Big changes arrived in Vladivostok thanks to the 2012 Asian Pacific Economic Conference (APEC), with billions spent on infrastructure. Timing wise, June can often be grey and wet, while September and October are the nicest, sunniest months
(another thing Vladivostok has in common with San Francisco). Vladivostok’s City Day is 2 July, or the closest Saturday to it.
Arseniev Regional Museum
An historic mansion built in 1906 and originally owned by a merchant in now housing the Arseniev Regional Museum.
Named after Vladimir Arseniev, the explorer of the Russian Far East and prominent writer, this place is a must-visit as it gives an insight into the history of the region and Vladivostok in particular. Lots of things are on display - from local flora and fauna species to various historic objects.
Mind its historic doors and staircases among the interiors.
Vladivostok Fortress Museum
One of multiple Vladivostok fortresses turned into a museum in 1996 and put on the State protected area list.
It houses an impressive collection of historic military objects.
This is an S-56 Submariine (podvodnaya lodka in Russian) which destroyed 10 enemy ships in the Second World War and is now a museum. There is a collection of photographs and other memorabilia inside and it's fun to scamble around inside through hatches and small cramped passages. Tickets cost 100 rubles (we visited in 2010) and an extra 50 rubles for a ticket that allows you to take photos.
The viewing platform is located atop Eagle's Nest Hill that rises 180 meters above the city.
There are neither eagles, nor their nests left, but you will find breathtaking panoramic views, as well as a monument to Cyrill and Methodius, "equal to the Apostles, Enlighteners of the Slavic people", as its plaque says.
So from the above you will contemplate the city panorama including
- Golden Horn Bay (which never freezes in winter) in front of you;
- Churkin residential district (the hugest one with a population of 230.000 people and where I was blessed to live for a couple of years) across the bay; (and now imagine a bridge that will have linked this side with that side by 2012)
- Russky Island in the background, that will host the APEC-2012 Summit;
- The Egersheld Peninsula on the left and Amur Bay further on the left.