Seeing an opera, ballet or musical performance at the Bolshoi Theater is at the top of the list for many Moscow locals, expats and visitors. The historic theater is world renowned for its performances and you can expect every single show to have a complete sellout crowd. Even though the shows are not performed in English, dont let that deter you, as the quality of performances of this caliber transcend language barriers.
Because of the popularity of the theater, it can be difficult (but not impossible) to get tickets. The key is to plan ahead and book online [add link]. Generally you need to look at booking months in advance, as some popular performances such as Swan Lake will sell out within hours of bookings opening. While this makes it hard to plan a spur of the moment trip to the theater, the wait is definitely worth it. There are two stages and the old stage is the larger and pricier of the two. So if you want to visit the Bolshoi Theater on a budget, go for shows in the new theater.
I personally had never been to a ballet performance before attending one at the Bolshoi theater. Going in I was unsure if I would enjoy it or not. Take it from me, if you have similar doubts you will not be disappointed. As soon as I got home from my first performance, I went online and booked tickets for another show!
There is a dress code which you can view on the official Bolshoi Theater site, so you can use it as the perfect excuse to get dressed up and take your wife or girlfriend out to dinner and show them a good time – they will definitely appreciate it. You should aim to reach the theater around 30mins in advance of your show, or a little more if you would like to partake of some champagne and caviar in the lobby.
Ticket prices vary considerably and it is hard to give a definitive answer. Midday shows and less popular performances in the new theater can be purchased for as low as 3000RUB, whereas evening shows to Swan Lake in the old theater can be as high as 15000RUB. If you aren’t willing to pay top dollar, just keep an eye on the new releases and snap up the bargains when they appear.
You can reach the Bolshoi Theater by car via Tverskaya Street, or you can use either the Teatralnya (Театра́льная) or Okhotnyi Ryad (Охотный ряд) metro stations.
Here is the official Bolshoi Theater website: www.bolshoi.ru/en/
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