The Alexandrinsky Theatre
Experience a True Classic Russian BALLET

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The Alexandrinsky Theatre is the second most important theatre in St. Petersburg, a must-go place if you are into Russian Ballet, Dramas, or Plays.

Home to the oldest theater company in Russia, the Imperial Troupe, which was established in 1756, the Alexandrinksy Theatre is the second most celebrated theater in St. Petersburg and considered one of the finest neoclassical paragons in the city.

Founded by decree under Empress Elizabeth, it opened on August 31, 1832, as the first professional theater to host stage presentations of tragedies and comedies. Many Russian plays have premiered at the Alexandrinsky Theatre, to include the famous works of Alexander Griboyedov, Alexander Ostrovsky and Anton Chekhov.

The theatre has also been host to famous directors, such as Vsevolod Meyerhold, Grigori Kozintsev and Nikolay Akimov.  And, it has also become part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site making it a true masterpiece of unique world architecture.

Today, patrons describe the Alexandrinsky Theatre as a first-class experience and the stage performances as top-notch. From scenic props to acting to costumes, visitors say everything is beautiful and seeing a Russian ballet performance here is something everyone should do at least once in their life.

Billing exquisite ballets such as Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, the theater not only offers the finest venue and productions, it's a landmark of cherished history and cultural importance to the city of St Petersburg

a look inside the Alexandrinsky Theatre

Interested to visit the Alexandrinsky Theatre? If so, click on the links below or scroll down the page to learn more.

more about the theatre

Situated on Alexandrinsky Square, which is now called Ostrovsky Square on Nevsky Prospekt between the Anichkov Palace and the National Library of Russia, this elegant yellow and white Theatre, with its chariot of horses perched above six great columns lining the front facade is named for Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, wife of Tsar Nicholas I.

During 2005 and 2006, it underwent a major renovation that resulted in one of the finest state-of-the-art stages and acoustic sound systems in the world. It re-opened on August 30, 2006, the day of its 250th birthday and in August, 2014 was awarded National Treasure status and inducted into the state roster of the Russian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

The Theatre itself is a magnificent Baroque Neoclassical building with nice decorative interiors. If you get a chance to walk inside you can admire the carving of the Tsar's Box from the past Rossi's planned decorations and Figures of Melpomene and Thalia, including the huge stage, nice velvet curtains, and magnificent chandeliers. In addition to that visitors also say that the costumes, dancing, artists, and scenery of each performance are captivating and brilliant.

interesting facts

You should know that originally the Alexandrinsky Theatre was commissioned to French architects Thomas de Thomon and Carl Mauduit in the early 1800s, but circumstances prevented both from pursuing the project and eventually, Italian architect Carlo Rossi, stepped in and took the reigns.

Rossi spent 20 years completing his masterpiece and in 1832, the doors opened to the public. With seats for an audience of 1,378, it was one of the biggest stage theaters of its kind in Europe and quickly became known for its excellent acoustics.

During the Soviet Times, the Theatre was known as the Russian State Pushkin Academy Drama Theater.

where to buy tickets

Tickets can be easily purchased online through the official website and at the box office, or in advance by telephone calling the following local phone number +7 (812) 380-8050, from 12 pm to 5 pm, local time.

how to get there

To get there is very easy if you are staying in city center. Starting at the main exit of Gostiny Dvor Metro Station, turn right onto Nevsky Prospekt and cross over Sadovaya Ulitsa via the pedestrian underpass. Take the first right onto Ploshchad Ostrovskogo. The theatre is located at the end of the square. Taxis or public transportation are also available!

practical information

Address: 2, Ploshchad Ostrovskogo

Metro: Gostiny Dvor

Open: From 9 am to 6 pm; Performances usually starts at 7 pm but show time may vary according to the month calendar given. Check the website for more accurate information.

Telephone: +7 (812) 312-1545


Accessibility note: No ramps or lifts available

tips & recommendations

Our Tips

If you plan to attend the Russian Ballet at the Alexandrinsky Theatre keep in mind to follow the Theatre dress code. Dress semi-formal, black shoes, and black tie is optional. Also make sure you dress lightly, even during winter, as it tends to be warm inside.

  • For your information, a night evening at the Theatre is relatively cheaper than Bolshoi and Mariinsky so we recommend spending the money to get great seats and see the ballet as it should be seen.
  • From our own experience, the best seats are the centered amphitheater seat rows 1-7. If you seat there or nearby you get comfortable seating and a great view from the stage. Also, you can look for seats up higher to get a better view and a better acoustic experience.
  • When buying your tickets make sure you get your online tickets from Alexandrinsky Theatre's website only, which offers the original price and is lower compared to third- party resellers. Then, when you head to the Theatre keep the purchased E-Ticket saved on to your phone because as you will enter the theatre you will have to pass the Box Office first, in which the staff will scan the E-ticket from your phone and let you access to watch the performance.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to be at the Alexandrinsky Theatre before the performance.
  • Many say it's difficult locating seats and restrooms, as signage is minimal.
  • Programs in Russian and English are available.
  • We would definitely recommend spending a delightful evening here during your visit to the city.

accommodation nearby

Our picking list of Hotels nearby the Alexandrinsky Theatre

must-have travel resources

Our picking list of essential travel resources for your trip to Russia


From Alexandrinsky Theatre return to Theatres in St Petersburg or go to the Homepage

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