What to do in Vladivostok during the autumn

  • Photo: Yakov Ulkin, Dmitry Mezentsev, Vitaliy Berkov, Artem Ganzha
  • Text: Tatyana Zarechneva

You have come to Vladivostok in autumn? You’re lucky and destined for love. Tell you why.


A peculiarity of Vladivostok's climate is that summer and autumn are "displaced" for a month, and if in June – with its rain, fog, and average temperature of +14 °Cnbsp;– residents traditionally groan "when will summer finally come," then during "September Summer" it is taken for granted that they are still able to swim and sunbathe with abandon. (Coastal waters in early September are as warm as in August: +22-23 °С.)

In September there is no exhausting heat, the sea retains its summer warmth, and the sky is so high and clear that you consider giving up your return ticket for once and staying in Vladivostok forever. Many of those who came as tourists and then moved here to live fell in love with the city in September.

September is the most beautiful time of year for rest and relaxation in Vladivostok and Primorye. Now you know this secret!

So in September, especially at the beginning of the month, certainly include maritime leisure in your schedule. Depending on how much time you have to spend, you can get plenty of interaction with the sea at city beaches and by venturing out to the islands.

For those who prefer active recreation, Vladivostok provides many opportunities for marine sports. Kiting, regular and SUP-surfing, diving, ocean kayaking, and even extreme cliff jumping – into the sea from rocky bluffs – are all here.

With such a marvelous September it is not surprising that the month, like no other in Vladivostok, is full of spectacular events with local flavor. During these early days of autumn, there is the international film festival "Pacific Meridian", one of the world's largest drift-battles Asia Pacific D1 PrimRing Grand Prix, a high-profile urban running event Galaxy Vladivostok marathon, the unique Taiga Festival, the regional celebration of Tiger Day, and at least five other major events.


It is really in October that autumn completely comes into its own in Vladivostok. Finally the land, which usually serves as background for the sea in the mental map of residents and tourists, begins to dominate, displaying the striking colorful brilliance of unique Primorsky flora. The multi-hued maple trees give an especially beautiful visual impression of the season. Our Japanese neighbors "hunt for red leaves" on so called Momiji-gari; and although a similar ritual in Vladivostok does not have a specific name, large numbers of locals go out regularly into the taiga in the fall to admire the 11 species (!) of maples in Primorye.

In sunny October it's also good to go outside the city: either very close by – to the Botanical Garden to explore an amazing collection of rare and endemic plants of the Ussuri taiga and to walk along the paths in the adjacent forest, or very far away – on a two-day hike through thickets of schisandra into the depths of the taiga, feeling like Dersu Uzala, climbing rocky spurs and listening attentively for the invisible presence of amba – a tiger, the real owner of the taiga from time immemorial.

In contrast to walks in the taiga are strolls around the city. Vladivostok’s main urban attractions are concentrated in the center; they can be run through in a couple of hours, or you can walk leisurely all day hanging out in a variety of cafes and coffee shops. Here are several options for independent walking tours around town: historical, along the sea, and in the footsteps of Arseniev.

Photographers claim that the light in Vladivostok is ideal in October for capturing urban and suburban landscapes – as well as themselves against those backgrounds.

Definitely plan to join a group outing with the excursion bureau "City Time" – where raconteur guides tell stories of Vladivostok’s past so that the characters come alive and feel as if they are part of modern everyday life.


There’s just no hiding the fact that, in terms of weather, Vladivostok’s November is no gift – especially after our "September Summer" and colorful, sunny October. In November, there is a fairly sharp transition from Indian summer to an indistinct but short off-season, and then it’s quickly into winter.

For a visitor, this means you need to plan for a relatively small number of outings, focusing on immersing yourself into the vibrant and diverse life that goes on inside city walls.

In November, winter in Vladivostok always creeps up suddenly: one day it’s +13 °C and the next temperatures drop below zero. Keep a variety of appropriate clothing on hand to deal with such surprises.

The action plan for November is as follows:

Thoroughly learn Far Eastern cuisine (Pacific Russia Food) in all its manifestations – from street food to the delights of Pan-Asian restaurants. Far Eastern cuisine is a gastronomical phenomenon, which one can get most fully acquainted with only in Vladivostok. In short, it is a combination of seafood and gifts of the forest – spiced with culinary traditions of China, Japan, and Korea.

Get the juices flowing: to energetically go through the day, pep up your morning joe with taiga berries and roots at the cozy family coffee house "Prokofiy". In the evening – enjoy original and classic cocktails in Moonshine Bar, then on to ... well, do whatever you do at night (one option – admire the lights on the nighttime bridges).

Intellectual development and cultural enrichment (not everybody goes to restaurants and bars :-) To understand the spirit of Vladivostok – a city located at the junction of Europe and Asia – it is worth visiting the principal historic museums of Arsenyev and the Vladivostok Fortress, as well as the private classic-automobile museums where enthusiasts have put together unique collections of military and civilian vehicles.

In November Vladivostok hosts an International Jazz Festival, which brings together musicians from Russia, USA, and the Asia-Pacific Region – among them are A-list stars, as well as interesting new musicians that the Russian public is discovering here for the first time.

In the center of contemporary art "Zarya" there are permanent exhibits of featured resident artists from different countries, in addition to interesting retrospectives of Far Eastern art.

... and you might still catch a lovely day and go to the safari park, where animals live not in cages but in open areas. It is home to the famed Amur tiger, red wolves, the Far Eastern forest cat and even red deer (the kind that will eat out of your hand) and many other unique animals.

Of course, the breakdown of activities by month is rather arbitrary: some people fancy soaking their feet in the Pacific Ocean in November, while others prefer the cool silence of museums to the beach in hot September... Whatever you do when you come to Vladivostok, the main thing is that you feel happy here.

Believe me – Vladivostok is a great place to let the good times roll! And don’t forget to share your fun moments ‘’on the edge of the world’’ on social networks with the hashtags #vladivostoktravel and #откройвладивосток

Come to Vladivostok!

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