Travel is a serious matter. It very rarely happens completely spontaneously, and must necessarily leave behind a lot of warm memories, positive emotions, as well as a stack of photos of yourself in places that locals always talk about with pride and reverence. It is a dubious pleasure to go to a city in which even the aborigines can hardly name a couple of places that can sink into the soul.
Fortunately, today we will talk about a completely different point on the map. Everyone talks about Kaliningrad, and the further away from it, the more often. Even fifteen years ago, few people knew anything specific about him in "Big Russia", as they say here. Someone heard something about the sea, about amber, about the fact that it was here that the outstanding musician Gazmanov and comedian Batrutdinov were given life, and the most erudite could even guess on the map from which side of the world this Kaliningrad stretches to our beautiful Homeland. But with the rapid development of domestic tourism, the guests of the city began to massively publish their impressions of their trip to the Russian enclave in the media, and many (indeed, very many) even decided to stay here forever.
It's no secret that getting behind the cordon is becoming more and more difficult and expensive, so Russian travelers began to meticulously study their school drawings in contour maps in order to decide on a summer (or, often, winter) vacation route. The warm southern regions have been on everyone's ear for a long time, as well as their frankly weak sides for vacationers – a dubious level of service, the high cost of recreation in general, as well as the outright banality of such a decision. In fact, who has not yet had time to visit Crimea or Sochi and take a dozen photos in places to which your hated work colleague managed to take the family last year (as well as the year before and further down the list)?
The Kaliningrad Region was an excellent alternative. In fact, there is almost everything you would like to see here. If you want to relax on the beach, there are plenty of them here, both wild and cultured. Is it getting colder? Welcome to our lakes, quarries and rivers. Do you like the forest? Here it is, both in the format of tourist eco-trails, and quite wild and unpredictable. Unusual architectural monuments? You are welcome! Both German and Soviet, with many of the former already more than one hundred years old. Do you like mountains? You will be happy to sell a calendar with their image here!
In other words, Kaliningrad was able to please the picky tastes of many Russians and guests from abroad, conquering their hearts with both extraordinary flora and fauna, and the highest level of hotel and restaurant service, which has not yet had time to relax from the constant flow of customers. And since most of the data about the interesting locations of the Amber Region are quite scattered, we took the liberty to arrange all the information you need in a series of small articles that will help you not get lost in the city after arrival, as well as competently build your route, taking into account the savings and so a fairly limited vacation time. And today on the agenda is our personal choice of the five most memorable places in Kaliningrad that will not leave you indifferent.
And for those who value their time and comfort of movement, the doors are always open at the Amigo car rental and the phone is available! Do not miss the opportunity to fill your trip with pleasant memories from the best cars and the highest level of customer service, who have trusted us for many years.
1. Kaliningrad Zoo.
To begin with, it is worth clarifying that the Kaliningrad Zoo is one of only three in Russia that have the status of a "Historical zoo", on a par with Moscow and St. Petersburg.
This is not an ordinary zoo with a limited set of sad animals in aviaries – the size and unusual landscape allowed it to house terrariums, pools with marine life, an arboretum with unusual plants, as well as a sculpture park. The history of this place is remarkable, because the Kaliningrad Zoo managed to survive two whole wars, as well as the equally difficult post-war period.
During the First World War, the zoo was closed and warehouses with military ammunition were organized in all vacant premises, which immediately affected the conditions of keeping animals. The zoo's collection has been greatly reduced, but despite this, as well as the severe economic crisis that befell Germany in the 20s, the zoo has reopened its gates to visitors… To stink shut them down as soon as World War II started. A difficult fate befell many animals – already in 1941, Allied troops conducted an extensive bombing of the streets directly adjacent to the zoo, and he himself found himself between several important strategic objects of defensive fortifications. According to legend, only four animals survived the fighting – a donkey, a badger, a fallow deer and a hippopotamus named Hans, 18 years old. The time was really hard, Hans withstood seven bullet wounds, after which he injured himself twice more in suffering, it seemed that nothing would help him anymore. The miracle was performed by the zoo technician Vladimir Polonsky, who not only diligently nursed Hans, fighting for his life for a month, but also made a real friendship with him during this time, learning to ride a hippo around the zoo.
After the war, the zoo was actively restored, and soon it became the property of the Soviet people. In the 2000s, the Kaliningrad Zoo burst in with ambitious plans for the reconstruction of most of the expositions, which were successfully implemented. Kaliningrad Zoo is not just a story with a good ending, it is a story that has no end, because every year it gets better and better.
2. Kant Island.
In the heart of the city is the island of Kanta, or, as it is usually called by locals, just an Island. This is a great place for a cultural walk at any time of the year, especially in summer, when you can fully enjoy the rustle of leaves, relaxing under some picturesque tree on the cleanest lawn. Indeed, many guests of the city note the abundance and diversity of vegetation, which you can fully appreciate just on the island. In addition to the beautiful landscapes, one of the main symbols of the city – the Cathedral - will also be at your disposal here. In addition to the obligatory stop for memorable photos against the background of this centuries-old giant, you can visit one of the many organ concerts that regularly take place here. You're not against cultural recreation, are you?
The full name of this legendary structure is the Dome Cathedral of Our Lady and St. Adalbert, and it has existed on this site since the 1330s of the last century, and this is not a typo at all. Of course, during this time it was reconstructed many times, rebuilt, destroyed by wars, and then restored again, and the first organ appeared here only in the 1700s. But it still retains the spirit of a century-old history, which you can also touch.
For lovers of various local dishes and souvenirs, I recommend turning your attention to the "Fish Village" - a small cultural area located close to the island. Here you will always find something interesting to your liking - from a variety of street food and coffee, to delicious dishes during a romantic dinner at the top of the lighthouse.
3. Museum of the World Ocean.
Have you ever been attracted to the sea? Encounters with the unknown, thirst for adventure and excitement of exploration? It is these feelings that this unusual museum awakens. The exposition of the Museum of the World Ocean includes aquariums with a variety of marine life in a recreated natural environment, as well as samples of equipment and equipment used for the benefit of Russian oceanology. And how close did you last see a real submarine or research vessel? Well, here you can not only take a look at them, but also fully visit them! Learn more about the life of sailors, see how the cabins are tripled and even grab the captain's wheel – everything is possible in this museum.
We advise you to plan a hike in such a way as to catch sharks feeding in the aquarium, because usually you can see it only once in your life, these are quite cruel and merciless predators. And at the end of the hike, you can have a snack yourself – the museum has a nice cafeteria, after which you can walk along the beautiful embankment along the Pregoli, where it is very easy to find a boat tour, which are especially beautiful at sunset.
4. Amalienau district.
If you want to see firsthand the view of the classic low-rise buildings of Konigsberg, then this location is definitely for you. At the beginning of the last century, Amalienau was conceived as an ambitious project by German architects – a "Garden City", which was supposed to consist of many equidistant villas, around which trees and shrubs stretched bizarrely, but their plans were not destined to be fully realized. What is unique here is that, unlike the main building area of the city, Amalienau remained virtually untouched by the war, so the preserved mansions still delight the eyes of those who want to walk deep into Kaliningrad and enjoy the enchanting views. Despite some changes and sometimes very dubious "landscaping" that new residents brought to their homes, the area still arranges a little time travel a hundred years ago, all you need is a little imagination, and a good mood will not take long to wait.
5. Car rental "Amigo".