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The Kaliningrad Cathedral

Kaliningrad (Russian: Калинингра́д kuh-leen-een-GRAHD) , also known by its original German name, Königsberg, is the capital city of Kaliningrad Oblast in Russia. It has about 475,000 inhabitants (2018). It is also called 'Karaliaucius' in Lithuanian, as Lithuanians (cousins to the 'Old Prussians') used to live there. So it is truly the 'City of the Four Ks': Kaliningrad, Königsberg, Krolewiec, and Karalaucius. Following the Second World War, it was briefly known as Kyonigsberg (Кёнигсберг), the Russified form of the original German name. It is part of the Silver Ring of cultural and historical centers of Northwestern Russia.



Kaliningrad's history dates back to the 13th century, when it was under the rule of the Teutonic knights, an order of German knights, priests and laymen who sought to expand Christianity through missions and conquests. Known by its German name of Königsberg then, the city was the capital of Prussia.

Kaliningrad was a hub for science and culture whizzes from Germany, Poland and Lithuania. The famous mathematical Königsberg bridge problem is based in the city. Kaliningrad was also home to renowned philosopher Immanuel Kant and prominent German writer Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. Kant is said to have had such pride in his hometown that he barely left the place in his lifetime, declaring that he did not need to venture abroad because ships came and brought people to tell him stories.

Destroyed in World War II and annexed by the USSR in 1946, the region was stripped of its German identity after the German population had been expelled, and was named after Mikhail Kalinin, a Russian communist leader. The overwhelming majority of its residents are Russians and those from other Soviet republics who came to the area in the immediate aftermath of World War II. A highly militarised zone during the Soviet era, the area only opened to visitors about 20 years ago. Unsurprisingly, there is very little visible trace of its Prussian past, save for a small number of refurbished buildings such as the Cathedral.


Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm
Average of Kaliningrad
Imperial conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches

The best time to visit is in summer between June and August, when the temperature is around 20 to 25 °C. Temperatures in the autumn range from 10 to 15 °C and the season lasts from September to November. The Kaliningrad winter, which is from December to February, is much milder winter than Russia, with temperatures from 5 °C to minus 11 °C.

Take along an umbrella, because the weather is unpredictable and windy. The weather is quite humid due to its proximity to the Baltic Sea. The Baltic sun is mild.

Get in[edit]


As Kaliningrad is an exclave of the Russian Federation, almost all visitors require a Russian visa to enter, except citizens of those countries that have signed bilateral agreements for visa-free entries, e.g. Israel, South Korea, South Africa, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Latin American countries. If you plan to travel overland between Kaliningrad and other parts of Russia, you will need at least a double-entry visa in order to exit and re-enter Russia. Travelling by air on domestic flights between Kaliningrad and Moscow, St. Petersburg or other Russian regional centres can be done even with a single-entry visa. For more information about Russian visas, see the visa section on the Russia page.

Nationals of 53 countries including almost all EU countries, Japan, China and a few other Asian countries can get an eVisa free of charge for visits of up to 8 days. You can apply for an eVisa at Russia's MFA website. You should print off the eVisa confirmation (which comes as a pdf) for sake of ease. Border guards might want to see your visa on exit, so it's best to keep a copy on you, though having the pdf on your phone is perfectly acceptable. Note that the eVisa is not valid at some of the smaller border crossings.

Canadian, UK & US nationals must still apply for a regular visa.

By plane[edit]

Khrabrovo Airport serves the city. You may also want to consider flying to Gdansk, Kaunas or with fewer flights: Palanga and Olsztyn-Mazury. Somewhat further away are the airports of Warsaw, Vilnius and Riga. All these cities have bus connections to Kaliningrad.

Caution Note: Russian aircraft are banned from European Union airspace because of Russia's 24 February 2022 invasion and war on Ukraine. It remains possible for Moscow aircraft to sneak into Kaliningrad by flying toward St. Petersburg, following a narrow Baltic Sea corridor midway between Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia, then cutting due south across open water but this adds substantial distance, cost and delay. Expect the normally 1 hr 20 min trip to take two hours.

1 Khrabrovo Airport ((Аэропорт Храброво) KGD  IATA) (16 km (9.9 mi) away from Kaliningrad). A regular bus (244-Э) goes every hour from the terminal to various stops in the city centre for 100 руб, pay to driver. Taxi service is also available; If you know the exact address, ordering a taxi via mobile apps called Taxi Maxim or Rutaxi (that both have English language option and, by the way, work in a number of other Russian regional centres) can save you approx. 10% in comparison with prices of airport taxi services. The official airport taxi services that are represented in the arrival area with a couple of counters, charge a fixed price of 600-1000 руб to get from the airport to any point in the city; other taxi companies might charge even more. Khrabrovo Airport (Q1431650) on Wikidata Khrabrovo Airport on Wikipedia

Airlines and destinations include:

By train[edit]

The South (i.e. main) Train Station
Kaliningrad Railway passenger trains network

Eastbound (towards Vilnius in Lithuania) long-distance trains still run regularly. Departures are daily from Moscow (22 hr) via Minsk (11 hr) and every two days from Saint Petersburg (26 hr, also via Minsk). Some services are available from Chelyabinsk (69 hr) in the Urals and Homel (via Minsk). There are also trains from the Black Sea resorts, such as Sochi (61 hr), expect 1-2 trains a week during summer.

All cross-border services across the Polish border were cancelled in 2010, although there were approaches to restore the link and even some occasional rides. Also, a weekend connection to Klaipeda in Lithuania, with a change in Sovetsk, was cancelled.

Regional trains make it possible to arrive in the city from many towns in the oblast but, with the exception of coastal and suburban towns, the schedule is rather rare, often with one train per day. If you're after an adventure, you can try hitchhiking across the border at Mamonovo and taking a train from there to Kaliningrad (timetables can be found here).

  • 2 Kaliningrad South railway station (Калининград-Пассажирский), ul. Zheleznodorozhnaya, 15. Main railway station. Kaliningrad Railway station (Q800979) on Wikidata Kaliningrad South railway station on Wikipedia

By car[edit]

The road system is extensive in the Kaliningrad region; however, they are not always well-maintained, and sometimes it is hard to get around because of the absence of sign indicating directions/destinations (especially in the city). Driving rules are generally the same as in most European countries, but many do not follow the rules, especially during rush hour in the city. Beware of the traffic police because they like to stop foreigners and often expect bribes.

There are two ways to get to Kaliningrad by car: from Poland and from Lithuania, but you should expect delays on the borders (sometimes it can take a couple of hours) The green card for insurance is valid.

By bus[edit]

Direct bus lines connect Kaliningrad with a number of cities in Belarus, Poland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine. Bus time tables for international and regional buses (in English), see the site of Kaliningrad's central bus station (ulitsa Zheleznodorozhnaya, 7 - next to the South train station), which, besides that, also serves a number of regional lines.

Bus from Tallinn via Riga, see: here

Bus from Gdańsk (Zloty 28, from Kaliningrad to Gdańsk 700 руб) - leaves Gdańsk at 06:00, 06:30, 15:00, 15:30. See: here. Bus from Warsaw - leaves Warszawa Zachodnia bus station M W Th-Sa at 08:00, tickets 1520 руб. This bus also stops in Olsztyn (700 руб). On Tu and Sa there is another bus that leaves Warszawa Zachodnia at 13:00, the ticket costs 1200 руб.

Bus from Vilnius - leaves Vilnius at 13:15.

By boat[edit]

During summer there is a boat service between Kaliningrad, and Frombork, Krynica Morska and Elblag, Poland. Further info is available at Zegluga Gdanska.

By bicycle[edit]

It is possible to cross the borders by bicycle, though not on foot. As of May 2019, there are reports of bicyclists being able to skip the queue of cars and present passports at the booth of Morskoye crossing. Border guards tend to speak very little English so they'll be happy to let you through without too many questions.

Get around[edit]

The city has bus, minibus, trolleybus, tram and commuter railway networks.

By bus[edit]

The best way to explore the city is by bus. The public transportation system is relatively good. Half of the population live in the city, hence it is very well-connected. Fares are kept low, at a flat rate of 24 руб on the bus (26 руб on marshrutka, a shared taxi or minibus) and the waiting time is short.

Journeys can be planned using Google Maps. Keep an eye out for the last departure. Some buses lines already stop running around 22:00-23:00.

Tickets on the buses are handed out by the conductors. Marshrutkas are paid to the driver when exiting the vehicle and can also be paid with contactless cards.

The transport card is called Volna Baltiki (Baltic Wave).

By taxi[edit]

Taxis within the city may have meters, but most prefer to negotiate fares in advance. Minimum charge within the city is at least 100 руб, even for short distances. 33 33 33 is a switch board covering several companies under one number. If you call from a foreign mobile, you should call +7 401 2 33 33 33. Russian app works in Kaliningrad.

Tram map (2023)


  • 1 The old cathedral of Königsberg, Kanta 1 (easily approachable by foot either from the direction of the Kaliningrad Hotel (take the left side of the Leninsky Prospekt auto bridge south, and descend the stairs when the cathedral appears on your left) or from the direction of the Fish Village), +7 4012 63-17-05. 09:00 to 17:00. Founded in 1333, largely reconstructed after World War II, the cathedral on Kneiphof Island along the Pregolya River is a sight to see. The cathedral links Kaliningrad to its German past, as it is where the Prussian kings were once crowned. There are two rooms in the Cathedral Museum devoted to the life of Kant, whose tomb lies beside the cathedral walls. Up the stairs to the left of the main door is a three-storey museum dedicated to the life and work of Immanuel Kant (separate ticket needed). Kant's grave can be viewed outside the cathedral, on the northeast corner of the building. 270 руб. Königsberg Cathedral (Q225459) on Wikidata Königsberg Cathedral on Wikipedia
The 'Monster' as viewed from the Pregolya river bridge
  • 2 The House of Soviets. Known to locals as 'The Monster' or 'The Robot's Head', this is sort of an anti-attraction, but useful for orientation in the city centre. It was constructed on the ruins of the Königsberg Castle, but was deemed structurally unsound and therefore never occupied. Rumour has it that a mysterious owner prevents it from being demolished. An archaeological dig is active on the grounds, which is not open to tourists, but specialists may be able to arrange for a visit of the remains of the castle. House of Soviets (Q1590827) on Wikidata House of Soviets (Kaliningrad) on Wikipedia
Sackheim city gate
  • The old fortifications. From 1860-70, they include 15 town gates: Sackheim, King's, Rossgarten, Attack, Railway, Brandenburg, Friedland, Friedrich Wilhelm III. One of the towers houses the Amber Museum.
  • 3 Fishing Village. Red-roofed buildings and colourful exteriors illustrate the charm of old Koenigsberg, what Kaliningrad used to be known as.
  • 4 Victory Square. The central area where the administrative buildings, banks and shops are. Victory Square (Q644191) on Wikidata Victory Square, Kaliningrad on Wikipedia
  • 5 The New Kaliningrad Synagogue (The New Synagogue), Ulitsa Oktyabr'skaya, 1а. Re-built from scratch and opened to the public in 2018 on site of the former New Synagogue (opened in 1896) that was burnt down by the Nazis during the Kristallnacht in November 1938. Despite the fact that the building isn't an exact copy of the former one, it rather inherited the overall architectural style as well as its proportions.


  • 6 Amber Museum, Marshal Vasilevsky Square 1 (In the Dohna Tower of the city wall), +7 4012 46 68 88, fax: +7 (4012) 46 65 50, . Tu-Su 10:00–19:00. Houses a large number of amber ornaments and jewellery from Yantarny in the wider Kaliningrad region. 90 руб. Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum (Q561350) on Wikidata Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum on Wikipedia
  • 7 Bunker Museum, Universitetskaya 2 (Enter the first courtyard to the right behind the Kaliningrad Hotel). daily except Wednesday, 10:00 to 16:00. A bit hard to find (one must weave through three or four courtyards and children's playgrounds before finding it, which is barely marked except by two black upright triangular canopies over the bunker doors), it was the headquarters of the local German command during the 1945 battle. A museum of the city's German past (which lasted 689 years) and Soviet "liberation" of the city, including several interesting dioramas of events during the days of the battle. 50 руб.
  • 8 Immanuel Kant Museum (Kneiphof island).
  • 9 Museum of the World Ocean, Nab. Petra Velikogo 1, +7 4012 53 89 15, . W-Su 11:00 to 18:00. Includes two scientific research museum ships, a Cold War era submarine B-413, a floating lighthouse and a post-war fishing trawler. Starting from 300 руб. Museum of the World Ocean (Q3330754) on Wikidata
  • 10 Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts, Klinicheskaya 21. Tu-Su 10:00 – 18:00; closed Monday. The main building was once the Stadthalle, Königsberg's performing arts centre. Branches include Bunker Museum, Fort 5 «King Frederick Wilhelm III», open air «Koenigsberg Castle» and Park of Sculpture. Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts (Q1194823) on Wikidata Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Arts on Wikipedia
  • 11 Kaliningrad Museum of Fine Arts, Leninskiy prospekt, 83, +7 4012 46-71-43. Tu W Sa Su 10:00-19:00, Th F 10:00-21:00. Art museum specializing in the regional painting, sculpture and photography of 20th century, temporary exhibitions. Since 2018 it is located in the historical building of the former Konigsberg Exchange, built in 1875, designed by the famous German architect Heinrich Mueller. The building was seriously damaged during the Allied bombings in 1944 and was fully restored only by early 1970s. 150 руб.


The Seven Bridges Problem
  • 1 Walk the bridges (or mathematically fail to). Historically, seven bridges of Königsberg linked the two islands and the banks of the Pregel River. A famous mathematical conundrum was whether you could walk across each bridge once and only once during a tour of the city. In 1735 Euler proved that you couldn't, and in doing so he invented graph theory. The Königsberg example was simple enough to be proved by exhaustion of all possible routes, but Euler's contribution was to create a body of theory applicable to more complex networks. This has huge applications in any study of interrelations - linguistics, crystal structure, the evolution of living creatures, eco-systems, social hierarchies, and so on. During the Second World War, the bridges were bombed, and not all were re-built, so only five remain. So now the problem is to cross five Kaliningrad bridges over the River Pregolya, and this is solvable - try it! Seven Bridges of Königsberg (Q33100) on Wikidata Seven Bridges of Königsberg on Wikipedia
  • Annual Jazz Festival 'Kaliningrad City Jazz'. Takes place in August.
  • Fish at the Baltic sea (see Curonian Spit sand dunes below). All year-round.
  • Trek in the forests (Two-hour drive from the city). Soak up nature in the untouched forests.
  • Kaliningrad's annual two-day City Day. Commemorates its founding since 1255. It is celebrated in September. The city comes out in full force to party under the dazzling fireworks, concerts, performances, sports, arts and car-related events.
  • 2 Watch FC Baltika Kaliningrad. The Kaliningrad Stadium was built in 2018 to host group games of the FIFA World Cup. It's home to FC Baltika Kaliningrad, who play in the Russian National Football League (also called the First Division, ie the second tier of Russian football.) The stadium is two-tiered, with a design modelled on the Allianz Stadium in Munich. Its capacity for the World Cup was 35,000, but this is to be reduced to 25,000. It's 2 km east of city centre on Oktyabrsky Island, a long marshy island in the River Pregolya. So it's walkable from the centre, or take tram 5 or bus 40 or 72 and get off at Veteranov. The football team formerly played at Baltika Stadium north-east of the centre: this is a multipurpose stadium of capacity 14,600 but its future main use has not been announced. FC Baltika Kaliningrad (Q795978) on Wikidata FC Baltika Kaliningrad on Wikipedia


  • 1 Europa shopping mall, Ulitsa Teatral'naya, 30 (Train to Severnyy vokzal), +7 8 4012 373 007. 66,000 m² of high-end boutiques, cinemas, food and beverage outlets ranging from fine-dining restaurants, cosy cafes to cheap food kiosks.
  • 2 Viktoriya Supermarket, Leninsky Prospekt 30 (Ground floor of the Plaza Center). A 24-hour supermarket, useful for self-caterers. Other locations throughout the city, incl. a shopping centre in front of South train station and bus station.

Amber jewellery and art and craft is the local speciality:

  • 3 Yantarny, Information tourist centre «Gorod Vdohnoveniya», Masterov Square, Yantarny settlement (an hour's drive from the city), +7 8-911-462-79-59- 8-911-462-79-59, . Yantarny has the biggest amber mine in the world and accounts for more than 90 per cent of the world's output. This settlement has a wide variety of amber products.
  • 4 Amber Museum's gift shop, 1, Marshal Vasilevsky square, +7 8 4012 46 68 88, +7 8 4012 46 65 50, . You can buy a piece of amber from 240 руб.



In the city center[edit]

  • 1 Chaykhana Kaliningrad-Tashkent, Ulitsa Teatral'naya, 21. Uzbeki restaurant

Near the Zoopark[edit]

  • 2 Delimeal Food Factory, Ulitsa Serzhanta Koloskova, 1Б.

At the Upper Pond[edit]

  • 3 Шарк, Ulitsa Chernyakhovskogo, 19А.


  • Papasha Beppe Pizzeria, in various locations. 11:00 to 23:00. Many locals consider this to be the best thin crust and thick crust pizza in town, also a wide variety of salads, pastas, risottos and desserts.
  • 4 Steindamm 99, Zhitomirskaya ulitsa, 22, +7 401 238-84-70. M-Th 11:00-23:00, F-Su 12:00-23:00. Well-designed interior, good service, fairly priced lunch menu on weekdays. 600-800 руб (Jan 2019).


  • 5 Copper, Prospekt Mira 41/43 (Just up the street from the Moscow Hotel), +7 4012 21-39-29. A trendy, upscale restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, wide selection on the menu, excellent desserts. In the same building as the Zarya movie theater.


"Showing up is 80% of life"

Woody Allen (b 1935) is named for this city. He was born in the New York Bronx as Allan Stewart Konigsberg; his Jewish grandparents had emigrated from Austria and from Panevėžys, nowadays in Lithuania. Woody coined the ultimate reason to go on living: "I would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian and if you kill yourself they make you pay for the sessions you miss."

Local beer brands that are available in stores.

  • 1 Hmel Restaurant and Brewery, Pobedi Square, 10 ('Klover' Shopping Centre, 2nd Floor), +7 4012-593-377. Live music starts at 21:00 every night. A gigantic brewery on the second floor brews home-made beer. 95 руб/glass.







Visa centres[edit]

Go next[edit]

Curonian Spit
  • Curonian Spit A nearly 50-km-long spit stretching between Zelenogradsk and the Lithuanian border, separating the Baltic Sea from the Curonian Bay, it includes pine forest, hiking paths (beware of encephalitis-bearing ticks), and beaches. The average height of the sand dunes is 35 m, with some reaching 70 m. Entry fees are 30 руб per person, plus 200 руб per car. The entire spit, including the Lithuanian part, is a world heritage site.
This city travel guide to Kaliningrad is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.