My wife and I will be in Poland in June and July, and we are looking for a driver that could take us from our hotel in the Borki area east of Bialystok, to Kaliningrad. If we can't find a driver that would cross the border into Russia, if a driver could get us as far as Elblag Poland, I know we can get transport from there. Thanks.
I would contact your hotel. That is how we’ve solved problems like yours.
Thanks for the reply. I started by contacting the hotel, but they were unable to help or make any recommendations. So far, the only options seem to be to take a taxi to Bialystok and take a train from there to either Warsaw, Elblag or Olsztyn, where direct transport to Kaliningrad is available. We are hoping there might be a driver who would take us from our hotel to Kaliningrad, or one of those northern towns with direct transport connections. Any additional ideas would be most appreciated.
Lowell, I don't have any info about this route, but I doubt it because:
Kalingrad is Russia, which is not the EU (stating the obvious). Within the EU a taxi driver who is an EU citizen can take you across borders no problem.
A Polish driver (or other EU citizen) would need a visa to enter Russia. He or she would also need a work permit, as driving you around Russia for payment is work. He would probably also need a taxi driver's permit. The car would need whatever authorisations are required to operate a taxi in Russia. That would probably include registering the car in Russia (Russian number plates), paying Russian taxes on the fare.
Need I go on?
In that case, I would be happy to get a driver to take us Elblag or Olsztyn, both in Poland, where there is regular taxi transport to Kaliningrad.
Cheers from Kaliningrad.
Maybe I can give you a lift or recommend someone.
Do you know exact dates of the trip?
Yes, the exact date would be Friday July 5, 2019. As I said, we'd like to arrange transport either to our hotel in Kaliningrad, or to Elblag or Olsztyn where we can easily arrange direct transfer. Thanks.
So, that's 700 km road trip + border crossing time twice. Full day driving, rough.
In general, there are the following options:
- Travel from Bialostok to find a connection in Olsztyn, Elblag, Gdansk or Warsaw.
- Try to negotiate a deal with some Russian transfer companies. They are oriented on Airport transfers in Gdansk, Warsaw and other cities in Poland. But maybe it's possible to request a special service to the Borki area.
- Also, we can make some deal too. If you are interested in meeting a local English-speaking traveler.
I will send you some details in a personal message.
I found a blog which might interest you: http://dontstopliving.net/world-borders-get-poland-kaliningrad-gdansk-kaliningrad-city/
This person took the bus from Gdańsk to Kaliningrad in 2016. Left Gdańsk 06:00, arrived at the border 08:05 but Russian immigration took until 10:30. I presume the bus waits for all the passengers.
Thanks for all the great suggestions. It is easy to arrange transport from Warsaw, Gdansk, Elblag and Olsztyn, but the challenge has been getting from our hotel near Borki either to Kaliningrad or one of those northern centers. We can take a taxi to Bialystok and then take a train to Olsztyn, and from there arrange transfer, but I'm still exploring whether we can find a driver interested in making the 350km drive. If not, we'll definitely take the train to Osztyn and then use the economical transport service from there.
Just a quick suggestion... how about changing the direction: like going to Kaliningrad first, then transfer to Borki.
I think this will make the plan easier... if you enter Poland through one of the main "entrances".
Good suggestion, but our plans are already fixed. We are just hoping to visit Kaliningrad for the weekend, and then return to Warsaw to fly home.
I appreciate all the suggestions, but it sounds like we'll just take the train from Bialystok and I'll arrange transport from Olsztyn. Thanks again, everyone.
In that case, consider Elblag or Gdansk.
It's easier to pick you up there and you can catch up to 5-6 buses to Kaliningrad per day.
Comparing to a single bus in Olsztyn. I'm not sure right now if this one is a daily route.
p.s. Did you receive my message?
Hopefully, you'll have some time to explore and visit Elblag...a very interesting place.