- Welcome to St Petersburg Essential Guide -

Theatres in St Petersburg Russia
Pick Your Seats and Enjoy The Best Ballet And Opera in The World.

Theatres in St Petersburg are known to have existed since the time of Peter I, but it probably became the Russian theatrical capital only in the 19th century.

Unarguably theatres in St Petersburg are an unmissable attraction in their own right, as they are very interesting from an historic point of view, and their magnificent neoclassical buildings along with their remarkable theatrical and musical performances are really worth seeing.

Today St Petersburg's vibrant theatre scene includes numerous major performance venues to keep you entertained and amused. Among them you can find the world famous Mariinsky Theatre, where you can watch the best Russian ballet and opera, the Bolshoi Academic Drama Theatre, where you can see ground-breaking drama shows, and the beautiful Alexandrinsky or Mikhailovsky Theatre, where you can watch a mix of modern drama, musical shows, and classical ballet or opera.

Of course there are other theatre and concert venues, or sport complexes where you can enjoy top performances from popular Russian musical shows to avant-garde experimental productions, along with opera, dance, comedy show, and everything in between, but the theatres just mentioned above are really the best ones.

St Petersburg's theatre season begins in early fall, with most theaters scheduling performances through mid September to late June, though the fall and winter are the best times to seek out operas and ballets. You can find their repertoires and see their playbill at the ticket offices around the city or from the telephone-based city reservation service on 380-8050, or much better, by visiting their official website, from where you can now buy entrance tickets too.


Find below our picking list of what we think are the best theatres in St Petersburg to go for Russian ballet, opera, or drama.


The Mariinsky Theatre is one of the world's most famous musical theatres in St Petersburg, and one of the oldest theatres in Russia. Opened in 1860, this is the place where a century ago the imperial Opera and Ballet was revealed to the world with "The Dying Swan" hosting the Great Anna Pavlova. Undoubtedly throughout the last two centuries the Mariinsky Theatre has been presenting the world with a plethora of great artists with top performances, such as "The Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky, or the "Russian seasons" by Sergei Diaghilev. Best ballets and operas are on here, and they are combined with an impressive mix of historic architecture and state-of the art facilities that has blown the mind of many visitors, including us.

Read more... (coming soon).


The Alexandrinsky Theatre is the best dram theatre in St Petersburg and the largest theatre in Europe. The theatre boasts not only a superb reputation for classical drama, but also a magnificent neoclassical yellow and white building that is one of the undisputed architectural masterpieces of the Italian architect Carlo Rossi. Famous for a variety of drama, opera and ballet performances by the Imperial Theatre Companies, today it's one of the architectural jewels of the city, known more for drama than ballet.

Read more... (coming soon).


The Mikhailovsky Theatre is another outstanding neoclassical building not to be missed that rivals the famous Mariinsky theatre. Built in 1833 and named after Grand Prince Mikhail, brother of Nicholas I, the Mikhailovsky Theatre is the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, and it is very popular among locals for its repertoire of classic ballet and opera of the Soviet time, including other great international performances. The building is not so impressive from the outside, but inside you will be impressed by its luxury and decorative interior.

Read more... (coming soon).



The Hermitage Theatre, which stands at the eastern end of the Hermitage complex, across the Winter Channel, was built as a private theatre for Catherine the Great by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi between 1782-1787. Today the theatre houses outstanding interior decorations and its own historical orchestra, "St. Petersburg Camerata". Also, throughout the year it hosts a whole range of classical music and ballet performances, including international music festivals. This is the place to go in the summer months when the Mariinsky theatre is closed and many of its top performers can be seen here instead.

Read more... (coming soon).


Founded in 1918 with the support of Maxim Gorki and Alexander Blok, the Bolshoi Drama Theatre is one of the most important Russian theatres in St Petersburg due to its history and artistic heritage, which is mostly related to the Soviet era. Once known as the Maxim Gorki Bolshoi Dramatic Theatre until 1991, and then named after the prominent Georgy Tovstonogov, one of the leading of Russian Soviet, today the theatre is always busy as leading directors of Russian and world theatres cooperate with the Theatre annually. Here anyone can enjoy world classical performances and modern drama combined with amazing works of Russian literature.

Read more... (coming soon).


Located in the heart of the city, the beautiful Nikolaevsky Palace is the best place to go for any traveler who wants experience the history and cultural traditions of Russia. Here in the comfortable, elegant and restored Concert Hall of the Palace you can enjoy the famous Russian folk show "Feel Yourself Russian", while drinking wine and tasting Russian caviar. Designed by Andrey Schtaken Schtakensheider for the Grand Duke Nikolay, son of the Emperor Nikolay I, the palace is a great architectural masterpiece of the 19th-century, and an evening spent at the Palace will be a pleasant experience.

Read more (Coming Soon)


Built between 1834-1839 and designed by the Italian architect Carlo Rossi, the Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonia is an elegant neoclassical building renowned worldwide for its excellent acoustics.The building was used to house "The Assembly of the Nobility", an organization of local administration in the 1861, while today it's home to the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and since 1921 it hosts remarkable classical music performances and festivals which are attended by the major figures of the city, and Russia.

Read more (Coming Soon)


  • Even if you don't have the opportunity to attend a show while visiting St Petersburg, at least take a few moments to walk through the lobbies of some of these beauties. The new or old Mariinsky Theatre, the Mikhailovsky or Alexandrinsky Theatre, along with many others, are especially gorgeous, and any evening here will be an impressive experience.
  • If you plan to go to see the Ballet or Opera at the Mariinsky Theatre, or at the Mikhailovsky or Alexandrinsky Theatre, make sure you dress well. Although, there is no dress code and no one expects a tourist to dress formally, you will see evening gowns and tuxes next to jeans and sweatshirts, so I suggest that you wear neat, and properly fitted clean clothing. By dressing well, you'll surely be treated better or at least thought to be more intelligent and interesting as you show respect for the community and environment.
  • Remember to buy tickets at least two weeks in advance before to go to any of the most popular theatres in St Petersburg. This way you're sure to find the best seats available. Now you can buy tickets online through the official theatre website, or ask us to buy them for you, but only if you plan to have a tour with us.

Written by Davide C.


From Theatres in St Petersburg return to St Petersburg Attractions or go back to the Homepage.

Like This Page? Was the information helpful?

Help us grow our website by sharing theatres in St Petersburg with others. If you're in the mood to go extra mile and Buy us a Drink it will help us to continue to run run this website. We appreciate it, Thanks! Spasibo!


If you do, please help others to find out about it. If you have a blog or website, or know someone who does, consider linking to us. Share the link on Facebook, Tweet it... you get the idea. Every link helps!