The eastern terminus of the Trans-Siberian Railway, Vladivostok has plenty else to do beyond serving as the beginning or end of this epic journey. A large but attractive city set in tiers perched beside sparkling Pacific waters, it is surprisingly tranquil and an ideal place to stretch your legs after a long trip across Russia from Moscow. Step off the train and head to the Sportivnaya Harbour for a delightful view of the ocean before marvelling at the impressive naval technology of Russia’s Pacific Fleet parked at Golden Horn Bay.
There are a plethora of fascinating inland sights in Vladivostok too, such as the eccentric Arsenev Regional Museum which houses decent exhibitions on pre-Russian settlers as well as some intriguing wildlife (including a tiger fighting a bear) and geological displays, and the Primorsky State Art Gallery which contains a respected collection of classical European masters.
The Sportivnaya Market is a colourful and bustling place to sample the unique flavour of a city that combines Russian and Chinese tendencies. This labyrinthine market, Vladivostok’s largest, has a seemingly infinite choice of goods to buy as well as some excellent food stalls serving unusual but delicious local fare.
The family of Hollywood icon Yul Brynner once lived in Vladivostok. With an exhibition devoted to him at the Arsenev Regional Museum and the House of the Brynner Family at Aleutskaya 15 a popular pilgrimage site, the city is certainly proud of its most famous son.