Dance, Theater, and Music

Bolshoi Theatre

A glittering six-tier theater, home to the world-renowned Bolshoi Ballet; staging performances of Russian classics (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker) under the directorship of Alexander Vedernikov. Tickets from $6. Teatralnaya Ploshchad 1; tel. 7 495 292 9270.

Moscow Art Theater

The acclaimed theater where Konstantin Stanislavsky developed method acting. Occasional performances in English. Kamergersky Pereulok 3; tel. 7 495 692 6748.

Moscow Conservatory

“The Bolshoi Zal ranks among the best ancient halls in the world, especially for its acoustics...all of the top musicians aspire to perform here.”—Ekaterina Biryukova, classical music reviewer, Afisha. Russia’s largest music school; concert halls include Bolshoi Zal and Maly Zal. Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa 13; tel. 7 495 629 2060.

MMDM (Moscow International House of Music)

“The highlight is the remarkable view of the Moscow river through the glass walls and the festival Vladimir Spivakov invites.”—Ekaterina Biryukova. Moscow’s newest venue, a graceful, glass building in the south of the city; headed by violinist and conductor Vladimir Spivakov. Kosmodamianskaya Naberezhnaya 58; tel. 7 495 730 1011.

Nikulin Circus

Small but stellar circus troupe dates to 1880; trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, and performing animals; named for Yury Nikulin, beloved actor and clown. Tickets from $10. Tsvetnoy Bulvar 13; tel. 7 495 625 8970.

Moscow Philharmonia

The capital’s oldest symphony orchestra; specializes in the Russian classics (Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich), including operatic performances; performs in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. Tickets from $4. Triumfalnaya Ploshchad 4/31; tel. 7 495 299 0378.

Stanislavsky & Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theater

“A more sophisticated repertoire than at the Bolshoi.”—Ekaterina Biryukova. Moscow’s second theater for opera and ballet, dating to 1919; performances by Mozart, Verdi, Pucini, as well as Russian composers. Bolshaya Dmitrovka Ulitsa 17; tel. 7 495 629 2835.


Denis Simachev Boutique & Bar

Owned by famous fashion designer; first-floor bar is a crazy mix of antique furniture, aeronautic accessories, and toilet-themed decor; located on Moscow’s most fashionable shopping street; open 24 hours. Stoleshnikov Pereulok 12/2; tel. 7 495 629 8085.


Indie concert club in an industrial neighborhood. Quirky taste in design; walls covered with kitschy wallpaper and swatches of fur framed in gold. Winner of the prestigious National Nightlife Award for live music; trash-glam décor; national and international acts range from Sean Lennon to Gogol Bordello. Ulitsa Kazakova 8a; tel. 7 495 778 5651.

Krysha Mira (Roof of the World)

Expansive views of the Moscow skyline from the top floor; among the city’s most exclusive clubs; strict “face control,” meaning if the doorman doesn’t like your looks, you don’t get in; hidden behind an unmarked metal door inside an abandoned factory. Nabarezhnaya Tarasa Shevchenko 2/3; tel. 7 495 203 6008.


Draws in scores of hip Russians and expats nightly with techno music, cheap vodka shots, and a fog machine. Industrial decor with exposed brick walls and pipe ceilings; wide variety of Russian DJs and occasional international special guests. Bolshoy Zlatoustinsky Pereulok 7; tel. 7 495 624 5732.


Restaurant, club, bar, and boutique all in one; historic 19th-century townhouse filled with eclectic mix of art and furniture; hip-hop, techno, and rave scene picks up around 11:00 p.m. Solyanka Ulitsa 11/6; tel. 7 495 221 7557.


City Day

First weekend in September. Since 1986, Moscow has commemorated the city’s birthday with a festive parade, followed by live music, food, and fireworks on Red Square.

December Nights

December. Moscow’s most prestigious music event. A series of classical concerts by Russia’s most celebrated musicians at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, accompanied by an art exhibit on a related theme. Ulitsa Volkhonka 12; tel. 7 495 203 9578; fee.

Golden Mask Festival

March or April. Two weeks of performances by Russia’s premier drama, opera, dance and musical performers, culminating in a prestigious awards ceremony. Tip: Don’t miss the Russian Case, a special program targeting foreign participants at the festival. Tel. 7 495 755 8335; fee.


February or early March. The Russian version of Mardi Gras, celebrating the end of winter and kicking off Orthodox Lent. The food of choice is bliny, or Russian pancakes. Horse-drawn sledges, storytelling clowns, and vodka-drinking bears.

Moscow International Film Festival

Last week in June. Weeklong event attracting filmmakers from around the world; celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2008. Tel. 7 495 699 0625; fee.


About Moscow and Russia

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