Exterior of Water Tower at Kremlin.

Moscow Kremlin

Top choice in Moscow

The apex of Russian political power and once the centre of the Orthodox Church, the Kremlin is the kernel of not only Moscow, but of the whole country. From here, autocratic tsars, communist dictators and modern-day presidents have done their best – and worst – for Russia.

Covering Borovitsky Hill on the Moscow River's north bank, it's enclosed by high walls 2.25km long (Red Square's outside the east wall). The best views of the complex are from Sofiyskaya nab across the river.

Before entering the Kremlin, deposit bags (free) at the left-luggage office, beneath the Kutafya Tower near the main ticket office in Alexander Garden. The entrance ticket covers admission to all five church-museums and the Patriarch's Palace. It does not include the Armoury, the Diamond Fund Exhibition or the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, which are priced separately.

During warm months (April to October), many people try to visit the Kremlin around noon in order to watch the change of guards at Sobornaya Sq in the centre of the fortress. The ceremony involves a few dozen horses and men in historical attire performing sophisticated square-bashing choreography.

Photography is not permitted inside the Armoury or any of the buildings on Sobornaya pl (Cathedral Sq).

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