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If staying at the Astoria, one of Russia's best hotels, ask the concierge to arrange an after-hours tour of the Hermitage museum. The mammoth repository opens many of its private galleries, restoration workshops, and the armory to Astoria guests. Rates, $300-$2,200, tour additional; 7-812-313-5757; www.roccofortehotels.com.

Hotel prices show high-season rates from the least expensive double to the most expensive suite.

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