36 Hours in Kaliningrad, Russia

 

Time for some history!
Kaliningrad was founded by the Knights of the Teutonic Order and for almost 700 years was under German control.
For centuries it was known as Königsberg, birthplace of Immanuel Kant and a key Baltic coast port in German East Prussia. At the end of WWII, Königsberg and the surrounding territory became part of Russia.
The Germans were expelled; Russians were moved in and the city and the region were named after one of Stalin’s henchmen, Kalinin.

If all that comes to mind when thinking about Russia is Vodka, think again.

 


FRIDAY

4 P.M. Kaliningrad State Art Gallery
The Kaliningrad State Art Gallery opened in 1988, comprised of 8 exhibition rooms ranging from 150 to 500 sqm and holds up to 50 art exhibitions every year. Their library collection includes more than 8,000 books on art and culture, with lecture halls equipped with modern multimedia fitment. We were able to attend an exhibition of paintings showcasing the past of Kaliningrad.

6 P.M. Britannika Pub
A classic English pub with a vast variety of draft beers to choose from. They also serve their very own Britannica Beer. Loved the atmosphere, impressive list of beers both local and imported.

7:30 P.M. Dinner at Frau Fisher
On a corner street, facing Kaliningrad Plaza in the city center we stumbled upon Frau Fisher for dinner. They serve a wide range of German and Russian dishes. They do not have an English version but the menu has plenty of pictures showing every plate. Google translate was our best friend in Russia when it came to deciphering menus.

SATURDAY

10 A.M. Verkhneye Lake
A pleasant promenade, perfect for a morning walk or jog. Bike lanes are available which makes it perfect for cycling as well. Watch out not to accidentally walk on the bike lanes as certain bikers might not take it very lightly. Located in a somewhat fancy neighborhood you can notice the beautiful houses and impressive architecture.

11 A.M. Youth Recreation Park
An enjoyable park for all ages, various carnival rides with street food. Entrance to the park is free, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back. We really loved the upside down house it was such a fun experience and a great photo opp.

1:00 P.M Farmer’s Market
We stayed almost 2 months in Kaliningrad, waited patiently for every weekend just to get a chance to visit the Farmer’s market taking place Saturday and Sunday in the city center facing Kaliningrad Hotel. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dried fish, eggs, cheeses, honey, spices and so much more sold by local farmers and growers. It became tradition to go every Saturday and feast on the best piece of pork grilled right in front of us and served with a side salad and corn bread.

4:00 P.M. Hmel
One of the things we loved and enjoyed in Kaliningrad is the overflow of good local beer everywhere we went. Draft Beer is available pretty much anywhere, even in supermarkets and the airport. Hmel is located in Clover Mall on Victory Square and serves its own beer. Their menu is pretty huge and thankfully is available in English as well.

6:00 P.M. Dinner at Madam Bushe
In the beautiful fishing village, on the pergola river strip is a french restaurant situated inside an old lighthouse. You can choose to sit in the restaurant or book a romantic table on the last floor of the lighthouse with views overlooking the river and the Königsberg Cathedral. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the fishing village afterward.

8:30 P.M. Catch the newest release
Dinner and movie never gets old. Grab a huge popcorn and coke and catch a movie at Kaliningrad Plaza’s cinema. You can purchase the movie tickets at the door from the ticket box (English available) and pay using your card to avoid the language hassle. At the time of our stay Wonder Woman was released and to our luck movies in Kaliningrad are released in both Russian and English. The English screening was empty leaving us enjoying what felt like our very own private theater.

SUNDAY

9:30 A.M. Croissant Café
One of our favorite places to have breakfast was Croissant Café, their unique mouthwatering croissants and the selection of breakfast dishes they offered kept us coming back throughout our stay. Go for the Mediterranean plate that comes with sunny side up eggs, toasted bread with strips of bacon and a Greek salad.

11:00 A.M. Take a walk around the Königsberg Cathedral’s Park
No matter how many times we visited the park we always stood in awe at the sight of the cathedral. A brick, Gothic style monument surrounded by a beautiful park where people come to sit with their friends or families, walk their dogs or simply read a book under a tree.