Vladivostok doesn’t quite feel as though it is in Russia at all. The pleasant subtropical climate and location on the Pacific Coast (in a country which is almost entirely landlocked) seem surprisingly un-Russian – a picture that’s completed by an array of Japanese and Korean cars in the streets, without a single battered Russian zhiguli to be found. Although there are not many activities, you don’t really need too many if the weather is nice. Svetlanka Street is the main place to head for – a pedestrianised main street in the centre of town. The docks sound as though they ought to be interesting, but in fact they are just full of rusting container ships and grim factory-fishing ships rusting directly into the water where they stand moored.
Don’t miss in and around Vladivostok’…
The Old Submarine…
… is worth a visit, although this doesn’t take long since it’s tiny inside (it’s mounted on the pavement, so don’t worry about being under water).
The Vladivostok Fortress..
can be visited – try to be there for midday when they fire a cannon salute.
The area around the harbour can be interesting if there are some military naval vessels in – they often don’t allow you to get very close to these, of course.
Live music and clubs
There is a relatively well-developed live music and music-club scene – look out for fly-posters around town, or at the Chameleon Internet Café.
This is the most developed place to study classical music in the eastern half of Russia, and there are regular concerts (often for little or no admission fee).