Must-see entertainment in Russia

  • bolshoi theatre moscow russia

    Bolshoi Theatre


    An evening at the Bolshoi is still one of Moscow’s most romantic and entertaining options for a night on the town. The glittering six-tier auditorium has…

  • Russia, St Petersburg, Mariinsky Theatre, facade of historic theatre of opera and ballet

    Mariinsky Theatre

    St Petersburg

    St Petersburg's most spectacular venue for ballet and opera, the Mariinsky Theatre is an attraction in its own right. Tickets can be bought online or in…

  • Brodyachaya Sobaka


    Weekends usually see live music performing at this grungy cabaret bar, while weekdays bring all manner of performing arts and other events ranging from…

  • Vagonka


    Housed in a former German church about 3km from the city centre, Vagonka is one of the city's oldest and most popular venues for live rock, DJ parties and…

  • Opera & Ballet Theatre


    For classical culture don’t miss an evening at this gigantic silver-domed theatre. Built in 1945, it's the largest theatre in Russia – bigger even than…

  • Human Puppets Theatre 2+ku


    Housed in a quaint log cabin near the WWII memorial (take ul Savinykh all the way down until you can go no further), this one-man, homey ‘robotic puppet’…

  • Ufa Jazz Club


    It's worth venturing out of the centre of town for a night of soulful music, and Ufa Jazz Club delivers. Live-music performances include local jazz bands…

  • Rear of Alexandrinsky Theatre.

    Alexandrinsky Theatre

    St Petersburg

    This magnificent venue is just one part of an immaculate architectural ensemble designed by Carlo Rossi. The theatre’s interior oozes 19th-century…

  • Mikhailovsky Theatre

    St Petersburg

    This illustrious stage delivers the Russian ballet or operatic experience, complete with multitiered theatre, frescoed ceiling and elaborate productions…

  • Stanislavsky Electrotheatre


    Renowned performance artist Boris Yukhananov has revived this old theatre as Moscow's hottest venue for experimental performance and visual art. Dance,…

  • Gogol Center

    Meshchansky & Basmanny

    One of the most talked-about theatres in Moscow is under constant political pressure due to the nonconformist position of its director Kirill…

  • Luzhniki Stadium

    Arbat & Khamovniki

    This giant stadium (home to football club FC Torpedo) is the capital's largest, seating nearly 81,000 people. The stadium is part of the Luzhniki Olympic…

  • Tuvan National Orchestra


    The Tuvan National Orchestra has a large studio within the Centre for Tuvan Culture – between 10am and 2pm most weekdays tourists are welcome to sit in on…

  • Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory


    The country’s largest music school, named for Tchaikovsky of course, has two venues, both of which host concerts, recitals and competitions. The Great…

  • Tchaikovsky Concert Hall


    Established in 1921, the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall is the main venue for the country's best orchestras and stellar international acts. It’s a huge…

  • Exterior of New Opera building.

    Novaya Opera


    This theatre company was founded in 1991 by then-mayor Luzhkov and artistic director Evgeny Kolobov. Maestro Kolobov stated, ‘We do not pretend to be…

  • MOST Theatre


    MOST may seem like one of the younger theatres in Moscow, founded in 2000. However, it evolved from the student theatre (more than 200 years old) of the…

  • Nikulin Circus logo.

    Nikulin Circus on Tsvetnoy Bulvar


    Founded in 1880, this circus is now named after beloved actor and clown Yury Nikulin (1921–97), who performed at the studio here for many years. Nikulin’s…

  • Moscow Art Theatre (MKhT)


    Often called the most influential theatre in Europe, this is where method acting was founded over 100 years ago, by Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko…

  • Moscow International House of Music


    This graceful, modern glass building has three halls, including Svetlanov Hall, which holds the largest organ in Russia. Needless to say, organ concerts…

  • New Ballet

    Meshchansky & Basmanny

    If you can’t stand to see another Swan Lake, you will be pleased to know that the New Ballet performs innovative contemporary dance. This performance art,…

  • Spartak Stadium (Otkrytie Arena)


    Home to professional football club FC Spartak, this bizarre-looking arena – easy to recognise by the Spartak red-and-white on the exterior – was built for…

  • Mariinsky Theatre Primorsky Stage


    This impressive new theatre is the Far Eastern stage of the venerable Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and is the best place to see serious classical…

  • Smena Cultural Centre


    Contemporary art gallery and performance space, dedicated to the visual arts, including film, photography and painting. Check in during your visit to find…

  • Bolshoi Circus on Vernadskogo

    Arbat & Khamovniki

    This huge circus holds 3400 spectators, but the steep pitch means that everyone has a view of the action. The company includes hundreds of performers –…

  • Kuklachev Cat Theatre

    Arbat & Khamovniki

    At this unusual theatre, acrobatic cats do all kinds of stunts for the audience’s delight. Director Yury Kuklachev bristles at the use of the word 'train'…

  • Philharmonic


    Yekaterinburg’s top venue for the classical performing arts often hosts visiting directors and soloists, as well as regular performances by the acclaimed…

  • Philharmonic Hall


    This beautifully restored neo-Gothic church has excellent acoustics, and is perfect for organ concerts, chamber-music recitals and the occasional symphony…

  • Evgeny Panfilov Ballet Theatre

    The Urals

    A wide range of dance performances are held here, some quite unique and memorable – such as performances by the 'Eugene Panfilov Ballet of the Fat' group.

  • Sobinov Conservatory

    Volga Region

    One of the best conservatories in Russia, holding frequent performances by resident and visiting musicians in an architectural highlight of Saratov.

  • Festival Concert Hall


    Many of Russia’s top music acts play in Sochi – most at this massive hall with its front open to the sea embankment below.

  • Dom Kino


    A place to watch sophisticated art-house cinema, often shown in the original language, with Russian subtitles.

  • Rock'n'Roll Pub


    Head to this cheap no-frills pub and diner to check what Siberian and indie music are about.

  • Benzin


    A slick entertainment centre with four bars, frequent live gigs and DJ parties.

  • Street view of Mariinsky II opera and ballet venue in St Petersburg.

    Mariinsky II

    St Petersburg

    Finally opening its doors in 2013 after more than a decade of construction, legal wrangles, scandal and rumour, the Mariinsky II is a showpiece for St…

  • Maly Theatre


    ‘Maly’ means small, meaning smaller than the Bolshoi across the street. Actually, the name dates back to the time when there were only two theatres in…

  • Pioner Cinema

    Arbat & Khamovniki

    Almost all of the films shown in Russia are dubbed into the Russian language, but this cinema theatre is a pleasant exception. Apart from sticking with…

  • The entrance to Glinka Capella House in St Petersburg.

    Glinka Capella House

    St Petersburg

    This historic hall was constructed for Russia’s oldest professional choir, the Emperor Court Choir Capella, founded in 1473. Originally based in Moscow,…

  • Musicians on stage at JFC jazz club.

    JFC Jazz Club

    St Petersburg

    Very small and very New York, this cool club is the best place in the city to hear modern, innovative jazz music, as well as blues, bluegrass and various…

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