Vladivostok, Russia - Russia Travel Guide

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Reasons to Travel to Vladivostok

Sometimes described as "Russia's San Francisco", and greatly reminiscent of Anchorage, Alaska, when in winter, Vladivostok is literally closer to the west coast of the United States than it is to Moscow.

Despite this fact, elements of the Asian culture inherited from the city's nearest neighbors can be observed even during a simple walk down the streets, when at the same time the architecture leaves no doubt that this is a Russian city.

Vladivostok is located at the same latitude with Russian subtropical sea resort Sochi, but its average annual temperature is nearly 10 degrees lower due to the Siberian High that brings cold winds from Yakutia for much of the winter. Thus, winter in Vladivostok is typical for Manchuria, it is cold, clear and very windy, the snow is scarce and in some years may not fall at all.

The city of Vladivostok was first built in 1860 when Russia expanded eastwards over and beyond the River Amur. At this time, Russia made its claim to the Russian Far East. Vladivostok became Russia's most important city in the East: the Russian Pacific fleet was based there as were large fishing fleets. 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 Trans-Siberian Railway was built to connect Asian and European Russia. The final stop on the line, or the first if you are traveling westwards, is in Vladivostok. The city's strategic location and port have in short led to Vladivostok being a vital hub in North East Asia. From its foundation in 1860 as a military post, the city received the status of porto-franco that boosted international commerce and development.

The first thing that will catch your eye right from the platform of the railway station is a unique building of the terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway built more than a century ago. The might of the Russian Navy on the Pacific Ocean sits on display from the platform of the adjacent sea terminal, both of these places are must while going on a tour of Vladivostok.

As with other naval headquarters, Vladivostok celebrates the Russian fleet with a number of museums. As such, make sure to put the S-56 World War II-era submarine which is located on the shore of the Golden Horn (the first Soviet submarine to circumnavigate the globe) on your Vladivostok itinerary.

Best Things to Do in Vladivostok

  • Explore the final point of the Trans-Siberian Railway, the historic Vladivostok rail station
  • Learn more about the Russian Pacific fleet at the S-56 World War II-era submarine
  • Ride Vladivostok's funicular and enjoy great city views from the Eagle's Nest observation platform
 

This city of hills gives the opportunity to see some of the most spectacular views from Vladivostok's funicular or the cliffs above Ussuri Bay. Moreover, the new cable-stayed bridge across the Eastern Bosphorus grants access to even more scenic views on Frunzensky Island.

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