Kaliningrad: Off the Radar – ideal for the intrepid traveller
Why? A territory of Russia, yet geographically completely separated from the Soviet superpower, the city of Kaliningrad occupies a strange space in Europe. The capital of Kaliningrad Oblast, it’s squished in between Poland and Lithuania.
Still off the average tourist’s radar, Kaliningrad is much cheaper than St Petersburg or Moscow, yet has the same sense of clandestine mystery associated with all things Russian, offering a unique experience to the more intrepid traveller.
When? Winters are Baltic in the Baltics, which is great if you like ice fishing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Summer temperatures reach the low 20s so this is an ideal time to explore Kaliningrad’s beautiful pine tree edged sandy beaches along the 100km Kursche Spit.
Stay? Dom Ohata offers a great place to rest your weary head; Kaliningrad Hotel has recently been renovated and offers clean, comfortable rooms in the city centre and within walking distance to most sights, or try the Kaliningrad Flats, a rental service. In hotels, expect to pay extra for additional services such as breakfast, swimming pool or parking.
Kaliningrad Nightlife: the resident theatre and circus troop are a must. Kaliningrad also has its own beer and vodka brands so ensure you sample them at one of the bars such as Skazka or Olshtyn – be prepared to pass through metal detectors – no weapons allowed!
Travel: There are currently no direct flights from the UK, but Kaliningrad can be reached with a connecting flight.
NOTE: as Kaliningrad is an enclave of the Russian Federation, you will need a Russian visa to travel there.
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