Guide to Buying Theater Tickets in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg, known as the Cultural Capital of Russia, is world-renowned for its performing arts. Even tourists who spend just a few hours here on a cruise stop make a point to try to see a ballet or an opera at the famous theaters such as Mariinsky Theater or Mikhailovsky Theater. While you're studying here, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to see a performance for yourself! In this post, we'll look at how to buy theater tickets and avoid tourist traps.
There are many websites available for buying tickets to Saint Petersburg's famous ballets, operas and concerts (Russian Broadway, Ballet and Opera, etc), but many of them are aimed at foreign tourists who don't know better and often charge over a hundred euros more than the official full price that foreigners can get if they purchase through the theater's official websites.
We'll guide you through buying tickets from Mariinsky's website. Mikhailovsky's website is similar - be sure to check them both out before you decide!
To check what shows are coming up, click on "PLAYBILL AND TICKETS". You can then narrow your search according to venue (Mariinsky Theater, Mariinsky II, Concert Hall or Mussorgsky Hall), performance type (opera, ballet or concert) and month. Tickets often go on sale up to six months in advance, and many shows sell out, so it's best to buy at least several weeks in advance.
Click on an event that interests you for more information about and photos of the performance.
"Buy Tickets" will take you to a map of the available seats. The price of each available seat in rubles will pop up when you put your mouse over it.
Once you've decided to purchase a ticket, you'll need to create a user account or log in with Facebook. The confirmation is through email, so it is not necessary to have a Russian phone number.
Once you've created an account and logged in, find the ticket you want again, add it to your basket, and press complete purchase. Then, you'll have 50 minutes to pay, or the order will be automatically canceled. Make sure you correctly enter the real name of the person who will pick up the tickets at the box office as they will only give the tickets to this person.
Once you pay, you will get e-tickets from the website as well as sent to your email. You can use these to enter the theater or you can pick up the official tickets from any official box office (details of where these offices are and their opening hours are sent in the email along with the e-tickets). To pick up the official tickets, be sure to bring an ID confirming your name matches the one used in the booking, or the original card that they were purchased with.
After that, get ready for an unforgettable evening at the theater!! While there's no official dress code, expect other theater-goers to be well dressed, ranging from smart casual to very formal evening gowns and tuxedos.
Swan Lake (Лебединое озеро), which rivals The Nutcracker (Щелкунчик) for the most popular ballet in Saint Petersburg