There's this wonderful opportunity for anyone who just wants to see the world famous theater from the inside without dozing off on a 2-hour ballet show. You can come to one of the official Bolshoi walking tours in the morning and even get some interesting facts about the building while enjoying its golden leaf... everything.
But you have to be an early bird and come somewhat ahead of the time to beat the competition. The number of people allowed in on any given day is strictly limited.
The absolute best way for you to make sure they have enough places for you is to buy your tickets online. There is, unfortunately, only one day of the week when those ticket are valid - Thursday. But buying it this way will guarantee the most hassle-free visit. Just follow this link:
... and see what's available. You can buy tickets this way only for the upcoming Thursday. And you can only buy 2 tickets per one account (it'll ask you to register on the website before buying them). So if you're planning a visit with a bigger group, every second person will have to register there and pay with his/her own bank card.
You can buy tickets for a Russian tour that starts at 11:00 AM or to an English one that starts at 11:30 AM. Both cost the same, so you better aim for the English one.
Another way of getting on that tour is coming on other days where tickets are sold only on the spot, right inside the building of the theater itself.
Buying on the day of the visit
Other days when the tours are available are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. All tours there also start at 11:00 AM and 11:30 AM from the main front entrance (No. 12). Regardless of how many people might show up, only two groups of 20 people are allowed to go in. One will have a tour in Russian (11 AM) and another one - in English (11:30 AM). And the number of people coming, especially in summer months, is usually much higher than those two groups can absorb.
So how do you make sure you get in? You just come much earlier than anyone else. They start counting people and giving them special bracelets at 10:45 AM. Which means that to secure you place there, you have to show up as early as 10:15 or even better at 10:00 AM.
The price of this incredible adventure is also 1500 RUB. It used to be 500 RUB for a tour in Russian and 1300 RUB for an English one back in the days. Then you could've pretended to be Russian and pay almost 3 times less. Now everyone pays the same 1500 RUB, so make sure you do everything possible to join the English group to get the maximum output for your money.
Also the official Bolshoi's website says that there are supposed to be discounts to kids of 14-18 and to students. 500 RUB-tickets for both groups. Those do not apply to foreigners. But you can still bring your student card with you, in case they suddenly happen to be in a good mood and would want to make an exception for you.
After being 'chosen' to become part of one of the groups, you'll be allowed inside the theater where you'll have to pay for your tour ticket in the ticket window to the right from the entrance.
The guide will come right to the that lobby where the tickets are sold and loudly introduce herself to the group. The rest is just following her everywhere and enjoying it.
Share the article if you liked it. Thanks for reading.