Vladivostok On a BudgetVladivostok is a port city on Russia's Pacific coastline and the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Many people visit the city as the beginning or end of their journey on the railway, but there are some attractions to the city itself worth visiting.
SightsThe city is full of memorials, museums, and landmarks that showcase Vladivostok's history. While the central hub of the city boasts attractions like the Vladivostok Fortress and museum, Arsenyev Regional History Museum, Triumphal Arc (Nikolai gate), and the S-56 submarine (which visitors can step inside and explore), there are also plenty of things to see and do in the areas immediately surrounding the city. The Russky Island Bridge, for example, is one of the the world's largest cable bridges, and extends to Russky Island where visitors can take a day trip and see the extended island area of Vladivostok. Visitors also admire the lighthouse at Egersheld cape (first built in 1910), which offers views of the sea, as well as Eagle's Nest Hill (the highest point in downtown), which offers the best panoramic views of the city.
Other attractions include the cube-shaped Russian Opera House where visitors can enjoy ballets or musical performances on three unique stages, or the Zarya Center for Contemporary Art where patrons can experience art in any way they like, covering topics such as cinematography and theater, literature, art, design and architecture, music, and new media. The Primorsky Aquarium (located on Russky Island) is also popular, as is the Vladivostokskii Oceanarium (in the city itself), which features more than 100 marine species.
NeighborhoodsThe location of the city near the water is Vladivostok's downtown area. Part of Russia’s Pacific Fleet can be seen from here, docked in the Golden Horn Bay. There are also many options for dining, shopping, and accommodations in the area. Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsy (or Central Square) is a nice place to relax and people watch, with a pair of statues commemorating the Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East. Nearby is Sportivnaya Harbor, with a promenade, beach, and small amusement park, just a short walk from the square. Another communal hub is the square of the sister-cities at the crossroads of Semenovskaya and Pogranichnaya Streets. The square is marked by eleven arcs engraved with city names, and has plenty of benches for the public to enjoy as well as a free Wi-Fi zone.
ActivitiesThe best thing to do in Vladivostok is to explore the main sights, experience the culture, and sample the food that ties the mix of cultures together. Enjoy a show at the Russian Opera House or a sporting event at the Dynamo Stadium. Some people even swim at the beach in Sportivnaya Harbor, where a mermaid statue lies half-submerged in the water.
The city is also host to several events held throughout the year. Visitors might catch the annual boat show at the Yacht Club ‘Seven Feet,’ or they might kick back with some music at the International Jazz Festival. Each September, Vladivostok also puts on the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival where the Russian cinematographic elite convene to appreciate film. And, of course, there is the Trans-Siberian Railway, which attracts the most of Vladivostok's visitors.
Food and DiningCuisine of Vladivostok can be described as a unique blend of Russian, Ukrainian, and Asian culinary traditions. A few local favorites include things like borscht (beet soup), golden pancakes with red caviar, vareniki (more commonly known as pierogi), toasted pies with various stuffings, golubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls), marinated mushrooms, and crispy pickled cucumbers. Each of these dishes, however, is slightly different than traditional expectations due to local ingredients, for example, fish is used in place of meat in many meals. These alternative ingredients are what add the Asian aspect to cuisine of Vladivostok. The city's proximity to the ocean also makes it a great location for fish and seafood. Salted or pickled red fish is popular, as are fish caviar, shrimp, crab, mussels, oysters, scallops, and squid. Japanese, Chinese, and Korean dishes can also be found in areas of the city.
TransportationThe most popular way of entry into Vladivostok is also its main attraction-the Trans-Siberian Railway. Tickets must be booked well in advance. Vladivostok is the eastern terminus of the railway, which extends to Moscow in the west.
Vladivostok International Airport is the nearest major airport, located 40 kilometers northeast of Vladivostok, near Artyom. It is also the largest airport in the Russian Far East. Transportation in and out of the city can also be arranged by ship or by bus.