Top 20 To-Do List for Kaliningrad City

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“Damn my education, I can’t find the words to say for all the things

caught in my mind” – Noel Gallagher.

Backpacking in Kaliningrad - the wacky house that is upside down

Kaliningrad was a magical place – it was to be my final travel venture before deciding to settle in Gdańsk in Poland. No need to cry.

“Shed a tear cos I’m missing you” – Guns’n’Roses.

Top 25 Sights in Kaliningrad City - the end of an era

An end of an era

I crossed the border from Poland to Kaliningrad and I was back on Russian soil for the first time in nine years. I ended up at the Ibis Hotel in Kaliningrad city centre for a night and later headed out into a residential neighbourhood to spend a couple of nights at the Crazy Dog.

Kaliningrad city is huge so you will need a few days to see the main attractions.

Top sights when backpacking in Kaliningrad city

Ploschad Pobedy (Victory Square)

Cities like Minsk and Bishkek also have Victory Squares, and here, it is a sombre and relaxing place to hang out.

Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

My Polish friend Ola had shown me a photo of the crazy upside in Kaliningrad and so I had to find it — it’s based in Yunost Park.

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park – viewed from the Ferris Wheel

For 150 Rupees (£2) you can go inside and take some wacky photos taken to make it look like you are walking on the ceiling!

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park, Kaliningrad

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Crazy Upside Down House ( перевернутая комната), Yunost Park

Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

It is rare for me to get into a Ferris Wheel on my travels because typically they are have long queues and are never worth the time.

Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

The view itself was worth taking a ride for….

View of Kaliningrad from Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

View of Kaliningrad from Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

View of Kaliningrad from Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

View of Kaliningrad from Ferris Wheel, Yunost Park

Wrangel Tower

Historically speaking, the city used to be called Konigsberg and was protected by inner walls and outer walls. Many of the bastions, towers and walls still remain.

Wrangel Tower

Wrangel Tower

Wrangel Tower and city walls

Wrangel Tower and city walls

Peace Lane (Пусть мир возобладал на земле), Yunost Park

Пусть мир возобладал на земле - Peace Lane

Пусть мир возобладал на земле – Peace Lane

Grey Palace (Center for Development of Interpersonal Communication, Yunost Park)

Sometimes on my travels, I just admire buildings. You cannot help but notice charming buildings scattered throughout Kaliningrad. The Grey Palace (as I called it) is opposite the crazy house in Yunost Park. I discovered that it is used for the development of Interpersonal Communication.

6.Blue Palace (Center for Development of Interpersonal Communication, Yunost Park)

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

At the bottom of Victory Square, you can visit the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. It’s a Russian Orthodox church with golden domes and green rooves. It is the largest church in the whole of the Kaliningrad region. The smaller building to the right is also a place for prayer and can house 3,000 people and it is 73 metres high.

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

House of Soviets

How I love buildings like this. The “House of Soviets” is a textbook Soviet Union era Lego Black building! The local people often refer to it as “buried robot” because its appearance resembles the head of a giant robot which is buried in the ground up to the shoulders. The chief architect was Yulian L. Shvartsbreim. It was built on the original territory of the Konigsberg Castle. Similarly to the crazy Ryuygong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea, this building was never properly finished and now sits a bit lonely on your walk through the city!

House of Soviets on the corner

The House of Soviets!

Kaliningrad Regional Government Building

As Kaliningrad is an autonomous and geographically separated region of Russia, there is a regional government building here, but it’s not so obvious and I didn’t even see it the first time I walked past. This was originally used at the financial administration of the East Prussia region, which ended its existence in 1945.

Kaliningrad Regional Government Building

Frederick Schiller Monument

The monument by Cauer is an important part of Kaliningrad history. According to legend, after the assault on Konigsberg an unknown Russian soldier wrote on it “don’t shoot. He is a proletarian poet”, and as a result the monument remained intact.

Frederick Schiller Monument

Fighting Bisons Sculpture

The sculpture by August Gaul was presented to the city in 1912 and became one of the symbols. Konigsberg citizens once called the two bisons “Prosecutor” and “Advocate” as it sits outside the courts.

Fighting Bisons Sculpture

Lenin Statue

On Lenin Boulevard sits a statue of the man himself. I visited the city 99 years after the Revolutions of 1917! I do draw some comparisons between Bishkek and Kaliningrad in fact and the fact that both have a Lenin statue is one of them. I still dream of visiting Ulan Ude to see the world’s biggest Lenin head.

Lenin Statue in Kaliningrad

Drama Theatre

One of my loves of touring ex Soviet Union states is about the architecture in their theatres. This one is not dissimilar to the theatre in Tiraspol in Transnistria.

Drama Theatre

Oktyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

The English name of this place as a Fishing Village confused me somewhat, as it’s not really a fishing village but a street with a lighthouse by the river and with some nice buildings, coffee shops and a bridge with locks on it.

Obiyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Obiyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Obiyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Obiyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Oktyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Obiyabrskaya Street (Fishing Village)

Nizhnee Lake

Kaliningrad reminded me a bit of Stockholm as it is a city with lots of rivers and lakes within it. The one nearest my hostel was a huge lake – Nizhnee Lake. Again it’s good for strolls and very peaceful. Locals tend to go jogging here.

Nizhnee Lake, Kaliningrad

Nizhnee Lake, Kaliningrad

Nizhnee Lake, Kaliningrad

Queen Louise Church

Another church on the list and worth checking out is the Queen Louise Church – this is now used as a puppet theatre and while you are here, you can also enjoy the leafy central park of culture and leisure. Within the park is a House of Artists and some statues of famous people from Kaliningrad.

Queen Louise Church

Park Pobedy (Victory Park)

Victory Park is different from Victory Square, and just a 10 minute walk down towards the river. It is known as Park Pobedy and also features an eternal flame for the unknown soldiers. It is a war memorial for the Second World War.

Park Pobedy (Victory Park)

Park Pobedy (Victory Park)

Konigsberg Cathedral and Imannuel Kant Museum

Head over to Kant island and check out all the sights here. It is mainly the large Konigsberg Catherdal, which also houses the tomb of Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest philosophers.

Konigsberg Cathedral and Imannuel Kant Museum

Konigsberg Cathedral and Imannuel Kant Museum

Commemorative Token to Countrymen Cosmonauts

The Soviet Union was massive on space exploration back in the days of Yuri Gagarin and the Cold War and moon race with the Untied States. Kaliningrad played its part here too – Aleksey Leonov, Viktor Patsaev and Yuriy Romanenko all hail from the city. There’s a cool monument to mark this on Prospekt Mira Street.

Commemorative Token to Countrymen Cosmonauts

Commemorative Token to Countrymen Cosmonauts

First World War Monument in Kaliningrad City

Kaliningrad was the only part of Russia that experienced the First World War (or the ‘Great’ War) and as such a monument is here to remember those who died in the Battle of Kaliningrad.

First World War Monument in Kaliningrad City

Memorial in Kaliningrad City

Kutuzova Street District

Visit the famous old district of Kaliningrad, Kutuzova Street.  Although there’s not much to do or see here, it is very lush and green.

Kutuzova Street District

Kutuzova Street District

Kutuzova Street District

 

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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