The Mariinsky theatre is one of the most illustrious and amazing theatres in the world.

Located on Theatre Square, the Mariinsky Theatre is the home of Russian ballet and opera in Saint Petersburg and in the whole Russia since 1860s. Named after Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of ruler Tsar Alexander II at the time of its debut, the theatre’s elegant neoclassical design and dazzling décor heralded the age of Russia’s huge impact on the international stage of operatic ballet.

The theatre has been presenting the world with a plethora of great artistes for more than two centuries. During this period the building of the theatre was also reconstructed a number of times. In 1944, it was completely restored after the war destruction. The works are thought to be completed around 2005.

Billing the most talented Russian and foreign performers from around the globe, the opening night performance of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka’s opera, A Life for the Tsar, was soon followed by equally masterful productions, such as La Forza del Destino (1862), Boris Godunov (1874), Prince Igori and The Queen of Spades (1890).

Opera maestro Caterino Cavos played a prominent role in the success of the enterprise and under the guidance of classical choreographer Marius Petipa, the ballet company premiered Peter Tchaikovsky’s, The Nutcracker (1892), Swan Lake (1895) and Sleeping Beauty (1890), with performances that forever influenced professional dance.

As a foremost St. Petersburg attraction, visitors say the theatre is a piece of art in itself. Even first time opera-goers describe the exquisite interiors, incredible music scores and moving performances as a sublime and truly unforgettable experience.☺

a look inside mariinsky theatre

Interested to visit the Mariinsky theatre? If so, click on the links below or scroll down the page to learn more.

 the mariinsky theater

The Mariinsky theater has two different main venues: the Old Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall known for its long history and outstanding neoclassical architecture, which has become one of the main touristic attractions of St Petersburg; and the New Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall built by architect Jack Diamond, also known as Mariinsky II, which is the continuation of the traditional buildings of the city but with a very contemporary architecture style.

Both are considered one of the world’s most important cultural institutions and the best places to enjoy classical music and opera and ballet in Russia, and perhaps in the whole world. Between the two venues, the new one is less touristy and more comfortable than the old one.

Both places have become a fashionable spot with an audience of people from all ages and countries. However, the majority of people going there are high profile locals and Russian citizens in general who are very fond of classical music. We would guess 10% only are tourists!

Anyone visiting both of the venues will surely feel an aristocratic and historical atmosphere and enjoy beautiful settings, performances, and amazing acoustics. So we highly recommend a stop there even if you are not a classical music lover.

interesting facts

Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, the theatre company languished, but with the skillful direction of ballet teacher Agrippina Vaganova, it recovered and went on to triumph. Her commitment to training dancers supported the success of the Kirov Ballet under Soviet rule and in 1919, the theatre was renamed the Kirov Theatre.

The quality of artistic expression and dance talent flourished and the company achieved world-class status, as ballet greats Anna Pavlova, Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov stole the hearts of audiences.

During the cold war, the company fell into decline again and many of the dancers defected to the West. The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a new era and in 1992, the theatre’s Imperial name was restored.

Today, the Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet and Opera Theatre, however it is still known as the legendary Kirov Opera, Ballet and Orchestra and praised for being one of the top six opera-ballet companies in the world.


You can purchase tickets through the official website of the theater (see link below) or upon your arrival at the ticket office. E-tickets can be brought online very easily and just need to be scanned at the entrance.

Please note that there are higher prices for tickets for foreigners. All citizens of Russian Federation and foreign citizens working or studying in Russia pay standard ticket rate.


It takes about 20 minutes to walk from any of the metro stations to the Mariinsky Theatre.

From Sennaya Ploshchad, go south down Sadovaya Ulitsa and take the second turn after the square turn right onto Prospekt Rimskogo-Korsakova. Then just over the Griboedov Canal and take the first right turn onto Ulitsa Glinki, which is directly opposite the St. Nicholas Cathedral. From this point, it is approximately 150 meters or 500 feet to Teatralnaya Ploshchad and the Mariinsky Theatre.

If you are coming from Nevsky Prospekt, take Bus N.27 (diesel bus) or Trolley Bus N.3 or N.22 (electric bus) from the odd-numbered north side of the street. These transportation options  also take approximately 15-20 minutes.


Address: 1, Teatralnaya Ploshchad

Metro: Admiralteyskaya, Sadovaya / Sennaya Ploshchad / Spasskaya

Telephone: +7 (812) 326-4141


Order tickets:

Places nearby: Kryukov Canal, Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, Ulitsa Dekabristov, St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral

tips & recommendations

  • We recommend buying the tickets only from the Mariinsky official web site so that you get the same price as in the theater. Avoid buying from scalpers like or similar.
  • Formal attire (black tie and evening gown) is important when attending the theatre in Russia.

  • Snacks available include yummy things like: good French champagne, Prosecco, sandwiches, French pastries, Tiramisu and strawberries. 
  • Get there early and rent opera glasses from the cloak room. This will allow you to go ahead of the long queue after the show and get your coat back!
  • Performances aren’t always done by the Mariinsky (Kirov Ballet). The Leonid Yacobson Ballet Troupe also performs here and they are excellent.
  • The Mariinsky Theatre is listed on Tripadvisor as “The State Academical Mariinsky Theatre,” to seperate it from the Mariinsky II, a new, second theatre located across the Kryukov Canal from the original theatre via a glass bridge that connects them.
  • The new one is called Mariinsky II or The Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, which is a contemporary building made of glass, with glass staircases and superior acoustics. The new stage is considered to be one of the most innovative concert stages in the world. Visitors say it’s fantastic and way less touristy!

ACCOMMODATION NEAR the mariinsky theatre

Our picking list of hotels near the Mariinsky Theatre

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Our picking list of essentials travel resources for your trip to Russia


Мариинский театр – один из ведущих музыкальных театров России и мира. Театр ведет свою историю с 1783 года, когда по указу Екатерины II была учреждена труппа для представления драматических и оперных спектаклей в только что открытом на Театральной площади Большом Каменном театре (позднее перестроенным под Консерваторию). Здесь прозвучали первые русские классические оперы – «Жизнь за царя» (1836) и «Руслан и Людмила» (1842) Глинки. Здание, в котором сегодня размещается историческая сцена театра, было построено архитектором Альберто Кавосом в 1859 году на противоположной стороне Театральной площади на месте пострадавшего от пожара Театра-цирка. В следующем году на эту сцену была перенесена основная часть спектаклей, тогда же театр получил имя Мариинский в честь Марии Александровны – супруги императора Александра II. В дальнейшем театр сменил несколько названий, почти 60 лет носил имя С. М. Кирова, а в 1992 вновь вернул историческое имя.

В XIX веке Мариинский театр обрел статус главной музыкальной сцены России: здесь прошли премьеры опер Даргомыжского, Мусоргского, Бородина, Чайковского, Римского-Корсакова, впервые в России исполнялся зарубежный репертуар, в том числе почти все оперы Вагнера.

сокое реноме театр сохранил и в следующем столетии, когда на его сцене появились новые произведения: оперы Р. Штрауса, Берга, Прокофьева, балеты Шостаковича, Глиэра, Асафьева, Хачатуряна, ставшие классическими образцами жанра. На протяжении всей истории театра в его труппе работали блестящие артисты, чье мастерство признано во всем мире. Сегодня в труппе 18 обладателей звания «Народный артист России» и 70 – «Заслуженный артист России». В репертуаре – более двухсот постановок, охватывающих два с половиной столетия истории музыки.

В 1988 году музыкальным руководителем театра был избран Валерий Гергиев, с 1996 года он занимает пост художественного руководителя-директора. Гергиев ввел в репертуар ряд новых спектаклей и инициировал появление новых площадок театра – Концертного зала и Мариинского-2. Центром всего комплекса по-прежнему остается здание на Театральной площади. На исторической сцене идут классические спектакли европейского (Моцарт, Россини, Верди, Пуччини) и русского (Бородин, Мусоргский, Чайковский, Римский-Корсаков, Прокофьев) оперного репертуара, а также балеты, неизменно пользующиеся успехом у публики.


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