One thing you must learn about Vladivostok is that, excepting some buses, public transport is bad, very difficult to manage for an occidental if you need to go to a given place, not only experience new sensations. One of the first recommendations I got from a vladivostokian was: Never take a tram!. And, in fact, soon after I could see one of them stopped in middle of an avenue and some workers repairing the railway some meters before it!
Another thing you need to know is that here, near 90% of cars are JAPANESE CARS and, of course, with steering at the right side whilst Russia is a place where you drive by the right side like in Spain and most of occidental countries. But never be wrong: THEY ARE NOT SLOW DRIVERS, but very fast ones!. And absolutely anarch!. Here, despite of roads are full of holes and not seem to have maintenance, people drive without rules. There are very few traffic lights and you have to fight at the crossings with everyone in every direction. A DRIVING CHAOS!
But car is the only way to see some of the most interesting things -the typically russian ones- in this city. Some of them are, of course, the markets in the peripheral areas. I was lucky having someone to drive me through the city, but I can't recommend to rent here a car if you are not a good and risked driver, certainly.
Vladivostok was a great city to walk around. If you stay on the eastern peninsula (main Vlad train station side, where the Trans-Siberian originates), there is plenty to see and do and you can do most all of it on foot.
I spent a whole day and got to see most of this part of the city on foot - I know -- because a few days later, I went on a bus tour organized by the conference and basically took my exact same route again -but with the guides explantations this time.
Buses and trolley are abundant -- although the buses look like they are very old and shabby. I rode the electric trolley out the main boulevard (pick it up at the train station or take it on your way back from a long walking tour of the city (3-4 rubles). You'll miss some of the tourist sites without a good guide book - but the architecture from a century or more again -- especially the Western European structures are amazing.
One of these is the home of Yul Brenner (a famous American actor , "The King and I", etc, )who was born and lived in an extravagant family home of his well-to-do capitalist family.
Be sure to hike up to the highest points in the city and overlook the Great Horn Bay -- lies between the twin peninsula of the city.
You can walk up through one of the university campuses to get to the top.
Before the departure, I was searching frantically for such tranport information. It turns out that there is no organised method of "express passenger transport from city to airport" which is about 50km distance.
There is a local bus running, but is very slow and infrequent. VladAvia's Japanese langauge link below recommends that taxis should cost around $50 US or so.
The airport was the only place in this city where we were scouted for "tourist business", where ordinary fellows with cars asked if we wanted a taxi. When we asked how much, the prices were within recommended range, so we accepted.
The surprising thing was, that not only we as foreigners but other Russian nationals on their journeys also rode with us in the same large family van "private taxi".
When we arranged for a taxi return to the airport from our hotel, it was also a "private taxi", as if the driver was the brother or husband of the girl at front desk who accommodated us!
Sometimes, we were lucky to find drivers with whom we can speak a common language, as it's a lot of fun to chat with them.
Many are formerly Korean City Buses with their destinations in Hangul left intact (we even caught a glimpse of a 1970's model of our old neighbourhood Tokyu Bus - talk about a retro time warp from childhood!!!)
The local buses are very easy to ride. The route number and destination is written in Russian at the front or side of the bus. Simply hop on and pay 5 rubles as you exit.
..because it was already 17:00 when we found this place, and we couldn't work out enough Russian language to figure out how far it went and when the return was.
Anyway, it is some sort of commuter ferry with frequent morning and evening runs.
The station is located on Korabelnaya Naberezhnaya, across the street from the "C-56" Submarine Museum.
Here is a typical box lunch on 2.5 hours VladAvia flight from Toyama to Vladivostok. The taste is not bad, and light box lunches are more appropriate for air travel rather than the reheated food mash served on many other long distance flights. On the return flight, there was served small and nice caviar snack with piroshiki!!
Fly - we came in from Moscow on Aeroflot. At the time, they were running some odd promotion, where it was cheaper to fly business class and pay in cash than to take an economy seat but paying with a credit card.
I would recommend walking - the heart of the city is compact, there is a lot to look at in the way of small shops, architecture, hidden treasures.
The buses are very old, but are very easy to use. Just hop on and pay 5 rubles as you exit. We rode many of these until the terminal stop in the suburbs.