For some mind-boggling impressions randomly pop and zip and browse into our central area archways and backyards and passages - you will find scores of unexpected sights which will transport you back to the turn of the XX century :)P
If you ever get there you won't regret it: from up there you will have the best view of both shores of Golden Horn Bay - the one to your left being the downtown side, the other to your right being the biggest residential district of Churkin. It is also the best place to watch the busy life of the harbor: ferries, ships and floating cranes make a real bustle at your feet.
And by the way, there is an Orthodox cross set up there - hence comes the name of this hill.
To get there take either Bus #60 or #62 by the railway station in the direction opposite to the downtown area, get off after Kazan Bridge and always go to the lerf passing by residential buildings. This way you are DOOMED to get to that hill :)P
This fortress was built in 1898 to defend the city from a possible attack from the open sea.
Though the giant canons disappeared long ago, the concrete fortress structures are still impressive.
On the top of the fortress you will have eye-opening views of the of the OPEN SEA, Ulysses Bay, Russki Island and the Egersheld peninsula. You will also witness a bridge construction in Patrockle bay.
Ask your local friends to take you there.
Location: the other side of Golden Horn Bay, Churkin residential district, Ulysses Bay.
Like in Virginia Woolf's novel "To the Lighthouse" you can actually set out for the lighthouse on the Egersheld Peninsula located on the strip of land that juts towards Russky Island.
At low tide on can walk right to the lighthouse via this strip of land. You will be half-way to Rusiki island, with Holden Horn Bay on your left, and the Amur Bay on your right.
While standing there altogether enchanded do not forget to check the TIDE! Walking back might turn to be rather WET :)P
To get there take bus N60, 62, or 58 in the downtown area, as МАЯК (Lighthouse) is their terminus. Then find your way to walk down to the bay.
As you are not likely to do by yourself, ask your local friends to take you out on a picnic to the suburbs. It is a good way to get more closely acquainted with local nature. There are lots of wild flowers in the forests in spring, while autumn turns maple trees all a-blaze - quite a spectacle!
Located right in the heart of the city, it hides itself in the quaint yard of Arseniev Museum.
Portmay was the name the English were going to give to what is now Vladivostok. But the Russians proved to be quicker about it.
Opened in 2004 it houses exhibitions of local artists and is a place to rub shoulders with local beaumonde. Do not forget to check out its upper level. Drop down on embroidered chairs, look at the pieces of local contemporary art and muse a little.
When leaving, ring the ship bell at the entrance /and run away/ :)P
For some more unexpected views try to get to our "Manhattan" - Churkin residential district located on the other side of Holden Horn Bay.
Numerous buses link it to the downtown area, though you'd better ask your local Russian friends to take you there as they MUST know some scenic spots.
In case they do not, be the first to throw a stone at me...
This amazing mansion houses the oldest city drugstore and was built in 1885 and owned by Axel Valden, one of the city founders. You can see the first letter of his name "B"above the archway.
Go through this arch to get into a fascinating inner yard - you will see two towering aisles occupied by apartments and offices nowadays.
In addition to so widely known Russki Island connected by a regular ferry service with the mainland, there is a lot of smaller uninhabited islands that will stun you with their primeval beauty.
The best way to work out your voyage is to find a local friend with a yacht :)P
Take the 31 bus from the train staion of along Sventlanskaya to Tikhaya and get off when you can see the sea from the cliff top. From here you'll have a fantastic view over one of the bays quite far from the usual views. There is a viewing platform and a monument. Bus costs 11 roubles but it does take quite a while, especially if you get caught in traffic.
There will be many times the weather would tempt you to jump into the sea. Do not hesitate. Vladivostok is surrounded by sea. (Or seas are surronded by Vladivostok). There are many beaches around. One of the easiest you can find is at the Sportivnaya. If you like, you can use one diving tower few hundred meters away from the beach, in from of the Hotel Vladivostok.
If you follw Sventlanskaya street till the end (as the ocean on your right), you will see a small garden with full of some war crafts. You can take pictures from the outside easily, of the cannons, artilleries, etc.
It's located up the hill behind the Oceanarium, though we didn't find any tourist info. here, and quite stumbled upon here by accident.
Atop the Naval Fortress, there are spectacular views of the city and the bay. We saw lectures given to young military recruits!
This was quite an amazing experience for us, especially considering that outsiders were not even permitted access into this city until 1992!!!
You can see many fleets of naval equipment here, and there is a daily noon cannon salute.
This entire city was considered sufficiently strategic location to warrant the closure of this city to outsiders during the Soviet era, and has been re-opened only since 1992.
If you are into music it is a must-visit venue, a spot to listen to the musicians from all over the world. Its newly restored turn-of-the-XX-century ambiance adds up to your exprerience.
Check out its web page for interior photos.