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Kaliningrad Introduction

The busy city of Kaliningrad is the capital of a compact Russian territory, Kaliningrad Oblast, which is set on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Poland. Kaliningrad was once an ornate Prussian capital called Konigsberg, set on the banks of the wide Pregolya river. It was heavily damaged during the Second World War, and most of the architecture in central Kaliningrad nowadays is modern - though several original and reconstructed medieval buildings remain, such as Konigsberg Cathedral and the Brandenburg Gate.

Hotels in Kaliningrad

Hotels in Kaliningrad range from upscale, 4-star establishments to budget hostels, though most of the accommodations are focused around the mid-range bracket. Free Wi-Fi and parking are usually included across the board, and many Kaliningrad hotels offer free breakfast, too. Luxury hotels in Kaliningrad offer features like full-service spas, pools and restaurants. They're usually located in smart, purpose-built modern properties, though some are also set in grand, Prussian-era mansions. Cheap Kaliningrad hotels tend to provide useful communal amenities like laundry facilities and kitchens. These discount hotels will often offer rooms with shared bathrooms or dorm rooms.

Where to stay in Kaliningrad

There are 3 main districts in Kaliningrad. The Moskovsky district includes Kneiphof island, along the Pregolya river, and might be a good bet for travellers looking to be close to the restored Konigsberg Cathedral. The Tsentralny district is also well-located, just north of Moskovsky, and offers good walking-distance access to most of the major museums and monuments in Kaliningrad. The Leningradsky district is a little further out to the north east, but features the best range of accommodation options. It's characterised by river views, green spaces and a lot of Prussian-era architecture, especially in the Maraunenhof area.

Things to see in Kaliningrad

Konigsberg Cathedral is set on Kneiphof island. Originally built in the 14th century, it was extensively reconstructed after WW2, and it includes the Immanuel Kant Museum, celebrating the famous philosopher and lifelong local resident. Elsewhere, the imposing Brandenburg Gate is one of a number of neo-Gothic arches that have survived from the Prussian-era city. In terms of more modern buildings, the House of Soviets stands on the site of the old Konigsberg Castle. It has never been occupied and isn't open to the public, but it's a striking architectural feature of the city centre. Kaliningrad is also well-stocked with museums and art galleries. The Museum of the World's Oceans is set across a former research vessel and a submarine, while the Kaliningrad Regional Amber Museum celebrates the area's status as a major international source of amber. The top gallery is the Kaliningrad State Art Gallery, specialising in modern and contemporary art.

How to get to Kaliningrad

Kaliningrad Oblast's detached location means that to get there from Russia, you need to cross at least 1 European state. Most international travellers will arrive into Khrabrovo airport, with bus or taxi connections into the city centre. The main international train station is Kaliningrad Passazhirsky, and there are also overland bus and services from Russia and European countries. Ferry services connect various Russian and European cities with the port of Baltiysk, around an hour's drive from Kaliningrad. Travel in Kaliningrad is by taxi, trolleybus, tram and bus, with many travellers favouring the bus system for value and reliability.