Travel to Kaliningrad from Gdansk - advices
The most common way to enter Kaliningrad region if coming by car is crossing the Polish – Russian border either in Gronowo – Mamonovo, Bezledy – Bagrationovsk or the newer crossing Grzechotky – Mamonovo-2.
As a visitor can expect it is not completely painless to enter or exit Russia, especially entering Russia. There are many things to think about when entering by own car, such as insurance documents, ownership documents. You will also be forced to sign a Russian insurance policy for the period of your stay, which will be done at the border. It is also possible to do this before entering border zone on the polish side, there are small huts. That can be recommended if you can not communicate in Russian, it is bigger chance that the polish sales persons know english/german.
In defence of Russian customs it is important to point out that most of the waiting time is not because of Russian border guards but because of Polish rules. Most of the waiting time is because of that only a certain amount of cars are sent through every hour. Going through the Russian customs usually takes very little time if all documents are in order.
There are busses going from Gdansk and Warzaw to Kaliningrad which is a good alternative to taking your own car. The busses leave from the main bus terminal in Gdansk and usually pass Elblang on the way to the border. The cost of a ticket is about 12-15 Euro.
The busses from Gdansk leave 06.30 and 15.30 every day polish time
The busses from Warzaw leave 13.00 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays polish time
The busses from Kaliningrad to Gdansk leave 06.30 and 16.30 every day Kaliningrad time
The busses from Kaliningrad to Warzaw leave 21.00 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Kaliningrad time
To enter Russia you always need a visa. The easiest way to obtain this is to aska local travel agency or organization to do arrange it for you. You can of course contact a travel agency in Kaliningrad but that is more complicated due to the time letters travel from Russia to the rest of the world. You can of course use services of DHL or UPS but that makes the service more expensive.
When you are in Kaliningrad, do not forget that you MUST have your passport registered if you plan to stay more than 3 days. This is usually done at the hotel, but not all hotels offer this service. If not, then it is up to you to register at the local post office, which IS a complicated procedure because all documents to be filled in are in russian. So it is strongly recommended to control that your hotel can register you.
When entering russia you will get a registration card, a small little white document. It is vital that you keep it in the passport at all times. If you lose it you are going to have serious problems at the border. It is recommended that you have a small pin with you to stick it to the inside of your passport, together with the registration document. Be sure to check that the migration card is stamped!
There are a large amount of hotels in the city of Kaliningrad and region. The most popular is Hotel Kaliningrad but also Hotel Moscow, SAS Radisson and Kaiserhof. They are all in the center but a person that is looking for peace and quiet should not choose these hotels since they are all situated close to roads with heavy traffic. You are recommended to visit this hotel booking page on our site to arrange the booking, it is set up together with our partner booking.com which is a serious site for hotel bookings all over the world. A good thing with the site is that you do not pay until the day of your arrival, which usually is not the case with russian hotels which usually ask for some kind of pre-payment.
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