- PRICES LIST
- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- STAY SAFE
Vladivostok is a city and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai, Russia, located at the head of the Golden Horn Bay, not far from Russia's borders with China and North Korea. The population of the city as of 2016 is 606,653.
Surrounded by Amursky Gulf from the west, Ussuriysky Gulf from the east, and Golden Horn Bay along the south, Vladivostok is the home of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The city is separated from its souternmost part, Russkiy Island, by Eastern Bosphorous strait; there are a couple of smaller sparsely populated islands - Reineke and Popov. From its foundation in 1860, as a military post, the city received the status of porto-franco that boosted international commerce and development.
|FOUNDED :||July 2, 1860|
|TIME ZONE :||VLAT (UTC+10:00)|
|AREA :||331.16 km2 (127.86 sq mi)|
|COORDINATES :||43°08′N 131°54′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 47%|
• Female: 53%
|AREA CODE :||4232|
|POSTAL CODE :||690xxx|
|DIALING CODE :||+7 4232|
|WEBSITE :||Official website|
Vladivostok is a city in Russia. It serves as the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Some travellers arrive here at the end or the beginning of a trip on the Trans-Siberian. But it has enough attractions and atmosphere to support a couple of days.
During 35 years of the Soviet era (from 1958 to 1992) Vladivostok was off-limits to foreigners and finally was re-opened for tourism. The city centre, at the edge of the water, has sweeping boulevards of ornate, century-old buildings; magnificent, decaying, and in dire need of a scrub. Further out, on the steep hills overlooking the bay, similarly decaying Soviet blocks dotted with new high-rise buildings provide accommodations for most of the city's residents.
The beautiful oak woods are surrounding the city which along with Nakhodka could be a starting point for weekend bus-tours to the winter ski-slopes or water-falls in summer. A few lotus lakes are attraction for campers and forest lodgers when the flowers are blossoming in August.
The aboriginals of the territory on which modern Vladivostok is located are the Udege minority, and a sub-minority called the Taz which emerged through members of the indigenous Udege mixing with the nearby Chinese and Hezhe. The region had been part of many states, such as the Mohe, Bohai Kingdom,Liao Dynasty, Jīn Dynasty, Yuan Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and various other Chinese dynasties, before Russia acquired the entire Maritime Province and the island of Sakhalin by the Treaty of Beijing (1860). Qing China, which had just lost the Opium War with Britain, was unable to defend the region. The Manchu emperors of China, the Qing Dynasty, banned Han Chinese from most of Manchuria including the Vladivostok area it was only visited by illegal gatherers of ginseng and sea cucumbers.
On June 20 (July 2 Gregorian style), 1860, the military supply ship Manchur, under the command of Captain-Lieutenant Alexey K. Shefner, called at the Golden Horn Bay to found an outpost called Vladivostok. Warrant officer Nikolay Komarov with 28 soldiers and two non-commissioned officers under his command were brought from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur by ship to construct the first buildings of the future city.
The Manza War in 1868 was the first attempt by Russia to expel Chinese from territory it controlled. Hostilities broke out around Vladivostok when the Russians tried to shut off gold mining operations and expel Chinese workers there. The Chinese resisted a Russian attempt to take Ashold Island and in response, two Russian military stations and three Russian towns were attacked by the Chinese, and the Russians failed to oust the Chinese.
An elaborate system of fortifications was erected between the 1870s and 1890s. A telegraph line from Vladivostok to Shanghai and Nagasaki was opened in 1871. That same year a commercial port was relocated to Vladivostok from Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. Town status was granted on April 22, 1880. A coat of arms, representing the Siberian tiger, was adopted in March 1883.
The first high school was opened in 1899. The city's economy was given a boost in 1916, with the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway, which connected Vladivostok to Moscow and Europe.
After the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks took control of Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian Railway in its entirety. During the Russian Civil War they were overthrown by the White-allied Czechoslovak Legion, who declared the city to be an Allied protectorate. Vladivostok became the staging point for the Allies'Siberian intervention, a multi-national force including Japan, the United States, and China, with the latter sending forces to protect the local Chinese community after merchant demands. The intervention ended in the wake of the collapse of the White Army and regime in 1919, with all Allied forces except the Japanese withdrawing by the end of 1920.
In April 1920, the city came under the formal governance of the Far Eastern Republic, a Soviet-backed buffer state between the Soviets and Japan. Vladivostok then became the capital of the Japanese-backed Provisional Priamurye Government, created after a White Army coup in the city in May 1921. The withdrawal of Japanese forces in October 1922 spelled the end of the enclave, with Ieronim Uborevich's Red Army taking the city on October 25, 1922.
As the main naval base of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, Vladivostok was officially closed to foreigners during the Soviet years. The city hosted the summit at which Leonid Brezhnev and Gerald Ford conducted the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks in 1974. At the time, the two countries decided quantitative limits on various nuclear weapons systems and banned the construction of new land-based ICBM launchers.
In 2012, Vladivostok hosted the 24th APEC summit. Leaders from the APEC member countries met at Russky Island, off the coast of Vladivostok. With the summit on Russky Island, the government and private businesses inaugurated resorts, dinner and entertainment facilities, in addition to the renovation and upgrading of Vladivostok International Airport. Two giant cable-stayed bridges were built in preparation for the summit, namely the Zolotoy Rog bridge over the Zolotoy Rog Bay in the center of the city, and the Russky Island Bridge from the mainland to Russky Island (it is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world right now). The new campus of Far Eastern Federal University was completed on Russky Island in 2012.
Vladivostok has a monsoon influenced humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwb) with warm, humid and rainy summers and cold, dry winters. Owing to the influence of the Siberian High, winters are far colder than a latitude of 43 degrees north should warrant given its low elevation and coastal location, with a January average of −12.3 °C (9.9 °F). Since the maritime influence is strong in summer, this results in a relatively cold annual climate given said location. Vladivostok's yearly mean of around 5 °C (41 °F) is some ten degrees lower than in cities on the French Riviera on a similar coastal latitude in Europe on the other extreme. Winters especially are around twenty degrees colder than on the mildest coastlines this far north.
In winter, temperatures can drop below −20 °C (−4 °F) while mild spells of weather can raise daytime temperatures above freezing. The average precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, is around 18.5 millimeters (0.73 in) from December to March. Snow is common during winter, but individual snowfalls are light, with a maximum snow depth of only 5 centimeters (2.0 in) in January. During winter, clear sunny days are common.
Summers are warm, humid and rainy, due to the East Asian monsoon. The warmest month is August, with an average temperature of +19.8 °C (67.6 °F). Most of the precipitation that Vladivostok receives falls during the summer months and with many days receiving precipitation. Cloudy days are fairly common and with the presence of rainfall, humidity is high, reaching up to 90% in July and August.
Climate data for Vladivostok
|Record high °C (°F)||5.0|
|Average high °C (°F)||−8.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−12.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||−15.4|
|Record low °C (°F)||−31.4|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 kilometers (19 mi) long and 12 kilometers (7.5 mi) wide.
The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, 257 meters (843 ft). Eagle's Nest Hill is often called the highest point of the city; but, with a height of only 199 meters (653 ft), or 214 meters (702 ft) according to other sources, it is the highest point of the downtown area, but not of the whole city.
The city's main industries are shipping, commercial fishing, and the naval base. Fishing accounts for almost four-fifths of Vladivostok's commercial production. Other food production totals 11%.
A very important employer and a major source of revenue for the city's inhabitants is the import of Japanese cars. Besides salesmen, the industry employs repairmen, fitters, import clerks as well as shipping and railway companies.The Vladivostok dealers sell 250,000 cars a year, with 200,000 going to other parts of Russia.Every third worker in the Primorsky Krai has some relation to the automobile import business. In recent years, the Russian government has made attempts to improve the country's own car industry. This has included raising tariffs for imported cars, which has put the car import business in Vladivostok in difficulties. To compensate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered the car manufacturing company Sollers to move one of its factories from Moscow to Vladivostok. The move was completed in 2009, and the factory now employs about 700 locals. It is planned to produce 13,200 cars in Vladivostok in 2010.
The main post office is on the other side of Aleutskaya from the train station.Internet access is available on the first floor of the post office. There are a few Internet cafes in the town center.
ATMs are easy to find, and most are connected to international bank networks. Otherwise, many hotels have exchange desks, although some have exchange rates decidedly skewed in their favor. Banks are the most obvious choice for currency exchange. There will also be dodgy money-changers near Sportivnyaya Harbor.
Mobile operators are the same as anywhere in Russia: MTS (МТС) and Megaphon (Мегафон). Local NTK (НТК) will automatically switch your Beeline (Билайн) phone to roaming service. Buying a SIM card needs a passport in Russia. Refilling locations are QIWI terminals or salons of mobiles: Evroset (Евросеть), Svyaznoy (Связной) and Sotoviy mir (Сотовый мир).
- Interface (Интерфейс), 8, Semyonovskaya St (close to the Dynamo stadium). day and night.
- Monte-Carlo, 5a and 18, Fokina St (city center). day and night. Internet-salon
Free wi-fi locations in the city center
The number of wi-fi spots is over 130 which are available in most of cafes in the downtown.
- Cafe "Fint ushami" (Финт ушами), 9 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Cafetoria", 61 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Anticafe", 5 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Montmartre" (Монмартр), 9/6 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Rock's Cocktail Bar", 7 Svetlanskaya St
- Eatery №1, KofeYka (Столовая №1, КофеЙка), 1 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Pustota (Пустота)", 3 Fokina St
- Cafe "Paparazzi", 3 Fokina St
- Cafe-club "Infinity", 12 Fokina St
- Semyonovskaya bus-stop (Семёновская)
- Coffee-house "Oahaka" (Оахака),21 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "3T", 32 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "Wasabi", 30 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "Myatniy Truffel" (Мятный Трюфель),11 Aleutskaya St
- Hotel "Moryak", 38 Pos'yetskaya St
- Cafe "Pizza M", 20 Pos'yetskaya St
- Beer restaurant "Gutov", 23 Pos'yetskaya St
- Cafe "Belle Bazar", 6/25, 1st Morskaya St
- Cafe "Moloko&Med (Молоко и Мёд)", 6a Suhanova St
Prices in Vladivostok
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.75|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$8.00|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$21.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$35.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$55.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$4.90|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$1.50|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.90|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$4.80|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$8.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.05|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$1.30|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.30|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1 pair||$69.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M….)||1 pair||$42.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas…)||1 pair||$72.00|
|Leather shoes||1 pair||$110.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$0.25|
60 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
131 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Vladivostok International Airport (IATA: VVO, ICAO: UHWW) is 40km northeast of Vladivostok, near Artyom. It is the largest airport in the Russian Far East and serves over 1.5 million passengers per year. Flights to/from Vladivostok are to other Russian cities or cities in Korea, China, or Japan. Flights to other Russian cities are relatively cheap, although flights to Japan and Korea are relatively expensive.
To travel between the airport and the city:
- Bus 107 operates between the airport and the Vladivostok bus station, with departures at: 08:25, 09:40, 10:45, 12:07, 13:00, 14:00, 15:50, 16:50, 17:45, and 20:00.
- Trains operate between the airport and the city, although service is not very frequent. Tickets to the city center cost RUB70-350.
- Primavtolayn is the official taxi company operating from the airport. There're also many private taxis which you can hail. Negotiate a price in advance; you should usually get to the city center for around RUB1,500.
Tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway sell out and it is best to buy tickets well in advance. Tickets are sold by the operator as well as via agencies and resellers.
The main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway runs between Moscow and Vladivostok. The Rossiya train leaves every other day from Moscow at 13:20 and from Vladivostok at 4:25, while the slower but cheaper trains #43 or #99 leave Vladivostok every day around 18:56. Major stops from Vladivostok include Ulan Ude (62-67 hours), Irkutsk (81 hours), Krasnoyarsk (99 hours), Novosibirsk(113 hours), Omsk (121 hours),Yekaterinburg (134 hours), Nizhni Novgorod(5 days), and Moscow (6 days).
The ferry port in Vladivostok is right next to the train station.
To/from Korea and Japan
Business Intour Service is the official booking agent for ferries operated by The Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) between Vladivostok and the Fushiki port in Takaoka, Japan. The trip costs ¥48,400 including meals (alcohol costs are additional). The ships do not have many working amenities. Ferries both ways leave on Friday evening and arrive two days later on Sunday morning. You'll need to arrive at the port a few hours early for immigration procedures.
The Eastern Dream boat of the DBS Ferry Company operates service to/from Donghae, South Korea (US$180+) and Sakai Minato, Japan (US$220+). From March to November the ferry leaves Sakai Minato on Saturdays, briefly stops in Donghae on Sundays and arrives in Vladivostok on Mondays. In the winter, the ferry lays over in Donghae until Monday and arrives in Vladivostok on Tuesday. The nearest major city to Sakai Minato is Kyoto, 3 hours by train.
There is also a ferry service connecting Vladivostok and Sokcho, South Korea. It costs about US$200 and takes two days. One ship leaves Sokcho each week, on Thursday, although they become more frequent in the summer months (June-August).
By cargo boat
It is also possible to travel to/from anywhere in the world by booking a berth on a cargo boat. Usual caveats of freighter travel apply, though (it's definitely NOT for a casual tourist), and one need to keep in mind that Russian border and customs officials aren't used to people traveling this way.
Bus tickets can be bought at the bus station in Vladivostok or from ticket agencies. Buses operate to/from most suburban locations and nearby towns. International routes link Vladivostok to cities in Northeastern China such as Harbin (RUB2,400, 12+ hours; daily at 6:20AM), Mudanjiang, and Suifenhe(RUB1,900).
It takes about 5 hours to get to Vladivostok from the Chinese border, and the road goes through one of the most picturesque areas of the Russian Far East.
Transportation - Get Around
By Public Transport
Vladivostok has a wide range of transportation, from streetcars to a funicular railway. The trams and trolleybuses, unfortunately, are mostly gone in an effort to improve traffic — it hasn't worked, though, mainly because at least two lanes on most downtown streets are still taken for unregulated parking. However there is talk of reinstating at least some trolleybus routes, and lengthening the network to include some suburban destinations. While the mayor pays some lip service to reinstating trams, too, his actions prove otherwise.
By far the most common is the bus, both large route buses (mainly used Korean ones, some could be seen still carrying Seoul or Busan route plaques) andmarshrutka shared taxis (which generally follow bus routes). Buses are extremely crowded but frequent; the fares are flat 19 r. ($0.27) for the downtown routes, but go up to 120 r. ($2.0) for suburban ones. Hop on bus in the back and then pay the driver as you exit from the front. Many buses leave from outside the "Clever House" (Cløver House) Department store or the city's train station. Another major bus hubs are the Lugovaya square at the mouth of the Golden Horn bay and the intercity bus station ("Автовокзал") in the Vtoraya Rechka neighborhood.
Most of the buses are equipped to receive payments by a refillable Dolphin smart card that can be bought and refilled in the automated kiosks at most major stops. Push the card to the terminal near the driver for a couple of seconds, until it gives two beeps, and you are set. Because the cards and kiosks are issued by a major local bank, the card also could be used as a normal debit card in some selected shops, and in the kiosks you could pay your mobile phone, etc.
On the down note, the bus companies are constantly criticized for neglecting the state of their fleets, running the buses well past their service lives, unduly economizing on cleaning and personnel (they tend to hire recent immigrants, who can be paid as little as possible), and creating the competition for the passengers' fare among the drivers, which leads to long delays on stops and reckless driving.
The city has recently stepped in by reinstating the municipal bus company with newer buses and better controlled drivers. All municipal buses are equipped with electronic payment system and trackers, as the city also pushes to equip all the buses with the tracking hardware. The positions and waiting time for the equipped buses could be seen at the Bus 125 website, and major stops are gradually being equipped with electronic timetables.
Access to the outlying areas is generally best done by bus or suburban commuter train elektrichka. The train station is accessible and a great way to see neighboring cities like Khabarovsk. Please note, however, that the Russian Far east is an enormous and rather sparsely populated territory, so if the closer towns like Ussuriysk and Nakhodka may be just couple of hours away, Khabarovsk is in a different province altogether, about 700 km from Vladivostok, and takes almost a whole day to reach, so plan accordingly -- this is definitely not a quick day trip.
Also pay the close attention to the elektrichka timetables. In the recent times, the train companies took to radically revise their networks and frequencies, removing a lot of the unprofitable commuter trains (these are supposed to be subsidised by the local authorities, but those are chronically lacking the funds) from schedules, so if you get to some out-of-the-way location by the commuter train, you may get stranded for several hours until the next one.
There are a number of taxi companies, and hailing one is easy. There is no meter because most companies and freelance drivers charge a flat rate of RUB300 for one hour. The rate is usually negotiable but not below RUB150 per hour. Expect to pay at least this much for a single journey over a short distance.
Although it is the main port of used Japanese car imports in Russia, the century-old streets of Vladivostok are ill suited to heavy traffic. They are usually filled to capacity and traffic jams are common, especially in rush hours. The local driving style is also rather aggressive; and speeding, cutting off, tailgating and ignoring recently changed traffic lights are widespread. Despite this, car horns are rarely heard, largely because the undue leaning on the horn is an actual traffic offence in Russia, and can lead to the pretty hefty fines.
The city centre is only a short walk from the train station, and most of the sights can be reached easily on foot. Aleutskaya St runs north/south, passing the train station; head north to Svetlanskaya St, which is the main east/west road for the city.
As much of Vladivostok is situated on steep hills, walking can be physically demanding. The ice and wind in winter and the conditions of the pavements mostly preclude bicycle use.
However, MTB and weekend bike tours are very popular among the people for there is quite a lot of scenic places hard-to-reach by vehicles but still worth the effort. The most attractive destinations range the closest islands and the coastline even when the ice covers the bays.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
There's a GUM (former Kunst&Albers) department store on Svetlanskaya, across from Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsii, and electronic stores further east that can help with power converters and the like.
Local markets are spread throughout Vladivostok and provide the basic groceries for a neighborhood. Some even have a butcher but most all provide sausages and frozen meat. Larger markets sell clothing, shoes, and everything else imaginable in addition to food.
Sportivnaya Market is the largest market in Vladivostok. Its maze-like warrens are full of people selling most everything. There is a large Chinese presence here, and knockoffs and Chinese imports abound. The range of food sold at this market is fabulous but is probably a bit unusual for everyday fare.
- Mir Pryazhi (World of Yarn), 10 Semyonovskaya St (off Aleutskaya St), . 11AM-6PM daily. A nice place to buy local crafts (handmade jewellery, knitwear, porcelain beads). The shop also sells yarn and handcraft items.
Sunday morning brunch at the Vlad Inn (below) is a tradition for the handful of ex-pats living in the city.
- Fudo (Фудо), 5 Mordovtseva St (City center), 254-54-50. Su-Th 23:00-24:00, Fr-Sa 23:00-02:00. Sushi-bar. Free wi-fi 500-700RUB.
- Osama Sushi (Осама-суши), 13 Praporschika Komarova St (City centre, Praporschika Komarova/Krayevaya Bolnitsa bus stops, on the hill slope between them), , e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Su 12:00-24:00, Fr-Sa 12:00-02:00. Pan-Asian restaurant, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Nice sushi and fantastic bibimbap, sake and soju. 1000-1500RUB.
- Saigon (Кафе Сайгон), 23 Posyetskaya St (City center, one block up from the Vladivostok Station), . Mo-Th 11:00-23:00 Fr-Su 11:00-01:00. Vietnamese cafe, on the cheaper side, but nice cuisine, large portions, genuine Vietnamese chef 500-600RUB.
- Green cafe, 56 Svetlanskaya St, 70-17-53, e-mail: [email protected]. Mo-Fr 09:00-21:00; Sa, Su 10:00-21:00. Silent lounge music, soft sofas. 1000RUB.
- Belle Bazar, 6/25, 1st Morskaya St (A quarter away from the railway station). 10:00-20:00. Home-style atmosphere. European dishes. 400-1000RUB.
- Class, Mordovtseva St (City centre a few steps from Semyonovskaya).School class styled cafe with a blackboard on the wall and desks for tables. European food, pizza, a lot of sweets.
- cafe Cuckoo, 1A Okeanskiy Prospect (city centre, near the overseas passenger terminal and main city square), . 10:00-02:00 daily. This restaurant offers contemporary European cuisine. The head chef, Adriano Cavalieri, came from Melbourne, Australia. There is outdoor and indoor seating for approximately 100 people.
- cafe Moloko & Med (Milk & Honey), 6A Suhanova St (city centre, opposite Suhanova square), . 24:00-03:00 daily.European cuisine in a very nice and stylish atmosphere very popular with foreigners and expats. The staff speak English and an English-language menu is available. There is also a selection of Russian dishes on the menu. There are outdoor and indoor seating areas.
- Hans, 25a, Fokina st (city centre), . German food and house-brewed beer of three colours: red, light and dark served in medieval setting. The first floor is a fireplace hall, the second floor is made for dance and filled with live music. Comprises 60 and 100 visitors respectively. RUB1,000-1,500.
- München, 3, Svetlanskaya st (city centre, from the central square to Naberezhnaya, down in the basement), , e-mail:[email protected]. German food and house-brewed wheat beer of three colours: red, light and dark served in a quasi-medieval setting like in Hans. RUB1,000-1,500.
- Le Rouge, 23, Svetlanskaya St (city centre), . Tu-Th 12:00-02:00, F-Su daily. Red colonial French style, low tables and sofas, hooka-bar and chill-out music. On weekends open dance-floor. RUB500-1,000.
- bar «Drugoe mesto» (Bar «PlaceDifferent»), Fokina st., 16a (City centre, just steps away from main city square), . 12:00-02:00. Nice little bar filled with strange & interesting artefacts from all over the world. Good cuisine - mostly European. Perfect coffee. Desserts & ice-cream. Wide variety of drinks & cocktails. The staff speak English.RUB500-1000.
Magic Burger, Cinnabon, Royal Burger, Bubo, Bite Burger, RestoGrad (РестоГрад), Country Fried Chicken, restaurant network Republic (Республика) could be easily hit in the centre.
Sights & Landmarks
If you've arrived in Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian, at the end of a trip that began in Moscow, head straight for Sportivnaya Harbor. The still waters of the sea will likely provide sweet relief after several days on the train. However, if you're fresh off a ferry from Japan or Korea, head up to Svetlanskaya andPloschad Bortsov Revolutsy for a stroll to get your sea legs back. (Both destinations usually have food and drink vendors.)
Civil engineering buffs can gawk at the numerous construction marvels peppering the city streets since the 2012 APEC Summit, including the two enormous bridges across the Golden Horn Bay and Eastern Bosporus strait (the Russian Navy officers first exploring the area were big fans of Istanbul harbour), the latter of which is a largest cable-stayed bridge in the world. Locals are more ambivalent about all that construction, but the bridges and hotels nevertheless already have become a frequent visitor attractions, and the Golden Horn one is greatly praised by the locals, as it radically relieved the permanently congested Lugovaya square, taking about half of its traffic.
Russia's Pacific Fleet (not all of it, mind you, just its destroyer squadron) is parked right in the downtown, in Golden Horn Bay. A walk along the waterfront on Korabelnaya Embankment offers the closest views; to get any closer, you will have to enlist. Photographs with an average-sized camera shouldn't attract any problems, but be mindful of your surroundings or an enterprising police officer might invent a fine for you to pay.
- Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsy (Central Square), Svetlanskaya, between Aleutskaya and Uborevicha. This is a good place to relax and watch the locals at leisure. A pair of massive statues serve as the Memorial to the Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East, in honor of those who brought this remote corner of Russia under Bolshevik control. Today, they're more a memorial to the power of local skateboarders. You might also have the chance to take in a protest march. The giant, strikingly ugly regional administration building looms over the square.
- Sportivnaya Harbor. A popular summertime promenade and beach just the short walk away from the square. The official swimming ban is cheerfully ignored by the locals, who frolic in the water between the yachts of the main city marina, which mostly shares the location with the beach. A small amusement park with various kiddy rides and 80 m Ferris wheel lines the other side of the promenade, and the stalls around will sell you drinks, snacks and souvenir knick-knacks for outrageous prices.
- The square of the sister-cities (Площадь побратимов) (Crossroads of Semenovskaya and Pogranichnaya streets). Eleven arcs with cities' names engraved on them. Benches to relax. Free wi-fi zone.
- Dynamo stadium, the home arena of the city's eternally struggling Luch-Energia football outfit, as well as Olympiets sports center, a base ofSpartak-Primorye basketball team and a popular venue for martial arts tournaments, are also situated there, as is the old city aquarium. The new, much larger and fancier one, is currently under construction on Russkiy island. In the winter the frozen waters of the bay become a home for hundreds, if not thousands, ice fishers (or "penguins" in local parlance), some of which even drive their cars to the ice.
- Golden Horn bridge. Cable-stayed 2.1km (1.30 mi) long bridge across the Golden horn bay.
- The bridge to the Russkiy island across Eastern Bosphorus strait.The world’s largest cable-stayed bridge, 3.1km (1.93 mi)long.
- Marine cemetery (Морское кладбище) (at the city south near Patrokl bay). The memorials and tombs of Czechoslovak legion, British and Japanese military men, Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev and seafarer Fridolf Gek.
- Marine Museum TINRO (Владивостокский океанариум «Аквамир»), 4, Batareinaya St (Go to Sportivnaya Harbor). M 11AM-6PM, Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. RUB200.
- Vladivostok circus (Владивостокский цирк), 103, Svetlanskaya St.
- Botanical garden FEBRAS (Ботанический сад), 142, Makovskogo St.
Museums & Galleries
For connoisseurs of Lenin statues, don't miss the one overlooking the train station from the west, next to the post office (the popular joke goes that the World Proletariat Leader says "You're going the right way, comrades", while pointing at Japan). There are also some interesting statues heading east on Svetlanskaya, both Soviet-era and abstract.
- Arsenyev Regional History Museum, 20 Svetlanskaya St (At the intersection of Aleutskaya and Svetlanskaya), . Mostly a natural history museum, save for a few pieces of Stalinist kitsch and a tribute to Hollywood star and hometown hero Yul Brynner. There are some interesting displays on pre-Russian settlers and their techniques for hunting and survival, but the death-dance between the tiger and the bear has to be seen to be believed.
- Museum Vladivostok Fortress, 4-a Batareynaya St, .10AM-6PM daily. Overlooking the sea, these fortifications were built more than a century ago to guard against invasion from Japan. Today, the grounds are cluttered with defused bombs, chain guns, and small military vehicles. Those can be visited for free; there's a small fee to go inside the several rooms of the fort, which feature displays on the history of Russia's presence in the region and some intricate dioramas.
- Korabelnaya Embankment. ,
- Primorsky State Art Gallery, 12 Aleutskaya St, .Traveling art exhibitions and a well-regarded collection of classic European masters.
- C-56 Submarine, Korabelnaya nab. You can't board the Pacific Fleet, but this WWII submarine is parked on land, by the Naval Memorial, and welcomes visitors; the interior is pretty well-preserved, and you can monkey around more or less unattended while you're inside. There's usually someone selling Soviet pins and military gear outside.
- Triumphal Arc (Nikolai gate) (Deep into the eastern side of Korabelnaya nab). Chapel-like arc constructed in honour of the visiting tsar Nikolai II, destroyed after the revolution and restored in 2003.
- Vladivostok Station, Aleutskaya St. Even if your journey doesn't involve trains, the beautiful old Vladivostok Station is worth a look. The last among the steam-engines stands at the platform. Don't miss the 9288km sign post nearby
- Lighthouse at Egersheld cape (Маяк на Эгершельде). This white lighthouse on the edge of a spit was built in 1910 and could be seen to every one who gets back from sea travels.
Things to do
If you'd like to swim, the beach at Sportivnaya Harbor is the place to do it (notGolden Horn Bay, where the Pacific Fleet is parked). Be sure to salute the half-submerged mermaid statue out in the water - when they finally fish it out of the water, that is, the statue was driven off its foundation by the shifting ice and sunk several years ago. Alternately, in the winter, locals aren't shy about strolling out on ice.
- Dinamo Stadium, ul Batareynaya, just off Sportivnaya Harbor. Home of FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok, who play in the Russian Premier League of professional soccer (or down in the First Division, as their fortunes go).
- SK Olimpiets. Home of Spartak Primorje, who play in the Russian Super League of professional basketball.
- Yacht Club 'Seven Feet' (Яхт-клуб 'Семь футов'), office #24, 17, Leitenanta Shmidta St, e-mail: [email protected].Organized fishing, daily sea walks as well as annual Boat show [www]
- Fetisov Arena (Фетисов-Арена), 690024, 284 Makovskogo st.(Suburb, just across the highway from the "Sputnik" platform), , e-mail: [email protected]. The home arena of the city's KHL outfit, HC 'Admiral', refer to the KHL calendar for the game days; also provides spaces for concerts, exhibitions and other gigs. An amateur Night Hockey League games are often held at night, and a public skating rink is also open during the whole hockey season.
Festivals and events
- Every September, golden season by balneological standards, the city holds the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival and welcomes Russian cinematographic beaumond and often first stars from the West like Gérard Depardieu.
- International Jazz Festival — Vladivostok, organized by Vladivostok Philharmonic.
- Every last Sunday of September - Tiger's day
- club Cuckoo, 1A Okeanskiy Prospect (Centre, near the overseas passenger terminal and main square), . F Sa 11PM-6AM. The most glamorous night club in the city. There can be very strict rules of who's let in but foreigners usually pass, just speak English. Hosts the best parties in town, including DJs from Moscow and London. ticket RUB500 at door; drinks RUB150-350.
- Cafe Presto, 15 Svetlanskaya St (city centre, opposite the Central Sq). A self-service café with European prices.
- Chaplin (Чаплин), 56 Svetlanskaya St, Call 26-46-86 for a table.Disco music, a bar and a dance-floor.
Safety in Vladivostok
A few roads can only be crossed by poorly-lit underground passageways, which can be a bit nerve-racking at night. Beggars tend to congregate near the doors, including children with very quick hands, so cover your pockets as you pass.
Although you'll see plenty of locals stripping down for a swim on the boardwalks off Naberezhnaya, take care; there is plenty of rusted metal about. Stick to the beach unless you're very confident in your tetanus shots.