Don´t get ripped of at airport by a taxidriver!
We were met by a taxdriver as soon as we passed the last checking at the airport . We had planned to take the airport bus we read about, but he said there wasn´t any. So we thought this was the chance to go to town. We jumped into the taxi parked just outside and then we passed both the airport and the taxí rank... And the trip even though hu used taxameter became very expensive!
The usual trick - don´t let the newcomer get an overview of the situation! I gone through this so many times all over the world...
Learn the cyrillic letters before you go
And some Russian words. Even if you don´t have time to learn Russian it means a lot to be able to interpret the cyrillic letters. But you will still be in trouble at the nice restaurant when the menu is just in Russian and no one in the stuff speeks a single world English...
I've only once very briefly (one night) visited kaliningrad.
I was adviced never to go walking alone, and that you should go with someone who knows the city, and most importantly; speaks russian!
Luckily, i was able to get couple of co-workers that used to live there, to go with me.
Make Sure You Get Registered!
Wherever I have stayed in Russia before, the hotels have always taken care of local registration. However, because the rules about registration are so inconsistent depending on where in the country you are, when the nice lady who checked my passport upon arrival from Moscow (where I was registered) never said anything, and when the hotel I stayed in never offered to register me, I (wrongly) assumed that registration was not necessary.
Result - I was dragged out of the check-in queue when I came to leave, and given a 10 minute lecture by a very angry pair of airport militia and given a 1,000 rouble fine. I was lucky to actually catch my flight.
Swastikas as here at the traffic sign can be found here but they are not painted by the German nostalgy tourists...
The German tourists you see here are mostly quite depressed and shocked.
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