If you are in a constant search for new unforgettable experiences, we recommend you visit Primorsky Krai, one of the most beautiful regions of Russia.
You will be so impressed by caves and rocky peaks, golden sands on the seashore, mountain rivers and waterfalls, amazing sights of the ancient taiga, and architectural monuments that you'll want to return to this unique region, to the atmosphere of its centuries-old history and wilderness. 80% of the territory of Primorsky Krai is occupied by various mountain ranges and volcanoes, while lowlands account for only 20%. The unique species of flora and fauna have been preserved in protected woodlands due to the peculiarities of the landscape, and the natural attractions of Primorsky Krai will impress you with their magnificence. You can visit numerous architectural, historical and cultural monuments i n Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Ussuriysk and other cities.
Every seaside city has its unique history and places of interest which attract tourists from all over the world. Everyone can find a perfect place to spend their vacation. If you are fond of nature and can't imagine yourself staying in a stuffy hotel room then you should definitely visit the national parks and nature reserves of Primorsky Krai and its bath houses. Or maybe you would prefer to laze about in the sun and forget about all of your troubles? Then we advise you to plan your vacation in advance, because the swimming season here is very short (from 30 to 100 days). But you won't be disappointed! Regardless of the kind of recreation you chose, if it's your first visit to the Far East, you will see the major attractions and seaside cities with their highlights.
So which historical sights of the seaside cities of Primorsky Krai are worth visiting?
If you are interested in history and contemporary culture and want to find out more about the unique animal and plant species, it is best to start with the museums situated all over the region. Many of the strikingly diverse pieces exhibited in museums and cultural centers are of a great value to modern science. You'll also get a chance to visit excavation sites near the town of Arsenyev. Ancient settlements, caves and encampments that have been discovered by archaeologists are open to public all year round.
The highlight of Primorsky Krai is the Sukhanovs House Museum. It is the only historical museum in Russia which depicts the peculiarities of the everyday life of tsardom in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Visitors can take beautiful pictures against the retro-style interior, go to the stylized cafeteria and play the old piano.
For those who wish to understand the nature of every landmark we recommend visiting Vladivostok Fortress. This is the only Old Russian fortress with a massive fortification which characterizes that historical period. However, it has never been used for its original purpose because these military installations left the enemies no glimmer of hope for victory. Nowadays Vladivostok Fortress is a great museum divided into departments. Each of them presents unique naval exhibitions.
The sights of sea and mountains have always inspired Russian architects and artists. That is why the region is famous for its numerous monuments, magnificent temples, churches and richly decorated houses. Some buildings even resemble St. Petersburg's architecture with their style.
Modern Primorsky Krai. Sightseeing of Vladivostok
The seaside cities of Primorsky Krai are cultural metropolises with well-developed infrastructures and numerous modern art galleries, community centers and concert halls. Contests and exhibitions of the works of local talents are regularly organized in galleries. Apart from cultural entertainment every tourist is welcome to get accustomed with the business life of the region. Various festivals, business fairs, forums and congresses which help Far Eastern businesses establish connections with new partners and make mutually beneficial transactions are regularly organized by municipal authorities.
Every city in Primorsky Krai can be characterized by its originality, but one feature they have in common is their spirit, hardened by the sea. The most romantic and mysterious city is Vladivostok, which also serves as a regional capital. The only funicular railway in Russia from which you can admire the breathtaking panoramic view of the city is situated here. If you are afraid of heights there are two observation points where you can enjoy the views of Vladivostok after dark.
Don't forget to stroll along an embankment to get your dose of inspiration. One of the most popular places among local residents and tourists is the Korabelnaya embankment, where the giant sailing vessels Nadezhda and Pallada are situated. If you are lucky enough to visit the city on a public holiday, you can watch naval displays that will take your breath away. To those who are tired of walking we can offer a boat trip in Amur Bay. During this trip you will admire the picturesque sceneries from the onboard the ship as if you were a real seaman. One of the greatest oceanariums in Russia has recently been opened there. You will be able to see various species of the fauna of Primorsky Krai and find out the characteristic features of their habitat. According to those who have already visited, the oceanarium is worth spending a couple of hours with kids.
The best Primorsky Krai attractions (Photos with description). Top 10
1. Shtykovskye ponds
If you're planning a trip to Primorsky Krai with your family, we strongly recommend you visit the art park Shtykovskye ponds, which has become the most popular tourist attraction in the region. The park's territory amounts to 30 hectares. In addition, high-level service and various kinds of entertainment will attract both kids and adults. Shtykovskye Ponds has a lot to offer: cabins to stay in, cafés for kids and cozy pavilions, various workshops, summer and winter sports, ATVs, photo zones and amazing art objects. The park is open all year round and always has something to amaze its guests. That is why this place is so popular among the citizens of Vladivostok and tourists from different countries.
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2. The Church of the Intercession in Ussuriysk
The church is the main landmark of the city and is situated next to the bus station, so you'll have no chance of missing it. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city, famous for its architecture, unusual for an Orthodox Church. It was visited by tsarevitch (prince) Nikolay, who later became the last Russian tsar. The consecration of the church took place in 1907. The church was heavily damaged during World War II and in 1946 it was reconstructed by captured Japanese, which is why it looks so exotic.
3. Vladivostok Maritime Fortress
Situated on the shore of the Amur Bay within walking distance from the city. Both kids and adults interested in history will enjoy the trip. A lot of weapons and military equipment are on display. The museum is situated in the former barracks where soldiers lived so visitors can see their everyday life. You can touch all the displays in this open air exhibition and even play with them.
4. The Bely Dvorets Cave
This natural monument attracts hundreds of tourists every year. And you don't need any special equipment to get there. The cave is situated on the right bank of the Malaya Alekseevka river at the foot of the Constantinopole mountain. The cave is 120 meters long. It looks like two large halls connected by a tortuous path. It is best to visit the cave in summer time, because during the rainy season or in spring one of the halls may be flooded.
5. The Rudny Lighthouse
This lighthouse symbolizes Dalnegorsk and is famous all over the country. The Rudny Lighthouse was depicted on the 1995 1,000-ruble note. In addition, you can see it on many souvenirs: pictures, magnets and others. The lighthouse is situated in the Cape of Brinner. There you can enjoy the views of the Sea of Japan, cliffs and volcanoes. The slope is quite steep so we recommend you wear comfortable shoes.
6. Russky Island
This island has a very rich history. According to data from archaeological excavations, people first appeared on the island during the late Stone Age. In 698 Primorsky Krai belonged to the ancient kingdom and was quite densely populated. In addition, archeologists have discovered ancient temples with magnificent architecture. The island had been closed to vistors for a long period, which positively affected its environmental heritage. Ornamental plants, lianas and rare herbaceous plants grow there, and the fauna is also rich and diverse. This is one of the oldest and mysterious tourist attractions in Primorsky Krai. The island is also famous for its military facilities: The Voroshilov Turret Battery and the Fort of Russians. The battery is part of the Vladivostok defense line and is equipped with enormous weapons. This is where Russia's biggest oceanarium is situated. The Fort of Ivan the Terrible (the Fort of Russians) is the main defensive fort on the island, which is based on the project of Velichko.
7. The bridge to Russky island
The bridge is a very modern structure. It was built for the international summit in 2012. The citizens awaited its construction, because it linked Vladivostok with the island. While driving on the bridge, tourists can see the city from the sea and take a look at the main landmarks: the lighthouse, the fleet ships, submarines and islands. The bridge is the highlight of the city. First, it plays an important role in its infrastructure. Second, it is a monumental and grandiose structure.
8. The Zolotoy (Golden) Bridge
The city is named after its location. This construction is located in the middle of Golden Horn Bay, and links the two parts of the city to each other. During a walk through the bridge’s pedestrian zone, you will enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of the sea and take a look at the bridge’s monumental columns.
9. The Egersheld Lighthouse
This lighthouse is the spot where Vladivostok ends, where the sea stretches to the horizon. The lighthouse stands halfway to Russky island. There you can see the city from an unusual vantage point. When you stand near the lighthouse, it feels like you are looking at the city from onboard a ship. You can easily get to the lighthouse by car or public transport. This place is popular among local citizens because in summer you can sunbathe here, and during the cold seasons it is a perfect place to drink a cup of coffee and admire the sunset. If you are fond of extraordinary scenery, it’s definitely worth a visit.
10. State Maritime Museum
The museum is situated near Vladivostok on the island of Popov, which is surrounded by the Bay of Peter the Great. Part of the island is a nature reserve. It has been established for research and preservation of the unique natural complexes of the Sea of Japan. More than 5,000 various plant and animal species inhabit the waters and the sea floor. Some of the most famous are the Kamchatka crab, the Enteroctopus, and the Japanese spiky sea cucumber. Killer whales, dolphins, rorquals and other cetaecean species often swim in this area. This is Russia's richest aquatic zone, the only such reserve with almost untouched nature. Various excursions are organized here, including ones where you can dive with professional instructors to see sea animals in their natural habitats.
Primorsky Krai is also rich in talented craftsmen. In souvenir stores you can buy gifts for your relatives. You can find unbelievable forged metal, silver, cast and crystal handmade souvenirs, and buy traditional textile clothes, jewelry and craftwork items.
It is impossible to mention all the tourist attractions in Primorsky Krai, because it is the only place in Russia where so many wonders and entertainment facilities are accumulated in a comparatively small territory. That is why we've made a list of the most beautiful and popular tourist attractions in Primorsky Krai, must-sees for any traveler.