The Bolshoi Theatre – A Must Visit in Moscow

29th Apr 2018
Photo of The Bolshoi Theatre – A Must Visit in Moscow by Barkha Arora

Enchanting. Captivating. Spectacular.

These are the words that come to my mind when I start describing my experience of witnessing one of the best ballet performances in the world – at the world-renowned Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. There are certain experiences in life which get etched on your mind and soul forever, and this was indeed the one for me.

The summer of 2018, when me and my husband planned for a trip to Russia, we made sure to dedicate one of the evenings in Moscow to the ballet performance. We had heard a lot about it, even to the extent of people saying that a trip to Moscow is incomplete without a visit to the theatre. Only when we experienced it ourselves, we knew how true they were!

We had researched well in advance of how we would be booking the tickets and had a word with our travel agent to keep the dedicated evening free of any other scheduled activities.

How to book the tickets?

The best way to book the tickets is to directly book it from the official website of the theatre - The official website lists all the scheduled performances well in advance for the next four months. The booking window of these performances, however, open in slots for a week well before approximately two months from the scheduled performance.

To illustrate, we saw ‘La Bayadere’ ballet on 29th April 2018, so the sale of the tickets for this day opened on February 3rd,2018. That’s when we booked the tickets, well in advance. The point to emphasise the importance of booking so early, is that you won't get the tickets at all post that day or the tickets would be extremely expensive. The other booking portals/agents would arrange the tickets for you, but at a costlier price.

You can send an email to the theatre and they would share the timetable as to when the window for the tickets would be open, so that you can book the best seats at the lowest possible price.

New Stage vs Historic Stage

There are two stages in the theatre, the Historic stage and the New Stage. The Historic stage is more beautiful than the latter, and the tickets are more expensive too. But regardless of the price, this is a place one should go to once in their lifetime. There are ballet and opera performances on both the stages, twice a day.

The Historic Main Stage

Photo of Bolshoi Theatre, Theatre Square, Moscow, Russia by Barkha Arora

The main stage is spectacular beyond words. The enchanting interiors, the central chandelier, the beautiful murals on the ceiling and the extraordinary aura adds to the magic one feels sitting there. Even pictures can't do justice to the beauty of this place. The performance was equally enthralling. The dresses, the story, the actors, the orchestra, everything transported us to a different world.

Photo of The Bolshoi Theatre – A Must Visit in Moscow by Barkha Arora

The balconies at the Main Stage

Photo of The Bolshoi Theatre – A Must Visit in Moscow by Barkha Arora

The glistening central chandelier and the murals on the ceiling

Photo of The Bolshoi Theatre – A Must Visit in Moscow by Barkha Arora

Dress Code and Best Seats

Although there is no strict dress code to be followed for the performances, people get dressed in their best evening dresses and enjoy the show.

When it comes to selecting the seats, the best seats are the ones in the front, but they are the most expensive too. Avoid booking tickets on the side boxes, as a major part of the stage view would be obstructed. One can even rent binoculars from the cloakrooms for a better view.

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