One of the great things to do in St. Petersburg Russia is to spend an evening enjoying the opera at the historic Mariinsky Theater. They also have ballet and musical theater but we chose Boris Godunov (without Natasha- LOL) during the White Nights festival. Stay at the nearby Hotel Astoria (next to the famed Angleterre but more reasonably priced) and visit the Museums. The Hermitage - like the Louvre - is best in small doses since their collections are so extensive and the building itself is awe inspiring. We found the food marvelous if you do your research you will find many options but since the best restaurants (pectopah in Cyrillic) are not well marked on their facades always have the address with you for checking along the way. Make sure at least one evening you indulge in the caviar and vodka. The Grand Hotel Caviar Bar is a good bet.
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Swan Lake - all that it's hyped up to be
I didn't like ballets before this. I had actually never stayed awake for an entire balllet until this. But let me tell you, this may very well have been the most exciting part of my entire trip to Russia. The theater itself is amazing, and the people are a real sight to see. You have the refined old couples who are all dressed up and have their opera glasses (binoculars on a stick), and then there are those clueless tourists sporting backpacks and sandals. We got balcony seating and were sitting in the second row, quite unfortunately placed behind a tall Russian couple. I stood for the entire 3 hours (as did most people in the balconies), but enjoyed every moment of it. Grace and beauty. I would love to see it again.
I'm a huge fan of ballet. So I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in December just to see the Maryiinsky perform! In this picture, the two dancers are taking their bows after performing Ratmansky's new version of Cinderella. I was so thrilled to see this world-famous ballet company (formerly the Kirov) perform in its home! It took my breath away!