How To Buy Tickets for The Mariinsky

Choosing Your Tickets.
If you are traveling specifically because of the opera or the ballet; or if going to the Mariinsky is one of the main reasons of your journey, you wouldn’t like to get to the theatre and get stuck with poor seats. And believe me; there are a lot of them. Learn more about avoiding them on my post about Where To Seat At The Mariinsky.

In Favor of Buying Online.
Official online tickets are usually your best alternative. All seats available at the box office are available online—except for the Tsar’s Box on occasion. Buying online is good because it enables the buyer to directly compare the available seats and choose his/her seats. Registration on the Mariinsky website is required and payment is made by credit card. I have done this process almost 30 times and never had problems. PayPal is not accepted as of March 2015.
In the process of buying, you will be prompted to choose either Full Rate or Special Rate. The latter doesn’t apply to you unless you are a Russian citizen, are living permanently in Russia, officially working there or have a Russian student card. Basically this means that foreign tourists must pay the Full Rate.
You can either print your own tickets or get them from the box office. You may be required to show your passport if you go to the box office. Unless you’re either going for the Tsar’s Box or you’re officially studying in Russia and are looking for student bargains, online tickets are your best option. (Last updated in April, 2015).

Advice on Buying From The Box Office.
I don’t advise you to buy tickets directly from the box office. The language barrier may make the difference between you being told that a performance is sold out and “we still have a seat in the Tsar’s Box.” This situation actually happened to me once.

Tickets for Sold-Out Performances.
I know it sounds like a cliché, but I did tell you that most performances would sell out, didn’t I? Anyway, here are the two classic solutions: either hope for someone selling a ticket outside of the theatre or buy a ticket from a reseller. There is usually someone waving a ticket around trying to get rid of it because of that partner who didn’t come or some other reason; but you may have trouble spotting these people and there will most likely be language barrier issues. I accidentally bumped into a professional ticket reseller who could speak perfect English once. Every now and then when I needed tickets, he would sell them to me. He will overcharge you anywhere between 20 to 30% (it may have been more sometimes) but his seats are usually good and he has partners who can help him to find tickets.
If you are buying a ticket from any reseller, make sure it is a Full Rate official one—otherwise you will risk not being admitted into the auditorium. If you need a reliable reseller’s contact, send me a comment with your email below. (If it’s urgent, send me a comment and not an email because I check for comments more often than I do for email.)

Read my Sad Stories

Sad Stories: Ticket Resellers
When I was still planning my stay in St Petersburg, I came up with all the questions that I’m addressing here. I once found the testimony of a couple who had bought tickets from an online reseller. The outcome was that they paid the double of the tickets’ face value by credit card; they were in front of the opera house to collect the tickets as they were instructed to and the reseller never showed up. Conclusion: be careful with online resellers and prefer official sources. Curiosity: ironically, this couple also said that they had come on a cruise ship and had entered the city without a visa, which could have got them thrown into a Russian jail. Do be careful about the legal aspects of your journey too! Russian bureaucracy knows no limits—it’s not just a joke.

33 comments:

  1. Hi Plácido!

    Loved your post! It really cleared up for me how to choose a good seat because I had no idea!
    I'm also leaving a comment because I'm going next month to St.Petersburg and I really want to see a ballet concert but as you said, most of the tickets are already sold out! Could you please share with me your contact to buy the tickets from? I am looking for the 8th or 11th october.

    Thank you very much.

    Kind Regards,

    Yasmin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Yasmin-
      If I were you, I would go to the matinée on the 11th at 11.30 a.m.; dress circle, first row near the Tsar's box or first row of the stalls. just don't get into vodka the night before as I once did! Nevertheless if you would rather go to an evening performance, you will find the reseller's contact below. Please let me know if you manage to get in touch with him.
      Best,
      Plácido

      Delete
    2. Hi Plácido,

      Thank you so much for the quick response. I tried to call David but no one answered so I left a message with my email if he could contact me from there. I will try to call him again. I appreciate your help so far!

      Delete
  2. I just got in touch with him! His number still the same and now we are talking on facebook thanks to you! Thank you so much for helping me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I could help! Please tell me all about your Mariinsky experience after your trip ;)

      Delete
  3. hi there.
    Crisp and informative post. I am going to St.Petersburg in June 16 and as it is the white nights festival there, I am assuming the tickets for Mariinsky will be soldout fast. I was planning to go for a ballet in 1st week of June. But the official website does not show any concert until 10th June..is it too early I am looking for the booking? Also I dont have an idea as to which of the halls in the theatre is the best..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Shubham,
      It is too early indeed. The Mariinsky is still in the middle ages in many aspects! Just refresh the playbill webpage once in a while. As for the halls--I am assuming you are a beginner--make the Old Mariinsky a priority because it is a breathtaking legendary landmark of St P. In that case also don't go seeing Tristan und Isolde (June 10); it is a 6-hour opera. Enjoy your stay!

      Delete
  4. One thing i found out (just in time)... the site Mariinksy.com sells tickets at five times the price of Mariinksy.ru. So really look out when you order online !

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am going to purchase 3 tickets for late June for my family. We want the best seats available, which do u recommend royal boxes 11 or 12 or the stalls 9-12?
    Thank you:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Royal box ONLY if it is the first row!! please check the 'where to seat at the mariinsky' post. Ask again if still in doubt ;)

      Delete
  6. Hello Plácido!

    I stumbled upon your wonderful blog while in search of tickets to a performance at The Mariinsky. Apparently my friend and I will be in town during the end of White Nights and the series is totally sold out - argh! Do you have any recommendations of people I should contact in order to find tickets?

    Thank you so, so much!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  7. Hi! My husband and I are hoping to see Swan Lake at the Mariinsky on June 2, but it is sold out. Do you have recommendations on who to contact to purchase tickets? Many thanks!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Amanda, we can prob still figure it out! Email me at placidozacarias.operalisboa@hotmail.com

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much! I sent you an email.

      Delete
  8. Hey Placido,
    I just saw your website and so annoyed that I got tricked into buying really expensive tickets. I'm trying to see if I can cancel them. In the meantime would you know how to watch a show at the Old Theatre for June 5-8?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry to hear that! There are a lot of scammers out there... email me at placidozacarias.operalisboa@hotmail.com

      Delete
  9. Hi Placido, I was googling "How to re-sell a Marinsky ticket" and I came across your blog. I've been n St Petrsburg since beginning of June with a plan of staying until the end. However, I have to return home next week so am wondering about how to re-sell a Marinsky ticket for Evgeny Onegin on June 21st. Could you offer any advice? Many thanks - Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Jo, I'm afraid that I can't help you there :( maybe try posting it on eBay as a buy-now listing?

      Delete
  10. Hi, we mistakenly ordered the discount tickets online, rather than the full rate, not knowing it was for Russian citizens only. What are our options now? Can we pay the difference at the door? Or can we downgrade to cheaper tickets? I'm afraid of being denied entry at the door. Please advise!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Youjia, I'm quite sure they won't allow you to pay the difference or downgrade you to cheaper tickets. I wouldn't be *too* worried about being denied entrance but if you really want to be 100% sure, my advise is for you to buy new tickets. Hope this helps! Good luck.

      Delete
  11. Hello Placido, Thanks for your informative post. I am trying to register so I can purchase tickets on the Mariinsky website for November and am not getting a return confirmation email. Is it an issue perhaps with my computer? I tried to email the theater and the email was bounced back that the sender's address was rejected. Any tips would be appreciated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, make sure to use the official mariinsky.RU website. Try emailing them here tickets@mariinsky.ru or mod@mariinsky.ru
      Not quite sure that the second one is the appropriate email but I was once very happy with an email exchange I got from it. I'm no web expert but I would probably try to go through the registering process again if I were you. Best of luck and enjoy the Mariinsky! (I'm going back to Russia today after 1.5 years!)

      Delete
  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Placido. Thank you for your excellent blog. You're wonderfully enthusiastic about Russian opera!

    I am hoping to ask for your help for last minute tickets to the Mariinsky theatre - either the old or new. I'm looking for a couple of tickets for Sept 30th or Oct 1st to see if Samson et Delia (new theatre) or the night of ballets (old theatre).

    According to Mariinsky.ru these are both sold out. Mariinskytheatretickets.com claim to have seats available for all these shows but I'm not convinced how reliable this website is (I've read the sad story you refer to!).

    Do you have any advice? Thanks! Harley.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Placido, I'm looking to get tickets to Nutcracker on 25th Dec 2016 at the Mariinsky theatre. Seems like all the seats are not in your recommended list. Any advice would be appreciated! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Placido, thanks for the fantastic blog! I would like to seek some advice on getting the Nutcracker ballet tickets at the Mariinsky theatre on 25th Dec 2016. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Placido ! Thank you for the information. I would like to have the contact the reseller for Mariinsky tickets. Do you have any reccommendation ?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi, I bumped into your blog and tot it was very useful for my upcoming trip St. Peterburg in Dec17. I love to take my daughter of 4 year plus to watch the Nutcracker at the Mikhailovsky theatre. The age limit says 6 so I was wondering if they strict on age or just a recommendation. Can you advise me? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't advise taking children that young to a serious theatre simply out of respect for the other patrons.

      Delete