Watching a ballet performance is a must-do in Saint Petersburg. The city is known for the classic ballet school (Vaganova Ballet Academy) and the ballet company of the Mariinsky Theater is one of the best in the world.
Russian dancers are known for their incredible technique and artistic performance. You will enjoy the live classic music performed by the world-famous orchestras, the atmosphere of historic theater, and the art of dance at its best.
Below, I listed the Saint Petersburg theaters where you can watch the Russian ballet.
The Mariinsky Theater
The Mariinsky Theater is a top theater in Saint Petersburg and the Mariinsky Ballet, formerly the Kirov Ballet Company, is often referred to as the king of the ballet.
Both the old Mariinsky Theater and the modern Mariinsky II host ballet performances. The Mariinsky ballet playbill is published on their website.
Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, Cinderella, La Bayadere, The Fountain of Bakhchisarai, Giselle, the Stone Flower, the Firebird are some of the popular shows.
To buy tickets for the Mariinsky ballet performances visit their official webiste or box-office.
Read more about How to Buy Tickets for The Mariinsky Theater and to Avoid Scams.
It is not recommended to buy tickets for the ballet shows for the back rows of the tiers in the old Mariinsky Theater, while at Mariinsky II all seats are supposed to have decent view.
The Mariinsky ballet performances can be quite expensive with ticket prices up to 7,500 rubles.
The Mariinsky Theater Seating Plan
The Alexandrinsky Theater
The Alexandrinsky Theater was built in 1832. It has been a popular drama theater as well as ballet stage.
Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet run here regularly. The tickets are very affordable, with the most expensive stalls fares at 2,000 rubles.
The Alexandrinsky theater playbill can be found here.
You can buy the ballet tickets online (Russian interface), at the box office or through resellers like Yandex Afisha.
Address of the Theatre: 6 Ostrovsky Square
Address of the New Stage: 49A Fontanka River Embankment
The Alexandrinsky Theater Seating Plan
The Mikhailovsky Theater
The Mikhailovsky Theater was first opened in 1833 at the order of Tsar Nicolas I. The theater was named Mikhailovsky after the Tsar’s brother the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich. The theater was built to entertain the emperor’s family and its close circles.
Swan Lake, Giselle, Le Corsaire, Romeo and Juliet, and the Nutckraker play regularly at the theater.
See the Mikhailovsky Theater playbill here. I found it difficult to buy tickets online on their website.
It would be easier to visit their box office when you arrive or buy tickets from the resellers: kassir.ru, bileter.ru, maximilian.ru or Yandex Afisha.
Address: 1, Ploshad’ Isskustv
The Mikhailovsky Theater Seating Plan
The Hermitage Theatre
The Hermitage Theater is within the Hermitage museum complex.
The small theater with capacity of only 250 seats was built as a court theater, for the tsar’s imperial family. It was completed in 1789 for Catherine the Great.
The principal shows are the Swan Lake, the Nutcracker, Giselle, and the Sleeping Beauty. The shows are good, but you may find them to be a bit of a touristy type. They are great, if you just want to enjoy nice orchestra, beautiful historic setting and the famous ballet. If you are a serious ballet aficionado, you may want to choose Mariinsky.
Since the seats are unnumbered, it is better to arrive early to avoid the side seats where the view can be obstructed.
The tickets are quite pricey at 8,000 rubles. Buy them online on the theater website.
Cover photo credit: mikhailovsky.ru