Museum of Optics
Explore the science behind sight, light, and optical illusions—the Museum of Optics explains it in a way that kids (and others with no prior knowledge) understand. Displays include holograms, colorful butterflies, a laser harp, and more.
Visitors of all ages enjoy the engaging nature of the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits, some of which are interactive. Students of nearby ITMO University guide tours of the museum in Russian (and sometimes English).
Things to Know Before You Go
Most visitors spend an hour or two at the Museum of Optics.
While some exhibits are interactive, others are labeled with “do not touch” signs. Be sure to follow the rules.
Kids under age 14 should be accompanied by an adult.
How to Get There
The Museum of Optics is located on Vasilievsky Island, within the ITMO University Technopark. Just northwest of central St. Petersburg, the museum is a short walk over the Palace Bridge from the Hermitage Museum. To get there from other parts of town via public transit, take the metro or a tram or bus to Vasileostrovskaya station.
When to Get There
The museum is open every day of the week except Monday, with extended hours Friday through Sunday.
Visit the Zoological Museum
Not far from the Museum of Optics sits another family-friendly attraction, the Zoological Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Learn about the animal kingdom, from fish and crustaceans to large mammals and extinct animals. It’s easy to visit both the Zoological Museum and the Museum of Optics in one afternoon.
- The Menshikov Palace
- Menshikov Palace
- Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)
- Bronze Horseman
- Admiralty Building
- Leningrad Zoo St. Petersburg
- State Hermitage Museum
- St. Petersburg Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)
- Winter Palace of Peter the Great at the Hermitage
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskiy Sobor)
- The Republic of Cats Museum and Café
- Russian Vodka Museum (Muzey Russkogo Natsional'nogo Napitka)
- Nikolaevsky Palace
- Peter and Paul Fortress (Petropavlovskaya Krepost)
- The General Staff Building