Vladivostok It is a Russian city very close to the border with China and North Korea. It is a port city located just over 9300 kilometers from Moscow and is the most important Russian port on the Pacific coast. Thus, it is an important site for maritime trade.
The first time I heard about Vladivostok was in school, in Geography class, when we learned about the mythical Trans-Siberian Railway. On the blackboard, the professor drew a line and two cities: Moscow and Vladivostok and the eternal kilometers that linked the two. Since then he asked me how is Vladivostok, what can be done in it, what does it offer ...
As we said it is a Russian port city on the Pacific Ocean, very close to the border with North Korea and China. From the late 50s until the fall of the Soviet regime, the city was closed to all foreigners since here was the headquarters of the Soviet Pacific Fleet.
Geographically speaking in Vladivostok there is a mainland and an island part that are in the Gulf of Peter the Great. Part of the city is on the Peschany peninsula and there is talk of something like 56 thousand hectares on the mainland and around 7.500 islands.
It was not always in Russian hands, it knew how to be in Chinese hands for a time and before in the hands of other local peoples. Russia obtained these territories in 1858 and a year later a naval post was founded. From then on the settlement began to grow and grow until in 1891 the construction of the Transsiberian It began and then distant destinations in Russia like this city began to connect to the world.
The train was intended to connect this important port with the rest of Europe, linking the Russian capital and other cities along the way. The elegant station was built in 1912 and luckily since 1991 foreigners can visit it. The National Gregraphic has said that is one of the 10 most important coastal cities because it has iconic bridges, incredible landscapes, islands with beautiful beaches ...
To that we must add the nightlife it has, its gastronomy mix of Russian, Asian and European food, its museums ...
History goes hand in hand with this city, so if you especially like the history of the XNUMXth century, you can and should visit the Military and History Museum of the Pacific Fleet. It focuses on WWII and is very interesting. Another museum is the S-56 Submarine Museum, monument to the Russians who fell in all wars.
You can also visit the Sukhanovs House Museum that reflects how the old city was, with its furniture, its decorations, a window to the past. And of course there are a couple of art museums. Another interesting thing is the Primorsky Aquarium, on Russky Island. The building has a curious wave shape and opened its doors in 2016 with a model of the Mir-1 and fossils of crabs that lived 450 million years ago.
A walk that no one can miss is the climb to the Eagle's Nest Hill, from where you have some Fantastic views of the bays and the city. You go up by funicular, the only one in the Far East of Russia, on the slope of the Sopka Orlínaya. It was built in 1959 under the rule of Nikita Khrushchev, its only two carriages were built in Leningrad and it started operating in 1962. The funicular takes you up the hill, an extinct volcano that is part of the Sikhote Alin chain. The views are the best.
Once you have seen the city from a good height, you can explore it on foot. The best way is to explore its streets starting with the Svetlanska street, the first street of the city. Its elegant buildings are part of the history of the city, memories of the early twentieth century, today converted into hotels and guest houses. There is also the Golden Bridge and Golden Horn Bay, both very popular attractions.
The bridge is one of the five longest cable bridges in the world. It was completed in 2012 and crosses the Golden Horn Bay, in the heart of Vladivostok, connecting the city with the most remote areas and the federal highway. The Golden Bridge begins on the right bank of the bay.It is not the only bridge, in total there are three: the second crosses the East Bosphorus to Russky Island and the third crosses the Amur Bay.
All the bridges in Vladivostok were built in three years, Through thick and thin, since so much has never been built in such a short time. And neither had a bridge been built over a sea strait in Russia, or a bridge supported by cables to cover so much distance. Thus, the advice of more experienced Chinese, French and Japanese was sought. Finally, the bridges were designed in Saint Petersburg and they did see the light.
Today these three bridges are an engineering success and anyone who goes to Vladivostok crosses them. The experience of crossing the Russky Bridge in winter, with its strong winds, is impressive… if you don't fly out with a car and all! Without a car you can cross the Zolotoy Bridge on foot, on a calm day.
On the other hand is the Tokarevskaya Koshka lighthouse, destination of many excursions. It is 150 years old signaling the entrance of the ships to the port. There are always tourists taking photos. You also have to visit the Vladivostok fortress, a complex of fortifications today turned into a museum. Or the Christian churches that Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Russians have built over time.
These religious groups are not the only ones in the city with a historical presence, there are Ukrainians, Moldovans, Poles, Finns ... but the construction of temples always requires money and these three major groups are the ones that had advantages. Some Vladivostok churches they were destroyed and others managed to survive the socialist era, sometimes no longer functioning as temples. There are in total 40 orthodox churches, but the largest and most majestic is the Church of the Intersection of the Mother of God, whose restoration occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Its bell tower has 10 bells and the heaviest weighs 1300 kilos. This temple has capacity for a thousand people and tries to resemble as much as possible its original version, the one with five domes. With the cross, it has a height of 40 meters. Another church to know is the Catholic Church of the Most Holy Mother of God, belonging to the Polish community and the St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Regardless of the fact that you can tour the city on foot we can also use your transport network including trolleybuses, trams and buses. The metro has only seven stations. And if you want to go to know the surrounding islands there are boats and ferries. So you can go to Russky Island, the Russian Island, of a thousand square meters, ideal for walks and picnics.
You can go to Vladivostok from Japan or you can relapse to Vladivostok from Moscow. If you go by boat and stay less than 72 hours, you do not need a visa. If you decide on the train, you can take the Trans-Siberian in Moscow at 13:20 and arrive in Vladivostok at 4:25 on fast service. The cheapest version arrives almost at 19:XNUMX p.m. the next day that leaves the Russian capital. The train stops at Ilan Ude, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.