The Kaliningrad Region is an island of Russia in the center of Europe, opening its doors to history and nature lovers. Past and present, German and Russian culture, the uniqueness of nature and the creation of human hands are intertwined in a single thread of time.
Kaliningrad is a special city among Russian cities. Founded by the Order of the Crusaders, he received the name Königsberg, which means “King’s Mountain”. Excursions and walks around the city, shopping for souvenirs and entertainment will help you learn a lot of interesting things, gain new impressions and just have a good rest.
Entertainment and sights of Kaliningrad
The “heart” of Kaliningrad is the Kant island, or Kneiphof. A cozy and very green place, connected with the rest of the city by a large automobile bridge and a small pedestrian bridge, completely hung with “locks of love” of newlyweds. Here is the main attraction of the city and the best views of the second most important place of the former Königsberg. By the first we mean, of course, the Cathedral with the tomb of the great philosopher and thinker Immanuel Kant. And the second place is the wonderful Fish Village, a new building designed to recreate a piece of the old quarter of German Kaliningrad. I must say that the new building is very successful. But back to Kant and the cathedral. This monument of North German Gothic architecture was originally dedicated to St. Adalbert and the Virgin Mary, and its construction began in the 14th century. Today, several exhibitions are open on the territory of the temple, concerts of organ music are constantly held and, of course, the sarcophagus of dark granite surrounded by 12 columns attracts the attention of tourists. Here lies Kant himself.
Further sights of Kaliningrad are more scattered throughout the city – the heavy “legacy” of the Second World War is reflected. It’s worth starting with the famous forts, bastions and gates of Königsberg, each of which contains either a museum or a restaurant, or simply attracts attention with its cracked walls, dark underground and bullet fragments found here and there. In particular, it is worth visiting Fort No. 5, where today there is a museum with several exhibitions dedicated to the Second World War. The famous Rossgarten Gate houses the equally famous Amber Museum.
By the way, with museums in Kaliningrad, in general, everything is on the “five plus”. Local collections provide an exhaustive and really interesting story about the history of the city, and its importance on the sea route, and about the main painters and creators of the region. It’s worth starting, of course, with the stunning Museum of the World Ocean. There is: a) a real submarine; b) the captain’s cabin; c) a lighthouse; d) and much, much more. In the “Blindage” museum you can get acquainted with the exposition about the assault on Konigsberg, and in the Kaliningrad Museum of Fine Arts – with the most striking canvases that left their mark on the history of art of the region. Finally, it would be unforgivable not to visit the Kaliningrad Zoo – one of the oldest in Europe.
The outskirts of Kaliningrad are just a “song” for lovers of the sea, castles and gothic churches. It is worth visiting the beautiful Curonian Spit, climbing its endless dunes, looking into the mysterious Dancing Forest and taking away a piece of amber as a souvenir. Other must-si: Ragnit and Insterburg castles, Pilau fortress and Mühlhausen church, Schaaken castle and Allenburg church.
6 things to do in Kaliningrad
- To postpone until the last visit to the Cathedral, which nails to the ground with its monumentality. Instead, sit on a bench nearby, surrounded by silent sculptures and shady chestnuts.
- Equip yourself with a flashlight and a lot of courage as you go to Fort No. 5 King Frederick William III to touch history in the flesh and count at least a thousand fragments from bullets and bombs.
- Escape to the coast, bury yourself in the sand and find your piece of “Baltic gold” – a warm and sunny-looking amber stone.
- Feel all the willpower and courage of the submariners who spent long months on their ships, looking into the bowels of the research boat Vityaz.
- Find out the secret of the “German” hippopotamus that escaped with vodka and became the symbol of the Kaliningrad Zoo.
- Take a breeze ride along the Pregolya on a small boat, the captains of which are waiting for their guests on the island of Kant.
Prices in Kaliningrad
Although Kaliningrad is considered the most European city in Russia, the cost of recreation in it will not be too high. There are many free points of interest here. Buildings, streets, parks and entire neighborhoods that you can walk around for hours. Walk around the ring of eight ancient fortress gates that encircle the historic city center, drive to the island of Kant or walk along the Historical Fleet Embankment. All these pleasures do not cost anything, but they will give you positive emotions.
Prices in Kaliningrad are acceptable for all tourists. The entrance to museums will cost on average 1-5 euros, the cost of excursions is 11-22 euros.
Public transport is well developed, and you can travel around the area by bus. Trolleybuses run through the city until nightfall, and from the airport to the center of Kaliningrad it takes 40 minutes by minibus.
Many cities in the Kaliningrad region are considered resort towns. Svetlogorsk and Zelenogradsk are historically recognized as the main Baltic health resorts in Russia, and the many health resorts located in them confirm this. The veil of “resort nature” makes the prices in Kaliningrad and the surrounding area change from season to season: in winter the same services will cost less than in summer.