What to see in Kaliningrad in 1-5 days by yourself

What to see in Kaliningrad in a day

Despite the severe destruction during the war, Kaliningrad has preserved neighborhoods with German buildings, cobblestone streets, and military fortifications.

I spent my vacation in Kaliningrad: I wandered the streets with old houses, watched ships, and drank beer with dried fish. You can also have a great time in the outskirts of Kaliningrad, by the sea on the Baltic and Curonian Spit.

In this article I am going to tell you about one day walking itinerary around the city center, which my wife and I made for ourselves. It starts at the Friedland Gates, and ends at the museum-apartment, “Altes House”. On the way you will see the caretaker’s house of the High Bridge, the Fish Village, the cathedral, Immanuel Kant’s grave, and the World Ocean Museum. At the cathedral, I suggest taking a river walk to see Kaliningrad from the water.

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How to get to the beginning of your itinerary. The Kaliningrad region is not bordered by other Russian regions. You can get here from Moscow via Latvia and Lithuania or via Belarus and Poland.

It is possible to walk from the Southern railway station, where all long-distance trains arrive, to the first point of the route – the Historical Museum in the Friedland Gates – in 20 minutes on foot or by public transport: buses 1, 3, 12, 25, 30, 44 and route taxis 64 and 155. Get off at the stop “Kalininsky shopping center”. The museum building made of red brick with a large gate is visible from the bus stop. Fare is 24 P on the bus and 26 P on the shuttle. Bus schedules and routes are on Yandex Maps. From the station a cab will cost you 80-100 R.

From Khrabrovo airport to Kaliningrad it is 25 kilometers. The direct bus 244-E goes to the center every 40 minutes from 8:30 to 21:40. Journey time is 45 minutes, the fare – 100 R . The bus arrives at the bus station, which is located next to the South Railway Station. By cab from the airport to the bus station it takes 25 minutes and 500 R .

Route

The Friedland Gate is Königsberg’s entrance gate, built in the 19th century. The road to the German town of Friedland – now Pravdinsk in the Kaliningrad region – passed through them. The gate is built into a brick building, which used to be part of the city’s defenses.

There is a Historical Museum in the building. I recommend visiting the “Virtual Walks through the Streets of Koenigsberg” exhibit. During the tour, viewers watch a film that is broadcast on the gate. The video shows the real streets of the city at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries . After the end of the film, you can see how these streets are recreated in the museum hall: look in the store windows, a pharmacy, a telephone booth.

The exhibition runs daily from 10:00 to 18:00, watching the film takes 15 minutes. The cost of a ticket to the museum – 200 P .

The gate does not open, but serves as a screen for the projector, which broadcasts during tours. Photo: A. Savin

The caretaker’s house of the High Bridge is a structure that housed the mechanisms for opening the bridge over the Pregolya River. The original High Bridge did not survive: it stood from 1520 to 1938, and then was destroyed. The caretaker’s cabin appeared in it during the reconstruction of the bridge in 1882 and survived. It is now located next to the present-day New High Bridge.

The caretaker’s house looks like both the gingerbread house and the castle from the Disney screensaver. You can’t get inside – only look around on the way from the Friedland Gate to the Fish Village or from the New High Bridge.

View of the caretaker’s cabin from the New High Bridge. One can’t see it as a utilitarian building at all: it looks more like a fairy tale castle

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Fish Village is a modern residential and tourist area on the banks of the Pregolya River, between Vysoky and Medovy bridges. It is stylized as a pre-war building of the city. The area has many hotels, restaurants, office and residential buildings.

The village is a tourist destination. In the hotel “Kaiserhof” room with a large double bed, breakfast and views of the river and the cathedral costs 5100 P per night, and a panoramic suite in the hotel tower with panoramic glazing and views of the river – 11 645 P . Near the hotel there is a spa complex Amberspa, where in addition to classic massages you can try the local specialties. For example, an hour massage with amber oil for 4,500 P or a bath with coarse sea salt and amber powder for 1,300 P.

costs an hour massage with amber oil

In the Fish Village I recommend climbing the observation tower “Lighthouse”: it offers a great view of Kant’s Island and the river. The ticket costs 100 R .

There are several cafes and restaurants in Fish Village. On a nice day, you can have a nice lunch there on the terrace. For example, in the restaurant “Hofburg” you can try dishes from local fish. A portion of fish soup with squid, perch, cod, shrimp, and pikeperch – costs 395 P, Baltic pikeperch fillet, fried on the skin, with mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes – 490 P, and eel with sautéed spinach – 1200 P .

The cathedral and the tomb of Immanuel Kant are on the island of the same name. There is a pedestrian bridge called Honey Bridge. There is a park on the island, which is good for a walk in the heat: there is water and dozens of chestnuts around.

The cathedral houses one of the largest organ complexes in Russia and the Immanuel Kant Museum. Mini-concerts of organ music lasting 45 minutes are held every day, the poster is on the website of the cathedral, and tickets cost 150-400 R . They are sold at the museum ticket office and on the website kassir.ru.

The Kant Museum has exhibits related not only to the philosopher, but also to the city. On the first floor there is an exposition devoted to the history of Kant’s island, and on the second floor – the last books, which remained from the famous Wallenrod Library of the 16th-18th centuries . It was destroyed during World War II. On the third floor is an exhibition about the life of the philosopher. The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, the ticket costs 250 P and is sold at the entrance.

Ticket to the Kant Museum.

In spring and summer there are pleasure boats on the river Pregolya. The pier is located in the Fish Village near the entrance to Kant’s Island near the Honey Bridge. The trip lasts for 45-50 minutes, the adult ticket costs 500 P. From the water there is a very beautiful view of Kanta island and the Fish Village. The route goes around the island, under the Medoviy, Jubilee and Vysokiy bridges, along the Peter the Great Quay, where there are ships of the Museum of the World Ocean, an amphibian aircraft and a submarine. The walk ends in the same place, where it began – in the Rybnaya village.

I recommend visiting the Museum of the World Ocean for fans of science and technology or if you come with children. You can walk here from Kant island in 15 minutes.

The museum has several expositions devoted to the World Ocean and its inhabitants. I recommend visiting the ship “Cosmonaut Viktor Patsaev”, the research vessel “Vityaz” and the submarine B-413 .

“Cosmonaut Viktor Patsaev” is the last of the surviving ships that served the Mission Control Center of Russia. During the Soviet years, there was a fleet of 11 ships that provided Earth-to-Space communications. In those years, it was difficult to provide constant reliable communication with ground locations, so the ships followed the spacecraft on the water. With the development of satellite communications, the need for such ships was no longer necessary. Patsayev was last used to provide communications with spacecraft in September 2017.

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Now “Patsayev” is a museum exhibit. Only guided tours are allowed there, and the ticket costs 200 R . On the ship they talk about the cosmonaut Patsaev himself, who tragically died during his descent from space, about the fleet and how all the other ships were sent to scrap and how the Patsaev was preserved in Kaliningrad.

“Vityaz” is a research vessel. There are expositions, devoted to geographical discoveries and history of ocean exploration. Some spaces were rebuilt into exhibition rooms, and some were reconstructed in their original form. It was from the board of “Vityaz” in 1957, the depth of the Mariana Trench was established at 11,022 meters. A ticket with a guided tour of the Vityaz costs 200 R . At the beginning of 2020 the ship is closed for repairs.

“B-413” is a diesel-electric submarine of the Northern Fleet. This is one of the few museum submarines that keeps itself afloat. When remaking it into a museum vessel, the changes were minimal. It’s real – the narrow tunnels between the submerged parts, the cables, the pipes, the buttons and the switches, all the way around. You can see a real galley, a periscope and a torpedo room. Visitors walk through the entire boat inside and return to the beginning along the outside. The cost of the ticket is 300 P .

Tickets for each vessel are sold at the ticket office. Opening hours vary from facility to facility. Most are open from 10:00 to 18:00, but not every day. For up-to-date information I advise to check in advance at the museum site.

When visiting the submarine B-413 you have to move from compartment to compartment through narrow hatches. It is fun, but it is better for the girls to wear pants.

The Altes House Museum Apartment is located in an old German neighborhood in a house from 1912. At the beginning of the 20th century, the family of a grocery store owner lived there. Now tourists come there to look at the interiors and utensils of a century ago.

During the tour they are told about the history of the apartment and its inhabitants, about the fashion, habits and life of the time. Guests are invited to guess how this or that object was used, and try on a hat-cylinder. The ticket for a group tour costs 400 R, an individual tour – 2000 R.

Cost of an individual tour of the “Altes House

You can walk to Altes House from Peter the Great Embankment through Victory Park and Central Park. On the way you will see two more ancient gates, the Railway Gate and the Ausfalian Gate, and monuments to war heroes. The Central Park has monuments to Vysotsky and Baron Munchausen.

Details

You can get to Kaliningrad by plane and train. The tickets for direct flight from Moscow to Kaliningrad cost 4500-5000 R, from St. Petersburg – 5500-7500 R. The trip takes about two hours. The trip takes about two hours.

The distance between St.-Petersburg and Moscow on the train is about the same: reserved seats starting from 1500 rubles, compartment from 3000 rubles. The trip takes about a day.

If you don’t have Shenguen or Lithuanian visa, you must get a special travel document for trip to Kaliningrad by rail. It is issued for each trip. Russian Railways submits the data of a citizen of the Russian Federation in the consular department of the Lithuanian Embassy and receives an answer within 26 hours: whether the citizen is allowed to transit through Lithuania or not. The request is executed at the site of Russian Railways, when purchasing a ticket to Kaliningrad, or at the booking office of the station. On a site is more convenient: it is not necessary to go anywhere for purchase of the ticket and for the answer from the Lithuanian consulate. Complete rules for trip to Kaliningrad region are at the RZD site.

Food: I advise sweet lovers to try marzipan. It is ground into flour almond nuts and sugar syrup. It is used to make sweets, bars, added to chocolate and drinks. In Königsberg, was invented its own special recipe for marzipan. You can buy it in the “Marzipan House” in the shopping center “Europe”, in a store near Kant’s island and at Hrabrovo airport. The set of sweets weighing 100g costs from 200 R .

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For fish it is best to go to the central market at Chernyakhovskogo Street, 15. There is a huge selection of local and imported sea and river fish. You can buy fresh, frozen or smoked fish to suit all tastes and budgets. If you want to take home with you, you will be wrapped in paper and given tips for storage and transportation.

Entertainment. For the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Kaliningrad they built the “Kaliningrad Arena” stadium. The local soccer team “Baltika” regularly plays there. The stadium also hosts big matches. For example, in 2019, the Russian national soccer team played there a qualifying match for the European Championship in 2020 against Kazakhstan, and Leningrad opened its tour with a concert. You can follow the events on the stadium’s website.

Kaliningrad Zoo is one of the largest and oldest in Russia. It was created in 1896 and in 1945 it was given to the Soviet Union together with the city. Today the zoo is home to elephants, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, kangaroos, lions, birds, fish, insects and other wildlife. The enclosures are clean, the animals are well groomed, and the area is huge. It is a pleasure to walk here at any time of the year. In addition to the zoo there is an arboretum with unusual plants.

Adult ticket costs 300 P, children’s ticket costs 100 P. You can see on their own and as part of thematic excursions. List of excursions and events poster is on the Zoo site.

I recommend to visit the Curonian Spit if you decide to stay in Kaliningrad for two days. This is a national park in 30 km from the city: it is a narrow sandy spit between Baltic sea and Curonian bay. There are sand dunes, huge pines, which used to be a part of the Royal Borough, and the Dancing Forest – a natural anomaly, as a result of which the trunks of all the trees are strongly bent.

Also on the spit is the Fringilla Ornithological Station, which monitors the migration routes of birds. You can visit it only as part of a tour group. There you will be told why and how birds are ringed and weighed, how they choose the “bird of the year” and what this bird looks like.

All Kaliningrad travel agencies sell group bus tours to the Curonian Spit. The average price is 1200 R per person. The excursion usually takes the whole day. Departure from Kaliningrad at 11:00, return at 17:00.

What to see in Kaliningrad in 1-5 days by yourself

Kaliningrad in 5 days - what to see

  • Posted On: June 13, 2021
  • Posted By: go_kld_admin
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What to see in Kaliningrad in 5 days – itinerary and step-by-step plan for your own trip.

I should mention that the itinerary includes not only the city itself, but also the surrounding area. As local guides joke: “The most interesting things in Kaliningrad are not in Kaliningrad”. This is partly true, therefore 3 of 5 days we will travel outside the city and spend in cozy resort towns at the Baltic Sea. But don’t be frightened, you will not have to travel much. Kaliningrad region is one of the smallest in Russia, and transport connections are well developed.

Day 1. Getting to know the city

The first of five days in Kaliningrad is worth seeing the center of the city. Here are sights worth seeing on the first day.

Kant’s Island and the Cathedral

It is the historical heart of the city. On the island is the Gothic cathedral of the 13th century and the tomb of the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant, a native of Koenigsberg.

Fish Village

An antique-styled neighborhood with a promenade, many outdoor cafes, and souvenir stores. These are NOT historic buildings (the center of Kaliningrad was destroyed during the war), but they look like historic buildings. It is a pleasure to walk here

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House of Soviets

House of Soviets (House of Soviets) is one of the symbols and the main “long term constructor” of the city. Construction began in 1970s on the ruins of the Royal Castle of Koenigsberg. Not put into operation to this day. Architectural heritage of the Soviet Union. In 2021 the building is going to be demolished – catch it in time.

Upper lake

Ideal place for walks in the center of Kaliningrad. About 4 km long landscaped waterfront with summer terraces and boat/catamaran/bike/scooter rentals.

Victory Square

The central square of Kaliningrad. The place for concentration of organizations and institutions, a large transport hub.

World Ocean Museum

The best museum in Kaliningrad. Among the exhibits is a real submarine “B-413”, research vessels “Vityaz”, “Viktor Patsaev” and much more. You can admire them from outside and go inside. It’s interesting for both children and adults. Photo: evgeniy.novikov

Sightseeing on the map:

Kaliningrad in 5 days - what to see

How best to look around

  • The easiest way is just to walk around. It is possible to see all of them on foot in one day. Just put them on a map and go.
  • You can take a sightseeing tour. There are many options: walking, bus, boat, streetcar. You can take a boat tour.
  • If you prefer an active holiday, rent a scooter or bike. Here is a ready-made cycling route through the center of Kaliningrad.

Day 2. Curonian Spit

Five days in Kaliningrad is quite enough not to gallop around the sights, and explore them at a comfortable pace. That’s why I recommend to spend the second day totally devoted to the main natural sight of the Amber Land – Curonian Spit.

© A.Savin, WikiCommons

The Curonian Spit is a long sandy strip 90 kilometers long and only 400 meters wide! This is a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (of which there are not so many in Russia). They come here for the unique nature, snow-white beaches and dunes. Along the entire spit are laid eco-trails, such as “Dancing Forest” or “Height of Efa.

How best to look around

Optimal – by car. You can rent one or use a carshare. The car allows you to move at your own pace and not to depend on anybody. Here is a detailed guide on how to organize your trip to the Curonian Spit.

The second most popular variant is with excursion. They come in three types: on large buses, in mini-groups and individually. Here is a material with recommendations on how to choose an excursion to the Curonian Spit. All the pros and cons of organized tours, as well as prices.

The third day. Svetlogorsk

The third of 5 days in Kaliningrad we will devote to the charming resort town Svetlogorsk on the Baltic Sea. Svetlogorsk (former German Rauschen) – is a green streets, toy houses and clean sea air mixed with the smell of pine trees.

How best to look around

Walking is optimal. The city is very compact. You can get by train or by bus from Kaliningrad to the center of Svetlogorsk. Here is a ready walk by Svetlogorsk (with map) for several hours. Save it in bookmarks – it will be useful. The rest of the time you can spend in one of the fish restaurants on the seafront of Svetlogorsk.

Materials on the theme:

Day four. Walking in Kaliningrad

Let’s take a break from our trips in the region and leave the next of 5 days in Kaliningrad for further acquaintance with the capital of the region. We are going to visit the places we didn’t have time to see on the first day.

This day will be devoted to the history of Kengisberg, we will walk around the preserved areas of historic buildings. The center of Kaliningrad was practically destroyed in April 1945 and then rebuilt by Soviet architects. Surviving pre-war German buildings can now be seen mainly on the outskirts of the former Konigsberg. In modern Kaliningrad it is no longer a suburb, but one of the territorial districts of the city, which is called Central. It’s worth going there in search of the “spirit of Koenigsberg”.

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You can start your walk with the central Victory Square. You can also go down Peace Avenue with well-preserved prewar architecture towards the zoo. Kaliningrad Zoo is also must-see (take 2-3 hours).

Then go for walk along the historical district Amalienau (crossing of Prospekt Mira and Kutuzova str.).

The Amalienau is a former district of Königsberg (German: Amalienau). The district was conceived as a “garden-city”, which provided for a low-rise buildings with trees, often rare, and flowering shrubs. The district was planned unconventionally for a Prussian town, with many alleys, circular squares and winding streets. None of the streets of the neighborhood intersect at right angles. During the construction were often used a lot of unusual details and decorations, unusual shapes of roofs, fancy half-timbered houses.

In the same neighborhood, I recommend stopping by the best private museum in Kaliningrad, “Altes House. Its exposition is dedicated to Gustav Grossmann, a Königsberg merchant who lived in this very house which was built in 1912.

How best to look around

In Amalienau it is worth walking around with a tour – in a group or individually. They are inexpensive, from 500 rubles per person. This will help to understand the architecture of the most authentic district of Kaliningrad and the fate of its inhabitants.

If you prefer to explore on your own, arm yourself with my guidebook – “Amalienau and Hufen. Walking around old Konigsberg”.

Day five. Zelenogradsk

We finish our 5 days trip to Kaliningrad with a sightseeing tour of another authentic seaside resort – Zelenogradsk (former German Kranz). The main attraction of Zelenogradsk is Kurortny avenue – a beautiful pedestrian street with well-preserved prewar architecture, souvenir shops and boutiques.

Along the long sea promenade, it is easy to find a cozy restaurant of Baltic cuisine overlooking the sea.

How best to look around

On foot. You can get from Kaliningrad by train in 25 minutes. Trains arrive at the station in the city center. From there you can go for a walk around Zelenogradsk on a route I developed.

Materials on the theme:

What to emphasize in summer/winter

This program of the trip to Kaliningrad for 5 days is suitable for any time of the year. The Curonian Spit is open all year round. It makes sense to visit seaside towns even in winter to breathe in the sea air and admire the architecture.

And in the summer necessarily roll up in the village of Yantarny on the beach with the “Blue Flag”. In winter there is nothing to do there, but in summer, during the bathing season, it is worth allocating one day to it. In this case it is possible to combine Zelenogradsk with a trip to the Curonian Spit (they are nearby), and one of the 5 days in Kaliningrad is fully allocated for Yantarny.

Where to stay in Kaliningrad for 5 days

If you liked the proposed trip plan, I recommend you to choose a hotel so that you can walk all these routes on foot and not to lose time for public transportation. It is also important to settle near transport hubs for trips to Zelenogradsk, Svetlogorsk and the Curonian Spit.

I recommend the following options.

A high level chain hotel. Located directly on the embankment of Lake Superior (ideal for evening walks) 15 minutes walk from the North Station, and a 30 minute walk from the Fish Village.

Budget: above average.

Hotel page and reviews on Yandex.Travel

The hotel is located in Fish Village, overlooking the Pregolya River and Kant Island. If you prefer to live in a touristy place. The location is convenient for walks along the river and Kanta Island.

Hotel page and reviews on Yandex.Travel

Hotel with probably the best location for a tourist. 12 minutes to Kant island, 15 minutes to Upper Lake, 10 minutes to Victory Square. Everywhere on foot. Directly at the hotel entrance, all regular buses to Svetlogorsk, Zelenogradsk and the Curonian Spit stop.

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