In our previous article, we took you through the most pleasant and famous places in Kaliningrad. Sightseeing of the city itself is not worth finishing here – we have many more interesting locations that will suit both lovers of learning history with their own eyes (and even touching with their hands), and for those who just want to have fun in an unfamiliar city. That is why we provide a small guide to the city to all our customers who want to rent a car in Kaliningrad. It contains the main sights of the city with a brief description, as well as a ready-made weekly itinerary for traveling if you are going to us for the first time.
Your journey will take on new colors if the goal is not only Kaliningrad, but also the remarkable cities of its region. And the first of them must necessarily be the famous city of cats – Zelenogradsk. What kind of place is this and why local residents and guests of the region want to return there so much – we will answer these questions first of all in our article today.
His name is Krantz
This was the name of Zelenogradsk from the moment of its foundation in 1252 until 1946, when the region had already become part of the Soviet Union and there was a complete renaming of all settlements.
Kranz was originally a small settlement of Prussian fishermen, but due to its convenient location on the long road leading from Konigsberg to Klaipeda, a resort by the sea began to develop there over time. Its popularity steadily increased and in 1844 it even received the status of a royal resort, a new railway line from Konigsberg also came in handy.
A special landscape
Zelenogradsk is very often compared with another famous seaside resort of the Kaliningrad region – Svetlogorsk. The main difference between them, noticeable immediately and with the naked eye, is the landscape. Zelenogradsk is located much lower, there are no height differences and any hills in it, and the sandy beach is flat. Do not worry when you first dive into the sea, it is unlikely to surprise you with deep depressions. This location of the city plays into the hands of lovers of long walks, especially people of advanced age, who absolutely do not want to climb the hills for a long time to get to the other half of the city. And you will definitely want to walk around Zelenogradsk, it will be enough to look at the elegant streets full of fluffy four-legged locals who are happy to keep you company. Speaking of them…
City of Cats
Nowadays Zelenogradsk is famous under this nickname, but it was not always so. The idea of creating a single theme and a kind of entourage for the city has long occupied the heads of its most active residents. It is enough to imagine that the city of cats could well become the city of ... Pinocchio. And quite actively accepted this status.
How did it happen? The story is quite interesting. In 1998, journalist and active politician G.G. Polishchuk proposed and began to actively develop his new idea. Its essence was that the surroundings of Zelenogradsk are very similar to the scene of the fairy tale "The Golden Key". This gave reason to believe that the action of the events took place right here, on the territory of the Kaliningrad region. The city authorities gladly picked up the concept, and the following year the Mayor of the city signed the "Act of Adoption by citizens of Zelenogradsk of the hitherto homeless, passport-free and homeless Pinocchio". Further – more. In the next ten years, the city actively hosts holidays and thematic events dedicated to the entourage of the fairy tale and directly to the main character of the work. They even established a whole "Pinocchio Order", which was awarded to children and adults from all over the country. The seemingly absurd idea has given a huge number of people smiles and a good mood, and this, you must agree, already speaks of its positive impact on the hearts and minds of residents and guests of the city. But over time, the idea has outlived itself. Despite the assistance of activists and local authorities, Zelenogradsk did not become associated with a fairy-tale character among the general population, so it was decided to change the direction to a simple and absolutely win-win idea. Seals.
It is difficult to find a person, even the most callous and insensitive, who would not become a little kinder and happier, being next to a tailed purring comrade. This was very well demonstrated by the success of the local cat museum "Murarium", which in the 2010s began to attract more and more visitors. As of 2022, the cat theme in Zelenogradsk has firmly taken root. Facades of houses are decorated with images of tailed ones, stylized decor can be found even in the most remote residential areas from the center. In the center, in addition to the famous museum, various infrastructure is organized – cat pedestrian crossings, vending machines with food and various sculptural attractions and souvenir shops. The population of purrs defies any calculations – they literally flooded the city, snuggling literally at your every step. You may object, they say, but what about infections? Dirt, fleas, diseases, cat waste, after all? Don't worry, local activists and the city administration tirelessly monitor and take care of the animals, as well as carefully clean the streets every day. Cats are a recognized landmark of Zelenogradsk, and it is very important for local residents to maintain a positive image of the city so that they can be rightfully proud.
Why come here
The most favorite locations of the guests of the city are a beautiful promenade with a view of the Baltic Sea, a park that stretches almost the entire length of the city, which smoothly turns into the Curonian Spit (a place about which we will tell in more detail in future articles) and the never–sleeping central street of the city. If you are passing through Zelenogradsk and intend to move on immediately, in search of new impressions – this is the minimum necessary to get acquainted with the city, you definitely will not have to regret the time spent in vain. For those who have stayed here for a long time and want to thoughtfully walk around the city, we will offer several interesting locations.
First let's talk about parking, there are some difficulties with it in the city. Tow trucks in the city work very hard, so do not risk leaving the car in the wrong place. It is most convenient to park on the platform near the train station, or at the entrance to the city near large shops (SPAR, Victoria). This is the outskirts of the city, but because of its modest size, you will reach the center quite quickly, enjoying the neat, well-groomed streets. It is much easier for those who stayed in one of the many hotels in Zelenogradsk – each of them has its own closed Parking. If you have already settled in and are planning to continue your journey, then the most convenient car rental service in Kaliningrad and the region will come to your aid – Amigo car rental. We deliver cars to our customers anywhere in the region and at any time of the day by prior arrangement. It has never been so easy to rent a car in Kaliningrad – just go up a little higher on this page and get acquainted with the assortment of our fleet, then fill out a simple application form.
We recommend visiting the lighthouse in the city center. It offers a wonderful view of Zelenogradsk and small museums are located in the same building, including the Murarium cat Museum already mentioned above. The highest concentration of small souvenir shops, cafes and miniature museums is definitely on Kurortny Prospekt, this is the main pedestrian street and the pearl of Zelenogradsk, it is better to go through it to the sea. Don't forget to stroke the tailed ones, they are well aware of the most popular tourist routes and crave your attention. The range of catering establishments is huge – for every taste and budget, from small coffee shops to chic restaurants with sea views. A small pizzeria on Kurortny Prospekt with an interior in the style of Russian fairy tales deserves special attention, which has always been famous for friendly and attentive service.
A trip to Zelenogradsk during any holidays will be especially remembered. The city administration does not skimp on the thematic decoration of the city, and the owners of small businesses actively play along with them.
How to get to Zelenogradsk
This town is located in close proximity to Kaliningrad, so you can get to it in many ways. You can walk to it in just seven hours, but not everyone will agree to such a brave journey. Bike rides to the resort also happen quite often, but it will be inconvenient to bring a bicycle with you from Russia. Buses and trains run to Zelenogradsk from Kaliningrad, but being dependent on their schedule and absolutely insane passenger traffic in the summer is very exhausting and time-consuming. The best option would be to rent a car in Kaliningrad, or order the delivery of the car to the point you need in the region. Let your trip be unforgettable with the Amigo car rental!