From the 1st of July 2019, foreign citizens can apply for an electronic visa to Kaliningrad, Russia. That is to say, that travelling to Russia is now a little bit easier.
In general, western regions of Russia are becoming more accessible for foreign tourists. More accessible in terms of getting documents, I mean.
For example, tourists can visit St. Petersburg, Russia with no Russian visa (check this post about no-visa entry to St. Petersburg).
Besides, it’s also possible to get an electronic visa for visiting Russian Far East (read how to visit Vladivostok).
Now let’s come back to visa to Kaliningrad. And, of course, we’ll discover the reason to visit this most western Russian city.
Visa to Kaliningrad: General Rules
The visa is valid for 30 days. You can stay in Kaliningrad (and Kaliningrad region) up to 8 days.
The registration is free of charge.
This will be a single-entry visa.
Who Can Apply for Electronic Visa to Kaliningrad?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has published a list of 53 countries whose citizens can apply for electronic visas.
List of countries:
Austria, Andorra, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, China (including Taiwan), Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, The Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican
How to Get an E-Visa to Kaliningrad?
The procedure of getting E-visa to Kaliningrad is the following:
- Apply for a visa min. 4 — max. 20 days before your trip.
- Fill in the application form on the official site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Upload your photo.
Invitations, hotel booking confirmations are not required.
- E-visa will be issued within 4 working days.
- For visiting Kaliningrad, Russia, tourists are required to have medical insurance.
If you already have a regular Russian visa, you don’t need a separate visa to Kaliningrad.
Now let’s examine what to do in Kaliningrad. I swear, there are lots of places to visit there!
6 Places You Can’t Miss in Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad is the most western region of Russia. The region is cut off from the main territory of the Russian Federation. In fact, it’s an enclave surrounded by Poland and Lithuania.
Kaliningrad region is famous for its landscapes nature reserves. Baltic Sea, sand beaches and coniferous forests leave nobody indifferent. Kaliningrad is a tourist-friendly location. However, in the beginning, you’d probably feel a little unusual if you don’t speak Russian. That’s why I’d recommend to take a tour of the city with local guides and then go exploring the city by yourself.
Kaliningrad is the birthplace of Immanuel Kant, the central figure in modern philosophy.
1. Königsberg Cathedral
Königsberg Cathedral is the main attraction of Kaliningrad. The Gothic-style brick cathedral is nowadays a cultural centre. It includes a concert hall and a museum dedicated to Immanuel Kant. Enjoy the relics and stained-glass windows.
After that, visit the tomb of Immanuel Kant in the northern edge of the exterior of Kaliningrad Cathedral.
If you have time, go to the pipe organ concert in the Königsberg Cathedral. Also, take time to wander in the surrounding sculpture park.
2. Amber Museum
Amber Museum is the most known museum of Kaliningrad. As you understand, expositions of the museum are all about amber: jewellery, sculpture, interior objects and — of course — amber samples of different colours, weight and clarity.
3. Brandenburg Gate & Other Gates
Kaliningrad is often called the city of gates. Indeed, the downtown of Kaliningrad is surrounded by old-style gates.
Neogothic in style, the red brick Brandenburg Gate is a perfect spot of nice photos.
In addition, take a “gate”-tour of the city. Therefore, you’ll also discover Rossgarten Gate, King’s Gate, Attack Gate, Railway Gate, etc.
4. Amalienau District
Go wander in picturesque Amalienau district of Kaliningrad. This is the place where old luxurious German and Prussian mansions are located. Follow beautiful green streets and feel the calm atmosphere of the former lifestyle.
5. Spend a Day on a Beach
Kaliningrad Region has 140 km of coastline. Thus, if you’re willing to spend a day on a beach, you have a wide choice of places to go.
Yantarny Beach is probably the most popular among all the Kaliningrad’s region beaches. Go to shallow waters for finding some pieces of amber.
Besides, Svetlogorsk beach and Zelenogradsk promenade are also nice places to see.
6. Curonian Spit with its Dancing Forest
Curonian Spit is a unique natural phenomenon. It’s a narrow strip of sand between the Baltic Sea and Curonian Lagoon. The length of the spit is 98 (!!!) km. Russia owns 46 km of the Spit, 52 km belong to Lithuania.
Walking down the Curonian Spit, travellers can enjoy the natural beauty of the sand dunes and the sea. Besides, the spit is the home of so-called Dancing Forest. The trees of the forest have amazingly twisted trunks — as if they were really dancing.
Curonian Spit is included to the UNESCO Heritage List.
Of course, these are not the only places to visit in Kaliningrad. For instance, I’d also suggest seeing famous Fish Village, Botanical Garden, Lower & Upper Ponds… After having explored the city, head to neighbourhoods: Svetlogorsk and Zelenogradsk.
That is to say, if travellers want to visit Kaliningrad region, they can easily spend 8 days (allowed by e-visa) there. And getting a visa to Kaliningrad is so easy and fast!
Where to stay in Kaliningrad
Nesselbeck, a unique hotel located in a medieval castle! Nesselbeck offers old-style rooms, medieval dishes in the restaurant and all kind of modern facilities (Wi-Fi, spa, parking, air-conditioning, etc.)
Villa Toscana is situated in the beautiful Amalienau district of Kaliningrad. It’ll take you 15 min to walk to the city centre. Villa Toscana offers really great service including delicious breakfasts and spacious rooms.
FishDorf — excellent hotel for relaxing holidays. The hotel is situated in a quiet picturesque place on a river board. In addition to the usual hotel services, you can rent a bike, go fishing or just swim in the hotel’s pool.
Or choose a hotel according to your requirements and budget:
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To sum up, I hope this guide will inspire you to visit Kaliningrad and to spend a few nice days there. As you can see, getting a visa to Kaliningrad is now fast and simple and FREE.
Let me know if you have put Kaliningrad to your bucket list 🙂
Best wishes from Russia,
Disclosure: some of the links on this post are affiliate links. That means if you buy something through them I’ll receive a commission, at no extra cost to you. It helps me to manage the cost of running this blog. That being said, I only recommend products and services I use and love.