The Kremlin in Moscow
The Kremlin is the symbol of Russia – like its counterpart in Washington, the White House, the Kremlin stands for the power and history of Russia. Hardly any other place in Europe is photographed more often, no wonder that the Kremlin is the main attraction of Moscow.
The Kremlin has kept many secrets and exciting stories over the centuries. For example, that of Napoleon’s invasion, or that of the murdered Tsar’s son Dmitry, and his legendary treasures. There are hundreds of books about the Kremlin and its long history. The Kremlin is an absolute must on a trip to Russia.
The history of the Kremlin began in the 12th century when prince Yuri Dolgorukiy had a fortification built on a hill above the Moskva River, which was gradually expanded into today’s ensemble and was the center of power of the expanding gigantic empire for centuries. Tsar Peter the First moved the capital to the newly founded Baltic city of Saint Petersburg in the 18th century. Only after the communist revolution in October 1917 the Kremlin became the seat of government again, this time of the Soviet Union. The Kremlin was damaged several times in wars, not least by Napoleon. But the impressive fortress was always rebuilt and expanded.
Within the walls of the Kremlin there are four cathedrals and four palaces. The high walls of the Kremlin are secured with twenty towers. The Spasskaya Tower with its 71 meters height is probably the most famous tower of the Kremlin. Only part of the Kremlin that is not used by the Russian government is open to the public as museums.
The territory of the Kremlin
In total, the area of the Kremlin covers 27 hectares right in the heart of the Russian capital – most of it is accessible to tourists.
Once inside through the walls of the Kremlin, you are greeted by the beautiful and charming Cathedral Square. The Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell, which was broken, are particularly interesting. The most important buildings can be seen from the outside – the Grand Kremlin Palace is worth a visit.
After visiting the most important museums in the complex, the Kremlin Garden invites you to relax. This is particularly recommended in the warm season. In the Kremlin Garden, for example, there is also the cosmic tree that was planted by Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space.
On this map you can see exactly where the Kremlin is located in the center of Moscow:
What else can you see in the Kremlin?
The Great Kremlin Palace
While in the Kremlin territory, be sure to check out the Great Kremlin Palace. The Russian head of state has held official receptions here since 1850. You have the option to visit this place in two ways: Either you can visit the castle by applying for a group visit, or by an invitation from the Russian President. Unfortunately, an application is very expensive and also not always available.
The Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Cathedral of the Assumption
You can visit many different temporary exhibitions in the exhibition room in the Bell Tower going up to the second level of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower. The changing exhibitions can usually be visited with the Kremlin admission ticket.
In addition, there are special entry units for visiting the Ivan the Great Bell Tower.
The Patriarch’s Palace
The Patriarch’s Palace is located on Cathedral Square. On the second floor there are various exhibitions dedicated to Russian culture. This includes, for example, valuable secular and church crockery, as well as other jewelry. Various antique clothing and furniture are also exhibited here.
The Armoury Chamber
If you are already on the Kremlin’s Cathedral Square, then you should definitely visit the Armoury Chamber. This houses a huge collection of artifacts from the last tsarist houses from 12th to 19th centuries. These include, for example, coronation dresses, state insignia, Russian gold and silver works of art, armour and weapons, carriage wagons, embassy gifts and Faberge eggs.
The State Kremlin Palace
The latest building in the Kremlin ensemble is the State Kremlin Palace. This was only built in 1961 and is one of the most popular concert halls in Russia today. You can buy tickets for performances and concerts either directly at the palace box office or online.
Visiting the Kremlin
A part of the territory of the Kremlin is open to visitors. Tickets can be obtained in two different ways, which you can find out here:
There is the option to either buy a ticket to visit the outer territory and Cathedral Square, or a ticket for the Armoury. Of course, both tickets can also be combined with each other.
If time is not the problem, it is recommended that you visit both the Armoury and Cathedral Square. You should plan at least 2 hours to visit Cathedral Square. If you also want to visit the Armoury, then you have to plan with about 4 hours.
A visit to Cathedral Square and the Armoury can be easily combined – however, it is important to know that there is no food option on the Kremlin grounds.
Tickets to the Moscow Kremlin
The Kremlin is generally closed on Thursdays, as it is a day-off – tours are possible on all other days. The Armoury can be visited from 10:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m. Visitors are offered four tours during the day – these start at 10:00, 12:00, 14:30 and 16:30. With the entry ticket, which currently costs 1000 rubles. In the event that you also want to visit the Diamond Fond, you have to pay an extra 500 rubles. You can buy tickets to the Armoury directly at the ticket office in the Alexander Garden near the Kutafya Tower.
Cathedral Square can be visited from 10:00 a.m. to 17:00 p.m. at no extra cost. All Cathedrals on Cathedral Square, except Ivan the Great Bell Tower, can be visited with the regular entry ticket, which costs 700 rubles.
However, if you also want to visit the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, you can purchase an additional ticket at the counters for 350 rubles. However, you should note that you cannot buy these tickets online.
You have a total of 3 different options to purchase tickets for Cathedral Square. For one, you can buy tickets either directly on the Kremlin website -> http://tickets.kreml.ru/en/
You can find tickets for Cathedral Square and the Armoury on the website.
You can also buy tickets at the ticket offices in the Alexander Garden. These are open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.