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Crossing to Russia: Planning a Motorcycle Trip from Poland to Kalinigrad


Martino 1 | 3    
25 Oct 2010  #1
Hi,

I'm planning a motorcycle trip to Kaliningrad next year, how much paperwork and expense is it to cross into Kaliningrad from Poland and are there places to stay just over the border before heading back?

Also where is the best place to cross on motorcycles?

I'm planning to stay in Russia for just one day.

Thanks,

Martin.
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
25 Oct 2010  #2
What time of year are you going...?
convex 20 | 3,984    
25 Oct 2010  #3
I'm planning to stay in Russia for just one day.

Why only a day? Just passing through Kaliningrad? Seems like a waste of a visa :)

Also where is the best place to cross on motorcycles?

If wildrover can't help you on that one, you might want to check into horizonsunlimited for border crossing info.
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
25 Oct 2010  #4
I have crossed quite a few times into Russia , but not by motorcycle , and not into Kaliningrad...

The only place i crossed the border on the Harley was from Poland into Ukraine...

Check out the website Convex mentioned..its really good...

You will need a visa for Russia , probably insurance at the border , and its usefull to have a contact in case of problems...somebody who can speak Russian...

Where are you setting off from...which part of Poland you passing through , and what time of year are you going...maybe i can help you...?
convex 20 | 3,984    
25 Oct 2010  #5
Make sure they don't rip you off on insurance. It'll be in a little hut at the border. They should have a book with all the different rates in it. It shouldn't cost you more than maybe €10 for a week of liability on a bike. You can also purchase it in advance.

Another really important thing, you need an IDP in Russia.

Also, the vehicle must be in your name, or you need a power of attorney from the owner that allows you to take it into Russia.
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
25 Oct 2010  #6
you need an IDP in Russia.

You are supposed to have one for Ukraine...but nobody ever asked me for one , which is just as well , as i did not have one...

Might be better not to take a chance in Russia though...
convex 20 | 3,984    
25 Oct 2010  #7
Likewise for the Ukraine...BUT, on the Russian border they did call me out on not having an IDP. My copilot luckily had one...god knows how much it would have cost for them to overlook that one..
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
25 Oct 2010  #8
Usually you can haggle on that...When i was trying to leave Russia i did not have some document i should have had...cost me a few packs of UK Marlboro . some English money , the guy was a coin collector....! .Ha..they all are...!

In Russia you can usually negotiate your way out of most situations...unless you do something very naughty...
delphiandomine 87 | 16,799    
25 Oct 2010  #9
There *is* some sort of shady Kaliningrad-only visa available at the border - I don't remember the precise details, but if you search for "Kaliningrad 72 hour visa" on Google, you'll find the details. As I recall, it seems rather dubious, but it's official and sanctioned by the Russian Government.

It's only available at the Polish border.
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
25 Oct 2010  #10
Don,t forget also that Kaliningrad used to be a huge military area , only Russians were allowed there during this time...

Now its no problem to visit , but there are still some areas where its restricted , and such things as taking photos..of anything , can get you in trouble...

I am puzzled why you are only going for one day though...is it just to exchange some secret microfilm....?
OP Martino 1 | 3    
25 Oct 2010  #11
Thanks for all the responses,

I'm thinking of planning the trip for maybe Sept 2011, it's a 4 day trip from Rotterdam to Kaliningrad. The idea is to stop at Gorzów Wielkopolski Poland (or somewhere near) on the first night then head to Kaliningrad from there. Maybe spend the night in Russia before heading back.

There could be about 4 or 5 of us, none of us have ever done this before so I don't have a clue what's required.

Thanks
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
26 Oct 2010  #12
The bad news is.....i could have put you up for free at my farm in Poland if you were doing the trip this year...

The good news is... that by the time you do the trip i will be living in Russia with my Russian girlfriend , actually she will be my wife by then....

We are planning on buying a country house somewhere between Moscow and St petersburg , probably too far for you to travel to , but maybe we can help if you have any problems in Russia....My girlfriend speaks English very well , and not suprisingly her Russian is excellent...

I will send you a private message with my email address if you need any info...
Velund 1 | 260    
26 Oct 2010  #13
is it just to exchange some secret microfilm....?

It would be waste of time these days. Internet makes communications instant, now maybe only Mossad agents in poor arab villages needs a batery SW radio to receive orders from center. ;)

BTW, never has need to make invitation to Russia for someone (to assist in getting visa), but friend of mine who did it once said that it was not so pleasant experience. Too much time to stay in line in a few places. There is rumors that whole procedure (of issuing official invitation) will be electronic soon (like new mexican visa that will be issued as printable file almost instantly after filling a form on embassy website), but now it is time consuming thing.
convex 20 | 3,984    
26 Oct 2010  #14
It's all electronic now. You can do it online, they give you the number and an invitation to print out (no stamp needed).
Velund 1 | 260    
26 Oct 2010  #15
It's all electronic now.

Well. Looks like I missed some good thing. ;) Need to check how it works. I hope it does not require to obtain some sort of "digital signature" first...
convex 20 | 3,984    
26 Oct 2010  #16
Well. Looks like I missed some good thing. ;) Need to check how it works.

I did my tourist visa invitation with these guys:

intelservice.ru

They were really quick in turning it around.

This was my last mail with them:

Please make sure that the Russian consulate in Kazakhstan will accept a
faxed or a scanned copy of a tourist invitation. In case they demand the
original to be presented, the shipping via UPS will take 2-3 days and will
cost you extra $65. We will need to know your full postal address including
post code, contact phone and contact person name.


So I guess it depends on where you get your visa. I've gotten them in Germany, USA, Mongolia, and KZ without a problem using print outs of the invitation....So I'm guessing it's accepted at most :)
Velund 1 | 260    
26 Oct 2010  #17
Well... Just checked what's new about visa invitations. Sorry, but no electronic document filing yet, invitations is still issued by Federal Migration Service based on paper application and supporting documents, and regular procedure takes up to 30 days, extraordinary - up to 5 days.

Agencies have another channel, directly through MFA, and it is much faster but not so cheap.
convex 20 | 3,984    
26 Oct 2010  #18
Tourist invitation costs $30, and like I said, the consulates take reprints of the invitation letter.

So, basically, you pay your $30. In 24 hours, you get a pdf copy of the invitation to print, you print it off and got the consulate with your visa application form, and viola, another 24 hours and $80 later you have a visa to go to Russia :) .
OP Martino 1 | 3    
26 Oct 2010  #19
Thanks for all the help, most of this information is new to me including terms such as IDP?

I think I have a slightly better understanding but it sounds like I've a lot of planning.

Regarding our journey through Poland, we are planning to stay near Gorzów Wielkopolski and take the 22 road to Kaliningrad. I've chosen this route as it looks like a single carriageway road through some beautiful parts of Poland. I don't fancy sitting on a motorway for hours!

Thanks Wildrover for the invitation, the original idea was to just get to the Russian border but I'm now thinking of crossing into Russia on the S22, I believe that border is opening for tourists sometime next year. Then spending the night in a hotel before heading back.

Thanks again.
convex 20 | 3,984    
26 Oct 2010  #20
Thanks for all the help, most of this information is new to me including terms such as IDP?

IDP is an international drivers permit, basically an official translation of your drivers license in a number of different languages. You can get one from your local motoringclub. ADAC offices in Germany, I think they do them at Post Offices in the UK, AAA offices in the US.
wildrover 98 | 4,457    
27 Oct 2010  #21
I was chatting with some Polish friends yesterday who have been by motorcycle to Kaliningrad , and they tell me the Russians were not too bothered about the idp , and were quite happy to accept the driving licence only , but of course it may be a different case for non Polish riders , better to check on that...In any case , it does not cost much to get the idp , so no harm in having it anyway....

They told me also , that fuel stops can be a bit far apart on some roads , so a good idea to keep the tank topped up , and maybe have a fuel can handy if you have room to carry one...

They were told by the border guards that their planned route took them through a restricted military area , but that they should just plead ignorance if anyone stopped them , but nobody did...

If you want any advice on biking through Polska , give me a shout , i have been biking around this country for over five years , so have a bit of experiance of it...

Its a pity i won,t be in Poland when you make your trip , as you would have passed close to my farm , and could have stayed for free if you wanted..The guy who is looking after my place is also a biker , but does not speak any English , his wife speaks a little , and i can can give you some contacts of bike mechanics who speak English should you have a problem in this area of Poland... If you are following that 22 route you will pass through a place called walcz , thats not far off my area , and i can give you some contacts that can help you if you get a problem.... You are also passing through a place called Malbork on that route , i recomend you take a look at the castle there if you have time , its awesome...!!
OP Martino 1 | 3    
19 Nov 2010  #22
During our motorcycle trip to Kaliningrad we are planning to use the S22 road across Poland.
Has anyone got experience in traveling on this road, I was wondering about the condition of the road as we are traveling by motorcycle.

We are planning to film our journey, thanks the wildrover, Malbork looks like a good place for a quick stop.

We may be camping during the journey, after looking at maps it looks like there are plenty of placed near Walcz to setup a tent for the night. Would this be safe or is it better to go to a campsite?
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
19 Nov 2010  #23
During our motorcycle trip to Kaliningrad we are planning to use the S22 road across Poland.

If that's the one I'm thinking of, small back roads through forests a lot of the time, often dodgy surfaces, beware of kamikaze audi drivers and russian truckers.

September, roads should be Ok (maybe wet) but ice free.

Frombork is also worth a quick visit if you're in the area.
poundland    
12 Sep 2018  #24
Merged:

Obtaining a visa to visit Kalingrad from Poland for new year



Have any British people out there obtained a Russian visa from within Poland for visiting Kalingrad/Russi?. I live here but would like to fly from London to Kalingrad in December so would like to deal with the visa stuff from here. Is that even doable? Any ideas or experience?
Dougpol1 26 | 2,108    
12 Sep 2018  #25
any British people out there obtained a Russian visa from within Poland for visiting Kalingrad/Russi?

Are you winding us up? To that concrete jungle that Russians are dying to escape from? In December? Or in fact, at any time. I kindly refer you to your local GP as, if this is not in fact a wind-up, you are clearly suffering from depression
delphiandomine 87 | 16,799    
12 Sep 2018  #26
Have any British people out there obtained a Russian visa from within Poland for visiting Kalingrad/Russi?.

It's doable, but you need to provide proof of residency in Poland, namely the EU certificate of registration / permanent residence card.


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