Home » Travel » Is It Worth Going Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral? (Moscow, Russia)

Is It Worth Going Inside St. Basil’s Cathedral? (Moscow, Russia)

St. Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia

There’s no question the exterior of St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen in my life. But what about the interior? Does it live up to the incredible exterior? And is it worth the admission price? I’ll share my thoughts and photos in this post! But first, here’s a quick background on this cathedral…

Quick Background on St. Basil’s Cathedral

St. Basils Cathedral is one of the most iconic sites in all of Russia. This whimsical structure looks as though it came straight out of a fairytale or Disney World. In reality, St. Basil’s Cathedral was constructed between 1550 and 1560.

Saint Basil's Cathedral

It was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to celebrate his conquest of the Tatar city of Kazan on October 1, 1552, the day of the feast of the Intercession. So, technically, its proper name is “Church of the Intercession.”

The Red Square - Moscow, Russia

It was one of the first things I did upon arriving in Moscow. We made a beeline straight for the cathedral, as it has always been my dream to see it in person.

st. basil's cathedral
Practically the 1st thing we did upon arriving to Moscow!

Where is Saint Basil’s Cathedral Located?

Getting to Saint Basil’s Cathedral is very easy, and it’s located right next to Moscow’s Kremlin in the Red Square. Visiting the exterior of Saint Basil’s Cathedral won’t cost you any money, and there are even grassy areas to sit and admire the cathedral between it and the Kremlin.

St. Basil's Cathedral
A view of the cathedral from the grassy area between it & the Kremlin.

Going Inside Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Going inside Saint Basil’s Cathedral will cost 1,000 Rubles per person for foreign visitors (500 rubles for Russian visitors). I believe this price very recently went up (everything I’ve seen online said it was 500 rubles a person – no matter where you are from). So, it has doubled in price. At the time I visited, (July, 2018) this would be roughly $15 USD a person.


I believe there used to be a fee for taking photos inside the cathedral, but that is no longer the case. You are free to take photos and videos of the inside of the cathedral without additional cost. (Just make sure your flash is off.)

St. Basil's tomb
St. Basil’s tomb

So… Is it Worth Going Inside?

In my personal opinion, the inside did not live up to the outside of the cathedral. Granted, that would be a pretty hard thing to do, given how beautiful the outside is!

The inside is made up of a series of cramped chambers and narrow, steep stairways. There are various artifacts from the church, some history on its construction and beautiful floral motifs and also Christian murals throughout. As far as cathedrals go, the interior was not terribly impressive. However, it was interesting in its own right.

We also were able to hear a performance by the male chamber choir while inside the cathedral…which really added to the ambiance! (And they were very good.)

Inside St. Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia

The signage in the cathedral was written in both Russian and English, and there was also the option to take an audio tour. Perhaps, an audio tour or tour in general would have added more value to the inside of the cathedral? (There were many tours operating inside the cathedral.) We were just wandering on our own reading the plaques.

Bottom Line

My husband and I both thought going inside the cathedral was a cool experience. It wasn’t the most impressive interior to a cathedral we’ve ever seen, nor does it live up to the outside of this cathedral. However, it is an experience we were happy we had. I will admit, though, that I thought the price was rather expensive for going inside! I think we would’ve been better off to buy a city pass for what we spent on going inside the cathedral..

Exiting St. Basil's Cathedral
Exiting St. Basil’s Cathedral

Have you gone inside St. Basil’s Cathedral? Or would you, if given the chance? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Travel Insurance

It’s a good idea, no matter where your adventure takes you, to have travel insurance. You never know what might happen! Whether you get sick before your trip and can’t go, or you become sick or injured while on your adventure – being covered with travel insurance is a must. Some credit card companies do provide this service (check with yours), or you can get a quote from companies such as Squaremouth to find the best plan for you and your adventure. (This is the company I, personally, use. They are even recommended by Forbes!) To get a free quote, click here.

Visa Requirements

To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to Russia, click here.

Going Inside St. Basil's Cathedral - Moscow, Russia
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  1. Blair Villanueva says:

    I would love to visit Moscow in the future. Still saving for visa fee coz its expensive.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I hope you do get to make it one day! Unfortunately, visa fees can add up, though.

  2. frejatravels says:

    Lovely blog and photos. I would love to visit Moscow one day. My husband does not want to go since he has been there before:( But one day I shall visit:)

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh gosh, yes! I hope you get to come one day! It’s really beautiful. 🙂

      1. frejatravels says:

        Yes and yes, it is in my bucket list. It is very close from Copenhagen, but unfortunately I still do not have time to go there but one day;)

        1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

          Oh yes – one day! 🙂

  3. I’ve never been to St. Basil’s Cathedral but I think it’s a must do if I ever was in Russia. I would probably go inside as I would be curious about what was in there.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      That was the same way I felt. I would be forever curious if I didn’t go inside…despite it not being quite as magnificent as the outside. 🙂

  4. Joanna Joy says:

    After seeing this post I would definitely go to see this cathedral. The detail of the exterior and interior is phenomenal! Thanks for sharing.

    -Joanna Joy

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Joanna!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It really is. 🙂

  5. evgphotos says:

    Great post! So nice story! I ve been there too! Really amazing))

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you! That’s awesome you’ve been there as well.

  6. I always like your honesty! I’m glad you said that it’s not as good inside, I always find that with cathedrals!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thanks, Lorna!

  7. Lee (@leethrifts) says:

    Wow, I still can’t believe the outside!! It really does look like the inside of a disney castle. I hope you are enjoying Russia so far!

    Lee – layersoflee.com

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It’s crazy, isn’t it? And so far, I’m loving Russia! Thank you, Lee!

  8. heathernoire89 says:

    The cathedral is so lovely and enriched in history that is just looks so stunning. I really love your photos 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you!

  9. That’s so interesting. I have a feeling I’d have to go inside no matter because I’m there. And really, $15 isn’t super expensive.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I’m glad we went inside too…even if it’s just so we knew what it looked like.

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