Leninskiy prospekt, 81, Kaliningrad, 236040, Russia
Home of the Leninski prospekt
Arriving with 2 other Dutch guys at the reception of Kaliningrad Hotel an English speaking lady offered us nothing less than the most expensive solution for two nights, namely 3 single bed rooms à 1650.00RR per night. So total price for two nights in Euro 100.00 per person. Main credit cards accepted.
Not bad for a short stay for visitors of the city of Kaliningrad that would like to spend a bit more for comfort.
Unique Quality: Bed rooms were on the 8th floor with a view on the main street of Kaliningrad. Furnished with one single bed, a desk with chair, nice though little bath room and a "satelite television". No CNN but BBC World and a few german channels.
In the bar of the hotel some real italian espresso is on offer for 50 RR but here no international channels but only Russian's to watch.
Sauna is not in the hotel but at the other side of the street??? No idea of.
Further more one can have a new hair cut and there is a travel agency / tourist information desk with young employees speaking good English.
To the guest's disposal:restaurant, casino, bars, billiard-club, conference-room, internet-room, currency exchange, luggage, taxi and even an ATM.
More about Hotel Kaliningrad
"Discover Russia in EU"
2.5 days in Kaliningrad
Arriving by night "express" at the bus station of Kaliningrad it was already 9 o'clock and the sun was shining. The last hours were interesting since three times the bus stopped for border control. Last time at the Lithuanian / Russian border the whole bus had to get out.
As long as the visa is "in ordnung" one has only to wait for about 1.5 hrs in a little room of Checkpoint Charlie.
The approximately 450 kms were driven in 9 hours including the border control checks.
Roads from the northern border to the city of Kaliningrad are pretty well although it might happen that the bus driver has to prevent his passengers from getting car sick...
Anyway, the bus station is located next to the train station and some beer gardens and shops are in between.
Many old busses o.a. those of Konig Auto - the express service of Kaliningrad transport quite a proportion of the Russians to other parts of the Oblast and neighbouring countries.
Since my two companions from the Netherlands would arrive around 15:00 at the train station, I decided to take my seat at a pick nick table and enjoy the fruits of Russian Beers. Nasdorovja!
"former Party Office"
This huge building is under reconstruction and I couldn't find lenin's statue anymore. Perhaps they've thrown it into th eriver as they did hundred 60 years ago (or 80) with the remainings of Kant.
This party building stands quite alone with no neighbouring premises rather close to the Kaliningrader Dom and hotel kaliningrad.
"German Palace or Russian Entertainment Temple"
This giant of grey syone building is as one can see next to the bridge of the Lenininski Prospekt.
In the lower floors one can look for entertainment in the "Kazino", Restaurant, Disco and Stripbar.
Saturdaynight Fever can be found.
Tip: go via the Kazino entrance, leave your jacket at the cloak room and got yourself checked by a para militair. So in case you take no guns on you, save way in, no extra fees and start your night at the "Kazino" bar after which you can get yourself access to the Disco.
"Dutch hunting for Sales in Kaliningrad"
here you find some western fashion designer's outelt at the Lenininski propekt even with some sales;
My friends told me not to fly to Kaliningrad for the prices during sales are close to western european prices.
But hey, at least there is a shop to get something not Russian fabrics here!
"Kalingrader techno Party"
In case one wonders what the youngster listen to when it comes to music..at least some real goo dtechno two.
You are invited!
"View on NorthWest Kaliningrad Centre"
this Pic is made from the 8th floor of Hotel Kaliningrad.
At the left side of the street the earlier mentioned German house is to see.
rest is mainly shops and service offices.
"Kaliningrader Dom view from da Bridge"
Here one can imagine the Russian way of decorating the most eye catching monument of Kaliningrad 750 years.
it says at the wall that it was due to the English Bombings that the church needed to be restaurated, it onlytook about 45 years for the start.
Not really that interesting but the Russian Tourist were more keen on visiting the place.
Discovering Kaliningrad, Russia
A New World Emerging
Straddling the East and West Kaliningrad is having difficulty deciding what it wants to become. The future is approaching rapidly, ready or not.
Three years ago we were advised to not speak English in public or go out unescorted after 6pm. This year there has been a tremendous change as old attitudes fade and more foreign business moves in. As this happens the tourist industry has begun to grow, as well.
When the Soviets took control in 1945, the residents were displaced to Siberia. Russians who lost homes during the War were relocated here, willingly or not, by Stalin in an attempt to create a “new Russia.”
The downtown continues to grow. Flower boxes adorn many buildings bringing a new life to the city. There is a new Orthodox cathedral scheduled for completion in 2006. The ancient cable cars still rattle and shake through town as people race between them.
Bed and breakfast-style hotels are priced as low as $75 a night. The Hotel Cherepakha or the “Turtle” Hotel, is a short distance from the center of town. Recently it underwent major renovations. Now with only 11 rooms on 3 floors it caters to the European businessman and adoptive families from the United States. Spacious rooms, very friendly staff, internet accessible and an inclusive, ample-sized, breakfast make this a comfortable stay for a few nights or more.
The Moscow Hotel and the Chaika are two other hotels Western travelers frequent. The largest hotel is the Kaliningrad Hotel with 235 rooms.
Within walking distance of the Turtle Hotel is the Kaliningrad Zoo.
The Zoo was one of the finest in the world before the War. Since then it has struggled to maintain animals, good management and its’ very existence. But it too is getting better. More animals have been added, cages are being rebuilt and the area is being maintained better than in the past.
Restaurants like The Casino are adding an upscale feel to the city. Located above a fully operating casino the restaurant offers a Western European feel with a menu to match. You can dine on rabbit, roast duck or other wild game, surrounded by fine pieces of art while enjoying a wonderful bottle of French wine. And dinner is only about $25.00. Kaliningrad is still a real value.
An escape to the beach is a must on a visit of any length. Two of the most popular Baltic Sea resorts are at Svetlogorsk and on the Curonian Spit. The “boardwalk” at Svetlogorsk fronts a beautiful beach of honey-colored sand. Now up to 90% of the world’s supply of amber comes from this area. Even the untrained eye can find pieces of amber on the beach as it washes ashore.
Hot dog stands, inexpensive beer and souvenir sellers are lined up as thousands of people converge on the area every day during summer. The water in July and August is like Southern California in the summer.
Further up the coast you’ll encounter what is now a national park, the Curonian Spit. The Spit is a 60-mile long pine-forested peninsula of land jutting towards Lithuania. On the Baltic side are miles of beautiful undisturbed beach. On the other side are sand dunes that stretch for miles and look out over the huge Curonian Lagoon. Giant swans gracefully swam along the shores. In between there are moose, wolves, deer and more.
Don’t be misled. Kaliningrad is not yet fully “tourist friendly.” Unless you speak a fair amount of Russian or are extremely adventuresome you will want to consider a driver and translator.
Companies like Dialogue can help you arrange for a translator to be at your service for as little as $10 per hour.
A driver comes in handy on the many poorly maintained, unmarked streets and roads. At about $8 per hour the fee is affordable for the few trips you may need him. Cars are regularly pulled over and fined a few rubles (paid on the spot) for infractions, real or otherwise. For a day at the beach this is the most economical way to travel.
Kaliningrad day trip from Nida, Lithuania
This may seem like a silly question.. but is it possible to visit Kaliningrad from Lithuania on a day trip?
Looking at the Eurolines bus schedule; **Klaipeda LT - Kaliningrad, RU**
From Nida (LT) there is a bus that leaves at 8:09am and arrives in Kaliningrad (city) at 11:02am
Then in the same day there is a bus departing Kaliningrad (city) at 16:30 (4:30pm) arriving back to Nida at 19:28 (7:30pm)
In theory it looks possible..
but considering a three hour journey each way, only four hours to walk around the city, and the cost/hassle associated with a Russian visa and border formalities/delays.. etc.. Would this be worth the trouble?
Is it even possible to obtain a Russian visa and/or enter the country for just a few hours??
Are there any tour companies that offer a one day trip to Kaliningrad from Lithuania?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Re: Kaliningrad day trip from Nida, Lithuania
There are basically two kinds of visas - transit (24-48 hours) and tourist (30 days). So even that you will go there only for 1 day you have to ask for normal tourist visa. Maybe tourist agencies have some tricks, but to my knowledge you have to apply for Russian visa in country of residence (i.e. you should not be allowed to get visa in Lithuania) and at least some days in advance before the trip.
You can try to Google for tours, but it seems that most of the operators offer Kaliningrad trip as part of package together with Lihuanian tours.
Because I lived in Soviet Union, Kaliningrad did not appeal to me when I visited it (in 1983). There are some historical buildings, but otherwise it is just run down "Soviet architecture". If you want to see "USSR", then it's Ok, otherwise I would say it is not worth the time and hassle.
Re: Kaliningrad day trip from Nida, Lithuania
If you go through the trouble of getting a visa then you should stay overnight in Kaliningrad. You could stay in the accomodation of the railway station which is inexpensive and if you only stay a night or two you won't even need registration. I travelled twice to Kaliningrad which is changing rapidly. Once I stayed in Hotel Kaliningrad and once in the railway station. I used the bus from Kaunas to Kaliningrad and then Kaliningrad to Liepaja. Second time I arrived by train from Poland and left by bus to Kaunas. Border formalities are easy enough although you need to fill in a form when entering. I have been to Nida but haven't entered that way yet although I would love to go the Russian side of the Curonian spit.
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