The Best Things to Do in Kaliningrad

| © Robert Wyatt / Alamy Stock Photo

Kaliningrad, or “Little Russia,” as the locals call it, has gone through more than its fair share of historical turmoil: founded by the Teutonic Knights, it then belonged to the Kingdom of Poland, then to Prussia and the German Empire, only for it to finally become a part of the USSR and then Russia. Discover the many things to do in Kaliningrad, from learning about its maritime history to enjoying beautiful music.

Listen to an organ concert in Königsberg Cathedral

The Königsberg Cathedral is the most important Prussian building in Kaliningrad. The church was first built as a Catholic place of worship, which later became Lutheran after the Reformation. It was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt only recently, in the 1990s. Now it is available for the public to visit. It also hosts daily organ concerts, the schedule of which can be found here (in Russian).

Learn about Russia’s maritime exploration…

Kaliningrad is Russia’s only port in the Baltic that never freezes; it is therefore extensively used for both civil and military purposes. Russian scientific exploration of the seas is displayed in the Museum of the World Ocean. Pop by to discover the fascinating world of underwater creatures, and the no-less fascinating equipment used to observe them.

…and put yourself in the shoes of a Russian sailor.

The Museum of the World Ocean has a separate section devoted to vessels used for various purposes. If you ever wondered what it would feel like to be a sailor in a Russian submarine or a researcher on a sea expedition, or maybe an open-sea fisherman, look no further; all of those vessels, safely anchored in the Pregolya River, are available to the public in the Museum of the World Ocean.

Walk around and see how history was made

Because of the city’s turbulent history, Kaliningrad’s architecture is fascinating. The old Prussian red-brick buildings are intermixed with Soviet blocks of flats, detached houses, brand-new Orthodox churches, and glass high-rises. Kaliningrad is undeniably a Russian city, but it is also completely different from any other place in the country.

Visit Immanuel Kant’s tomb

Immanuel Kant, one of the most important thinkers in the history of philosophy, was born and spent his entire life in Königsberg, now Kaliningrad. He was buried in the Königsberg Cathedral, and what was initially a small tomb inside the building eventually became a modest mausoleum outside, in the north-east corner of the Cathedral. Kant and Kaliningrad are inseparably connected; the places where he lived and worked are most certainly worth seeing.

Explore the mysterious world of amber.

Baltic is famous for its amber: there is something hypnotizing about all the shades of gold it can take on, and about the creatures trapped in it for millions of years. In Kaliningrad’s Amber Museum, not only can you buy inexpensive amber jewelry, you can see the most impressive pieces of amber found in the Baltic out on display. The exhibition also includes some elaborate sculptures and a brief history of amber processing in the Soviet Union.

Dance in the Dancing Forest

A few kilometers north of the city, there is a narrow strip of land separating the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea. It’s the Curonian Spit, a sandy dune leading from Kaliningrad to Lithuania, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by both countries. If you have time, go there on a sunny day, enjoy the view of the massive sand dunes, and dance in the Dancing Forest, where the trees are crooked in the most bizarre ways for reasons yet unknown.

Looking to explore Nizhny Novgorod? Check out our guide here.

Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article