Today was set aside for just a visit to the grounds of the Kremlin.
Now, to be honest, I didn’t really know all that much about what was at the Kremlin.
I just always knew the Kremlin as some mysterious place – home of the evil KGB and all that jazz.
Turns out it’s just a bunch of buildings – churches, parliament, towers etc.
And the armoury.
When you talk about going to the Kremlin everyone says “oh, you have to go to the armoury!”
So, I went…
Turns out it’s a museum of old artifacts over the years – crown jewels, fashion, weapons, carriages.
So, here’s the thing – I’ve said this in the past – I’m just not a museum guy. Others live for this stuff, but me, it’s just not my thing.
For me, the walking tour yesterday was my bread and butter and today was kind of a letdown.
Not to say you shouldn’t go, you should – it just isn’t my cup of tea.
So, to that end, in this blog I’m going to instead focus on the whole procedure of getting tickets and entering the Kremlin.
I know when I was first looking up info on the Kremlin it was hard to get specific enough info that made me feel comfortable with what to expect when I arrived.
So, here’s a tiny little guide to making the whole thing easier…
First, it’s easy to get to the Kremlin as there’s a metro station literally right outside – the Borovitskaya (Боровицкая) station on the grey (#9) line.
When you arrive you’ll see signs leading you to the ticket office – if you exit facing the big red wall, walk right until you hit the entrance (you literally can’t miss it as you’ll see lots of people hanging around getting ready to queue up).
Now, in the entrance area there’s the actually entrance and then 200m to the right is the ticket office.
You need to get your ticket first so head there first.
The ticket office is actually really easy to navigate. The signs are in Russian and English and the people behind the window can speak English as well.
There are two different tickets for purchase – the main ticket which is for the architectural complex of the Cathedral Square and a ticket for the armoury chamber.
Both can be purchased at the same time at the window. You can pay with roubles or use your credit card.
The prices are 500 roubles ($10) for the main ticket and 700 roubles ($14) for the armoury.
You will get two separate tickets and a map of the grounds. Hang on to these tickets as they’ll be checked in different areas inside.
Now, for the thing no one tells you about – storing your bag.
If you try to enter with your bag they’ll shoo you away and point you towards the luggage storage area which is to the direct left of the entrance to the main complex.
You can store your bag for free but remember to take your tickets stubs with you and the map (I forgot both and had to go back to retrieve them).
First I went to the armoury as there are specific time slots available and mine was 10am-12pm and it was already 11:10.
The time slots are limited to 100 people and are at: 10:00, 12:00, 2:30 and 4:30.
The armoury entrance is at the farthest corner of the Kremlin (exit the ticket office and turn left).
There is a guard there checking tickets and you’ll go through a metal detector.
After that the armoury is located about 50m on the side of the building. It’s pretty non-descript but there will be a sign pointing you in the right direction.
As for the main complex, you can go back the way you came and queue up with the others. Now, I heard you can just continue on from the armoury into the main complex. I never did because I actually forgot my main complex ticket in my bag and had to go back.
Once you’re in the main complex you can walk around freely for the most part. There are guards in the middle of street in front of the still used parliament and you can’t go over there.
I think that’s it – you can check the photos in the link above to see some of the stuff you’ll encounter.
Now, I’d be remiss to say that the day I went (end of September) is in the shoulder season so there were no real lines and getting tickets was really easy.
However, in the peak summer season, tickets should be bought in advance (tickets are on sale 14 days before) as there are limited slots available for both tickets. Plus you don’t have to arrive early to queue up to get those precious tickets.
Don’t use one of those damn tour companies that hike up their prices, go to the official kremlin website.
Also, remember the Kremlin is closed on Thursdays.
And so ends my public service blog.
Continue on with your day…