The General Staff Building
With an imposing Neoclassical façade over 1,900 feet (580 meters) long, the Carlo Rossi–designed General Staff Building is one of St. Petersburg’s architectural highlights. The grand building, which is part of the enormous State Hermitage Museum complex, houses a large collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art works.
The General Staff Building, designed by Carlo Rossini and built between 1820 and 1840, was originally home to various ministries of the Russian Empire but now houses four floors of art galleries and exhibitions featuring 19th and 20th century European art, including art nouveau, impressionist, and post-impressionist works. Highlights include pieces by Picasso, van Gogh, Monet, and Russian artists like the jeweler Carl Fabergé.
General entrance tickets to the Hermitage Museum complex include admission to the General Staff Building, but it’s also possible to purchase an individual ticket to visit the building on its own. Many visitors book a guided tour of the complex; you can also opt for a private tour and customize your itinerary.
Things to Know Before You Go
Ticket lines for the General Staff Building can be very long with wait times of well over an hour. Save time by purchasing entrance tickets online in advance.
Admission is free on the first Thursday of every month, but this is also one of the busiest times to visit.
If you sign up for a general tour of the Hermitage complex, make sure that the General Staff Building is included; some tours do not include these galleries.
Free Wi-Fi is available on-site, and a museum café is located outside the building.
The General Staff Building is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The General Staff Building is located on Palace Square, directly opposite the Hermitage Museum. The closest metro station is Admiralteyskaya (Line 5), just a short walk away.
When to Get There
The museum is open from 10:30am to 6pm Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; and from 10:30am to 9pm Wednesday and Friday. (The museum is closed Monday.) The General Staff building can be very crowded; to avoid the worst crowds, opt for an evening visit on a Wednesday or Friday.
Discovering the Hermitage Complex
The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest museums in the world with a permanent collection of over three million works of art and classical antiquities. Visitors can explore not only the General Staff Building but also the main museum complex, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, the Menshikov Palace, and the Winter Palace, which is home to the former living quarters of Peter the Great.
- St. Petersburg Palace Square (Dvortsovaya Ploshchad)
- Stroganov Palace (Stroganovsky Dvorets)
- State Hermitage Museum
- Pushkin Museum
- Admiralty Building
- Winter Palace of Peter the Great at the Hermitage
- Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (Kazansky Sobor)
- Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines
- State Russian Museum (Russkiy Muzey)
- Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
- St. Isaac’s Cathedral (Isaakievskiy Sobor)
- Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera)
- Bronze Horseman
- Russian Museum of Ethnography
- The Republic of Cats Museum and Café