Take a trip to Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia separated from the Russian mainland and situated between Lithuania and Poland along the Baltic Sea. While formerly under Prussian and German rule the city is now undeniably Russian. Much of the city was destroyed during World War II and as you walk through old city gates and wander through the surviving churches you can really appreciate what some of these 13th century buildings have been through. This port city along the Baltic Sea has roads, parks and bridges to explore by foot or on bike as you take in the monuments to cosmonauts and the pre- and post-war architecture. Kaliningrad region is also special for its amber mines where 90% of the world’s amber comes from the Yantarny village. Amber was grown 50 million years ago on the continent located in the Baltic Sea Area and perhaps this is the reason for why Kaliningrad is also known as the “World Amber Capital”. Amber is fossilized resin of ancient conifers and you can find pieces drifted from the waves onto the white beaches.
Visit the Curonian Split, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is divided between Russia and Lithuania. Curonian Split is one of Europe’s largest stretches of sand dunes being surrounded by the Curonian Lagoon on the east and the Baltic Sea on the west, making a fantastic landscape to visit. While the Lithuanian Park has more sights to offer, the Russian pearl is great for cycling and hiking.
Try one of the national parks six special hiking trails that are equipped with information signs, and maps.
While in Russia you have to indulge in the local vodkas and Kaliningrad has its own vodka and beer brands that are worth trying out while eating local foods that depart from traditional Russian foods with Prussian influences.