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the nicholas palace
the russian broadway of st. petersburg

The Nicholas Palace is notable for its monumental decorated main staircase and very popular for its unique evening Russian Folk Show. 

One of the last palaces in the city built for members of the Imperial family, the Nicholas Palace or Nikolaevsky Palace is located on Labor Square in the heart of St. Petersburg. Designed by architect A. Stackensneider, this late neoclassical beauty was commissioned by Nicholas I for his third son, the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich of Russia in 1861.

The large complex of palace buildings once included a magnificent church, a manege for the training of horses and riders, and several outbuildings separated from Labor Square by a striking cast iron fence.   

Historical accounts also indicate that Emperor Nicholas I may have intended the palace to be for all of his children, but after the Grand Duke's death in 1891, the Nikolaevsky Palace was turned into the Xenia Institute for Noble Girls, a private finishing school that prepared young ladies for fashionable society. It was named in honor of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna, the daughter of Alexander III.

Following the October Revolution, the Bolshevik government transferred the palace to the trade unions who destroyed sections of the interiors to accommodate their headquarters and  private offices.

Although the Nicholas Palace is not open to the general public for tours, the palace theater is a venue for professional folk music and ballet performances, which gives patrons a chance to see its exquisite interiors.

a look inside the nicholas palace

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

more about the palace

The Nicholas Palace is an impressive Neoclassical-style building where architectural beauty and entertainment along with a fascinating history blend together perfectly. The Palace can be divided into three parts: The Palace Theater, The Main Staircase, The Grand Duke Restaurant.

If you plan a visit there you can enjoy an evening of Russian folklore based on a repertoire of cultural songs and dances that reflect the traditions of Russia. Before showtime, visitors can enjoy an elegant meal in the palace restaurant or sample a small array of meats, cheeses and drinks during intermission.

Alternatively, you may join a day guided tour and skip the evening folk show. This way you can visit to Grand Palace and enjoy a lunch at the restaurant, which includes traditional Russian food with glove experience.

Many say that while the buffet choices are limited, the snacks still add to the delightful experience. This unique palace attraction entertains audiences with the spirit of Russia that captivates people from all walks of life. 

interesting facts

Russian-born author, Martha Edith von Almedingen (1898-1971), attended Xenia Institute and described the palace in her memoirs: “The palace, for all its enormous size, was beautiful. The sweep of the regal, gray marble staircase, curving off to the right and the left, must have been an architectural marvel. We played in the halls, their high ceilings supported by Corinthian pillars, their walls covered with the most exquisite paneling. We read and studied in rooms with lovely mirrors, framed in the scrolled and carved fantasies of great artists”.

where to buy tickets

You can book your tickets online for the evening Russian folk show only. In the event you wish to visit the Palace only, you must arrange your visit prior to your arrival by contacting the staff working inside the Palace. Please see info below for more information!

how to get there

The Nicholas Palace is situated in the center of the city close to the River Neva at Truda Square, also called Labor Square. It's easy to get there by walking or by taxi if your hotel is far from the city center. By metro, it's a 15-minute walk from Admiralteyskaya Station.

practical information

Address: 4, Ploshchad Truda

Metro: Admiralteyskaya, Gostiny Dvor or Nevsky Prospekt

Opening hours: The Nikolaevskiy Palace is not open to the public (A visit is possible only upon a pre-arrangement).

Booking telephone: +7 (812) 312-55-00; 312-88-58, 571-71-10

Website: www.folkshow.ru/

Photo and video: not allowed

Wheelchair accessibility: the palace is not wheelchair accessible

tips & recommendations

Our Tips

If you want to get acquainted with the Russian culture and traditions we highly recommend that you go for the evening Russian Folk Show where you can enjoy traditional Russian music and dance. By doing so you can take a look at the interiors of the palace, have fun, and sampling some Russian food.

  • For your information, the grand stair case and the show are the true features of Nicholas Palace, including the gardens outside.
  • If you plan to go to the show make sure you come at least 30 mins to get yourself a good seat.

accommodation nearby

Our picking list of Hotels nearby Nicholas Palace

must-travel resources

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


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