When people think of visiting Russia, often the main places that spring to mind are the large and vibrant cities of Moscow and St Petersburg, the wilds of Siberia, and the stunningly beautiful Lake Baikal. With many things to do in Vladivostok, however, there are plenty of reasons to add the far eastern parts of Russia to your bucket list.
Close to China, South Korea, and Japan, Vladivostok offers a terrific view into a different part of Russia.
Sitting firmly on the Asian continent, there is a unique blend of Asian and European cultures, as well as some elements that are distinctly Russian in nature, independent of continents.
Vladivostok’s location at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway makes it a perfect place to either begin or end one of the most epic journeys you could ever take. It is also well worth a visit in its own right, however, even if you don’t plan on taking a train journey across the country. There is an international airport that serves the city, and you can also get there by bus and train from other parts of Russia. Ferry services also connect Vladivostok with South Korea and Japan.
Here are just a few of the great things to do in Vladivostok:
Golden Horn Bay
Part of Russia’s mighty Pacific Fleet can be seen in all its awesome splendor at Golden Horn Bay. This is perhaps the closest you will ever be able to get to the Russian military, and you can view the destroyer squadron with a mixture of awe, fascination, trepidation, and respectful fear. Regular photos are generally fine. A long bridge spans the bay.
A very popular summer destination with locals and tourists alike, the beach and sea offer a great place to relax and escape from the everyday hustle and bustle of city life. The main marina is also here, and you will see plenty of fancy yachts bobbing about on the waters. A mermaid statue pokes up out of the water. Take a ride on the Ferris wheel for good views of the surrounding area and enjoy a walk along the pretty promenade. There is a good selection of places to stop for a quick drink or a bite to eat.
Although the train station itself is interesting in its own right, built in the traditional Russian style, a main reason to go here is to see the large and interesting statue of Lenin sternly pointing and looking out towards the east and over the station. You can find it next to the Post Office, which is also an interesting piece of Byzantine architecture.
More than 100 years old, the impressive fortress was built to help defend the area against potential threats and invasions from Japan. You can wander around the grounds and see lots of different weaponry, military vehicles, and ordinance, and there are some interesting pictures and displays in some of the different rooms. There are also nice views out towards the ocean.
There are several large open public squares around the city, ideal for taking a breather or enjoying a spot of people watching.
Vladivostok has several sister cities, and each one is celebrated in a lovely square. There are arches with each city’s name engraved in them and it is a nice place to have a little walk or relax on one of the public benches. The sister cities include Busan in South Korea, Japan’s Akita, Niigata, and Hakodate, Daliang in China, Haipong in Vietnam, and the USA’s San Diego, Tacoma, and Juneau.
There really are plenty of great things to do in vibrant Vladivostok!