Kaliningrad (former Koningsberg) is the Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea, annexed from Germany in 1945 following World War II. It is the administrative center of the westernmost region of Russia, completely separated from the rest of the country by hundreds of kilometers, land borders with Poland and Lithuania, and international seawaters.
Konigsberg was founded by Teutonic knights in the XIIIth century and was once the capital of Prussia. Today it is an extraordinary mixture of European and Russian culture and architecture, where a Catholic church may stand next to a Soviet building. The city’s history includes the heritage of Prussia, Poland, the German Empire, the USSR and modern Russia. It has over 530 cultural heritage sites; among the most visited ones are the Curonian Spit National Park, a long narrow sandy strip of land separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea north of Kaliningrad, included in the UNESCO World Heritage list; the Dancing Forest that got its name from its unusually curved trunks of pines, as if they were frozen in a dance; the Konigsberg Cathedral, an inactive church that used to be the main Catholic church of the city. It is one of the few Gothic buildings in Russia and the symbol of Kaliningrad. Immanuel Kant, who was born and died in Konigsberg, was buried there. Today, the building houses museum exhibits and holds concerts. The Holy Cross Cathedral is an Orthodox church in the building of a former Lutheran Evangelical church; its style is a mixture of Art Nouveau, Neoclassicism and Gothic.
Konigsberg Cathedral is the most recognizable landmark of Kaliningrad with a long and eventful story. Its image is often found on calendars, postcards, and stamps. The construction of the temple on the Kneiphof Island began in 1333, lasted 47 years, and alterations to the faсades and interior design continued until 1400. The cathedral’s brick Gothic building looks majestic. The length of the structure is almost 90 m, and the height of the southern tower is about 58 m. During the war, the cathedral was badly damaged by bombing. Today, there are two active chapels, museums of the temple and the philosopher Immanuel Kant, and an organ hall.
The Curonian Spit is a narrow sand strip, a unique phenomenon created by the Baltic Sea and the wind, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The peculiar climate and natural conditions have long made the spit a point of attraction for Russian and foreign travelers. The Curonian Spit has a variety of natural landscapes. During the tour, you will walk along the sand dunes, see its relict swamps and dense forests, home to foxes, wild boars and moose, wander among the centuries-old pine trees of the Dancing Forest, which got its name from the curved trunks of the trees. And finally, you will take a walk along the white sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea and the Curonian Lagoon.
MUSEUM AND GRAVE OF KANT
Immanuel Kant is the most prominent descendant from Konigsberg. This great philosopher of the XVIII century was born there in 1724, studied, wrote his scientific works, taught at a local university for more than 40 years and died at the age of 80. His fellow citizens have always honored the memory of the great scientist. A chapel was erected at the place of his burial, replaced by a monument in 1924: a polished granite sarcophagus was mounted on a pedestal near one of the walls of the Konigsberg Cathedral, on which the years of life and his name are engraved. The temple houses the Kant Museum. Its expositions tell about his life and the history of the University of Albertina. During the tour, you will have the chance to visit the memorial hall, to see a unique numismatic collection, archaeological artifacts from the Age of Enlightenment, a collection of rare books, and Immanuel Kant’s personal belongings.
KALININGRAD AMBER MUSEUM
90% of the world’s “solar stone” resources are concentrated in a small village near Kaliningrad, making this region Russia’s amber capital. Founded in 1979, the museum is housed in a historic fortification built in 1852. The Der Don tower, part of the forts surrounding Konigsberg, was mostly unaffected during the storming of the city, and today looks almost untouched. During the tour, you will learn about this unique mineral. The collection of amber jewelry made by Prussian artisans in the XVII-XVIII th centuries is of particular interest. Among the exhibits, there are pieces of mineral formed in the Stone Age, with various kinds of insects stuck inside.
HOLIDAY INN KALININGRAD
Number of rooms: 125
Distance to the city centre: 1 km
Distance to the airport: 20 km
Address: 1 Hugo Street, Kaliningrad, Russia 236006
Holiday Inn Kaliningrad is a four-star riverside hotel, located in the city center just a short walk from the Königsberg Cathedral and the Museum of the World Ocean, and less than a half-hour drive from the airport. Its spacious rooms are decorated in serene neutral tones, with thoughtful extras such as heated bathroom floors and pillow menus. The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant, free parking, a business centre and meeting rooms with a capacity for 150 people, a fitness centre with a Jacuzzi and a sauna, Concierge and laundry services, 24h room service.
MARTON PALACE KALININGRAD
Number of rooms: 164
Distance to the city centre: 7 km
Distance to the airport: 24 km
Address: 3 Bolshevistskiy Pereulok, Kaliningrad, Russia 236039
Marton Palace is a 4-star modern hotel located in Kaliningrad’s business district, near the Church of the Holy Family and Konigsberg Bridge 6. All of its spacious rooms, suites and studios are equipped with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, a TV set a safe and a minibar, and feature seating areas and luxury bathrooms with hairdryers, bathrobes and a set of toiletries. The hotel’s amenities include a restaurant that takes up two floors and serves Mediterranean cuisine, an iconic lobby bar frequently visited by local nightlife connoisseurs, 24h room service, a business centre and a conference hall seating up to 60 people, currency exchange, car rental, laundry and dry cleaning, free parking and a beauty salon.
OLIMP HOTEL SVETLOGORSK
Number of rooms: 29
Distance to the city centre: 2 km
Distance to the airport: 29 km
Address: 72B Kaliningradsky Prospekt, Svetlogorsk, Russia 238560
OLIMP Hotel is conveniently located in the Svetlogorsk city centre, within a short walking distance from the city’s public beach and 40-minute drive from the airport of Kaliningrad.
All rooms are air-conditioned and feature warm décor and classic wooden furniture, a refrigerator, free Wi-Fi, a safe and a private bathroom.
The hotel’s services and amenities include a restaurant serving Russian and European cuisine, a poolside café, free parking, a 24h reception, a large outdoor pool, a SPA centre, leisure facilities such as billiards room, two indoor tennis courts, fishing in the hotel’s own yacht.
Number of rooms: 45
Distance to the city centre: 2 km
Distance to the airport: 17 km
Address: 2 Soldatskaya Street, Kaliningrad, Russia 236023
The comfortable Mayak Hotel is located a 15-minutes drive from the central part of the city. There is a public bus stop nearby the hotel and the guests of the hotel can easily get to any districts of the city.
Room fund is represented by cozy and bright rooms equipped with a comfortable and soft sleeping place, modern appliances, a private bathroom with hygiene supplies.
In the hotel’s café the clients can taste delicious dishes and drinks by a la-carte menu.
The distance to the airport is 22.7 km, and the train station is 2.3 km away. City attractions, architectural monuments, theaters and museums are within walking distance from the building.