Vladivostok[dead link] (Russian: Владивосто́к, vlah-dee-vah-STOHK) is the eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia's largest port to the Pacific Ocean, and the base for the Pacific Fleet. With 600,000 inhabitants, it is the second-largest city in the Russian Far East, after Khabarovsk.
San Francisco and Naples
Fritiof Nansen, the Arctic explorer, described the city of Vladivostok thus: "It reminds me of Naples by its location on terraces. Although there is no Vesuvius the city has a beautiful harbor and islands."
Later on, these hills enticed Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to call for making Vladivostok into a Soviet San Francisco. The words were catchy but not historically new, since they had already been said in the 1930s. Still, the shadow of San Francisco is hovering over the city's hilly streets.
The area that is now Vladivostok was historically part of the traditional homeland of the Manchus, who would conquer China in the 17th century and establish the Qing Dynasty. It was ceded to Russia in the 1858 Treaty of Aigun, one of the many unequal treaties that China was forced to signed with Western colonial powers in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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 city is separated from its southernmost part, Russkiy Island, by the Eastern Bosphorus strait; there are a couple of smaller sparsely populated islands, Reineke and Popov.
From its foundation in 1860, as a naval base, the city received the status of free port, that boosted international commerce and development. The October Revolution brought Japanese, American, French and Czechoslovak armies who sided with the Whites. From 1958 to 1992, Vladivostok was off-limits to foreigners; it was finally re-opened for tourism after the fall of the Soviet Union. The city centre, at the edge of the water, has sweeping boulevards of ornate, century-old buildings; magnificent, decaying, and in dire need of a scrub. Further out, on the steep hills overlooking the bay, similarly decaying Soviet blocks dotted with new high-rise buildings provide accommodations for most of the city's residents.
There are beautiful oak woods surrounding the city, which along with Nakhodka, could be a starting point for weekend bus-tours to the winter ski-slopes, or waterfalls in summer. A few lotus lakes are an attraction for campers and forest lodgers when the flowers are blossoming in August.
Vladivostok is at the same latitude with Russian subtropical sea resort of 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 the winter is typical for Manchuria: cold, clear and very windy. The snow is scarce and in some years may not fall at all.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
January is cold at -14°C (7°F), and August is fairly warm at 24°C (75°F), though these are average temperatures, and hot/cold spells can bring much more extreme conditions. It is not unheard of for temperatures to drop below -30°C in February, and similarly August can be over 30°, but in general August and September bring the most sunny and pleasant temperatures. The end of summer, however, could bring Pacific monsoons that last for a few days in a row.
See Russia#Get in for visa requirements to Russia.
- See also: Trans-Siberian Railway
Tickets for the Trans-Siberian Railway sell out and it is best to buy tickets well in advance. Tickets are sold by the operator as well as via agencies and resellers.
The main line of the Trans-Siberian Railway runs between Moscow and Vladivostok. The Rossiya train leaves every other day from Moscow at 13:20 and from Vladivostok at 04:25, while the slower but cheaper trains #43 or #99 leave Vladivostok every day around 18:56. Major stops from Vladivostok include Ulan Ude (62-67 hours), Irkutsk (81 hours), Krasnoyarsk (99 hours), Novosibirsk (113 hours), Omsk (121 hours), Yekaterinburg (134 hours), Nizhni Novgorod (5 days), and Moscow (6 days).
If you enter Russia by boat, you can stay for 72 hours without a Russian visa. For more information, see Russia#Get_in.
The ferry port in Vladivostok is right next to the train station.
To/from Korea and Japan
Business Intour Service is the official booking agent for ferries operated by The Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) between Vladivostok and the Fushiki port in Takaoka, Japan. The trip costs ¥48,400 including meals (alcohol costs are additional). The ships do not have many working amenities. Ferries both ways leave on Friday evening and arrive two days later on Sunday morning. You'll need to arrive at the port a few hours early for immigration procedures.
The Eastern Dream boat of the DBS Ferry Company[dead link] operates service to/from Donghae, South Korea (US$180+) and Sakai Minato, Japan (US$220+). From March to November the ferry leaves Sakai Minato on Saturdays, briefly stops in Donghae on Sundays and arrives in Vladivostok on Mondays. In the winter, the ferry lays over in Donghae until Monday and arrives in Vladivostok on Tuesday. The nearest major city to Sakai Minato is Kyoto, 3 hours by train.
There is also a ferry service connecting Vladivostok and Sokcho, South Korea. It costs about US$200 and takes two days. One ship leaves Sokcho each week, on Thursday, although they become more frequent in the summer months (June-August).
By cargo boat
It is also possible to travel to/from anywhere in the world by booking a berth on a cargo boat. Usual caveats of freighter travel apply, though (it's definitely not for a casual tourist), and one need to keep in mind that Russian border and customs officials aren't used to people traveling this way.
- 1 Vladivostok International Airport (VVO IATA) (is 40km northeast of Vladivostok, near Artyom). It is the largest airport in the Russian Far East and serves over 1.5 million passengers per year. Flights to/from Vladivostok are to other Russian cities or cities in Korea, China, or Japan. Flights to other Russian cities are relatively cheap, although flights to Japan and Korea are relatively expensive.
To travel between the airport and the city:
- Bus 107 operates between the airport and the Vladivostok bus station (just in front of the Vladivostok train station), with departures at: 08:25, 09:40, 10:45, 12:07, 13:00, 14:00, 15:50, 16:50, 17:45, and 20:00. It costs 220 руб plus 100 руб per luggage. On the way back to the airport, bus 107 leaves from the Vladivostok bus station at 06:40, 07:10, 08:20, 09:00, 10:20, 11:20, 12:20, 13:20, 14:30, 15:30, 16:20, and 17:20. See up-to-date schedule at https://www.vl.ru/transport/bus/vladivostok/airport[dead link]. It takes about 50 minutes in low traffic.
- Trains[dead link] operate between the airport and the city, although service is not very frequent. Tickets to the city center cost 70-350 руб.
- Primavtolayn is the official taxi company operating from the airport. There're also many private taxis which you can hail. Negotiate a price in advance; you should usually get to the city center for around 1500 руб.
- Yandex.taxi between the airport and the city usually costs around 1200 руб.
Bus tickets can be bought at the bus station in Vladivostok or from ticket agencies. Buses operate to/from most suburban locations and nearby towns. International routes link Vladivostok to cities in Northeastern China such as Harbin (2400 руб, over 12 hours; daily at 06:20), Mudanjiang, and Suifenhe (1900 руб).
It takes about 5 hours to get to Vladivostok from the Chinese border, and the road goes through one of the most picturesque areas of the Russian Far East.
Vladivostok is not only the eastern end of the Trans-Siberian railway, but of the Trans-Siberian Highway as well. The ferry from the South Korea and Japan seem to carry cars and motorcycles[dead link], although they are not roll on-roll off ships, like ferries in Europe, and there is some bureaucracy involved transporting cars from one country to another. You can get in from China by road as well, for example via the Suifenhe border crossing.
By public transport
Vladivostok has a wide range of transportation, from streetcars to a funicular railway. The trams and trolleybuses, unfortunately, are mostly gone in an effort to improve traffic: this hasn't worked, mainly because at least two lanes on most streets are still taken for unregulated parking. However there is talk of reinstating at least some trolleybus routes, and lengthening the network to include some suburban destinations. While the mayor pays some lip service to reinstating trams, too, his actions prove otherwise.
By far the most common is the bus, both large route buses (mainly used Korean ones, some could be seen still carrying Seoul or Busan route plaques) and marshrutka shared taxis (which generally follow bus routes). Buses are extremely crowded but frequent; the fares are flat 28 руб for the downtown routes, but go up to 120 руб for suburban ones. Hop on bus in the back and then pay the driver as you exit from the front. Many buses leave from outside the "Clever House" (Cløver House) Department store or the city's train station. Another major bus hubs are the Lugovaya square at the mouth of the Golden Horn bay and the intercity bus station ("Автовокзал") in the Vtoraya Rechka neighborhood.
On the down note, the bus companies are constantly criticized for neglecting the state of their fleets, running the buses well past their service lives, unduly economizing on cleaning and personnel (they tend to hire recent immigrants, who can be paid as little as possible), and creating the competition for the passengers' fare among the drivers, which leads to long delays on stops and reckless driving.
The city has reinstated the municipal bus company with newer buses and better controlled drivers. All municipal buses are equipped with electronic payment system and trackers, as the city also pushes to equip all the buses with the tracking hardware. The positions and waiting time for the equipped buses could be seen at the Bus 125 website, and major stops are gradually being equipped with electronic timetables.
Access to the outlying areas is generally best done by bus or suburban commuter train elektrichka. The train station is accessible and a great way to see neighbouring cities such as Khabarovsk. The Russian Far East is an enormous and rather sparsely populated territory, so if the closer towns like Ussuriysk and Nakhodka may be just a couple of hours away, Khabarovsk is in a different province altogether, about 700 km from Vladivostok, and takes almost a whole day to reach, so plan accordingly: this is definitely not a quick day trip.
Also pay the close attention to the elektrichka timetables. The train companies have radically revised their networks and frequencies, removing a lot of the unprofitable commuter trains (these are supposed to be subsidised by the local authorities, but those are chronically lacking the funds) from schedules, so if you get to some out-of-the-way location by the commuter train, you may get stranded for several hours until the next one.
There are a number of taxi companies, and hailing one is easy. There is no meter because most companies and freelance drivers charge a flat rate of 300 руб for one hour. The rate is usually negotiable but not below 150 руб per hour. Expect to pay at least this much for a single journey over a short distance. The advent of app-based taxis has driven the prices even lower, so you can expect ~100 руб per kilometer, unless there's a high demand, in which case the cost may rise about twofold.
Although it is the main port of used Japanese car imports in Russia, the century-old streets of Vladivostok are ill suited to heavy traffic. They are usually filled to capacity and traffic jams are common, especially in rush hours. The local driving style is also rather aggressive; and speeding, cutting off, tailgating and ignoring recently changed traffic lights are widespread. Despite this, car horns are rarely heard, largely because the undue leaning on the horn is an actual traffic offence in Russia, and can lead to the pretty hefty fines.
The city centre is only a short walk from the train station, and most of the sights can be reached easily on foot. Aleutskaya St runs north/south, passing the train station; head north to Svetlanskaya St, which is the main east/west road for the city.
As much of Vladivostok is situated on steep hills, walking can be physically demanding. The ice and wind in winter and the conditions of the pavements mostly preclude bicycle use.
However, MTB and weekend bike tours are very popular among the people for there is quite a lot of scenic places hard-to-reach by vehicles but still worth the effort. The most attractive destinations range the closest islands and the coastline even when the ice covers the bays.
If you've arrived in Vladivostok on the Trans-Siberian, at the end of a trip that began in Moscow, head straight for Sportivnaya Harbor. The still waters of the sea will likely provide sweet relief after several days on the train. However, if you're fresh off a ferry from Japan or Korea, head up to Svetlanskaya and Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsy for a stroll to get your land legs back. (Both destinations usually have food and drink vendors.)
Civil engineering buffs can gawk at the numerous construction marvels peppering the city streets since the 2012 APEC Summit, including the two enormous bridges across the Golden Horn Bay and Eastern Bosporus strait (the Russian Navy officers first exploring the area were big fans of Istanbul harbour), the latter of which is a largest cable-stayed bridge in the world. Locals are more ambivalent about all that construction, but the bridges and hotels nevertheless already have become a frequent visitor attractions, and the Golden Horn one is greatly praised by the locals, as it radically relieved the permanently congested Lugovaya square, taking about half of its traffic.
Russia's Pacific Fleet (not all of it, just its destroyer squadron) is moored in Golden Horn Bay. A walk along the waterfront on Korabelnaya Embankment offers the closest views; to get any closer, you will have to enlist. Photographs with an average-sized camera shouldn't attract any problems, but be mindful of your surroundings or an enterprising police officer might invent a fine for you to pay.
- 1 Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsy (Central Square), Svetlanskaya, between Aleutskaya and Uborevicha. This is a good place to relax and watch the locals at leisure. A pair of massive statues serve as the Memorial to the Fighters for the Soviet Power in the Far East, in honor of those who brought this remote corner of Russia under Bolshevik control. Today, they're more a memorial to the power of local skateboarders. You might also have the chance to take in a protest march. The giant, strikingly ugly regional administration building looms over the square.
- 2 Sportivnaya Harbor. A popular summertime promenade and beach just the short walk away from the square. The official swimming ban is cheerfully ignored by the locals, who frolic in the water between the yachts of the main city marina, which mostly shares the location with the beach. A small amusement park with various kiddy rides and 80 m Ferris wheel lines the other side of the promenade, and the stalls around will sell you drinks, snacks and souvenirs for outrageous prices.
- 3 The square of the sister-cities (Площадь побратимов) (Crossroads of Semenovskaya and Pogranichnaya streets). Eleven arcs with cities' names engraved on them. Benches to relax. Free Wi-Fi zone.
- Dynamo stadium, the home arena of the city's eternally struggling Luch-Energia football outfit, as well as Olympiets sports center, a base of Spartak-Primorye basketball team and a popular venue for martial arts tournaments, are also situated there, as is the old city aquarium. The new, much larger and fancier one, is under construction on Russkiy island. In the winter the frozen waters of the bay become a home for hundreds, if not thousands, ice fishers (or "penguins" in local parlance), some of which even drive their cars to the ice.
Museums and memorials
For connoisseurs of Lenin statues, don't miss the one overlooking the train station from the west, next to the post office (the popular joke goes that the World Proletariat Leader says "You're going the right way, comrades", while pointing at Japan). There are also some interesting statues heading east on Svetlanskaya, both Soviet-era and abstract.
- 4 Arsenyev Regional History Museum, 20 Svetlanskaya St (At the intersection of Aleutskaya and Svetlanskaya), ☏ +7 4232 41-40-82. Mostly a natural history museum, save for a few pieces of Stalinist kitsch and a tribute to Hollywood star and hometown hero Yul Brynner. There are some interesting displays on pre-Russian settlers and their techniques for hunting and survival, but the death-dance between the tiger and the bear has to be seen to be believed.
- 5 Museum Vladivostok Fortress, 4-a Batareynaya St, ☏ +7 4232 40-08-96. daily 10:00-18:00. Overlooking the sea, these fortifications were built more than a century ago to guard against invasion from Japan. Today, the grounds are cluttered with defused bombs, chain guns, and small military vehicles. Those can be visited for free; there's a small fee to go inside the several rooms of the fort, which feature displays on the history of Russia's presence in the region and some intricate dioramas.
- 6 , Korabelnaya Embankment.
- 7 Primorsky State Art Gallery, 12 Aleutskaya St, ☏ +7 4232 41-11-95. Traveling art exhibitions and a well-regarded collection of classic European masters.
- 8 C-56 Submarine, Korabelnaya nab. You can't board the Pacific Fleet, but this WWII submarine is parked on land, by the Naval Memorial, and welcomes visitors; the interior is pretty well-preserved, and you can monkey around more or less unattended while you're inside. There's usually someone selling Soviet pins and military gear outside.
- 9 Triumphal Arc (Nikolai gate) (Deep into the eastern side of Korabelnaya nab). Chapel-like arc constructed in honour of the visiting tsar Nikolai II, destroyed after the revolution and restored in 2003.
- 2 Vladivostok Station, Aleutskaya St. Even if your journey doesn't involve trains, the beautiful old Vladivostok Station is worth a look. The last among the steam-engines stands at the platform. Don't miss the 9288km sign post nearby
- 10 Lighthouse at Egersheld cape (Маяк на Эгершельде). This white lighthouse on the edge of a spit was built in 1910 and could be seen to every one who gets back from sea travels.
- Zarya Center for Contemporary Art. Free.
- 11 Golden Horn bridge. Cable-stayed 2.1-km (1.30 mi) long bridge across the Golden horn bay.
- 12 The bridge to the Russkiy island across Eastern Bosphorus strait. The world’s largest cable-stayed bridge, 3.1 km (1.93 mi)long.
- 13 Marine cemetery (Морское кладбище) (at the city south near Patrokl bay). The memorials and tombs of Czechoslovak legion, British and Japanese military men, Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev and seafarer Fridolf Gek.
- 14 Marine Museum TINRO (Владивостокский океанариум «Аквамир»), 4, Batareinaya St (Go to Sportivnaya Harbor). M 11:00-18:00, Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. 200 руб.
- 15 Vladivostok circus (Владивостокский цирк), 103, Svetlanskaya St.
- 16 Botanical garden FEBRAS (Ботанический сад), 142, Makovskogo St.
- 17 Primorskiy Oceanarium, 25, Akademika Kasyanova St. A large aquarium located on Russkiy Island that also has dolphin shows and many many other exhibits showcasing colourful coral fishes, predatory moray eels, sharks, etc.
If you'd like to swim, the beach at Sportivnaya Harbor is the place to do it (not Golden Horn Bay, where the Pacific Fleet is parked). Be sure to salute the half-submerged mermaid statue out in the water - when they finally fish it out of the water, that is, the statue was driven off its foundation by the shifting ice and sunk several years ago. Alternately, in the winter, locals aren't shy about strolling out on ice.
- 1 Russkiy Island (Остров 'Русский'). The closest and the largest island, connected by two bridges, is a nice place for swimming, sun-bathing, or biking on the gravel roads as an alternative to the city's beach. Discover the disfunctioning artillery, 'Voroshilovskaya Battery' (Ворошиловская батарея), the former Soviet defensive complex, now a museum in the center of the island. Bus 29d from the Izumrud bus station in the center of Vladivostok, every hour or so, 23 руб. Serious hikers can consider going to the terminus Bukhta Voyevoda and then walking the dirt roads along the South-West coast before catching the bus back at the Park Patriot entrance.
- 2 Dinamo Stadium, ul Batareynaya, just off Sportivnaya Harbor. Home of FC Luch-Energia Vladivostok, who play in the Russian Premier League of professional soccer (or down in the First Division, as their fortunes go).
- SK Olimpiets. Home of Spartak Primorje, who play in the Russian Super League of professional basketball.
- 3 Yacht Club 'Seven Feet' (Яхт-клуб 'Семь футов'), office #24, 17, Leitenanta Shmidta St, [email protected]. Organized fishing, daily sea walks as well as annual boat show.
- 4 Fetisov Arena (Фетисов-Арена), 690024, 284 Makovskogo st. (Suburb, just across the highway from the "Sputnik" platform), ☏ +7(423) 230-33-14, [email protected]. The home arena of the city's KHL outfit, HC 'Admiral', refer to the KHL calendar for the game days; also provides spaces for concerts, exhibitions and other gigs. An amateur Night Hockey League games are often held at night, and a public skating rink is also open during the whole hockey season.
- Every September, golden season by balneological standards, the city holds the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival and welcomes Russian cinematographic beau monde and often first stars from the West like Gérard Depardieu.
- International Jazz Festival — Vladivostok, organized by Vladivostok Philharmonic.
- Every last Sunday of September - Tiger's day
- The Far Eastern National University is one of the top five Russian universities and has over 35,000 students. In addition to Russian courses, there are also Japanese, Korean, German, Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian centers in the university.
- The Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service also offers Russian courses for foreigners [formerly dead link] at decent prices. Both universities can set you up in their dorms as well as do the necessary paperwork for you to study in Russia.
- Japanese center in Vladivostok offers Japanese language course and business seminars.
- 1 Alliance française.
There's a GUM (former Kunst&Albers) department store on Svetlanskaya, across from Ploschad Bortsov Revolutsii, and electronic stores further east that can help with power converters and the like.
Local markets are spread throughout Vladivostok and provide the basic groceries for a neighborhood. Some even have a butcher but most all provide sausages and frozen meat. Larger markets sell clothing, shoes, and everything else imaginable in addition to food.
- 1 Sportivnaya Market (Tramway station "Sportivnaya"). The largest market in Vladivostok. Its maze-like warrens are full of people selling most everything. There is a large Chinese presence here, and knockoffs and Chinese imports abound. The range of food sold at this market is fabulous but is probably a bit unusual for everyday fare. Free.
- 2 [dead link] Mir Pryazhi (World of Yarn), 10 Semyonovskaya St (off Aleutskaya St), ☏ +7 4232 220640. Daily 11:00-18:00. A nice place to buy local crafts (handmade jewellery, knitwear, porcelain beads). The shop also sells yarn and handcraft items.
- 3 Sinyaya Ptitsa (Blue Bird), 46 Russkaya St (to Vtoraya Rechka), ☏ +7 9244 296159, [email protected]. Daily 11:00-18:00. A variety of Vladivostok's souvenirs, Russian handmade folk ceramics Gzhel.
Small kiosks sell samosas and other local snacks for 100 руб or so.
For fast food, Hesburger, Cinnabon, Royal Burger, Bubo, Bite Burger, RestoGrad (РестоГрад), Country Fried Chicken, restaurant network Republic (Республика) can be easily found in the centre. Burger King is among the representatives of the world fast-food networks.
- 1 8 Minut Stolovaya, Ulitsa Aleutskaya, 11. A buffet restaurant
Sunday morning brunch at the Vlad Inn (below) is a tradition for the handful of ex-pats living in the city.
- 2 bar «Drugoe mesto» (Bar «PlaceDifferent»), Ulitsa Admirala Fokina, 16А (City centre, just steps away from main city square), ☏ +74232408143. 12:00-02:00. Nice little bar filled with strange & interesting artefacts from all over the world. Good cuisine - mostly European. Perfect coffee. Desserts & ice-cream. Wide variety of drinks & cocktails. The staff speak English. 500-1000 руб.
- 3 Osama Sushi (Осама-суши), 13 Praporschika Komarova St (City centre, Praporschika Komarova/Krayevaya Bolnitsa bus stops, on the hill slope between them), ☏ +7 423 230-20-22, [email protected]. Su-Th 12:00-24:00, F Sa 12:00-02:00. Pan-Asian restaurant, Japanese and Korean cuisine. Nice sushi and fantastic bibimbap, sake and soju. 1000-1500 руб.
- 4 Café Cuckoo, 1A Okeanskiy Prospect (city centre, near the overseas passenger terminal and main city square), ☏ +7 4232 995858. 23:00-02:00, closed on Mondays and Tuesday. This nightclub also offers contemporary European cuisine for lunch and dinner. The head chef, Adriano Cavalieri, came from Melbourne, Australia. There is outdoor and indoor seating for approximately 100 people.
- 5 Moloko & Med (Молоко и мёд, Milk & Honey), 6A Suhanova St (city centre, opposite Suhanova square), ☏ +7 4232 589090. 10:00-24:00 daily. European cuisine in a very nice and stylish atmosphere very popular with foreigners and expats. The staff speak English and an English-language menu is available. There is also a selection of Russian dishes on the menu. There are outdoor and indoor seating areas.
- 6 Hans, 25a, Fokina st (city centre), ☏ +7 423 240-68-75. German food and house-brewed beer of three colours: red, light and dark served in medieval setting. The first floor is a fireplace hall, the second floor is made for dance and filled with live music. Comprises 60 and 100 visitors respectively. 1000-1500 руб.
- 7 München, 3, Svetlanskaya st (city centre, from the central square to Naberezhnaya, down in the basement), ☏ +7 423 241-34-54, [email protected]. German food and house-brewed wheat beer of three colours: red, light and dark served in a quasi-medieval setting like in Hans. 1000-1500 руб.
- 8 Supra, 1B, Admirala Fokina st (city centre), ☏ +7 423 227-77-22. Restaurant specializing in Georgian cuisine, known for their excellent food.
- 1 Club Cuckoo, 1A Okeanskiy Prospect (Centre, near the overseas passenger terminal and main square), ☏ +7 423 299-58-58. F Sa 23:00-06:00. The most glamorous night club in the city. There can be very strict rules of who's let in but foreigners usually pass, just speak English. Hosts the best parties in town, including DJs from Moscow and London. ticket 500 руб at door; drinks 150-350 руб.
- Lebowski Bar (Лебовски Бар), 56 Svetlanskaya St, ☏ +7 953 210-71-74. Disco music, a bar and a dance-floor. Next door is 8 Minut Stolovaya where you can enjoy a decadent dessert.
Russian dorm rooms in Vladivostok range from awful to OK. Generally, foreigners are dormed in reasonable accommodations, but you should know exactly what you are getting into before arriving. Important things you might take for granted include: private or communal kitchen and bathrooms, number of roommates, number of clothing washers and dryers.
The Far Eastern National University (above) offers reasonable dorm rooms but foreigners are separated from Russian students, so if you are looking for more Russian immersion, ask them about arranging a home stay.
- 1 Neptunea Hostel Vladivostok, 20A/6, Uborevicha St (First find the tiny residential slope between Ulitsa Uborevicha 20 and Ulitsa Uborevicha 22, then climb it for 150 meters), ☏ +7 (950) 291-47-72, [email protected]. 24/7. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Hostel in the city center. Very cheap and new. Small breakfast included, WiFi, kitchen and fridge, inside and outside lounge areas. Customer are half Russian and half foreigners. Price starts from 500 руб.
- 2 Hostel Optimum, Aleutskaya 17, ☏ +7 423 272 9111, [email protected].
- 3 Superstar Guesthouse, 8A Admirala Fokina Street, ☏ +7-914-667-5645, [email protected]. New guesthouse, a bit more expensive but right in the most touristic part of the city center. The Korean owner also lives there. 1000 руб for dormitory, 2400 руб for a double room.
The hotels in the city center are targets for huge tour groups, who block out availability for weeks on end, so reserve in advance if possible.
- 4 Lotte Hotel Vladivostok, 29 Semenovskaya St, ☏ +7 4232 40-22-33, [email protected]. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. The height of luxury in Vladivostok, with full business facilities, swimming pool and fitness center, bar, casino, and restaurant on-site. Rooms have satellite TV and air conditioning. Online booking is available. From 6000 руб.
- 5 AZIMUT Hotel Vladivostok, 9 and 10, Naberezhnaya St, ☏ +7 423 241 28 08, [email protected]. This is the new name for Hotel Vladivostok. 2500-8300 руб.
- 6 A-Hotel Amur Bay Vladivostok (Unusual rooftop entrance), ☏ +7 423 241 28 08, [email protected]. Also managed by the AZIMUT group, but cheaper.
- 7 Meridian, 5 Ochakovskaya St, ☏ +7 4232 650-444, [email protected]. An experienced tourist can take a taxi and get to the opposite shore of Golden Horn bay according to the hotel site's map. Sauna and restaurant are nice additions to accommodations. From US$50 for a standard room up to $400 for a VIP room.
- 8 Equator, 20 Naberezhnaya St (close to Sportivnaya Harbor), ☏ +7 914 707-64-05, [email protected]. Close to the city center. Free wi-fi. 2100 руб for a single economy room.
- 9 Versailles Hotel (Версаль), 10, Svetlanskaya St (City's center), ☏ +7 4232 26-42-01, fax: +7 4232 26-51-24, [email protected]. Business-class hotel with single, double, twin, deluxe rooms.
A few roads can only be crossed by poorly-lit underground passageways, which can be a bit nerve-wracking at night. Beggars tend to congregate near the doors, including children with very quick hands, so cover your pockets as you pass.
Although you'll see plenty of locals stripping down for a swim on the boardwalks off Naberezhnaya, take care; there is plenty of rusted metal about. Stick to the beach unless you're very confident in your tetanus shots.
The main post office is on the other side of Aleutskaya from the train station. Internet access is available on the first floor of the post office. There are a few Internet cafes in the town center.
ATMs are easy to find, and most are connected to international bank networks. Otherwise, many hotels have exchange desks, although some have exchange rates decidedly skewed in their favor. Banks are the most obvious choice for currency exchange. There will also be dodgy money-changers near Sportivnyaya Harbor.
The Vladivostok Times provide online English-language news.
Mobile operators are the same as anywhere in Russia: MTS (МТС) and Megaphon (Мегафон). Local NTK (НТК) will automatically switch your Beeline (Билайн) phone to roaming service. Buying a SIM card needs a passport in Russia. Refilling locations are QIWI terminals or salons of mobiles: Evroset (Евросеть), Svyaznoy (Связной) and Sotoviy mir (Сотовый мир).
- Interface (Интерфейс), 8, Semyonovskaya St (close to the Dynamo stadium). day and night.
- Monte-Carlo, 5a and 18, Fokina St (city center). day and night. Internet-salon
Free wi-fi locations in the city center
The number of wi-fi spots is over 130 which are available in most of cafes in the downtown.
- Cafe "Fint ushami" (Финт ушами), 9 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Cafetoria", 61 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Anticafe", 5 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Montmartre" (Монмартр), 9/6 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Rock's Cocktail Bar", 7 Svetlanskaya St
- Eatery №1, KofeYka (Столовая №1, КофеЙка), 1 Svetlanskaya St
- Cafe "Pustota (Пустота)", 3 Fokina St
- Cafe "Paparazzi", 3 Fokina St
- Cafe-club "Infinity", 12 Fokina St
- Semyonovskaya bus-stop (Семёновская)
- Coffee-house "Oahaka" (Оахака),21 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "3T", 32 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "Wasabi", 30 Semyonovskaya St
- Cafe "Myatniy Truffel" (Мятный Трюфель),11 Aleutskaya St
- Hotel "Moryak", 38 Pos'yetskaya St
- Cafe "Pizza M", 20 Pos'yetskaya St
- Beer restaurant "Gutov", 23 Pos'yetskaya St
- Cafe "Belle Bazar", 6/25, 1st Morskaya St
- Cafe "Moloko&Med (Молоко и Мёд)", 6a Suhanova St
- Armenia, Verkhneportovaya St, 46, Ofc 308-310, ☏ +7 4232 49-14-92.
- Australia, 42, Krasnogo Znameni Pr, ☏ +7 4232 42-74-64, fax: +7 4232 426 916, [email protected].
- Bangladesh, Svetlanskaya St, 127-А, ☏ +7 4232 44-12-34, +7 4232 44-13-23, +7 4232 44-15-37, fax: +7 4232 22-02-24.
- Canada, office #306, 46, Verkhneportovaya St, ☏ +7 4232 49-11-88, [email protected].
- Chile, Sukhanova St, 3-а, Ofc 201, ☏ +7 4232 43-25-05, +7 4232 43-30-15, fax: +7 4232 432-4653.
- China (Vladivostok Department of Chinese Consulate in Khabarovsk), 3, Krygina St, ☏ +7 4232 495-037.
- Germany, 10, Svetlanskaya St, Versal Hotel, ☏ +7 4232 41-13-12, +7 4232 41-18-53, [email protected]. M W F 14:00-18:00, Tu Th 10:00-13:00.
- India, 46, Verkhneportovaya St, ☏ +7 4232 41-39-20, fax: +7 4232 41-39-56, [email protected]. M-F 09:30-18:00.
- Japan, 46, Verkhneportovaya St, ☏ +7 4232 26-75-73, [email protected].
- Kyrgyzstan, Bolshakova St, 105, ☏ +7 4243 22-24-61, +7 4232 22-76-16, fax: +7 4243 22-76-14, +7 4232 82-00-94.
- New Zealand, office #10, 48/2, Stanyukovicha St, ☏ +7 4232 51-23-62, [email protected].
- Philippines, Pushkinskaya St, 35, ☏ +7 4232 221-351, fax: +7 4232 224-694, [email protected].
- South Korea, Pologaya street, 19, ☏ +7 4232 40-27-79, fax: +7 4232 22-94-71, [email protected]. M-F 09:00-18:00.
- Thailand, 10 Shedrina St, ☏ +7 4232 43-23-00, +7 4232 22-53-66, +7 4232 22-45-00, fax: +7 4232 26-73-66, +7 4232 22-30-33, [email protected].
- Ukraine, Sukhanova St, 6-B, Apt 14, ☏ +7 4232 26-90-87, +7 4232 26-05-50, fax: +7 4232 26-96-62, [email protected]. M-F 09:00-18:00.
- United States, 32 Pushkinskaya St, ☏ +7 4232 30 00 70, fax: +7 4232 49 93 72, [email protected]. M-F 09:00-18:00.
- Vietnam, Ofc #1, 107, Pushkinskaya St, ☏ +7 4232 22-69-48, [email protected]. M-F 09:00-17:00.
- The Trans-Siberian Railway will be the means of exit by most, either heading west towards Moscow or into China. The next major stop is the Russian city of Khabarovsk, some 700 km (435 mi) off. Smaller Ussuriysk may be an interesting city for eager traveller as well as a connection point to China. As a side trip visit Nakhodka.
- North Korea's airline Air Koryo offers flights to Pyongyang.
|Routes through Vladivostok|
|Khabarovsk ← Ussuriysk ←||W E||→ END|