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St. Basil's Cathedral
Vacation Travel Guide

Think of Russia and you probably picture this iconic building, whose onion-shaped domes overlook the Moscow skyline.

St. Basil’s Cathedral has become an emblem of Russia due to its distinctive architecture and prominent position on the famous Red Square. Discover hidden surprises inside its walls. Take pictures of the famous exterior and then explore the maze-like interior, which is comprised of multiple chapels.

Learn the real name of this 16th-century church: the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat. It was so named to celebrate a win over Tatar troops, on the day of the Feast of the Intercession, by Ivan the Terrible and his men. The colloquial name comes from Basil, a holy fool who was laid to rest in the cathedral.

Spend a few minutes appreciating the dazzling design of the cathedral. The most recognizable features are its domes. Known as “onion domes” due to their special shape, they come in a range of different colors and designs with three-dimensional effects. See red and white stripes, green and yellow swirls and a tall golden dome at the top. The dizzying height of its tented roof also catches the eye.

Before you enter, be prepared for the interior to feel a lot smaller than the grand scale of the cathedral’s façade due to its unusual layout. Each of the domes represents a chapel within. Explore the chapels and other religious areas in the building. Look specifically for the St. Basil Chapel and note how it is richly decorated to match the saint’s importance.

Wander along the gallery. The labyrinthine passages here are beautifully decorated and will lead you to your chapel of choice. Climb up the old wooden stairs. These were only unearthed in the 1970s and now lead to the central part of the cathedral. Here you will find a huge iconostasis.

Note that St. Basil’s Cathedral functions mainly as a museum. There is only one service here, held annually on the Day of the Intercession. Take the subway to Ploshchad Revolyutsii to visit the cathedral. The site has an entry fee and is closed on Tuesdays.

Top things to do in St. Basil's Cathedral

Top Hotels Close to St. Basil's Cathedral

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
5 out of 5
2 Okhotny Ryad Street, Moscow
The price is ¥42,657 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23

Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of State Historical Museum and Bolshoi Theatre. Lenin's Mausoleum and Red Square are ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (93 reviews)

"Awesome loved it"…"

Reviewed on Sep 15, 2019

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
5 out of 5
26/1, Tverskaya Street, Moscow
The price is ¥8,821 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

Located in Tverskoy, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Bolshoi Theatre, and Moscow Kremlin. Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (985 reviews)

"Great service, сlean Room, nice breakfast as usual!!!"…"

Reviewed on Feb 16, 2021

Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
Hotel Metropol Moscow
Hotel Metropol Moscow
5 out of 5
2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow
The price is ¥26,679 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23

Located in Moscow City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Maly Theatre and Bolshoi Theatre. TsUM — Central Universal Department Store and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (983 reviews)

"History and tradition together with excellent services"…"

Reviewed on Jan 1, 2021

Hotel Metropol Moscow
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil's Cathedral

Best Lodging Options Near St. Basil's Cathedral

Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
5 out of 5
2 Okhotny Ryad Street, Moscow
The price is ¥42,657 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23
Four Seasons Hotel Moscow
Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
5 out of 5
26/1, Tverskaya Street, Moscow
The price is ¥8,821 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
Marriott Moscow Grand Hotel
Hotel Metropol Moscow
Hotel Metropol Moscow
5 out of 5
2 Teatralny Proezd, Moscow
The price is ¥26,679 per night from Mar 22 to Mar 23
Hotel Metropol Moscow
Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat
Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat
4 out of 5
Ulitsa Novy Arbat, 15, Moscow, Moscow
The price is ¥5,061 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15
Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat
Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow
Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow
5 out of 5
15/1 Mokhovaya Street, bld. 1, Moscow
The price is ¥17,569 per night from Mar 8 to Mar 9
Hotel National, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Moscow
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel
5 out of 5
11 Petrovka Street, Moscow
The price is ¥18,943 per night from Mar 10 to Mar 11
Marriott Moscow Royal Aurora Hotel
The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya
The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya
5 out of 5
12, Nikolskaya Str., Moscow
The price is ¥32,535 per night from Mar 15 to Mar 16
The St. Regis Moscow Nikolskaya
The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
5 out of 5
Tverskaya Street 3, Moscow
The price is ¥50,610 per night from Mar 5 to Mar 6
The Ritz-Carlton, Moscow
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
5 out of 5
Ul. Balchug 1, Moscow
The price is ¥18,075 per night from Mar 5 to Mar 6
Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.