The world-renowned State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg has been a favourite among art critics for decades. And now it has the popular vote as well. This week, the Hermitage was named the world's top museum by users of TripAdvisor, a crowdsourced holiday review site. The 25 winners were based on millions of reviews and opinions from travellers around the world.
One reviewer wrote of the Hermitage: "All the world's beauty in one museum. it lets your mind travel to all the places and eras you always wanted to go." Angus Struthers, TripAdvisor spokesperson, said: "These awards honour the world's best attractions as decided by those who matter most - travellers themselves."
The Hermitage, one of the oldest museums in the world, was founded by Catherine the Great in 1764 and is home to the largest collection of paintings in the world. It has outposts in Kazan in central Russia and Vyborg, close to the border with Finland, as well as international branches in Amsterdam, Vilnius and Ferrara.
After the Hermitage, travellers voted for the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalam as the world's best museums. The Traveller's Choice Attraction awards honour the top attractions worldwide in the following categories: landmarks, parks, museums, and amusement and water parks.