Vladivostok Walking Tour: Trans-Siberian Train Station, Arseniev Museum & Shopping
- Trans-Siberian Train Station: Witness the breathtaking architecture of this station at the end of Russia. It links the city to Moscow, about 5,600 miles away.
- The GUM: Shop at this beautiful art nouveau-style department store for handmade folk art and crafts, shawls, lacquer boxes, and traditional Russian nesting dolls.
- Arseniev State Museum: Learn about the history and wildlife of Siberia with recreated scenes of nature, ancient weapons, and centuries-old letters.
About this Vladivostok tour
Although it's called "the San Francisco of Russia" because of its postcard-worthy bridges and bays, Vladivostok owes more of its influence to a very different city: Hamburg.
Two German entrepreneurs, Gustav Kunst and Gustav Albers, founded a small trading post here in the 1860s. Their business flourished for the next decade, and they built a more permanent stone building to replace their modest wooden store.
Another Hamburger added his imprint: Georg Yunghendel, the architect who designed what was to become the GUM (just an abbreviation for "main universal store" in Russian.) He turned the two Gustavs' wooden shop into a gorgeous art nouveau jewel, with intricate arches and detailed statues portraying angels and characters from German fables. It was the first building in Vladivostok to feature telephones, elevators, and steam heating.
Yunghendel also constructed another Vladivostok highlight: The mansion where Yul Brynner was born, a pale, three-story building commissioned by his grandfather, a Swiss businessman. Grandpa Brynner's story is a classic rags-to-riches tale: After running away to Japan at 16, Brynner ended up settling in Vladivostok, where he set up a successful import/export business. But outside of Vladivostok, it's the handsomely hairless head of grandson Yul that people remember, and movies like The King and I and The Magnificent Seven. Yul's son still returns to Vladivostok for film festivals, keeping memories of the King alive in the city whose name translates to "Ruler of the East."
Ironically, one of their biggest hits was "Hush"
Vladivostok's most famous son is one of only nine people to win both an Oscar and a Tony for the same role, but the King and Others frequently clashed. Known as one of the prickliest celebrities in Hollywood, Brynner once got into a shouting match with Deep Purple (the Guinness Book's "Loudest Band" in 1975) because a band member was making too much noise.
Arriving by cruise ship? Please proceed pier side and look for our tour representative with the displayed logo sign.
There is an opportunity for souvenir shopping at the famous GUM department store during the tour. However, it only accepts cash. Be sure to have secured some Russian Roubles prior. It can be difficult to exchange currency locally. 100 kopeks make up a rouble (also spelled ruble). Most visitors require a visa to enter Russia.
This tour requires approximately 2.5 miles of walking, mostly over paved/cobbled surfaces, with some steps to climb. It is not suitable for travelers with limited mobility and is not wheelchair accessible.
Cultural, Scenic, Walking Tour
English, German, Spanish, Russian, Japanese
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Travelers must be 10 years of age or older to participate in this tour.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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