was throughout the Soviet times. Museum expositions have been here only starting from 1990ies. In those days due to Perestroika and a rise of interest towards the last Romanov tsars and Rasputin, a wax figures exhibition dedicated to Rasputin murder appeared here. The exhibition still exists, but those, who would like to see it might be somewhat disappointed: it is available to visit only as part of a guided tour. The palace authorities arrange 2 or 3 guided tours a day in Russian. Foreign visitors should be on a pre-arranged guided tour with one of the local tour companies in order to visit this exhibition. For instance, we arrange tours in English and other European languages.

Independent visitors, of course, can obtain tickets to the main exhibition in the museum ticket office or on-line (ссылка на страницу с билетами). The main exhibition includes lavish  receptions rooms and parlours of the Yussoupovs, banquet and ball rooms as well as the home theatre of the Yussoupov family. It’s an interesting exhibition that shows the way of life of the wealthiest noble family of Russia – excessive and kitsch at times. For Russian visitors regular hourly tours of the main exhibition are available. Foreign visitors are welcome t use museum audio-guides.

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Moorish room in Yussoupov Palace

There’s yet one more side of life of the Yussoupovs – non-parade everyday private life. The palace, certainly, has private rooms and boudoirs, exquisite bath rooms and bed chambers. Due to small size and intricate pass ways to these rooms, they cannot be shown to the crowds of general public. However 1 or 2 guided tours a day in Russian are arranged (separate tickets are sold in the ticket office) or this private section can be visited as part of a pre-arranged guided tour.

To cut a long story short:

  • If you decide to explore the Yussoupov Palace on your own, you tour will be restricted to the main exhibition (self audio-guided tour).
  • If your interest lies in the politics of Russia in the beginning of the 20th century, the last Russian tsars and the “dark force at the crown of the Russian Empire” – Rasputin, his life and tragic death, then choose a pre-arranged guided tour.

We can arrange a private tour that will include the Yussoupov Palace main exposition as well as Rasputin murder part. You can also add a visit to private rooms and boudoirs of the Yussoupov family

Temporary Exhibitions of the Yussoupov Palace

The museum often sets temporary exhibitions dedicated to various historic topics. As a rule these exhibitions are quite interesting as they unveil every day life through historic epochs. Separate tickets are required to visit such exhibitions. The inconvenient thing is that visitors come across them somewhere in the middle of the palace, but the only place to purchase tickets is the museum ticket office. So if you get interested after a peek or two, you’ll need to go all the way back to the tickets office at the entrance.

Yussoupov Palace Accessibility

If we access the accessibility to the Yussoupov Palace on a scale from one to five, it would hardly score 2.

There’s a ramp that museum workers put our for wheelchair users to go up several steps at the entrance, but literally that’s it. The museum authorities claim they have a lift. Indeed, there’s a lift where 2 able-bodies persons can fit in standing sidewise. A wheelchair can never get inside – the lift is too small. For the middle of the 19th century, when it was installed in the Yussoupov mansion on the Moika River, it was a groundbreaking technology. But not for the 21st century. No, one can’t say there’s a usable lift.

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The most interesting part  of the exposition is on the second level, and this means a staircase. In order  to view the main exhibition a visitor should be able to go up the stairs (even if it’s a few steps at a time with rest and assistance).

Rasputin murder exhibition is absolutely inaccessible due to tiny rooms, narrow passages and a narrow winding staircase.

Bathrooms in this museum are nice and clean, but they are on a basement level, with another staircase.

Yussoupov Home Theatre Performances.

Yussoupov home theatre

As I have already mentioned, the Yussoupov Palace is not officially a museum. Being the Palace of Culture for Educators, it houses cultural events and theatrical performances. The historic home theatre is active. 4-6 performances are staged monthly. Unfortunately, the playbill page  of the Yussoupov Palace is available only in Russian. One can also purchase tickets to the home theatre in the museum ticket office. If you need assistance, we’ll be happy to secure tickets for you.

 


Planning your stay in St. Petersburg take into consideration peculiarities and rules of each museum.

A combination of pre-arranged guided tours and self-guided visits is ideal for St. Petersburg.

For a pre-arranged guided tour to the Yussoupov Palace contact us at 

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Anna Artyushina

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