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Kaliningrad is the capital of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian enclave squeezed between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea coast. It's a fascinating corner of Europe, being Russian but separated from Russia, and with close ties to the EU. Formerly known as Konigsberg, this was once a Prussian city and is dotted with ancient castles and fortifications.
Kaliningrad has one of the most interesting histories of any territory in Europe. Now Russian, but once Prussian, German and Polish, the city can tell the story of this part of Europe. Visit the Kaliningrad Regional Museum of History and Art to learn all about it.
Famous philosopher Immanuel Kant is buried at Konigsberg Cathedral on Kant Island. It's now a beautiful park with sculptures and the Fish Village area of hotels, restaurants and shops.
Amber is the city's specialty and you can find shops selling it everywhere. Visit the Amber Museum to see some fine examples and learn about the trade.
The city is surrounded by 17th century red-brick bastions, walls and gates, recalling the tumultuous history of the city.
The Bunker Museum tells the story of the city through WWII and explains its current status.
Kaliningrad enjoys warm summers with temperatures of around 70°F, making it the ideal time to visit.
Kaliningrad Hrabrovo Airport has flights from other Russian cities and also Berlin, Copenhagen, Minsk and Riva. The number 144 bus takes 45 minutes into town and will cost ₽33. A taxi will cost from ₽550.
Kaliningrad has few international rail services but good domestic connections. The fare from Moscow costs ₽2,100.
The E28 connects Kaliningrad with Poland, while the E77 runs from Lithuania. Expect delays at the borders of around two hours and mixed-quality road surfaces.
The city has bus services from Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and Gdansk. The fare from Gdansk is from ₽500.
The Kaliningrad Hotel on Lenin's Avenue is centrally located with quality rooms from ₽3,800. Hostel Utro on Frunze offers good basic accommodation in a central location from ₽400 per night.
Moskovsky - is the administrative center of the city, with most of the government buildings and some good hotels and shopping.
Tsentralny - is the historic center of the city, with lots of interesting sites and museums.
Kant Island - is home to the Cathedral and Fish Village, with its traditional buildings and lighthouse viewing tower.
Kaliningrad has an excellent bus network with a flat fare of ₽18. Tickets are bought from the conductor on the bus.
Taxis are plentiful and cheap, with a starting fare of ₽100 and then ₽25 per mile. You will probably be asked to negotiate a fixed fare, though.
Kaliningrad has relatively good roads and signs are in roman letters as well as Cyrillic. Car rental will cost around ₽2,100 per day.
Victory Square and Leninsky Prospekt are two of the city's main shopping streets, with many fashion, jewelry (especially amber!) and homewares stores. Try the Europa Mall on Victory Square for some good upscale boutiques.
A quart of milk in Kaliningrad will cost around ₽48 and a loaf of bread is around ₽35.
Solyanka Cafe on Prospect Mira serves local specialties like Solyanka soup, with mains from ₽500. Karamel on Leninsky Prospekt serves European style food, with mains from ₽600.