“The Kremlin deserved a journey to Moscow” is the truism penned by French traveler Marquis de Custine in the 19th century, and it is still true today. Your Kremlin visit might appear the highlight of your Russia vacations. What are the things to do in the Moscow Kremlin?
Admire amazing church interiors
Kremlin is home to the oldest Moscow cathedrals that are over 500 years old. The best preserved and the most well-known is the Assumption Cathedral, which for six centuries was the religious center of the country. The cathedral will surprise you with beautiful 17th-century murals and an exquisite collection of icons, some of the oldest ones dating to the 12th century.
However, the Assumption cathedral might be very crowded sometimes. If you see a long line of people, we’d recommend you go exploring some other churches. The Archangel Mikhail’s Cathedral has preserved spectacular interior and the tombs of many of Russia’s rulers of the past. Annunciation Cathedral is famous for Andrei Rublev’s icons. The church of the Deposition of the Robe is the least visited church and maybe the only place where you can experience the cozy and quiet atmosphere of the past.
Discover Kremlin Palaces
Kremlin was once the wealthy royal residence. Can we do inside a palace today? The Grand Kremlin Palace currently serves as the official residence of the President of Russia. On certain rare occasions, you might join a tour group to see its magnificent halls, but the palace is not open to the general public. However, you can easily visit the Patriarch Palace, which is included in the Kremlin grounds ticket price. Today it is a museum of everyday Life of 17th century Russia. Here you can view an impressive collection of housewares, jewelry, and furniture.
Take a look at the world’s biggest cannon and bell
During your Moscow Kremlin tour, you’ll discover two curiosities of the past. Both Tsar Cannon and Tsar Bell are the largest of their kind in the world, and neither has ever worked.
The 40-ton Tsar Cannon with a caliber of 890 mm was built in 1586, by master Andrei Chekov at the time of Tsar Theodore I, the son of Ivan the Terrible. Empress Anna commissioned the creation of the biggest bell in the world in the mid-18th century. However, the bell was damaged by the fire and it was never destined to ring.
Watch horse and foot guard mounting ceremony.
Each Saturday in summer, you can witness a spectacular military ceremony in the center of the Cathedral Square. The show starts at noon and lasts for about 30 minutes.
The admission to the show is free for everyone visiting the Kremlin.
It is good to know that Kremlin is much busier on Saturdays around noon, so we’d advise you to enter earlier and find a good viewpoint a bit in advance.
Discover royal Treasures
Where to find the most exquisite royal gems? The best place to see them in the Kremlin is the Diamond Fund, which boasts of a unique collection of gemstones, and natural nuggets. Among the wonders of the museum collection is Catherine the Great’s crown adorned with five thousand diamonds.
Don’t miss the Armoury museum, a unique treasury-museum. Here you can find the works by Faberge as well as royal crowns, robes, thrones, carriages, and all the wealth that surrounded Russian monarchs in everyday life.
While walking around the Kremlin, you can also visit some temporary exhibitions. Sometimes you can find works by the world’s greatest jewelers. You can check the schedule of the displays on the Kremlin official website.
Take a look at the Kremlin from above
Ivan the Great bell tower offers stunning Kremlin views from above. However, it isn’t easy to get inside. Tickets are available only in the ticket office on the day of the visit. Unlike other Kremlin museums, booking is not available. There is a limited number of tickets to each session, due to the capacity of the bell tower. So, the only chance to visit Ivan the Great bell tower is to queue in the ticket office in the morning of your Kremlin visit.
Take a break in Kremlin gardens
The tour of the Kremlin might be very tiring sometimes. Kremlin garden is a great place to rest a bit, enjoying the gorgeous view of the cathedrals and the aroma of blossom trees.
Unlike many other Kremlin attractions, the gardens are usually peaceful and quiet. Besides, you can find a kiosk with coffee and some snacks, which might be vital to get some energy before you carry on visiting more Kremlin must-sees.