St. Petersburg – Entertainment
St. Petersburg in the times when it was the capital of the Russian Empire was also the capital of the Russian theater, the venue for all the world’s stars and the most brilliant high society parties. After losing the status of the capital of Russia, St. Petersburg hang onto the title of the cultural capital. The city has a lot of cozy and very interesting spots.
The Mariinsky Theatre. The legendary opera and ballet theater was founded in 1783. Since then its stage has been the home of the best of the best actors of the Russian opera and ballet. Today the theater is still proud of its strong troupe established by its Artistic Director Valery Gergiev and including such famous names as Anna Netrebko and Uliana Lopatkina. The repertoire is classical. The historical interiors of the theater house are very beautiful.
The ticket price is 700-5000 roubles.
The Mikhailovsky Theater
The famous musical theater was founded in 1833 by the order of Emperor Nicholas I. The repertoire is mostly classical, but sometimes offers daring experiments and performances often have opera and ballet guest stars.
The ticket price is 1000-7000 roubles.
Those who do not have the language barrier should visit performances at Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater, one of Russia’s leading drama theaters, and the Alexandrinsky Theatre (the oldest drama theater in Russia).
Saint Petersburg Philharmonia named after D. Shostakovich. Being one of the oldest in Russia, it has always been a model one in relation both to repertoire and invited performers. During the Siege of Leningrad, it was the place on the first night of the great Symphony No. 7 by D. Shostakovich. The Bolshoi Zal (large hall) is one of the best concert halls in Europe. Its repertoire includes the best classical compositions, both famous and unknown. Tickets can often be bought with a discount. (500-2500 roubles).
Classical music concerts also take place at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall and the Saint Petersburg Court Chapel (Capella).
The greatest stars, independently on their genre, give concerts at Grand Concert Hall Oktyabrsky, as its 4000 seats can accommodate all the fans or at least the majority of them. Popular Russian and foreign groups regularly appear at club A2 Green Concert. If you want quality Russian rock and the best sound, go to Kosmonavt (one of the best concert clubs in the city). If you want something harder, choose the Aurora Concert Hall or Zal Ozhidaniya (the latter offers more genres and more foreign performers). Those who like alternative rock should visit the legendary Fish Fabrique Nouvelle, which has celebrated its 20th anniversary.
JFC Jazz Club. This is a small and cozy place with live music in the evening. Mostly they offer jazz, but sometimes you can listen to blues, ethno and funk music. It is advisable to book a table in advance as there are few sitting places available. No cooked food is served.
Dom 7 Jazz Bar. Comfortable sofas create homelike atmosphere and the music varies from jazz to bossa nova, blues, and Latin music. Guests are welcome to dance. The cuisine is simple, but inexpensive and tasty.
The Hat. A small bar founded by a Russian musician pleases with the bohemian atmosphere of the 1960s. You can listen to live jam sessions of young jazzmen every evening. Sitting places is available only at the bar counter, there is no menu, the sign is difficult to notice – all these create the complete feeling of a totally private place. In the evening the bar is crowded, so it is better to come on time.
Café-Laundromat Stirka 40 Degrees. A strange hybrid of a bar and a Laundromat is popular among creative youth. This is an amusing atmospheric place with its own history where you can have a drink at a reasonable price and at the same time have your clothes washed.
Bars “Purga 1” and “Purga 2”. Joyful bars and clubs with European cuisine where Christmas or a wedding is celebrated… all year round! This place with very kitschy and colorful atmosphere makes you feel the real spirit of a Russian holiday. Half the guests manage to become good friends during a night, but some of them overestimate their drinking abilities.
Metro Club – one of the largest dancing clubs of St. Petersburg. Each of the 3 floors offers its own musical style, from house and Russian music to techno and Euro dance. It is one of the favorite spots among the students.
Klub-Muzey Kotelnaya Kamchatka at Blokhina Street. A stomping ground for Russian rock followers as the club is located in the premises of the boiler plant where the legendary USSR rocker Viktor Tsoi worked as a fireman. The owners try to keep the creative atmosphere with performances of youth groups, but the sound and the quality of repertoire lag behind the “past”.
Griboedov. The club opened in a basement 20 years ago by two musicians has become one of the most popular places in St. Petersburg. The selection of music is various – from electronic music and rock to music on vynil and “live” jam music. The place has good cuisine and an intelligent crowd.
Dumskaya Street. A whole street of inexpensive bars and night clubs that has become a city legend. Especially interesting are Chert Poberi! (Damn it!) in the retro style of the USSR that has a good dance floor and Fidel popular among creative youth where during last 5 minutes of every hour drinks are offered with huge discounts. Here drinking and dancing last till 8 a.m. and the concentration of students, tourists, unrecognized genii, drunkards, businessmen and party goers per square meter is way over the limit. However, don’t forget about safety as robberies and drunken brawls in the street are frequent, especially closer to the morning.
St. Petersburg – Staying
As historical development has preserved in the city center, many St. Petersburg hotels (even the cheap ones) are located in very beautiful buildings.