Kaliningrad

  • Kaliningrad, Russia
    gl0ck33 / 123rf
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Russia

It is known as 'Baltic Russia', and even 'the amber region'. Kaliningrad, which was the last region to join the USSR in 1946, is 620 miles from Moscow. It is a remote area wedged between Poland and Lithuania that is cut off from the rest of Russia. This particular location has made it a forgotten area of Moscow, but there are still many interesting things for visitors to see and do. The city of Kaliningrad, in particular, has several interesting monuments, such as the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and even the fortifications, which date back to the 19th century.

Kaliningrad: the key figures

Surface area : 15125.0 km2

Population : 940000 inhabitants

Time difference : Kaliningrad is 3 hours ahead of the UK in winter. Therefore, when it is 7:00pm in London, it is 10:00pm in Kaliningrad.

  • The Baltic atmosphere in the region of Kaliningrad creates an ambiance that is different than in the rest of Russia.
  • Due to its enclosed location, the region has been somewhat forgotten by the state authorities and is somewhat lacking in infrastructures.

Kaliningrad: what to visit?

Monuments

  • The Gothic Cathedral , Russia
    The Gothic Cathedral
  • The Amber Museum , Russia
    The Amber Museum
  • The Amber Museum , Russia

Landscapes

  • Kalinine Park , Russia
    Kalinine Park
  • The Curonian Spit National Park , Russia
    The Curonian Spit National Park
  • The Curonian Spit National Park , Russia

Coasts

  • The Curonian Spit , Russia
    The Curonian Spit
  • The Courland Peninsula , Russia
    The Courland Peninsula
  • The Courland Peninsula , Russia

Enogastronomy

  • Voblas , Russia
    Voblas
  • Crayfish , Russia
    Crayfish
  • Crayfish , Russia

Kaliningrad: what to buy?

The shops are usually open from 9:00am to 8:00pm Monday to Saturday and they sometimes close for lunch. Some grocery shops are open on Sundays.

There is a wide choice of souvenirs to bring back home, starting with the essential bottles of vodka, tins of caviar (ensure you take note of how to preserve them), matryoshkas (Russian dolls), ushankas (fur hats) and, for collectors, badges and medals bearing the effigy of Lenin, stamped with the red star or the hammer and sickle. As for luxury products, clothing, alcohol, cigarettes and perfume, the local markets are full of cheap counterfeits. Traditional handicrafts (varnished wooden boxes, china figurines, amber necklaces, embroidered scarves, icons, etc) and furs (fox, mink, etc) are safe buys, but exporting antiques is strictly forbidden.

Kaliningrad: what to eat?

Contrary to popular belief, Russian cuisine is particularly rich and varied. During the summer, it is possible to find all kinds of vegetables. As for meat, you will have a lot to choose from during your trip: pork and mutton are consumed the most, but beef is also easy to find.

Given the location of Kaliningrad, seafood is also a main ingredient in the dishes you will come across. It is always fresh and is eaten smoked or dried. Sturgeon and tuna are the most common.

Don't forget about caviar, a luxury product that is well-known around the world. It costs around 85 per 100 grams! Finally, vodka is consumed all over Russia and all during meals. It fills the supermarket shelves. Make sure you don't drink local homemade vodka, as it may have been made with strange ingredients. Instead choose factory-made brands, which are usually better quality.

Kaliningrad: main cities

Kaliningrad: travel tips

Make sure you choose the best time to visit Kaliningrad depending on the climate. Winter is harsh and summer can be hot. Spring is the ideal time.

As an added precaution for all trips: take photocopies of your passport and ID photos with you. These will be very useful in the event that you lose these documents.

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