The main exhibition premises of the building are combined into three enfilade lines: the Palace line along the square, the Singing line along the Singing passage, the River line along the Moika embankment, and supplemented by the central Large enfilade of atrium courtyards. A majestic staircase located in the largest of the five courtyards leads from the main entrance hall to the exposition area.
On the second floor of the museum, the exposition “Art of the Modern Period” and a thematic exposition devoted to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Empire, which once occupied this building, are open. On the third floor are the expositions “Under the sign of the eagle. Empire style ", Russian painting of the XIX century," Museum of the Guard of the XVIII century "and a permanent exhibition telling about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire, which also once occupied this part of the General Staff.
On the fourth floor, French paintings of the second half of the 19th century are presented: impressionists, post-impressionists, artists of the Nabis group. Separate rooms are reserved for paintings by Matisse. In addition, temporary exhibitions are regularly held in the General Staff Halls, this is the main museum site for the display of modern art.