Nikulin’s Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard

Nikulin’s Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard


  • The Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard opened its doors in 1880 and gained immediate popularity among the Muscovites.
  • The Circus is best known for its circus acts involving unusual animals that are hard to tame.
  • Trapeze artists always deliver first-class performances.
  • After failing entrance examinations to all theatre schools in Moscow, Yuri Nukulin chose the clown studio affiliated with the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard.
  • Here Nikulin worked together with the celebrated clown Karandash. Later, Nikulin became the Circus stage manager and then headed
  • Visitors can go on a unique guided tour, In the Backstage of the Circus (advance booking required).

The Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy BoulevardRussian: Tsirk Nikulina na Tsvetnom bulvare or Цирк Никулина на Цветном бульваре, or Nikulin’s CircusRussian: Tsirk Yuriya Nikulina or Цирк Юрия Никулина, one of the most popular circuses in Moscow, having been continuously active for over a century. Russian circus art traditions are cherished while being boldly combined with new ways of expressing the talents of artists. There are unique acts featuring rare animals, vivid and entertaining shows as well as a homely atmosphere. The circus has also always been acclaimed as a talent foundry for circus stars, including Vladimir and Anatoliy Durov, the Kornilovs, Oleg Popov, the clown Karandash, the Kantemirovs, Yuri Nikulin, Mikhail Shuydin and many others.


2045_image2_sThe circus is located in downtown Moscow, on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, hence its common name the “circus on Tsvetnoy”. Throughout its long history, it has never changed its location, although the building has undergone several major reconstructions and repairs. Following its last reconstruction, the circus is now fully adapted to stage modern circus shows. A new program in NIKULIN’S CIRCUS ON TSVETNOY BOULEVARD it’s always greatest Moscow events.

Nikulin’s Circus is famous for its brilliant and charismatic performers, new expression forms and topic-based shows timed to coincide with holidays (New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Victory Day for example). The performances are many and varied, and you can always see something that you have not seen anywhere before on its stage. Circus acts with unusual animals that are hard to tame, such as elephants, porcupines, lamas, ostriches, lemurs and camels, are the highlights of the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. High-quality trapeze artist acts, such as the WindmillRussian: Vertushka or Вертушка or tightrope-walking with a ladder, always are sure to kindle a feeling of enchantment.

The 2,000-seat theatre is relatively small, but cozy with most seats having a good outlook onto the stage. Its shows are sold out quickly, so you’d better purchase tickets well in advance. Children under six years old can enter free, provided they sit on an adult’s lap. When choosing your seat, please keep in mind that the border lights will bother you if you sit in the first rows. You will also find it hard to enjoy the show if seated under the dome. The most convenient seats are located in Row 3 and above, and the most sought-after and expensive tickets are in the area opposite the artists’ exit. These are sold out before the others.

It’s a good idea to arrive early on show day, because parking is hard to find and queues are long in the cloakroom due to the small size of the circus building. In the lobby, you will find souvenirs, traditional circus props, such as clown noses and funny costumes, and sweets. You can also observe exotic animals from up close and have your picture taken with them. A snack bar is available on the site however here, as with everywhere in this circus, expect a queue.

Visitors can also go on a unique excursion, In the Backstage of the CircusRussian: Za kulisy tsirka or За кулисы цирка, and see the rehearsals, pay a visit to dressing rooms, the museum and the stable, learn how the costumes are sewn, interact with animals and even have a ride in the lift used for elephants. This little trip to the backstage of the circus is often as entertaining as the show itself. Book excursions in advance by filling in the online form on the official website of the Circus or by e-mail at



The Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard has a long and interesting history. It opened its doors in 1880 and gained immediate popularity among the Muscovites. Morning performances were put on for children with the aim to make them familiar with circus culture. The circus continued its work after the Russian Revolutionin 1917 and during WWII. Artists would often head up the front to give performances on the frontlines and in hospitals. Many members of the company signed up to fight and lost their lives in battle.

Today, the Circus bears the name of Yuri Nikulin, one of the Russians’ favourite Soviet actors. No drama school would grant admission to young Nikulin; some did not like the way he looked, others thought he had no talent. Then Nikulin went to a clown studio affiliated with the Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. Here, he worked with the renowned clown KarandashRussian: Карандаш (Mikhail N. Rumyantsev), who was incredibly popular with the public. Then, he met Mikhail Shuydin, and they formed a creative duo, whose acts are still considered to be among the best examples of this genre of entertainment. Later, Nikulin became the director of the Circus and then, its head. Now, it is is headed by his son, Maksim. A monument to Yuri Nikulin by Aleksandr Rukavishnikov stands near the circus building; Nikulin is dressed as a clown and is getting out of a car similar to the one from the popular Soviet comedy Kidnapping, Caucasian StyleRussian: Kavkazskaya plennitsa or Кавказская пленница.

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total number of grades: 2, average rating: 4.00 (from 5)
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Within Garden Ring

Nearest Metro Station

Tsvetnoy Boulevard


13 Tsvetnoy Boulevard, Moscow


Museum Opening Hours / Ticket Office Opening Hours

Ticket office:

Mo: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Tu: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
We: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Th: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Fr: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sa: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Su: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Break from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. (if there are afternoon shows, break will be from 12.30 p.m. until 1.30 p.m.).

Days off


Ticket Price

Depends on the programme.

Visiting Rules

Children under 6 years old can pass by one ticket with an adult (and sit in his arms).
Photography during a show is not allowed.

Additional Information

The circus is adjusted for people with disabilities.


Show by the idols of the public. Photo:
Nikulin's Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard. Auditorium. Photo:
Monument to the Clown. Photo:
Clown under the umbrella. Photo:
One of the Circus' best-known artists, Karandash (Pencil)
Circus Building
Elephant show
Monument to Yuri Nikulin

Featured reviews

Visitor rating:   4.5

January 2017
We visited the Nikulin’s Circus twice during this month. We were on the show "Bravo" and on "Magic Dream", the acts are the same, but in the New Year's show there is an intrigue! The shows are great, we liked everything, especially the elephants, they won the hall, so colorful, musical and fun it was. We were with a child of 2 years, who was delighted and sat still the whole show.

December 2016
Just delight and creepy! Children's emotions! We are satisfied! Elephants just turned my world upside down! All circus acts are very worthy, the only thing - the jokes of the clowns are not for children at all. We were upset by the organization of entrance/exit and accommodation of guests, and by awful buffet. But the show itself overshadows all the disadvantages and inconveniences.

November 2016
My child and me liked the circus very much, we looked with full concentration. The program consists of acts of different prizewinners of competitions! Before the show and between the acts, you can take pictures with different animals. There were cheetah, tiger, kangaroo, dogs, coati and rabbit. Prices for photos are very high - 1500 rubles costs their photo, 100 rubles on your own camera.
I did not like the organization of the entrance to the circus. We arrived early, at 5:15 p.m. we were already at the entrance (beginning at 6 p.m.). We were allowed inside at 5:25 p.m., but the queue did not move quickly, we get inside only 15 minutes later. Outside the temperature was below zero, so it wasn't comfortable with a little kid to wait so much.

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