Theatres and shows
Evening programs can be added to your tours. Most popular choice for an evening event - ballets, operas or concerts. Here you can read about main theatres and shows in St. Petersburg. They represent a cultural life in the city in the best way.
Cost depends on the ticket price and if you need a transfer or not. You can also easily get tickets to some of these places yourself.
Good to know - when you get tickets on the official web site of the theatre you don’t pay a commission. And if advance it can be a bargain, in some theatres the price can be much lower.
There are many more places to go for a ballet or a concert, don’t hesitate to ask about more options.
Mariinsky Theatre is still well known as Kirov theatre abroad. It’s the best opera and ballet theatre in St. Petersburg and can be compared to Bolshoi in Moscow. Mariinsky is one of the symbols of Russian culture and the place where Russian ballet and Russian opera started. It was opened on the 2nd of October 1860 with a performance of Glinka´s opera A Life for the Tsar and was named the Mariinsky Theatre after Alexander II´s wife Maria. According to contemporaries, it was «the finest theatre in Europe» at that time. Its magnificent decor has survived almost unchanged to the present day. Beautiful
architecture of the building and gorgeous auditorium make a visit to the theatre a real event! The name of Leningrad communist leader Kirov was given to the theatre in 1935 after his murder and in 1992 the original name was given back.
Mariinsky -2 is a new building, opened in 2013 It is right next to the historical building, performances can be either on the historical or new stage. Look at your ticket to check where it is , not to confuse the place.
Mariinsky Theatre also has a concert hall
Mikhailovsky Theatre is the second theatre in St Petersburg. On 8 November 1833, on the name day of the Grand duke Mikhail, brother of Emperor Nicholas I, the curtain rose for the first time in the new theatre. For about a century it was a French Theatre in St. Petersburg. In the 1870s, the theatre opened its doors to anyone wishing to perform on its stage — out-of-house performances by other St. Petersburg theatres, touring companies and various celebrations and charity shows. In 1918 it became actually the second Opera House in St.Petersburg and soon got the name of Maly (small) Opera and
Ballet Theatre named after the famous Russian composer Modest Moussorgsky. In 2007 the theatre got the original name back — the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
The Hermitage Theatre, commissioned by Catherine II and designed by architect Giacomo Quarenghi, was built in 1783-87 as a part of the Hermitage complex. The building occupies the place of the Winter Palace of Peter the Great. By the time of Catherine the Great it became too shabby and was replaced by
her court theatre. Early twentieth century with Art Nouveau style theatre sets added to the beauty of performances and the real hour of glory for the Hermitage theatre came in pre-revolutionary years. After the revolution it was used for lectures and scientific conferences and only in 1991 the theatre
opened its doors for spectators again. Several different companies can perform on the stage of the Hermitage theatre .
Folk Show at the Nilolaevsky Palace Feel Yourself Russian is one of the best shows of this kind and a unique chance to experience Russian folk culture. The show is performed by the professional folk groups in one of the best preserved palaces with wonderful interiors. It was the home of Grand Duke Nicholas, son of Nicholas I. You’ll feel like a guest of a Grand Duke. The colorful show lasts for about two hours with an intermission, when you’re served snacks, vodka and soft drinks. May-October shows are on every day 19 and 21.00.
The Big St Petersburg Circus on the Fontanka River is a special place. It’s the first stone stationary circus in Russia. Circus performances were always very popular in St.Petersburg, but they were held either in the squares or in wooden buildings, which were far from comfortable. The initiator of the construction
was the Italian subject and head of a circus dynasty Gaetano Ciniselli who was very popular at that time. The building was ready in 1887 and the circus became one of the fashionable entertainments. Now you can still see traditional circus performances with animals, acrobats, clowns. Ppopular place to go with
The St. Petersburg Philharmonic is the oldest Philharmonic in Russia. Its history goes back to 1802 when the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society, the first one in Europe, was founded. The building housing the Philharmonic was constructed in 1839 for the St. Petersburg Assembly of the Noble. The hall with wonderful acoustics and a seating capacity of over 1500 has been the center of the city’s musical life since the end of 1840es. The Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic is one of the best concert halls in Europe. It is where the Symphony #7 by Shostakovich was performed in the besieged Leningrad in 1942 In 1949 the new chamber hall of the Philharmonic was opened in the old building in Nevsky Prospect. It is known as a Small Hall.
Russian Music Seasons is a wonderful combination of a light tour and a chamber concert, they mainly perform May-September, three times a week. Concerts takes place in a gorgeous palace of Grand Duke Vladimir. The palace itself is worth visiting, authentic interiors are beautiful. Guests are welcomed with a drink and a pre-concert tour around the palace. Then you can enjoy 2 hour classical music experience – music pieces by Russian composers performed by St. Petersburg orchestra. Comments and stories between music pieces create nice friendly and chamber atmosphere.
Some ideas about what to do in the evening if you are not a big theatre fan.
Evening private canal tour to enjoy and relax after a busy touring day. And may be to see the lights of the city after dark if it’s not white nights time, otherwise you know, it’s never dark.
✔ Usual start is 19:00 or 20:00
Private canal tour 1 hour
Transfer to the boat and back
375 USD for a group from 1-14 pax
Evening shared canal tour starts every day 19.00. You get audioguides in your language on the boat and enjoy 1 hour canal tour with other people who signed up for the event.
Boat fee (non-private boat)
Transfer to the boat and back
Walk on Nevsky Prospect in the evening. You can look into the shops, listen to street musicians, have a drink in local bars of cafes and just see what’s local life like. The walk can be added to your tour upon request.
Another option is to walk along Rubinstein street. It is quite “alcoholic” walk as the street now has the official name of the bar street of the city. Besides bars there are restaurants, so dinner is also possible here. And right there is Small Drama Theatre, where some plays have a running line in English, so here is a great chance to watch Chekhov plays in Russia and in Russian(!) and before or after a good Russian drink.
Cost of the walk with a guide 120 USD for a group 1-15 pax
Cost of the walk with a guide + transfers to Nevsky prospect and back - 215 USD
Dinner with a local family. Unique opportunity to see how real local people live and what they eat. Of course you will be treated like a guest and we try to feed the guests well and a lot. You can try traditional Russian dishes as we cook them at home and meet local people who are eager to show their lifestyle and love having guests. Should be settled in advance because it’s a real family, not a restaurant that works every day.
The price includes dinner and transportation there and back.
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