Vladivostok: the lighthouse and lotuses, the Russian bridge and live foxes in the parking lot
I go to Vladivostok once a year and travel around the Primorsky Krai. I’ll tell you what to see in the city and what attractions to visit, where to find a Japanese restaurant and where to go to meet live foxes, where to go for a weekend even when it’s cold and nasty outside, and what to do if the city is covered with fog and only ten meters of the bridge is visible.
Vladivostok sights: where to go and what to see
The capital of Primorye was built in 1860. Despite its proximity to Japan, China and Korea, Vladivostok remains a Russian city. On the waterfront, you will see a monument in honor of the discoverers – Russian soldiers.
Right in the center is the old Svetlanskaya Street, where buildings from the beginning of the last century have been preserved. You can stroll along Admiral Fokin’s pedestrian street, the Sportivnaya Harbor embankment, the Ship Quay and even go to the safari park in Shkotovo.
On the day of arrival you should go to the most popular places of the city. They are all marked on the map – you are free to plan your own walking route around Vladivostok.
The lighthouse was built back in 1876, and since then it indicates the path of passing ships. It is connected to the mainland by a thin embankment – it is also called ‘cat’s tail’.
At high tide, the gravel passageway is completely hidden under water, so before you go to the lighthouse, you need to clarify whether you will be able to approach it. To do so, you may type ‘tides and currents in Vladivostok’ into the search engine. The sea level changes several times a day.
To get to the lighthouse, you have to go to Tokarevskaya Koshka (this is a spit). If you have a car, there is a parking lot, still free. From there on foot on a pebble – about 50 meters. If you are going there in the summer, I recommend to take rubber slippers not to get your feet wet. Vladivostok is extremely windy region, and you can catch a cold very quickly there.
Along the spit you can find the gifts of the Sea of Japan – a sea urchin or a star, which are often washed ashore.
Russian Bridge and Golden Bridge
Even if you have never been to Primorye, you have probably seen the Russian Bridge – it is painted on the bill of two thousand rubles. The construction was completed in 2012. The bridge stretches across the Eastern Bosphorus Strait and Nazimov Peninsula with Novosilsky Cape on Russky Island. The cable stays are made in the colors of the Russian tricolor.
The bridge is only for cars, so you can not walk on it. To get a closer look and take good photos, you can take a boat ride. Tickets are sold on the waterfront near the military unit. From the water the bridge seems even bigger and looks especially majestic.
On a water tour you can view the entire coast, and also the Golden Bridge, which crosses the bay of Golden Horn. You will be told a brief history of the city and will be shown all the significant buildings that can be seen from the sea.
Mariinka Primorsky – opera theater
Primorsky Opera House is a branch of the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater. Here they stage classical and contemporary performances, hold gala concerts and invite the world stars of the opera stage. Tickets can be purchased on Yandex Afishe.
It is interesting that the building has a modern style and has nothing in common with the pretentious baroque that we are used to seeing in most classical theaters.
The Tsesarevich Embankment was opened in 2012, but it owes its name to Nicholas II, who visited Vladivostok in the late 19th century. There are always a lot of people here, including scooters, rollerblades and skateboards. If you go with children, there is a beautiful playground on the waterfront where you can take a break.
Nearby is the Dalzavod, which in 1927-1932 produced more than 700 ships – including boats, tugs, seiners, pontoons, barges, marine motor sailing schooners. In 1930 the first in Russia all-welded ship was built at Dalzavod. Now it is a ship-repair enterprise, so, unfortunately, there are no excursions.
Another interesting place opens up if you walk around the buildings on the embankment from the inside. There are brick neat buildings and rails, leading to the Dalzavod gate, which is almost always closed
It is one of the largest scientific and cognitive complexes in the world, located on the Russian island. The complex covers 37 square kilometers, which is enough space to compactly accommodate 37 million people. Inside there are 135 aquariums, which contain more than 15 thousand cubic meters of water.
The aquariums are home to hundreds of different marine animals – from unique clams to royal penguins. One of the aquariums is a contact aquarium, where you can even put your hand in the water and feel a shrimp. If you’re squeamish, there are hand-washing sinks and antiseptics near the aquariums.
In the other wing of the aquarium is the dolphinarium, which seats 800 people.
How to get there: you can get by public buses number 15 (Pokrovsky Park – Oceanarium), 63 (lighthouse – train station – Oceanarium), 74 (Balyaeva – Lugovaya – Oceanarium), 76 (Tikhaya Bay – Oceanarium), 77 (bus station – Oceanarium). Seaquarium works all days except Monday from 10 to 20 (but the entrance is open until 18:45). Tickets can be purchased on the official website.
There have always been a lot of foxes on Russian Island, and they are almost not afraid of people, and on particularly stuffy days they come out to the parking lot to ask for water. If you meet them, don’t be surprised, but rather give them something to eat. Foxes are not aggressive and are more afraid of people than we are of them.
Lotus Lake in Artyom
If you are ready to leave Vladivostok, visit the lotus lake in Artyom. It’s better to do it in the second half of July or early August – that’s when the real beauty is there. Almost the entire surface of the lake is covered with large pink flowers and leaves. Do not be afraid to go barefoot – the bottom can be uneven, but the little fish will give you a free exfoliation. It’s also full of green flies, so it’s best to wear long-sleeved clothes.
To get to the lotus lake, take bus “Vladivostok – Artyom” at the bus station – they go literally every hour. If you catch a car at the bus stop and follow the Artyom – Shtykovo highway till the sign “R. Knevichanka”.
The glass beach
If you want to swim in the Sea of Japan – and hence the Pacific Ocean – go in summer. In July, there are hot and stuffy days when cool water is just right. However, locals also swim when the water temperature is relatively low, when it does not even reach 20 degrees. If you like only very warm water, it’s worth checking the forecast in advance.
I do not recommend swimming in the city on the waterfront: there is a persistent smell of fuel oil, because boats and boats are moored around. It is better to go out of town. One of the coolest options, in my opinion, is Glass Beach. It is so called because there is as much glass on the shore as the usual pebbles, if not more. And all this glass is already polished by the waves, so do not be afraid to cut your feet.
The most popular beach place among the townspeople is Shamora, about which “Mumiy Troll” sang. Here there is everything for summer holidays: supermarket, cafes and restaurants, children’s entertainment complexes, sports equipment rental. The coastline of Shamora is conditionally divided into three beaches, each of which has its own infrastructure.
To get there take buses nos. 26, 28 and 102 and stop “Lazurnaya” (Shamora, 1st beach). The fare is about 70 ₽. If you are by car, the travel time will be 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic density.
If you want more amenities, there’s the Laguna Recreation Area, which townspeople love for its comfort. A day pass (you will be asked 100 ₽ at the entrance, 50 ₽ for a child) entitles you to use the beach services – showers, toilets, a playground, a mother and child room and more.
To get there from the railway station – by suburban trains to station Sanatornaya, buses number 24d, 102, 104, 6d, 28, 45. If you drive a car, you need to head in the direction of Vladivostok’s exit, turn left into Tenth Street and drive to the beach.
The Sea of Japan is very lively, it is much more inhabited than, for example, in the Black Sea. There are sea urchins, starfish, clams and crabs of all kinds.
Where to eat in Vladivostok
Vladivostok is famous for the abundance of Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants – the neighboring countries generously provide residents of the Far East with original recipes of soups and other dishes. You should definitely try scraped cucumber and, of course, Kamchatka crabs.
To understand how much meat is inside, squeeze one leg of the crab. You will feel whether it is full of meat or empty like a drum. It’s better not to take empty ones – you’ll pay money for the shell. And pay attention to the smell, although tainted products are extremely rare
You can buy crabs in any fish store, but for a more sophisticated meal go to a restaurant.
One of the best Japanese restaurants is Umami Ramen Club. The portions here are not bad, especially the soups. They range in price from 400 to 600 ₽, but the plate holds about 700 milliliters of soup (twice the normal serving size). If it’s just the two of you, one plate is enough to fill you up. The sushi there is also delicious. You can eat for 1300-1800 ₽ for two.
The Korean restaurant Mirine on Ocean Avenue is not bad either. Keep in mind that almost all dishes there are very, very spicy. Be prepared to put out the “fire” in your mouth, so order some cool drink right away.
Some restaurants have ovens built into the tables and you can roast yourself on an open fire or watch the chef cook. Where in other cities shawarma (or shawarma) is usually sold, in Vladivostok you can buy Chinese pyan-se (something like samsa with meat and cabbage), as well as potato spirals or noodles for every taste.
Large supermarkets have goods from China, Korea and Japan, so you can buy interesting oyster sauce or soybean paste everywhere.
When to go to Vladivostok
If you want a pleasant experience, long walks and warmth – go in summer, but don’t forget to bring an umbrella. June is often rainy and the temperature may not rise above 20 ℃, but it is generally much nicer than winter storms. There are a lot of ups and downs in the city that get covered in ice and turn into a roller coaster. And there’s also the risk of being without heat or light when it’s cold – winds often tear down wires and break utilities.
By the way, in summer you can see black swallowstail – the largest butterfly living in Russia. Their wingspan reaches up to 16 centimeters, and from a distance they can be mistaken for small birds.
How to get to Vladivostok
The fastest way to get to Vladivostok is by plane. In summer, there are more direct flights, at other times of the year you will most likely have to connect via Moscow.
The trip from Moscow will take about nine hours. During this time on the plane, as a rule, you get two meals and plaids. I recommend getting a good night’s sleep on the flight because the seven-hour difference with Moscow has a big impact, and sometimes it takes two or three days just to adapt.
In order to get to the city from the airport, you can use Aeroexpress “Knevichi Airport – Vladivostok”. It takes almost an hour without traffic jams and costs 200 ₽. Aeroexpress usually works from 8:05 to 18:00, but it is better to check the exact schedule on the website of Aeroexpress, as data often change.
In Vladivostok, there are also trains, but it all depends on the length of your vacation – if you are willing to spend several days only for the road, choose the train.
Vladivostok sights for tourists
Vladivostok is the largest seaport in eastern Russia, located on several islands and peninsulas. What to see in Vladivostok for a tourist, what to do and what to buy, we will tell you briefly in our article.
What to see in Vladivostok in 1 day
Vladivostok is one of the Russian cities, which attracts with its historical sites, architectural ensembles, gorgeous Ussuriysk nature, fortifications. There are a lot of interesting places which are worth visiting here. It is up to tourists to decide what to see and where to go in Vladivostok, and our article will help you decide on the route.
It is the terminal point of the longest in the world Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1912 the building was rebuilt and its architecture resembled the premises of the Yaroslavsky Railway Station in Moscow.
Address: Aleutskaya street, 2.
Bus lines: 7, 13, 31, 39d, 45, 49, 59, 60, 62, 81, 106, 112. Shuttles 63, 107, 111, 114.
There is a seaport with 16 berths, 4 km long, 50 m from the railway station. The port is ice-free. It operates year round.
Address: Nizhneportovaya street, 1.
Buses 59, 60, 62, 81. Bus 63.
The bridge received its name from the bay over which it spans. Cable-stayed bridge is one of the five largest in the world of such design. Its length is about 1.5 kilometers, in the evening the construction looks incredibly beautiful.
Address: Golden Bridge
Take buses 1, 7, 15, 15k or 45.
See other places of interest:
Tokarevskaya Cat Lighthouse
This is a round white tower. Its height is 12 meters. Built on Tokarevskaya spit. For 150 years the lighthouse indicates the way to ships passing through the strait – the famous Eastern Bosphorus. Tourists get here by the sandy embankment to admire the sunrise, sometimes you can see the seals sailing by.
Buses 57, 59, 60, 62, 63, 81.
The single-track railroad on the Orlinaya Sopka slope was built in the early 1960s at the initiative of N. S. Khrushchev. Two carriages go to the upper station with 2 stops. At the top there is an observation deck with a view of Golden Bay.
Buses 31, 38, 39, 39d, 16c, and 68.
Monument to Cyril and Methodius.
On top of the Orlinaya hill there is a monument to the creators of the Russian alphabet. It was initiated by the rector of FESTU.
Address: Aksakovsky Lane. 3А.
Take buses 31, 38, 39, 39d, 16c, 68, then take the funicular.
One of the largest buildings in the world: 100 km long stone wall surrounds the city. The construction of the fortress began in 1889. It was finished in 1918.
Address: Batter Street.
Buses 7, 54, 54a, 55, 97, 103, 104, 108. Bus 35.
This bridge is considered a record holder as the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world, its length is 3100 m. It connected the Nasimov Peninsula and Novosilsky Cape on Russky Island. The image of the bridge can be seen on the bill of 2000 rubles.
Buses 15, 29d, 74, 75, 76, 77e, 63, 22d.
This facility is one of the historical sites. At the beginning of XX century tower battery was a strong defensive force on the Russian island against the Japanese fleet.
Address: Russky Island
The temple was built in 1902, and 33 years later it was blown up by the Bolsheviks. Almost 100 years later the cathedral was restored to its original form. The building can seat up to 1000 parishioners. The temple is active.
Address: Ocean Prospect, 44.
Bus 12, 19, 78, 102t, 110t, 114t. Stop. “buses 7t, 15, 17, 17l, 17t, 23, 23l, 24, 28, 40, 41, 45, 51, 54, 54a, 55, 59, 60, 81, 98d, 98c, 105, 106, 107, 111, 112.
Catholic Parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
A Catholic church laid out in 1909. It was renovated in 1991. The red brick building with colored stained glass windows is an ornament of the city. The temple has an organ and organ music concerts are held for all comers.
Address: Volodarskogo street, 22.
Bus 68, stop “Lomonosov”.
St. Paul Lutheran Church
North German Gothic monument of the beginning of XX century is located at the Eagle’s Nest hill. During the Soviet years the building housed a museum of the Pacific Fleet. Organ concerts have been held in the church since 2006.
Address: ul. Pushkinskaya, 14.
Bus 13d, 17l, 23l, 24, 31, 39d, 49, 54a, 55, 62, 90, 98z, 99, stop “FESTU”. Route 66.
Marfo-Mariinsky female monastery
The complex attracts by the uniqueness of architecture. Among the constructions there are preserved ancient objects, there are also modern ones. In the church of Eusebius of Samosata are the main relics: miraculous icons, holy relics and others.
Address: 14th street, 32.
Stop. “Sedanka”, buses 1, 24, 28, 34, 44d, 45, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 112, 205mp, 224.
House of Butterflies “Delight”.
The exhibition is located in a room resembling a tropical garden. Different species of butterflies are in an environment as close to natural as possible.
Address: 4, Battery str.
Business hours: 10.00 – 19.00.
Buses 59, 60, 62.
The memorial ship “Red Vympel”.
Watch boat was first launched in 1910. Took part in military operations. In 1958 the ship was put in the Zolotoy Rog Bay and equipped with a museum.
Address: Korabelnaya naberezhnaya, 6.
Working hours: 10 am – 6 pm, Monday off.
Take buses 5, 13 and 23.
Where to go in Vladivostok for a tourist interesting places
In Vladivostok, in addition to interesting places and historical sites, there are places for both adults and children to go to have fun.
The first performance took place about 150 years ago. In 2017, the circus was completely renovated. Now it is a modern building of interesting design with a huge panoramic window overlooking the city. In accordance with the latest technology, the auditorium and arena have been re-equipped. The latter can be filled with water.
Address: ul. Svetlanskaya, 103.
Opening time: from 9.00 till 18.00.
Buses: 7L, 23L, 24, 31, 39d, 49, 54a, 55, 62, 90, 98z and 99.
This is a place worth visiting for adults and children. The building consists of two floors. On the first floor there is a circular aquarium, which gives a good look at the inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean, rivers, lakes of the Far East, the inhabitants of tropical seas. On the second floor there are expositions of amphibians.
Address: 4, Battery str.
Working hours: Monday from 11 am to 6 pm, other days from 10 am to 6 pm.
Buses: 15, 29, 74 and 76. Bus lines 29k, 63 and 75.
A huge oceanarium equipped with the latest technology appeared on Russky Island in 2016. A building the size of 5 soccer fields houses 146 aquariums and 6 pools with acrylic glass. There is a lot to see and be amazed by: a 70-meter panoramic tunnel and Dancing with Stingrays.
Address: Russky Island, 25, Akademika Kasyanova Street.
Working hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm.
Buses 15, 63, 74, 76 and 77.
Concept store IKRA.
A multi-brand store of Russian brands opened in 2016. The concept of “IKRA” is to sell goods of authentic independent brands, produced in small quantities. Only here you can buy unique stylish things with a nautical theme by the local company “More”, Ame – clothes of Moscow designers, Present Simple – jewelry. There are also other interesting brands.
Address: ul. Svetlanskaya, 5.
Hours: 11.00 – 20.00.
Bus 31, 39d, 49, 7, 45, 62, 13, 63.
Department store “Flotsky”.
The oldest store with a large assortment of original souvenirs dedicated to sailors and the Navy. The most popular items – vest, clothing, various products with navy symbols. In the perfume department you can buy brands of the Soviet era: cologne “Shypre”, perfume “Red Moscow”.
Address: 18, Svetlanskaya St.
Business hours: 10.00 – 19.00.
Bus 49, 55, 54, 17L, 45, 16C, 98D, stop “Fokina”.
Store offers fish products of the gifts of the Pacific Ocean: flounder, sockeye, silver salmon, trout, chum salmon and others. Of shellfish: shrimp, mussels, squid, oysters, scallops and others. Among the products are dietary supplements based on gifts of the sea, developed by scientists of the research institute.
Address: 106b, Vladivostok 100th Anniversary Ave.
Opening time: 8 a.m. – 11 p.m.
City’s guests must try the specialty chocolate with sea salt and seaweed pieces – the local confectionary is famous for. Sweets “Bird’s milk” also have their original recipe, among the ingredients are seaweed anfelt. There are several stores of “Primorsky Konditer Ltd.
Address: Aleutskaya street, 52.
Hours: 9.00 – 19.00.
Bus 7, 45, 59.
SEC “Small GUM”.
A huge shopping center with several floors located in the historic part of the city. Here you can buy clothes, shoes, jewelry and accessories of famous brands. On the upper floors is an entertainment center for children and adults with bowling, slot machines and a food court.
Address: 45, Svetlanskaya St.
Opening hours: 10.00 – 21.00.
Buses 5, 13, 23l. Bus 66.
The V. K. Arsenyev Primorsky Museum
Museum of local history is located in the former lodging house – architectural monument of the XX century. In addition to expositions devoted to the history of Primorsky Krai, under the roof there is an exhibition of Soviet household items, toys, crockery and clothes.
Address: Svetlanskaya ul. 20.
Working schedule: 10.00 – 19.00.
Bus 7t, 31, 39d, 45, 49, 57, 59, 60, 62, 81, 99, 106, 112. Bus routes 7t, 31, 39d, 45, 49, 57, 59, 60, 62, 81, 99, 106, 112.
House-Museum of V. K. Arsenyev.
This is one of the divisions of the main museum. In a two-storey building, profitable house of A. F. Zhikhov, in one of 4 apartments lived the traveler’s family. The room fully recreates the atmosphere of the time.
Address: ul. Arsenieva, 7b.
Opening hours: 10.00 – 19.00.
Buses 7t, 13d, 31, 39d, 45, 49, 51, stop “Train Station”.
Automotive Antiques Museum
There is a lot to visit and see in Vladivostok for fans of vintage cars. Six halls of the museum contain vintage cars, foreign and Soviet motorcycles, WWII trophy Japanese and German models, and a unique exhibit: ZIL-41047, assigned to Boris Yeltsin 30 years ago.
Address: ul. Sakhalinskaya, 2a.
Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00.
Buses 6sp, 27, 30, 31, 34, 64, 76 and 104. Tramway 6.
Primorsky Drama Theater named after Gorky
The oldest theater can be reckoned among Vladivostok’s famous monuments to Soviet constructivism. The company’s repertoire has preserved the traditions of the Gorky Drama Theatre, founded in 1931.
Address: 49 Svetlanskaya St.
Buses: 17l, 23l, 31, 39d, 49, 54a, 55, 62, 90, 98c, 99, stop Lazo. Shuttle buses: 13, 24 and 66.
Military and Historical Museum of the Pacific Fleet
The museum is located in a building that is considered a memorial. Famous admirals, whose belongings are in the collection, used to live here in different years. The exhibits of the museum are located on two floors of the building and in the courtyard.
Address: ul. Svetlanskaya, 66.
Working hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Weekend: Monday, Tuesday
Outpost. “Bus 13d, 17l, 23l, 24, 31, 39d, 49, 54, 54a, 55, 62, 90, 98d, 98z, 99.
Beautiful places worth visiting in Vladivostok
There are a lot of places worth going to for admirers of architecture, paintings, and historical sites in Vladivostok.
The Guards Red Banner Submarine S-56
Inside the submarine is a museum. Some of the compartments are preserved in their original form. Once upon a time, it was the most dangerous submarine of its kind.
Address: Korabelnaya naberezhnaya.
Working schedule: 9 am – 8 pm.
Buses 31, 66, 98d.
The garden-institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is located in the city center on an area of 160 hectares. The object is included in the sightseeing tour of tourist places. There is an ecological path through the park among centuries-old firs, oaks, several thousand different plants.
Address: 142, Mayakovsky str.
Working hours: 10 am – 5 pm.
Buses 24, 28, 34, 44d, 45, 103, 104, 105, 106, 108, 112, 205mp, 224. Bus 14t, 42, 102, 107, 110, 114.
In Vladivostok’s suburbs, the 2-hectare area is home to local fauna animals. Many of them were taken out of nature due to inability to survive in the woods for various reasons. Some animals were taken there as small and motherless cubs, sick and wounded. There are rare species of fauna in the zoo.
Address: Vorovskogo street, 24b.
Business hours: 10.00 – 19.00.
Buses: 44d, 45, 103, 105, 106, 108, 112, 205mp, 224. Shuttles 42, 44, 102, 107, 110, 114.
An area in the historic center of the city where the Chinese lived at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a hot spot where gambling, prostitution, and smuggling flourished. Nowadays, it is several blocks with courtyards, with houses connected to each other by balconies. This is a place that must be visited.
Address: the area of Semenovskaya, Pogranichnaya, Admiral Fokin, Aleutskaya Streets.
Buses 55, 13, 31, 39.
Nicholas Triumphal Gate
The colorful building is made in the Russian-Byzantine style. There is an omen that the one who will pass under the arch, will find his luck.
Address: Peter the Great Street.
Bus 31, 39d, 49, 7, 45, 62.
Many major attractions are located near the square on the waterfront. From here you can admire the Golden Bay and the bridge. There is a memorial complex, which includes interesting cultural and historical monuments, famous places associated with the history of the city.
Bus 31, 66, 98d.
At the beginning of XX century this place was used for fish trade, later there was built a fish factory. In the 1950s the quay was landscaped: the beach and sports fields were equipped. It is a popular recreation place, here you may see the master of Ussuri taiga – bronze tiger, and famous artists’ handprints are imprinted in metal plates, embedded in sidewalk, on the ‘Ocean of stars’ alley.
Address: The promenade is a 5-minute walk from Central Square.
Buses 6, 23, 28, 40, 68, 105. Bus 19, 38, 40a, 86, 102, 110.
Admiral Fokin Street
Vladivostok’s pedestrian street is locals call the Vladivostok Arbat. In the early 21st century, it was paved, lanterns were installed, a fountain was fitted and flowerbeds were planted. Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the town. From any point of the street you can see the sea.
Bus 7, 31, 39d, 45, 49, 57, 59, 60, 62, 81, 99.
The island is separated from the main part of the city by the Eastern Bosphorus Strait. Until the 90s there was a military base and access for civilians was closed. Until 2012 a ferry ran to the island. The tourist will discover interesting places on other islands as well.