Your guide will tell you how the art collecting began with Catherine the Great (although what she collected could only be viewed by royal eyes and invited guests). Today's art collection is in chronological order. You will start with names familiar everyone and not just the art lovers - Botticelli, Leonardo (DaVinci), Raffael, Michelangleo. Next you move on to the Spanish collection (Valazquez, Goya, El Greco to name a few).
The Hermitage's Rembrandt collection is the second biggest after Amsterdam, and among the paintings is The Danae, which may or may not actually be by Rembrandt, but has a place in history for being slashed and burned with acid in 1985 by a madman. It took 12 years to restore the work.
Private English speaking guide
Entrance fee to Hermitage Museum
Public transport tickets (metro/bus)