This comprehensive travel guide will lead you through Moscow far beyond its postcard attractions

Historical museums

The Moscow Kremlin State Historical and Cultural Museum

The museum incorporates the Armoury Chamber and Cathedral Square.

The Armoury Chamber presents the richest collection of tsars’ and the Orthodox Church regalia, gold and silverware, weapons, carriages and other items of historical and cultural importance.

The Cathedral Square is an architectural ensemble dating back to the 15th century which houses several cathedrals, churches, the bell tower and the Palace of the Facets - the oldest preserved secular building in Moscow built in 1487-1491 as the tsars’ ceremonial venue and the assembly hall where the Council of Boyars – a prototype of the parliament – held its meetings.

The square is also a venue for a spectacular guard of honour mounting ceremony on Saturday noon, from April through September. The show may be cancelled if the weather is too hot, or if the guards are busy greeting an important guest.

The Kremlin is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also an official residence of Russia’s president and a venue for official events, thus, access to it may be restricted at short notice. Access restriction notices are usually published on the front page of the Kremlin Museums’ official website.

For many Russians, the Kremlin is also a major symbol of the country’s statehood, and unseemly behaviour there may provoke anger and aggression.

The Kremlin Museums do not outsource ticket sales, book tickets on their official website or buy them at the ticket office in Alexandrovsky Garden. The nearest metro stations are Alexandrovsky Sad (line 4, light blue,) Biblioteka Imeni Lenina (line 1, red) or Borovitskaya (line 9, grey.) If you opt to buy tickets for cash on the day of visiting be prepared for long queues.

Kremlin2Your tour to the Kremlin will start from the ticket office in Alexandrovsky Garden.

When booking online, print out your vouchers and exchange them for paper tickets at the ticket office. Have your passport with you! The name in the passport should be the same as the name of the cardholder who booked the tickets.

The Kremlin Museums do not offer official tours in languages other than Russian, but multilingual audio guides are free for the Armory ticket holders.

Some private companies offer tours to the Kremlin grounds and the Armoury. Prices start from about RUR 2000 per person for brief glimpse of the Cathedral Square and selfies with the Tsar Cannon (which never fired) and the Tsar Bell (which never tolled) on the backdrop.

Before visiting the Kremlin, leave all large bags at the left luggage room in Kutafiya Tower near the booking office.

If you are going to visit the Amory, turn right from the left luggage room and follow the signs to the gate in the Kremlin wall. If your aim is the Kremlin grounds only, climb the stairs to Kutafiya Tower and proceed through the gates. Visiting the Armory and the Kremlin grounds usually takes up to three hours.

Walking in the Kremlin, do not step on the roadway because, at times, government limousines may run at very high speed there.

Some churches in the Kremlin and the Armoury are not wheelchair accessible; ask for assistance at the ticket office, if required.

Ticket office opening times: daily except Thursday. 16 May to 30 September: 9.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m.; 1 October to 15 May: 9.00 a.m. – 04.30 p.m.

Entrance ticket costs RUR 700. Visiting the Armmoury will cost you RUR 1000. Tickers to Ivan the Great Bell Tower (open from 15 May to 30 September) cost RUR 350

Metro Metro Alexandrovsky Sad (line 4, light blue,) Biblioteka Imeni Lenina (line 1, red,) or Borovitskaya (line 9, grey.)


St. Basil's Cathedral Museum

In 1923, the Bolsheviks turned the most recognisable Moscow’s cathedral built on Red Square in the middle of the 16th century into a museum of atheistic propaganda. Oddly enough, that decision helped to preserve the cathedral itself and its medieval icons.

Opening hours: daily except the first Wednesday of each month. From 1 September to 6 November and from 1 June to 31 August: 11.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m., from 7 November to 30 April: 11.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. At ambient temperatures below -150C, the museum closes one hour earlier.

Ticket price: RUR 500

Metro Okhotny Ryad (line 1, red,) Teatralnaya (line 2, green) and Ploshchad Revolyutsii (line 3, navy blue.)


State Historical Museum

The museum has a rich collection of items representing Russia’s history from the ancient times to the beginning of the 20th century. The museum incorporates St. Basil's Cathedral Museum, Museum of the Patriotic War of 1812 and Chambers of Romanov Boyars.

Opening hours: from 1 June to 31 August: daily except the first Tuesday of each month; from 1 September to May 31: daily except Tuesday.10.00 a.m. – 06.00 p.m. (10.00 a.m. – 09.00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.)

Historical MuseumThe State Historical Museum stands in the nodal point of Moscow between Manezhnaya and Red Squares.

1 Red Square

Metro Okhotny Ryad (line 1, red,) Teatralnaya (line 2, green) and Ploshchad Revolyutsii (line 3, navy blue.)

Ticket price: RUR 400


Central Museum of Russian Armed Forces

The museum presents a rich collection of weapons, war trophies and documents. See over 150 tanks, other combat vehicles, aircraft and even intercontinental ballistic missiles at the museum’s outdoor area. Try “frontline cuisine” at the museum’s café.

Opening hours: daily except Monday and Tuesday, 10.00 a.m. - 05.00 p.m.

Ticket price: RUR 250. Free on 23 February, 18 April, 9 May and 18 May.

2 Sovetskoy Armii Street

Metro Dostoevskaya (line 10, bright green.)


The Battle of Borodino Panorama

See one of the largest paintings in the world presenting a major battle of the Napoleonic Wars, where “the French proved they deserve a victory, and the Russians won the right to be undefeated,” according to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Opening hours: daily except Friday and the last Thursday of each month, 10.00 a.m. - 06.00 p.m. (10.00 a.m. - 09.00 p.m. on Thursday.)

Ticket price: RUR 250; audio guide:  RUR 150; guided tour: RUR 600. Free on the third Sunday of each month.

38 building 1 Kutuzovsky Prospekt.

Metro Kutuzovskaya (line 4, light blue) or Park Pobedy (line 3, navy blue.)


Kolomenskoe Reserve

Located in a scenic park on the Moskva River bank, the reserve presents several masterpieces of Russian architecture dating back to the 16th century as well as rich collections of artworks and household items of the 1600s. The most impressive building here is the revived palace of Alexis of Russia, the tsar who ruled from 1645 to 1676. Now the palace houses most of the museums exhibits. Do not miss the beekeeper’s farm where honey fairs run from early August to late October and take a one-hour boat cruise to see the estate from the river.

Ticket office opening hours: 1 April to 29 September: 9.45 a.m. – 5.30 p.m. 30 September to 30 March: 9.45 a.m. – 5.30 p.m.

Ticket price: RUR 100-200 for each exhibition.

KolomenskoeThe revived tsar’s palace in Kolomenskoe now houses collections artworks and household items of the 1600s.

39 Prospekt Andropova

Metro Kolomenskaya or Kashirskaya (line 2, green.)



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