so this post is about one of the must-visit places in Moscow – the Moscow Kremlin. Do not confuse with the Red Square, but yes, Kremlin is actually inside those red brick walls of the Red Square that you usually see in the touristy photos online.
I do recommend visiting Moscow in summer, in my personal opinion, it is so much better, and there are many things you can do in the city, unlike things you can/cannot do in winter.
You can purchase tickets to the architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square in Kremlin, it will cost you 500 rubles (around £5) and with that ticket you can walk around Kremlin and even walk into several churches in the square, and no, that does not include St Basil’s Cathedral as it is not located in the Kremlin.
Kremlin (any kremlin) is a fortified complex of several buildings, but this particular one is The Kremlin and was built in the 15th century.
The architectural ensemble is a beautiful place to walk around, and I would say the June weather is even better than the July one, because it can get really hot, up to +30-35C and it’ll almost always be very sunny, like one this day when I took these photos, it was the middle of June.
Do bring water with you, but of course, you can find a few official snack and drink vendors inside, but you don’t want to look for them all the time, plus if it’s hot, you will need lots of water.
When I went on this walk, it was an unguided tour of the Kremlin, however, you can book an excursion to quite a few of the places in here, but it will cost more. You can buy regular tickets (no guide) on this webpage. The official website says that the architectural ensemble is open to public every day apart from Thusday, so be aware of that. It is open for an hour and a half longer in summers (from May 15 to September 30), from 9:30 until 18:00. You don’t need to book the tickets online, it is possible to buy the tickets on arrival, in one of the kiosks at the entrance (the Alexander Garden entrance). It will also cost you 500RUB (same as online)
Whilst you’re here, I suggest you go to the Armoury Chamber and the Diamond Fund, if you were to choose between the two, I would go for the Diamond Fund, I have only been to the Armoury Chamber once, when I was little, and haven’t repeated my visit yet. The entrance fees to these places is NOT included in the 500RUB price. The Armoury Chamber is 700RUB these days and I advise you to book online, in advance, the place is tiny, and it won’t allow many people inside, so the tickets are limited. Buy them here.
As you’re waiting to go inside one of the museums, you can still walk around the Kremlin area.
I think I have been to the Diamond Fund twice in my whole life. To get to the Diamond Fund you need to purchase the Armoury Chamber tickets, so these should include the Chamber itself and the Diamond Fund where you will see a collection of beautiful jewellery and regal items, i.e. crowns and stuff, that are historically important not only for Russian Federation but also for other countries and states, as lots of pieces were made by the foreign masters, and many gems were brought in from other places than Russia.
Interesting fact about the Russian diamonds. According to several sources, Russia now holds a monopoly on producing, exploring and mining of diamonds (previously it was De Beers, correct me if I’m wrong), mostly from the Yakutia Region and these are free from violence and human rights abuses. In the Diamond Chamber you will see one of the biggest precious stones in the world. The word for “diamond” in Russian language is “brilliant”, and isn’t it brilliant?
When you’re done walking around look out for the Tsar Cannon and the Tsar Bell (main visitor attractions in the Kremlin, really).
The Tsar Bell was made in mid 17th century and the curious fact about it is that it was made specifically for announcing big events in the area, such as important ceremonies and celebrations and so on, but it was too heavy to put it up a tower, and it fell down quite a few times during the failed attempts, it served as a church (with the cracked bit working as a door), and is now something to look at and think about how doing some big gestures isn’t necessarily important, but it’s definitely fascinating to see up close, which most of us probably wouldn’t do if this bell was actually up at some bell tower.
The Tsar Cannon is also a good thing to have your pictures taken with, but it was never used at war. Guess why? Because it was too large to move and use actual cannonballs in it. Or it is just one of the urban legends that I have heard. To learn about the actual story of the Tsar Cannon, join one of the official excursions of the Kremlin, and you’ll judge for yourself. These excursions are around 4000RUB which is about £40 or $50.
The Kremlin in Moscow is definitely a must-visit place, and I took a few of my foreign friends here, they loved it.
It is the official residence of the President of Russian Federation and when the word “Kremlin” is used in the news or a general conversation, it usually means “Russian government”.
Do come for a visit in summer, you’ll see all this greenery that I’m particularly fond of.
I seem to never have enough sunshine in my life!
As you can see from the photo above, there are a lot of people who work there, so it is nice to be respectful of everyone.
Thank you for reading. Let me know in the comments what else you want me to tell you about.