Yes, the Cyrillic alphabet is difficult, and even merely a few phrases in Russian are not that easy to learn. If you’re not going to live in Russia for long, then it’s wise to have a list of «speechless» or English-speaking entertainments at hand.
What This Post Is About And One Warning
One of the pluses of Saint Petersburg being the fourth-populated city in Europe with its 9 million inhabitants is that the city has something to offer throughout the year to both its residents and visitors. For watching ballet, fishes in an aquarium, listening to music, you’ll not obviously need the knowledge of Russian; watching movies in English is also possible, and even attending services at churches is an option too (but it’s not in this entertainment post, of course).
We collected the options and divided them into the following categories:
— music, ballet, opera;
— entertainments, we mean having fun;
And museums no, it’s one more big category, read about them in our special post (coming soon).
Important to know. In event announcements and playbills you may see figures like 6+, 12+ etc., which assume that the shows are legible for those not younger than an indicated age limit. In other words, 6+ means that you can attend the show if only you are 6-year-old or older.
To be honest, personnel rarely (almost never) check the passports of children and teenagers, but it may happen that access to the 18+ shows for the teenagers would be denied.
Music, Ballet, Opera
1. St. Petersburg Academic Philarmonia
Description. The full name is St. Petersburg Academic Philarmonia named after D. D. Shostakovich. Artistic director and chief conductor of The St. Petersburg philharmoniс orchestra is world-famous Yuri Temirkanov. For those willing to listen to Bach, Wagner, Stravinsky etc. the 200-year-old philarmonia is a number one choice. There are two halls, the Grand and Small ones.
Grand Hall: 2, Mikhailovskaya street
Small Hall: 30, Nevsky avenue
Tickets: Box office opening hours: 11 -19, on concert days – 19.30, break: 15 — 16
Tips: You can listen to concerts live or in records through the site:
2. St. Petersburg State Jazz Philharmonic Hall
Description. A jazz philarmonic hall may sound something strange, but it really exists. It was founded in 1989 by an enthusiast, fan of jazz, outstanding jazz musician and composer David Golostchokin. Here jazz concerts are being coupled with drinking tea, coffee or even beer at round tables and eating snacks.
Contacts: 27, Zagorodny avenue, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, +7 812 764 85 65
Tickets: Tickets are on the sale at box offices daily from 14 to 20.
3. The Mariinsky Theater
Description. Full name is The State Academic Mariinsky Theater. The most famous Russian theater for ballet, opera, operetta, music concerts and organ abroad. Principal conductor, artistic and general director is Valery Gergiev. The theater has two scenes (Mariinsky and Mariinsky II) and one concert hall, all located nearby.
Mariinsky Theatre: 1, Theater square;
Mariinsky II: 34, Dekabristov street;
Concert Hall: 20, Pisareva street (entrance from 37, Dekabristov street)
+7 812 326 41 41, email@example.com
Tickets: +7 812 326 41 41, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips: The website contains detailed rules on visiting the venue http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/visit/rules/. It also provides live broadcasting, you can both watch and listen http://www.mariinsky.ru/fm/
4. The Alexandrinsky Theater
Description. Full name is The Russian state Pushkin Academy Drama Theater — Alexandrinsky Theater. One of the three Imperial theatres of St. Petersburg along with the Mikhailovsky and Mariinsky. It runs two stages, one in the main building and the other in the nearby building. Performances: music, ballet and plays.
Main building of The Alexandrinsky Theater: 6, Ostrovsky square. +7 812 312 15 45
New Stage of The Alexandrinsky Theater: 49A, Fontanka Emb., (just a few meters from the main building). +7 812 401 53 41
The nearest metro station is Gostiny Dvor.
Tickets: Box offices are open daily 11-19, lunch break 14 -15.
Tickets for repertoire performances of The Alexandrinsky Theater are being sold with 10% discount from 13 to 14.
To order tickets by phone: +7 812 380-80-50
Group ticket reservations: +7 812 571 12 12, from 12 to 17.
Tips: Please be aware that children under 12 years old are not allowed to The Alexandrinsky Theater performances. Aslo note that plays are being always played in Russian.
5. The Mikhailovsky Theater
Description. The full name is The St. Petersburg Mussorgsky State Academic Opera and Ballet Theater — Mikhailovsky Theater. A magnificent, splendid venue, renovated a few years ago to host high-end audience and world-famous opera and ballet stars.
Contacts: 1, Arts square.
Tickets: Box office: +7 812 595-43-05, email@example.com
If you’re experiencing any problems with buying tickets online, please contact the support service at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips: Before visiting it’s good to read the rules: http://www.mikhailovsky.ru/en/visit/theatre-regulations/
The theater also runs a museum:
6. St. Petersburg State Capella
Description: The Capella specializes in chorus, concerts and organ music. Superb acoustics.
Contacts: 20, Moika emb., (just a few hundred meters from the Hermitage)
Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at box office from 12 — 19, with a break 15 — 16. Staff do not speak English, so if it’s a problem then contact Anna Petrova, an English-speaking manager: email@example.com
Tickets are also being sold via www.bileter.ru and www.kassir.ru. These websites are in Russian only.
Tips: It’s a nice option to combine rest and culture after an exhausting walk around the city center or after a visit to the Hermitage.
7. St. Petersburg Conservatory
Description. The full name is The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory. It’s a sort of high school to teach musicians, singers and conductors, which from time to time give concerts open to public. Rather cheap tickets.
Contacts: 3, Theater square (just opposite the main building of the Mariinsky theater). Located rather distant with a minimum 25 minute walk from the nearest metro stations (Sennaya square \ Sadovaya \ Spasskaya).
Transport: commercial mini-buses (marhrutkas) K-1, K-67, K-124 from Sennaya square \ Sadovaya \ Spasskaya metro stations (all of them are located at the Sennaya square).
Commercial mini-buses K-180, K-169, K-306 from the Nevsky avenue\ Gostiny Dvor metro stations (located at the Nevsky avenue). Buses 3, 22 and 27.
Website: http://istud.conservatory.ru (only for students, other pages only in Russian)
Tickets: +7 812 312 25 19. Tickets are sold at the Conservatory.
Tips: Students often perform at other scenes throughout the city, including the Mariinsky theater. The conservatory often hosts events such as The Days of Conservatories or The Contest of opera singers. Think, it may be of interest, but mainly for the fans to music.
8. Avtovo Circus
Description. Good circus with a focus on programmes for children.
Contacts: 1A, Avtovskaya street, the nearest metro station is Avtovo. +7 812 784 97 42, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets: Ticket office is open Monday-Sunday, 10-19, ticket prices range from 400 to 2000 rubles.
Tips: Avtovo is 15-20 minutes away from the center by metro. The area is good, but poorly filled with eateries, cafes and walking spaces.
9. Circus on the Fontanka river
Description. Considered as the leading and most popular of the two St. Petersburg’s circuses. Often serves as a scene for other kinds of performances or hosts other circus teams.
Contacts: 3, Fontanka embankment, the nearest metro stations are Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky avenue. + 7 812 989 43 21
Tickets: Ticket offices open 11-19 daily, e-mail: email@example.com, phone: +7 812 989 43 21. Prices range from 500 to 2000 rubles. For children under 4 years access is free, but without a separate seat provided.
10. Cinema House (in Russian: Dom Kino)
Description. The venue is managed by the St. Petersburg Union of filmmakers, so here you will find movies you wouldn’t see in big cinema chains oriented on Hollywood’s production, though that kind of films here is welcomed too. The Cinema House is widely known among fans of high quality cinema due to being a stage for many festivals which show also indie films and something like that.
Contacts: 12, Karavannaya street, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, call: +7 812 314 56 14.
Website: http://www.domkino.spb.ru (only in Russian still)
Tickets: up to 300 rubles, which is in general much cheaper than average market prices.
Tips: If you want to watch a movie in its original language than look in the schedule for those marked with «оригинальный, с субтитрами», and note that it may be not only in English, but in any other language. But mostly anyway in English.
11. Hotel Angleterre Cinema
Description. That’s a cinema at a luxury hotel just in the city center at one of the most beautiful squares. It shows not only Hollywood hits, but mainly the movies which would have great success among wide audience loving Vin Diesel and Michal Douglas (we don’t mind against these two superb men, just want to underline the difference). The Angleterre cinema takes you to the world of sophisticated movies, ballet and opera broadcasts as well as provides its scene for meeting with filmmakers and directors.
All the movies are being shown in their original languages with subtitles.
Contacts: Hotel Angleterre, 24, Malaya Morskaya (Small Sea) street, entrance from the Isaac’s square.
Tickets: For tickets you can contact a concierge of the hotel +7 812 494 5990 contact via e-mail: email@example.com. There is another contact +7 981 870 77 57 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Prices range 250-500 rubles.
Tips: The hotel and the cinema are located at the Isaac’s square with its St. Isaac’s Cathedral, monument to the Nicolas I and the monument to the Peter I (between the Neva river and the Cathedral). A visit to the cinema is well being combined with a visit to the Hermitage (about 700 meters), a walk along the Nevsky avenue, or a climb up the Catedral’s colonnade.
The restaurant Borsalino of the hotel gives discounts for some dishes for visitors to the cinema.
You can find all the professional sport teams of Saint Petersburg in our special post here. Here we list only football, basketball and ice-hockey clubs.
12. Zenit Football Club
Description. Champion of the Russian Premier League, UEFA Cup winner of 2008. One of the most popular club in Russia, now starring such players as Brazil’s Juliano, Belgium’s Witsel, Russia’s Alexander Kerzhakov and Portugal’s Danni.
Contacts: 2, Petrovsky island, metro station Sportivnaya, the Petrovsky stadium.
Tickets: from 500 rubles, tickets can be purchased through the website http://tickets.fc-zenit.ru, at the club’s shop on 20, Nevsky avenue, at sales ticket points Bileter.ru and Kassir.ru throughout the city or at the Petrovsky stadium on the game day.
Tips: After each game the metro station Sportivnaya is closed, so plan additional time to get to the stations Chkalovskaya or Petrogradskaya.
13. SKA Ice-Hockey Club
Description. The actual Gagarin Cup winner (an analogue of the Stanley Cup in NHL) of the Continental hockey league. Now starring a world-famous player Ilya Kovalchuk.
Contacts: Ledovy Dvorets (Ice Palace), 1A, Pyatiletok avenue, the nearest metro station Prospect Bolshevikov.
Tickets: from 200 rubles, tickets can be purchased at the Ice Palace, the Zenit Football Club’ shop Zenit-Arena, through the website www.ska.ru, at the SKA’s shop Hockey Club (23, Nevsky avenue), but you have to have them printed or show QR-code on your gadget.
Tips: After a game the metro station is overcrowded, we’d prefer to wait for a period of time at a coffeeshop.
14. Zenit Basketball Club
Description. One of the leaders of the VTB League that’s uniting teams from several countries. The club is just two-year old, but has its fans, what’s not surprising given the St. Petersburg basketball traditions.
Contacts: Sibur Arena, address: 8, Futbolnaya alleya (Football alley), Krestovsky island, the nearest metro is Krestovsky ostrov (island).
Tickets: from 200 rubles, can be purchased through the website http://tickets.fc-zenit.ru (yes, this is the website of the football club, but you can buy tickets to basketbal too), sales point Bileter.ru, Kassir.ru throughout the city, the shop of the Zenit football club Zenit-Arena (20, Nevsky avenue).
Tips: Sibur Arena is located about a 20 minute walk away of the metro station, we’d recommend to use buses that pick up the visitors near the station and get them back after a game. When the weather is fine and warm, it’s worth walking to the venue through the picturesque island which hosts the biggest amusement park of the city.
Description. A typical oceanarium, though rather small in comparison to its European analogs. Besides a general excursion along aquariums they have a few programs and shows such feeding reptiles, performance of sea-calfs and sharks, underwater circus. There is even a diving center, though using its services is rather expensive.
Contacts: 86, Marata street, the nearest metro stations are Mayakovskaya and Pushkinskaya. The Oceanarium is located in the business center Neptun, phone: + 7 812 448 00 77. Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00 in the winter, 10.00 – 22.00 in the summer.
Tickets: 100 – 700 rubles, excursion in a foreign language costs 2000 rubles.
Tips: There is a marine souvenirs shop. The oceanarium will be mainly of interest for those with kids.
Description: Official name is Leningradsky Zoo (Leningrad is the Soviet name of St. Petersburg in the period of 1924 — 1991). Besides watching animals and the process of feeding them, you can also ride horses on weekends and holidays on warm days. Another pleasant option is a photo with animals. The service costs 5 000 rubles for up to five persons with two animals provided by the zoo. Photo services are not included.
The zoo is said to be rather small in comparison to other zoos, for example, of Moscow and big European cities, but despite this fact it’s anyway a nice option to entertain oneself especially with kids.
Contacts: 1, Alexandrovsky park, the nearest metro stations are Gorkovskaya and Sportivnaya, e-mail: email@example.com, +7 812 233 26 54. The zoo is open 10-18 daily, box offices close at 17.
Tips: Obey normal rules applicable in any zoo, do not enter areas with limited access and don’t feed animals unless it’s permitted by the staff.
Description. Current shows at the Dolphinarium include performances of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, northern sea lions and walrus. The show last 40-50 minutes, photographing is permitted. Also you can have a picture with a dophin for 300-700 rubles depending on the size of the picture.
Contacts: 19, Konstantinovsky avenue, Krestovsky island, the nearest metro station is Krestovsky ostrov (island). Phone: +7 812 610 55 15 / 235-46-31
Website: http://dolphinarium.spb.ru/ (in Russian only)
Tickets can be purchased at box offices of the Dolphinarium and at sales point of Bileter.ru throughout the city. Prices range 100-1000 rubles depending on age, date and seat.
Tips: The Dolphinarium runs its own souvenir shop, cafe and buffet. Location on the Krestovsky island with the biggest amusement park in the city suggests that you visit the park and the Dolphinarium, or just have a walk along the island. We mean warm days, of course, April — September.
18. Maza Park
Description. It’s important: the concept of the Maza Park is that you pay some fixed price to enter the entertainment complex and can use any amusement you like. Here the word «park» means not a designed space with trees, lake and grass, it’s a venue that hosts a lot of entertainments under one roof.
Of course, there may be queues to the amenities, so you’ll have to wait until your turn comes. You pay less, but you have to wait instead of paying more to guarantee a seat — that’s how Maza Park works.
Teenagers under 18 may attend the center 22 pm — 6 am if only accompanied by adults. No drinks and food are permitted to be taken with you into the center. Maza Park provides cafes and eateries with prices average the city.
Amusements include: motordrome, billiard, darts, arcade machines, table tennis, rollerdrome, shooting gallery, Q-Zar, Laser room, rodeo, tabletop games, bowling, segways etc.
Contacts. There are two parks in the city.
30/32, Bukharestskaya street, metro station Bukharestskaya.
14a, Hochiminh street, metro station Prosvestchenia Avenue.
Opening hours: 10.00 — 06.00 daily
Website: http://mazapark.ru/prp/ (in Russian only)
Tickets: 350-600 rubles
Tips: On a Friday night and on weekends things get busy, for a bowling (you are allowed to play 1 hour, then you should be back in a queue if you want to play more) we waited for 40 minutes. Other amusements were more accessible.
19. Divo Ostrov Attractions Park
Description. The biggest open-air amusement park in St. Petersburg. Located on the Krestovsky island offering a lot of other entertainments and nice park area. The island is one of the most popular places for citizens to spend sunny and warm weekends or holidays. Divo Ostrov is the best option for those with highly energetic kids willing motion and emotions. For adults there are also a lot of attractions to fear, scream and emit «goddamshits» within a few-kilometres-circle.
Contacts: Krestovsky island, just a few hundreds meters from the metro station Krestovsky ostrov (island).
The park is open daily 12 — 22, but in the autumn it can be closed due to weather conditions or working hours can be reduced. +7 812 323 97 07, firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: http://www.divo-ostrov.ru, Instagram https://instagram.com/divo_ostrov/
Tickets: +7 812 323 97 07, prices range from 100 to 450 rubles, for children — 100 rubles, there are tickets valid a whole day.
Tips: the work of the park strongly depends on weather. Good enough to spend here a whole day. Preferably, a sunny day, of course.
Description. From Russian it’s translated as «Aerotube» which means that you’re soaring in the air being inside space which they call windtunnel. The best way to understand how it works is to visit the company’s site, well translated into English.
Contacts: 7th km of the Toksovo high-way, 8 800 555 5966 or +7 812 633 07 07, email@example.com. It’s about 10 minutes by transport from the Devyatkino metro station.
Opening hours: 09.00 — 02.00 daily
Tickets: You can book a flight by phone or through online booking system. Prices range 1600 – 17 600 rubles depending on services, time and amount of persons.
Tips: Note that despite the fact that the flight itself may last just a few minutes, a trip there, preparations and coming back will take you a few hours.
Description. The biggest waterpark in St. Petersburg and is said to be the biggest in Russia. Many amusements, a rather popular place with decent services. Which is good about Piterland is big capacity and a lot of saunas, though we have to note that we liked only two-three of them. Spas, massages, peeling, all these amenities as well as a bistro are available. If you want to spend time in an waterpark, then we’d recommend choose this one. Perhaps, Waterville has recently been given under the management of the Piterland’s owners, so maybe Waterville will also be good enough. But in any case it wil not become larger that it’s now.
Contacts: 72, Primorsky avenue, phone: +7 812 777 1 555, the nearest metro station is Staraya Derevnya.
Opening hours: Tuesday — Sunday 10:00 — 22:30, Monday 15:00 — 22:30
Tickets: For children under 4 years access is free, tickets for chidren 5-12 years old are 700 rubles, adults 1000-1500 rubles depending on day of a visit and duration.
Tips: Piterland is rather distant from the nearest metro station, so plan about 25 minutes to get to the waterpark and addition half an hour to pay for a ticket and change.
Description: The smallest waterpark in the city best suitable for those living nearby. It was the first waterpark in St. Petersburg, and maybe that’s why it is still around despite the coming of first Waterville and then Piterland. And another advantage of Rodeo drive are lower prices. There are many discounts and loyalty programmes.
Contacts: 1, Kultury avenue, pnones: +7 812 677 70 55, 677 70 52, + 7 931 348 80 80, the nearest metro stations are Ozerky and Akademicheskaya, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening hours: 10.00 — 23.00
Tickets: Attention: credit cards are not acceptable. Prices are for adults 690 — 870 rubles for 3 hours depending on date.
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