5 MUST-DO experiences in Kaliningrad (PHOTOS)

From the most popular locations to a unique national park. We’ll share with you the best ways of exploring one of the westernmost cities of Russia and its vicinity.

1. Visit the Museum of Amber

Kaliningrad Region is famous for its amber mining industry – 90% of the world supply of amber is concentrated there. That’s something to be proud of for the locals, so everyone who comes to the city for the first time is taken to the Museum of Amber. It has examples of a lot of different types of the ‘sun stone’, ancient resin with inclusions of prehistoric insects and animals, as well as amazing works of local master jewelers. Inside, there’s also a store specializing in jewelry made of local amber.

2. Take a look at the Cathedral

The cathedral is rightfully considered the symbol of Kaliningrad. This is one of the oldest buildings, surviving since the 1300s. It stands on Kneiphof Island, which currently is officially called Immanuel Kant Island (the grave of the philosopher is near one of the walls of the cathedral – he was buried there in 1804).

Before the 16th century, the cathedral was an operating Lutheran church and was called Virgin Mary and St. Adalbert of Prague Cathedral. During World War II, both the cathedral and the houses surrounding it suffered mass bombings, because of which one of the most vibrant districts of the city practically ceased to exist. The cathedral, however, lucked out – only several stories of its tower were damaged.  If you take a good look at the tower itself – you will notice the lighter colored bricks were taken for restoration from surrounding destroyed buildings.

Today, Kant Island and the cathedral are the heart of the city and the most popular place for tourist walks. It also has a well-maintained park, while the cathedral regularly holds organ concerts.

3. Go to the seaside

Despite the fact that the Baltic Sea is colder than other seas, a lot of people come to its shores in summer. Kaliningrad Region is famous for its seaside cities. First of all, it’s worth visiting the most popular of them – Svetlogorsk, Zelenogradsk and Yantarny. Each city has its own unique atmosphere and even the sea seems different, at times.

Yantarny has one of the best beaches in Russia – it has been receiving the most prestigious ‘Blue flag’ award for several years straight now.

4. Try marzipan

Although it’s not completely clear where marzipan was invented, we can say with confidence that, from the 19th century, its Königsberg variety was the most popular in Europe. And, even today, people in Kaliningrad Region value and love this candy product and continue to produce it. It’s also one of the unofficial symbols of Kaliningrad. In the city, you’ll find a great multitude of stores with a variety of different types of marzipan – this candy made of ground almond won’t leave anyone indifferent!

5. See the dunes at the Curonian Spit

The Curonian Spit is one of the most beautiful places of Kaliningrad Region. This narrow piece of land separates the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea and stretches from Zelenogradsk to the Lithuanian Klaipėda. Its length is 98 kilometers. Aside from that, there you will find an atypical and unique natural phenomenon for this area – sand dunes!

In total, the territory of the spit hosts three dune massifs: the Lagenwald, Rossitten and Pillkoppen dunes. However, be vigilant – although it’s a national park that anyone can visit, it’s considered a protected area and also a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. That means that it’s strictly prohibited to walk on the dunes, as human presence can upset the fragile ecosystem.