Originally built in the 12th century as a fortified citadel with wooden buildings, the Kremlin has grown to be a majestic complex and the political heart of Russia.
The word kremlin means fortified city, and there are a number of the Medieval citadels that form the nuclei of modern metropolises throughout Russia. Moscow's Kremlin is the best known, and has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The enormous complex has a total area of 66 acres (27 hectares) surrounded by over 1.5 miles (2.5 km) of defensive walls including 20 towers measuring over 260 feet (80 metres) in height, the tallest of which being the Spasskaya Tower. Its imposing red walls and the star-topped towers are a strikingly recognisable symbol of the Russian capital.
What to see in the Kremlin?
In addition to state administrative buildings like the Grand Kremlin Palace and the State Kremlin Palace, the citadel is home to a huge number of museums, historic buildings and churches. Don't miss the following highlights:
Also known as the Dormition Cathedral, this Russian Orthodox church is a magnificent structure of white stone crowned with golden domes. Inside, it's equally beautiful, with colourful frescoes and impressive icons.
Built between the 14th and 18th centuries, the Annunciation Cathedral was the personal chapel of the Tsars of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Its iconic gilded onion domes are typical of Russian Orthodox architecture.
Constructed as a necropolis for the Tsars of Russia before Peter the Great moved the capital to St Petersburg, this early 16th century church draws from elements of Italian Renaissance architecture. The interior is home to a number of historic frescoes and religious paraphernalia.
One of the oldest museums in Moscow, the Kremlin Armoury showcases an extensive collection of breathtakingly beautiful jewellery, clothing, weapons and armour from Russian history. Amongst its finest gems are a number of Fabergé eggs.
Ivan the Great Bell Tower
Towering above the Kremlin at over 260 feet (80 metres) in height, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower was the tallest building in Moscow for over 400 years. Climbing up to the top (entrance fee is not included in the Kremlin ticket price), you'll enjoy spectacular panoramic views over Moscow.
The Kremlin is one of Moscow's most important tourist attractions, making it a must-visit on any trip to the Russian capital. Its location in the heart of the city centre, right next to other top sights like Red Square and Saint Basil's Cathedral, makes for a perfect day's sightseeing itinerary.
15 May to 30 September: 9:30 am to 6 pm.
1 October to 14 May: 10 am to 6 pm.
Ticket office shuts an hour before closing time and is closed on Thursdays.
Cathedral Square Architectural Complex: 700 RUB.
Armoury Chamber: 1000 RUB.
Children under 16 years old go free.
Metro: Biblioteka Imeni Lenin, line 1.