The wide territory of Russia holds a treasure far East, a place that was born as a fortress and is now a cosmopolitan princess. Considered among the 10 most beautiful oceanfront cities in the world, Vladivostok is a major commercial port and naval base in the Pacific, but also an attractive and picturesque destination. As the start and the end of the Trans Siberian Rail, it delights tourists from all around the globe after 35 years of being off-limits to foreigners in the Soviet era. Discover the fantastic attractions and impressive landmarks that Vladivostok has for you.
1. Vladivostok Train Station
Both a starting point and a finish line, the Vladivostok Train Station is where the Trans Siberian Train arrives from or departures to Moscow, 9,288 kilometers (5,771 miles) away. It is worth a visit even if you don’t plan on taking the train, since it is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in town. Founded simultaneously with the railway in 1891, it was rebuilt in 1912 in the same style as the Yaroslavsky railway station in Moscow - some joke that you cross Russia only to get to the same place. With stunning ceilings, beautiful mosaics and other gorgeous details, this architectural gem is filled with history and tradition.
Vladivostok Train Station
Address: Aleutskaya, 2, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
2. Popov Island
Located in Peter the Great Gulf, Popov Island is very popular among the locals and one of the most visited spots in the Gulf. With lovely pebble beaches and warm waters in the summer, it is the perfect site for outdoor recreation. It also features the Far Eastern Sea Reserve and the Museum of Nature. The island serves as a marvelous option for scuba diving as well, since it has an amazing diversity of local sea fauna, like sea stars. The best time to go is from July to September, and you can reach it by ferry in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Make sure to check the schedule in advance on the port since the time table varies along the year.
Address: Morskoy vokzal (Ferry Port), Nizhneportovaya 1B, Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia
Website: Popov Island (in Russian)
3. Vladivostok Fortress
Considered one of the most powerful naval fortresses in the world, Vladivostok Fortress is a unique historical monument that those interested in military science will love, but can interest the general public as well. It has never been involved in military actions, since after its construction in the late 19th-century it became virtually impossible to attack the coast. Nowadays, you can access interesting exhibits about the medieval period of the Primorye history and the history of Vladivostok Fortress’s creation and the town’s foundation. The facilities include outer exposition of artillery armory and samples of construction machinery.
Address: Batareynaya ul., 4 А, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Vladivostok Fortress
4. Primorsky Aquarium
The project of the Primorsky Aquarium began with a request of President Putin. Even before the construction was finished, it was already seen as one of the biggest aquariums in the world. Primorsky Aquarium has an important goal related to scientific discovery and research, but is an attractive venue to visitors because of the large scale exhibits and animal shows. The building is a spectacle on its own - created by the Design Institute of Vladivostok, is was built in the shape of a shell. You can get to the Aquarium’s gate on public transport and take a free shuttle service that will take you to the ticket office.
Address: Russkiy Ostrov, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Primorsky Aquarium
5. Tokarevsky Lighthouse on Egersheld Peninsula
One of Vladivostok’s icons is Tokarevsky Lighthouse (Mayak Tokarevskiy), where all the roads symbolically end. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the Russian Far East and sits on a man-made island connected to land by a narrow path. It is possible to walk on it and reach the lighthouse if the tide is low, and give the illusion that you are walking on water.
It is a fantastic place to visit all year round, with beautiful beaches to enjoy in the summer, wonderful frozen water scenery in winter and the possibility of spotting seals in the early spring.
Tokarevsky Lighthouse on Egersheld Peninsula
Address: Tokarevsky Cape, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
6. Zolotoy Bridge
A dominant structure that astonishes everyone because of its great size and modern design. The Zolotoy (Golden) Bridge connects the city’s downtown with the Churkin district, which was very welcomed among the locals. It has a total length of 1,388 meters (4,554 feet) and a 226.25 meters (742.3 feet) height, offering a breathtaking view. You can stop by at any time, since its illumination makes it worth a visit in the evening too. Make sure to stop by the lookout deck for pictures.
Address: Goldern Horn Bay, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Zolotoy Bridge
7. Moloko & Med Restaurant
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Feeling hungry? Moloko & Med (Milk & Honey) is located in Vladivostok’s city center and has a sophisticated urban atmosphere and menu. It’s great for having breakfast, but serves as a nice space to have a drink in the evening as well. They offer a variety of meals with Italian and French influence, but if you are looking to taste some Russian dishes this is a good choice too. In addition, the lovely terrace can be a cool place to relax while enjoying your meal.
Moloko & Med Restaurant
Address: Sukhanova St., 6A, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Moloko & Med Restaurant
8. Naval Memorial - S-56 Submarine
The C-56 or S-56 (“S” stands for “Srednyaya”, which is Russian for “medium”) is a submarine that had an important role in the naval history of Russia and in World War II, as it is considered the most efficient one in the Soviet Navy in the use of torpedoes. It is now opened for the general public as part of the Naval Memorial Museum, which has two parts: the first one is dedicated to the history and most important events in the Russian Navy, while the second part is the submarine itself. It has become a very popular attraction in Vladivostok and a great way to meet something that fills the locals with pride.
Naval Memorial - S-56 Submarine
Address: Korabelnaya nab., Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
9. Zarya Centre for Contemporary Arts
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Standing at the entrance to Vladivostok and reachable by public bus, the Zarya Center for Contemporary Arts is the perfect place to experience the local modern art scene. With a mission to support the emerging artists of the city, the center offers a space to promote and inspire creativity. It operates under the banner of experimental methods of interaction between artists and audience, and offers an interesting display of exhibitions and events that appeal to art lovers, but to the general public too.
It is located in an old Soviet garment factory and features a wonderful reading room with Wi-Fi, where visitors can mingle with the artists. Admission is free.
Zarya Centre for Contemporary Arts
Address: prosp. 100-Letiya Vladivostoky, 155, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Zarya Centre for Contemporary Arts
10. Bridge to Russky Island
Built for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference that took place on the Russky Island in 2012, the Russky Bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world. With a 1,104 meter (3,622 feet) long central span, it is an impressive piece of engineering that connects the city to the island and provides a beautiful landmark to Vladivostok. You can take the bus to the DVFU campus if you wish to go through the bridge by public transport, and then commute to a minibus that takes you round the island, which offers beautiful beaches and interesting forts.
Bridge to Russky Island
Address: Nazimov peninsula, Vladivostok, Primorskiy kray, Russia
Website: Bridge to Russky Island
11. Witness majestic singing at the Mariinsky Theatre Primorsky Stage
Visiting a country like Russia is a great feat on your travel bucket list and it ought to be a shame if you didn’t get to see a spectacular Russian performance at a local opera house. Grab the opportunity to catch an opera show at the Mariinsky Theatre Primorsky Stage and witness glorious opera singing from the world’s most renowned opera singers and performers. This Russian Opera House is was built back in 2012 for the APEC Summit and is renowned for its incredible design, boasting glass walls, and three stages for seasonal shows. Ongoing shows include Peter and the Wolf, a symphonic tale for children best attended by those traveling with families. There’s also the Christmas classic, The Nutcracker which is also a ballet show combined; truly a must-see when visiting a one of a kind country like Mother Russia.
Russian Opera House
Address: Theatre Square, 1, St Petersburg, Russia, 190000
Website: The Mariinsky Theatre
Opening hours: time varries
Price: 2.35 USD to 47.07 USD
12. Visit a "banya" and get beate by a "venik"
After exploring Vladisvotok, it’s no doubt some travelers will feel sore and craving a massage or a solid sauna session. Instead of a normal back or foot rub, go the extra mile and book a few hours relaxing in a local bathhouse where travelers can see what the one of a kind experience of a Russian steam bath is really like. There are several public bathhouses called “banya” all over Vladisvotok, where people are fully naked and comfortably sit and wait to perspire. Apart from the steam baths, there’s also the famous tree-branch-whipping from a Russian masseuse who uses birch tree branches, better known as “venik” to finish off your spa session. This may seem odd but it is a very common and rejuvenating practice many Russians like when spending time in a banya. Best to give thanks right after as it is considered rude to shoo them away.
Visit the Yamskie Banya
Address: Russia, St. Petersburg, ul. Dostoevsky, d.9
Website: Yamskie Banya
Opening hours: General Branches: 8:00 am to 11:00 pm, Mondays to Sundays; Suites and Rooms: 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, Sundays to Mondays
Price:3.92 USD to 7.37 USD
The unofficial capital of the Russian Far East
Its unique geographical location made Vladivostok an unbreakable military position, but it’s now heaven for visitors who are delighted with the breathtaking panoramic views and vibrant cosmopolitan vibe that this city provides. Take it as a wonderful way to start or as an incredible finish line to your journey, and be sure that Vladivostok will give you a great time.
Editor's note: In light of the 2022 political and military situation in Russia, Trip101 urges you to be apprised of the latest news if you have any urgent plans to travel to Russia. Do note that some bookings and services have been suspended or may not be available at this moment.
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