By Bicycle 骑自行车
A map of bicycle routes can be downloaded on our website here.
Experienced biker’s tips
When you come to the border, do not wait in the car line, but ride up to the checkpoint bar straight away. As soon as the lights turn green, you need to proceed to the border crossing with the cars. You should choose the line where passenger cars are inspected. Be confident and polite. Go straight to the border control zone (if you enter Russia) or customs control (if you leave Russia). In case of a mistake, an official of the checkpoint will help you. Customs officers are often concerned with document check and car inspecting. You should not wait for a long time – come to the window and say that you are crossing the border on a bicycle. In general, they just let you move on as there are no documents required to check. The customs officers may only ask you to show your personal belongings.
Crossing the Russian-Lithuanian border in the checkpoint “Morskoe-Nida” usually does not cause any problems in both directions. If you are going from the Kaliningrad region to Lithuania (or in the opposite direction), we advise you to cross the border through this point, as it is situated in the territory of the Curonian Spit National Park and you will be able to enjoy the splendour of coniferous forests, sand dunes and other places of note. In addition, there is quite a well-asphalted road and the traffic is not heavy.
You may cross the Russian-Polish border through the checkpoint “Gusev-Goldap” (54020’31.00’’ N 22017’54.00’’E). However it is situated far to the east from the main bikers’ route, which lies along the Baltic coast. On the other hand, you will have an opportunity to visit famous “Romintskaya Pushcha” (a forest, former GermanRominten Heide). Over the centuries, there were hunting grounds of Eastern Prussian rulers. The south-eastern territory of the Kaliningrad region is a paradise for bikers. Multipath roads are combined here with very low traffic. Unfortunately, the most part of Rominta lies in the border zone and its visiting is limited (access only with a Border Guard Service permit). You are allowed to cross this territory only in transit.
Another Russian-Polish crossing point is “Mamonovo-Gronowo” (54026’20.00’’N 19054’05.00’’E). It is designed for passenger cars, buses and small trucks. Crossing the border on foot is not permitted here. However bikers are allowed to cross, as bicycle is a vehicle. It should be mentioned that most bikers tend to cross the border at this place, as it is a direct road to Gdansk, Frombork, Elblag (Poland), and it is also the shortest transit way for bikers coming from Poland to go Lithuania across the Kaliningrad region.
The crossing point “Bagrationovsk-Bezledy” (54022’20.00’’N 20039’35.00’’E) is designed for passenger cars, buses and trucks. This is the place where trucks generally cross the border so we advise you not to use this point unless necessary.
If you get stuck at Russian-Polish border for some reason, do not be discouraged, but take it as an adventure. When having a conversation with Russian authorities at the border, you should be polite, but insistent on your wish to visit the Kaliningrad region (or Poland). If you still get turned back at the border when riding a bike (which is nowadays quite an unusual occurrence), you may catch a minibus or a small truck and ask the driver to help you cross the border. It works this way: you cross the border by transport, then pass 100 m, and finally you get out and go on your own. This is absolutely legal. You can also ask one of the customs officers to catch a car for you. Most drivers would not refuse the authorities’ request.
Note: given text represents a short adapted version from a multipage document for foreign tourists coming by bikes, which was drawn up by me in English in 2006 after numerous requests from those who had faced problems crossing the Kaliningrad region. The document is updated yearly. You can also find it below.