At first look, Vladivostok is something like ‘Russia’s San Francisco’ – a real stunner, with pointed mountains springing up above a network of bays, most strikingly the crooked dock-lined Golden Horn Bay (named for its likeness to Istanbul’s). Closer up, it can be a little grey, with Soviet housing blocks squeezed between new condos and century-old mansions. But it’s a great place to kick off or finish a trans-Siberian trip – however, be warned: leg muscles not used to the ups and downs of hilly streets will get more sore than a butt on the Trans-Siberian.
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.Show in Lonely Planet