So far east it's almost in China, Vladivostok is a bustling port city and a final stop on one of the epic Trans-Siberian routes. Peaks and peninsulas define Vladivostok, as does Golden Horn Bay, busy with huge icebreakers and the Russian Pacific Fleet. There are ferries too, ideal for visiting distant beaches and islands that were once strictly navy-only. But there's much to enchant within the city itself, which slopes up and down long-dead volcanic hills known as Sopki.
Buildings built on different levels in different decades make for an endlessly interesting mix, with the sea visible beyond. There's even taiga – Siberian forest – in the city's Botanical Gardens, adding further variety to this Russian outpost, where submarines and old forts can be explored.