If you are lucky enough to be in Vladivostok in the spring, remember — during this season there is no point in waiting around for ideal conditions; enjoy whatever presents itself. And now we’ll tell you how!
Greet the final snows and initial thaws. Coming to Vladivostok in March, tune into the beauty and be prepared for anything: snow, rain, thick fog, and bright sun. Even weather forecasters are not always sure what exactly the month will bring from this list.
The sea is a sight to behold in any season. And on a fine March day, be sure to plan a rendezvous with it, to breathe in its freshness and be inspired by the scenery. Walking on the ice could already be unsafe, so we advise you to admire the drifting ice floes from a distance. To best view the spectacle, go up to the rocky cliffs where the ice mosaic will be spread out in all its fascinating beauty. The nearest suitable place is on Russky Island. In addition to a camera, take warm clothes with you, and a thermos of hot tea brewed from lemon grass and dog rose. Dried wild plants are easy to find in the city’s markets. The healthy natural beverage will help you keep warm — and provide vitality as well as any energy drink.
If the sea calls, and training permits, you can join the SUP-surfers in late March. Local extreme athletes open their season at this time, maneuvering their inflatable boards between ice floes, and sometimes directly on top of them.
Does weather and common sense advise you to stay warm? Excellent! Devote your free time to art.
Be inspired by works of modern-day artists at the contemporary art center "Zarya". Spread over the territory of a former garment factory – there are workshops, classes, film screenings, exhibitions, and meetings with talented local artists and creative people from all over the world. Entrance to events is free. Or visit the new Center for Contemporary Culture "Khlebozavod". Here you will be shown modern "scientific art" — joint projects of scientists and artists. Connoisseurs of the classics will find it worthwhile to drop by Primorsky State Picture Gallery and the theaters of Vladivostok.
Russian Far East cuisine will, of course, help replenish the energy expended on excursions. March is a time when homemade pickles and jams are still served. On your list of important things to do in the city by the sea, be sure to include tasting traditional preparations of family recipes made from local Primorsky wild plants. Look for such delicacies in restaurants where local cuisine is offered, such as PortCafé or Ogonёk.
Outside temperatures are now consistently above zero, which means long walks around this beautiful city are in order. You can take, for example, a historic route, or go along the sea, or in the footsteps of explorer Vladimir Arseniev.
Another option is bike riding. Tsesarevich Embankment is ideal for this activity; in fact, the large walking area is also suitable for roller skating and skateboarding, and it offers a beautiful view of Golden Bridge and the ships moored in Golden Horn Bay. The seafront campus of Far Eastern Federal University on Russky Island is excellent for skating too; you can also take videos here or rent bikes and ride along the numerous avenues and paths of this huge park.
April is the right time to descend into the catacombs of Vladivostok, where not only bats and legends await you, but also real stories of the city's development. A considerable part of these underground tunnels is associated with objects of the Vladivostok fortress, built in the early twentieth century. Evacuation systems, bomb shelters, and secret passages created under Soviet authorities are hidden underground. Excursions to the dark side of the city are organized by stalkers of the subterranean zone — activists of the Vladivostok Digger Club.
When warm weather comes to Primorye, mandarins, the most beautiful ducks on the planet, — fly in. One of the unique places where these red-listed birds stop and nest is located in a residential suburb of Vladivostok, Fanzavod on the Solenaya River. You can get there from the city center on bus #24; get off at the stop called "School Number 44."
Other rare and beautiful animals can be seen in Primorsky Safari Park and the Zoo in Sadgorod. To get acquainted with inhabitants of the seas, rivers and lakes — it’s best to go to Primorsky Oceanarium, where it is definitely worth planning a visit in any month no matter what the weather is in Vladivostok.
The Flourishing Month! This is a good time to observe all the colors of life — to walk and be filled with inspiration.
A lot of flowering trees and bushes are blooming at this time in Vladivostok. Pay special attention to the rhododendron bushes burning with purple. Called “bagul'nik” (ledum), they are especially appreciated and considered one of the symbols of the city.
Their blossoming depends on the kind of winter there was. Buds can poke out in March, but flowering mostly begins in April, reaching its peak by May. The best place to admire the glow of local ledum is at the Botanical Garden-Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. And not only because the largest collection of rhododendrons in Russia is here — in May this place turns into a flower garden of incredible size, attracting tourists and locals with its colors and fragrances and becoming a popular place for numerous photo sessions.
Walkers — Live it Up! Tours through the city’s streets and strolls along its waterfront areas begin in May. Sailboats, small craft, and power boats can go out to sea only about six months of the year; the rest of the time they doze on the shore because of the ice conditions. In late April/early May, boating season officially opens, and lovers of the sea go out on their first trips through the bays and picturesque coves.
Impressions of the city and its residents will be incomplete if you overlook the topic of cars. May 11-13, you have to go to the “automobile Disneyland of the Far East” —sports and recreation complex PrimRing — where a brilliant Automobile exhibition opens, the Vladivostok International Auto Salon. The most “auto-mobilized” city in the country knows a lot about good cars. Connoisseurs of special-version cars, fans of racing cars and motorcycles, and lovers of outdoor activities will find many interesting things at this exposition.
The cherry on top of this bright spring cake of Vladivostok has been replaced by a clam: there is a mussel festival in the city May 11-20. Sampling local dishes from fresh mollusks and visiting the "mussel" picnic, where they prepare Far Eastern pilaf, are a must during this time. After all, it is impossible to learn about the city without trying what inhabitants have been eating for many generations.
Overall, spring is a splendid period to enjoy a marvelous time in a wonderful city: lots of walking and tasty eateries, photographing retreating ice and the burgeoning cityscape, and uploading pictures with the hashtag #discovervladivostok. The best shots will definitely appear on our social networks to inspire new adventurers to visit Vladivostok.
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