St. Petersburg is not too big on contemporary theatre, but is more famous for ballet and opera. However, there's a smaller arts scene, where you can see more experimental stuff.
The shows usually start at 19.00, but it's better to check beforehand. You can buy the tickets in the theaters' ticket sales offices or in kiosks all over the city center. If you have no tickets but enough cash, you can arrive before the show and buy the tickets from dealers. Their typical method is to the overcharge, so you must bargain.
Most of the theatres are closed from July until September.
See Way to Russia What's On Calendar for Theatre Schedules
Most of the theatres have very classic repertoire and perform in Russian language only. Below we list the most popular ones...
Music Hall This theatre is most interesting for the festivals that it hosts occasionally, although it's most often hit or miss in terms of quality. Also, perhaps it's the only place in St. Petesburg where you can see butoh dance and the famous Russian
The theatre also has its own repertoire. There are three areas: the main hall, comedy-hall, and cafe "Velvet". See what's on in Way to Russia calendar.
Address: Alexandov park, #4. location: M. Gorkovskaya.
Contacts: +7 (812) 232-92-01
The theatre was born in 1988. It’s emotional, touching plays convey human feelings through grotesque pantomime and clownery. Besides their home stage, they often perform at circuses and sometimes on the street.
Address: Rizhsky prospect, #23. Tel: 7 (812) 251-63-28
Location: M.: Baltiiskaya.
Directions: Exit metro Baltiiskaya, cross the canal and continue straight up Lermontovsky until you see the huge building of the Sovietskaya hotel. Turn left into Rizhsky prospekt right before the hotel. Keep walking until after a few blocks you’ve crossed a boulevard. The theatre is on the far right corner of the intersection.
Youth Theatre on the Fontanka.
Little and most popular theatre in Peterburg. Regular shows and different festivals, like summer openair StereoLeto ? some concerts of the Early Music Festival.
Address: Naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki, #114. tel.: 7(812) 316-65-64, 7(812) 316-68-70.
Location: M. Technologichesky Institut
Maly Drama Theater (MDT).
A nice traditional theatre with classic repertoire. Some St. Petersburgers say it's the best drama theater in the city.
Address: Ulitsa Rubinshteina (êÛ·ËÌ¯ÚÂÈÌ‡), #18. Directions: Dostoyevskaya (ÑÓÒÚÓÂ‚ÒÍ‡¤) metro, walk to the direction of Nevski Prospekt, the theater will be on your right (3-5 mins). Phone: 113-2078. Ticket office: 12.00-17.00. Prices: 20-250 roubles ($0.7-$8)
Tolstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater (BDT).
They are always interesting, performing the same classic plays in a way you can't recognize it. When they perform in Moscow, you won't find a ticket – all the people want to find out what BDT invented this time.
Address: Naberezhnaya Reki Fontanki (ç‡·Â¦ÂÊÌ‡¤ êÂÍË îÓÌÚ‡ÌÍË), #65. Directions: metro Gostiny Dvor, walk along Nevski Prospekt to Fontanka river (direction opposite of Hermitage) and then take the Fontanka embankment and walk along Fontanka to the direction opposite of Nevski Prospekt. The theater will be on your right. Phone: 310-0401. Ticket office: 10.00-18.00.
Ballet and Opera in St. petersburg
Mariinsky Theatre (å‡¦ËËÌÒÍËÈ íÂ‡Ú¦).
Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, which was opened in 1783, is one of the best theatres in the world. There has been a great competition for several centuries already between this theatre and Moscow Bolshoy Theatre. These are the main theaters of Russia but no one can decide which is the main theatre in Russia. For the last years there's been some problems in Bolshoy, so Mariinsky is the champion, not for long, I guess. Mariinsky is the best and the most popular theatre in the city, so it can be hard to buy tickets, but there are many tourist agencies and hotel services which provide the tickets. Performances don't take part in September, the troupe is on holidays. There are 1625 sits in this theater.
Address: Teatralnaya Ploschad, #1. Directions: walk out of metro Sadovaya and then walk 10-15 mins along the right side of Griboedova channel (to the direction opposite from Nevski Prospekt. Map: B4 (object #1);Phone: 114-5264, 114-1211, 114-4344. Ticket office: 11.00-19.00. Prices: mornings 8-100 roubles ($0.3-$3.5), evenings 25-500 roubles ($0.8-$18).
Mussorgsky Theatre(åÛÒÒÓ¦„ÒÍËÈ íÂ‡Ú¦).
Was opened in 1918 as a part of Mariinski theater, but became indpendent in 1990. Now Mussorgsky Opera and Ballet Theater is number two in St. Petersburg. You can easily try Mussorgsky, if there are no tickets to the Mariinsky, but you still wish to find out what the famous Russian ballet or opera is. It has the same classic repertoire as Mariinsky, and the troupe is superior class also.There are 1151 seats in this theater.
Address: Ploschad Iskusstv (èÎÓр‡‰¸ àÒÍÛÒÒÚ‚), #1. Directions: walk out metro Nevsky Prospekt and walk along Griboedova channel to the direction opposite to Nevski Prospekt. phone.: 314-3758. Ticket office: 11.00-15.00, 16.00-19.00. Prices: morning 10-50 roubles ($0.3-$1.8), evenings 20-100 ($0.7-$3.5).
Pushkin's (Alexandriiski) Theater.
The Russian Academical Drama Theater of A.S. Pushkin (Alexandriiski Theater) is one of the oldest in St. Petersburg, it dates back to 1756. Russian and foreign plays. There are 1378 seats.
Address: Ostrovskogo Square (Ploschad), #2. Directions: metro Gostiny Dvor , walk a bit along Nevski to the direction of Moskovski railway station. On your right you'll see a park, Ekaterina monument and the theater. Phone: 312-1545. Ticket office: 11.00-15.00, 16.00-18.00. Prices: 15-80 roubles ($0.5-$3).
Built in 1783 on the orders of Katherine the Great, this is the oldest musical theatre in Russia. A grand edifice, reminding of the temples of ancient Greece. Regular shows featuring top stars of Russian classical music, opera and ballet.
Address: Teatralnaya Ploschad , #3. Tel.: 7(812) 571-85-74, 7(812) 312-25-19.
Directions: walk out of metro Sadovaya and then walk 10-15 mins along the right side of Griboedova channel to the direction opposite from Nevski Prospekt.
Oktiabrsky Concert Hall.
It is the largest concert hall in the city, so all the concerts of popular Russian and world stars are taking part here. Meanwhile the building needs redecoration and acoustic is bad, even worse. Concerts begin at 19.00. Sometimes balet.
Address: Ligovsky Prospekt (ãË„Ó‚ÒÍËÈ è¦ÓÒÔÂÍÚ), #6. Directions: Ploschad Vosstania metro, cross Nevski and walk along Ligovski to the direction opposite of Moskovski railway station. The hall will be on your right in 5 mins. Phone: 275-1275. Ticket offices: 11.00-15.00 and 16.00-19.00. Prices: 30-100 roubles ($1-$3.5)
The chamber musical theatre St Petersburg Opera.
Original repertoire of historical and modern operas, many of them not performed elsewhere in Russia, by Russian and international composers.
Open: 11:00 – 19:00
Address: Galernaya str. #33. Tel.: 7(812) 315-67-69.
Location: M. Sadovaya, Sennaya ploshad.
House of Composers’ concert hall.
Classical music concerts at an elegant 18-century mansion, which’s worth visiting even just to see the building, built by Auguste de Montferrand. Open: 12:00 – 18:00
Address: Bolshaya Morskaya str. #45. Tel.: 7(812) 314-89-76.
Location: M. Nevsky prospect, Gostiny Dvor..
A hidden treasure, this was once the principal temple of the Maltese Knights, when Russian Emperor Paul I was their Grand Master. Concerts of organ music held here are your only chance to see the building, located on the premises of the Suvorov Cadet School. Open: Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri. 10:00 – 13:00 & Sat. 19:00 – 21:00
Address: Sadovaya str. #26. Tel.: 7(812) 498-06-69.
Location: M. Sadovaya, Sennaya ploshad.
Shostakovich Philharmonic Hall (Bolshoi Zal Filarmonii imeni Shostakovicha). Classical music. The acoustic is not best, the building was built like Dvoryanskoe sobranie (Nobles club), while the Philharmonic Hall was opened here only after the Revolution. Concerts start at 16.00 and 19.00.
Address: Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa, #2. Directions: Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor. Right in front of the Grand Hotel Europe. Phone: 311-7333. Ticket office: 11.00-15.00, 16.00-19.30
Glinka Philharmonic Chamber Hall (Maly Zal Filarmonii imeni Glinki)
Classic music. Concerts start at 15.00 and 19.00.
Address: Nevsky Prospekt, # 30. Metro: Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor. Phone: 312-4585. Ticket-office: 11.00-15.00, 16.00- 20.00
St. Petersburg State Capella.
The small hall hosts concerts of small orchestras and singers.
Address: Naberezhnaya Reky Moiki, #20. Metro: Nevsky Prospekt
Phone: 314-1048. Ticket-office: 12.00-15.00, 16.00-19.00