Kaliningrad travel guide

Kaliningrad Tourism | Kaliningrad Guide

You're Going to Love Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad is the capital of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian enclave squeezed between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea coast. It's a fascinating corner of Europe, being Russian but separated from Russia, and with close ties to the EU. Formerly known as Konigsberg, this was once a Prussian city and is dotted with ancient castles and fortifications.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Kaliningrad

1. The History

Kaliningrad has one of the most interesting histories of any territory in Europe. Now Russian, but once Prussian, German and Polish, the city can tell the story of this part of Europe. Visit the Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Art to learn all about it.

2. Kant Island

Famous philosopher Immanuel Kant is buried at Konigsberg Cathedral on Kant Island. It's now a beautiful park with sculptures and the Fish Village area of hotels, restaurants and shops.

3. Amber

Amber is the city's specialty and you can find shops selling it everywhere. Visit the Amber Museum to see some fine examples and learn about the trade.

4. Kaliningrad Fortifications

The city is surrounded by 17th century red-brick bastions, walls and gates, recalling the tumultuous history of the city.

5. Bunker Museum

The Bunker Museum tells the story of the city through WWII and explains its current status.

What to do in Kaliningrad

1. You Simply Kant Miss This Attraction

Located on Kant Island (which gives a clue about its most famous inhabitant), Königsberg Cathedral retains Kaliningrad's original name. For centuries, Königsberg was a key German-speaking port in the Hanseatic League, and in the 18th century it played a crucial role in the Enlightenment - mainly thanks to the presence of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Much of the old town succumbed to World War Two, but not the Gothic cathedral, which is now UNESCO protected and hosts the great thinker's mausoleum.

2. A Finely Crafted Maritime Museum

Kaliningrad is inseparable from the sea, specifically the Baltic, and this museum provides all the proof you need. Its central attraction is a huge collection of historical vessels, including a submarine, scientific research boat, an icebreaker, and a floating lighthouse, and if you have your sea legs you can clamber aboard all of them. But along with the boats, there's also an impressive exhibition hall, where sperm whale skeletons and restored craft add to the maritime enjoyment.

3. Get Down To Some Serious Military History

The cramped environment of this museum couldn't be further away from the boats on the Pregolya River, but it's a must-see attraction nonetheless. That's because the Bunker Museum is housed in the actual quarters where Nazi commander Otto Lasch masterminded the city's defense against the Red Army in 1945. Videos and artifacts from the period conjure up a sense of how the battle played out, and you can see the cell where Lasch was confined after the city fell. It's a sobering, fascinating place to visit.

4. Charismatic Creatures And Relaxing Surroundings

Easily the city's premier family attraction, Kaliningrad Zoo is a total delight. Located just to the north west of the city center, it has been around since 1896 and specializes in caring for the world's big cat species, although there's no lack of charismatic animals to get to know. From bears and hippos to tapirs and pelicans, the collection spans the entire globe, totaling around 2,200 creatures. There's also a peaceful arboretum on site, which includes a rare (and absolutely ancient) gingko tree, a species rarely found outside east Asia.

5. O-Range Of Magical Amber Delights

This quirky museum is an unexpected gem in Kaliningrad's range of attractions, and will delight art lovers and science fans alike. Located near old Königsberg in a 19th century tower, the Amber Museum is home to what may well be the world's largest collection of amber items (over 6,000 in all). From enormous 4kg chunks to pieces that have encased ancient insects for hundreds of thousands of years, the galleries are full of curiosities. Even better, there's a magical amber store on site, where you can stock up on jewelry and other amber-themed souvenirs.

1. You Simply Kant Miss This Attraction

Located on Kant Island (which gives a clue about its most famous inhabitant), Königsberg Cathedral retains Kaliningrad's original name. For centuries, Königsberg was a key German-speaking port in the Hanseatic League, and in the 18th century it played a crucial role in the Enlightenment - mainly thanks to the presence of philosopher Immanuel Kant. Much of the old town succumbed to World War Two, but not the Gothic cathedral, which is now UNESCO protected and hosts the great thinker's mausoleum.

2. A Finely Crafted Maritime Museum

Kaliningrad is inseparable from the sea, specifically the Baltic, and this museum provides all the proof you need. Its central attraction is a huge collection of historical vessels, including a submarine, scientific research boat, an icebreaker, and a floating lighthouse, and if you have your sea legs you can clamber aboard all of them. But along with the boats, there's also an impressive exhibition hall, where sperm whale skeletons and restored craft add to the maritime enjoyment.

3. Get Down To Some Serious Military History

The cramped environment of this museum couldn't be further away from the boats on the Pregolya River, but it's a must-see attraction nonetheless. That's because the Bunker Museum is housed in the actual quarters where Nazi commander Otto Lasch masterminded the city's defense against the Red Army in 1945. Videos and artifacts from the period conjure up a sense of how the battle played out, and you can see the cell where Lasch was confined after the city fell. It's a sobering, fascinating place to visit.

4. Charismatic Creatures And Relaxing Surroundings

Easily the city's premier family attraction, Kaliningrad Zoo is a total delight. Located just to the north west of the city center, it has been around since 1896 and specializes in caring for the world's big cat species, although there's no lack of charismatic animals to get to know. From bears and hippos to tapirs and pelicans, the collection spans the entire globe, totaling around 2,200 creatures. There's also a peaceful arboretum on site, which includes a rare (and absolutely ancient) gingko tree, a species rarely found outside east Asia.

5. O-Range Of Magical Amber Delights

This quirky museum is an unexpected gem in Kaliningrad's range of attractions, and will delight art lovers and science fans alike. Located near old Königsberg in a 19th century tower, the Amber Museum is home to what may well be the world's largest collection of amber items (over 6,000 in all). From enormous 4kg chunks to pieces that have encased ancient insects for hundreds of thousands of years, the galleries are full of curiosities. Even better, there's a magical amber store on site, where you can stock up on jewelry and other amber-themed souvenirs.

Where to Eat in Kaliningrad

Solyanka Cafe on Prospect Mira serves local specialties like Solyanka soup, with mains from ₽500. Karamel on Leninsky Prospekt serves European style food, with mains from ₽600.

When to visit Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad in April
Estimated hotel price
$37
1 night at 3-star hotel
Kaliningrad in April
Estimated hotel price
$37
1 night at 3-star hotel

Kaliningrad enjoys warm summers with temperatures of around 70°F, making it the ideal time to visit.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
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How to Get to Kaliningrad

Plane

Kaliningrad Hrabrovo Airport has flights from other Russian cities and also Berlin, Copenhagen, Minsk and Riva. The number 144 bus takes 45 minutes into town and will cost ₽33. A taxi will cost from ₽550.

Train

Kaliningrad has few international rail services but good domestic connections. The fare from Moscow costs ₽2,100.

Car

The E28 connects Kaliningrad with Poland, while the E77 runs from Lithuania. Expect delays at the borders of around two hours and mixed-quality road surfaces.

Bus

The city has bus services from Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Gdansk. The fare from Gdansk is from ₽500.

Airports near Kaliningrad

Airlines serving Kaliningrad

Emirates
Excellent (958 reviews)
EL AL
Excellent (110 reviews)
S7 Airlines
Okay (8 reviews)
AZIMUTH
Excellent (1 reviews)
Pobeda
Good (2 reviews)
Ural Airlines
Good (2 reviews)
Nordwind Airlines
Okay (2 reviews)
Aeroflot
Excellent (35 reviews)
Belavia
Excellent (1 reviews)
Smartavia
Excellent (2 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Kaliningrad

Moskovsky - is the administrative center of the city, with most of the government buildings and some good hotels and shopping.

Popular Neighborhoods in Kaliningrad

Tsentralny - is the historic center of the city, with lots of interesting sites and museums.

Kant Island - is home to the Cathedral and Fish Village, with its traditional buildings and lighthouse viewing tower.

Where to stay in popular areas of Kaliningrad

Most booked hotels in Kaliningrad

Mayak Hotel Kaliningrad
Excellent (9.8, Excellent reviews)
$22+
ibis Kaliningrad Center
Excellent (9.8, Excellent reviews)
$70+
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kaliningrad
Excellent (9, Excellent reviews)
$101+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Kaliningrad

Public Transportation

Kaliningrad has an excellent bus network with a flat fare of ₽18. Tickets are bought from the conductor on the bus.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful and cheap, with a starting fare of ₽100 and then ₽25 per mile. You will probably be asked to negotiate a fixed fare, though.

Car

Kaliningrad has relatively good roads and signs are in roman letters as well as Cyrillic. Car rental will cost around ₽2,100 per day.

The Cost of Living in Kaliningrad

Shopping Streets

Victory Square and Leninsky Prospekt are two of the city's main shopping streets, with many fashion, jewelry (especially amber!) and homewares stores. Try the Europa Mall on Victory Square for some good upscale boutiques.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Kaliningrad will cost around ₽48 and a loaf of bread is around ₽35.

Cheap meal
$14.20
A pair of jeans
$130.51
Single public transport ticket
$0.52
Cappuccino
$2.66