Red Square has been Moscow’s historic and cultural epicenter for centuries, holding everything from a medieval marketplace to Soviet military parades to rock concerts. No visit to the Russian capital is complete without a stroll through the square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that's encircled by some of Moscow’s most iconic landmarks.
Almost all Moscow sightseeing tours start or end at Red Square, and many of the city’s most visited attractions are on or around the square. Enter through the Resurrection Gate (Voskresenskiye Vorota), which is next to the Naryshkin Baroque-style Kazan Cathedral and the State History Museum, housed in a revivalist-style building. Look for the colorful architectural icon of St. Basil’s Cathedral standing at the opposite side of the square.
Don't miss other notable sites around Red Square, including Lenin’s Mausoleum and GUM State Department Store, renowned for its architecture and luxury shopping. Head south of the square to the Kremlin, the official residence of the Russian president—some of the best Kremlin towers views are from the square.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A visit to Red Square is a must for all first-time visitors to Moscow.
- Allow two to three hours to explore the monuments at Red Square.
- Head inside GUM department store to admire the elaborate interiors even if you don’t want to shop—there is also a cinema, winter ice skating rink, and several cafes and restaurants.
- Red Square is accessible for wheelchair users and strollers.
How to Get There
Red Square is pedestrianized and only accessible on foot. The closest metro stations are Ploschad Revolyutsii (Line 3), Teatralnaya (Line 2), and Okhotny Ryad (Line 1); all a short stroll from Resurrection Gate.
When to Get There
The monuments of Red Square can get crowded, especially in summer, so arrive early to avoid long lines. Early morning is the best time to snap a crowd-free photo, but Red Square is worth visiting after dark too, when the buildings are illuminated. The square occasionally closes to the public for events or concerts.
Visiting the Kremlin
A visit to Red Square is often combined with a Kremlin tour. The main Kremlin entrance is by Kutafya Tower, a 10-minute walk from Resurrection Gate. Admission includes access to Cathedral Square to visit the Assumption, Archangel, and Annunciation cathedrals; Patriarch Palace; and Church of Laying Our Lady’s Holy Robe. The square is also home to Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the Armoury Chamber, which can be visited for an additional fee.