Trans-Siberian journey: what to do, what to see in Khabarovsk

Khabarovsk is a great stopover on a Trans-Siberian train trip. Located 700km northeast of Vladivostok, along the Amur River, it is the largest city in the Russian Far East. I made a short one-day stop here on my 2018 Trans-Siberian journey from Vladivostok to Moscow.

The Amur river in Khabarovsk

I really liked this stage, but not for the reasons that attracted me to Khabarovsk. I had decided to stop there to see the legendary Love River, but I was quite disappointed. We fantasize about the name, telling ourselves that it will be a very beautiful river, but its banks are quite ordinary in the end. The name Amour phonetically reflects its Russian name “Амур”, but etymologically it comes from a Buryat word meaning “muddy”… Much less romantic all of a sudden! On the other hand, I fell in love with the city itself, its superb Orthodox churches, its traditional wooden houses and its fascinating regional museum.

Less than ten hours by train from Vladivostok, it is worth making a short stop. You don't necessarily need to spend a night there. For my part, I arrived early in the morning after a night on the train from Vladivostok, then I left the same evening. My advice when you visit a city without sleeping there is to reserve a bed in a dormitory in a hostel near the station. This allows you to take a shower when leaving the train and have a secure place to put your luggage.

The Assumption Cathedral in Khabarovsk

Khabarovosk has two very beautiful Orthodox churches. The first, easily recognizable with its blue roofs and golden domes, is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Mother of God. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Just in front, a huge staircase leads down to the banks of the Amur river.

The Transfiguration Cathedral, on the heights of Khabarovsk

The other church is a little more out of the way. You have to climb a hill that overlooks the river and the city. Consecrated in 2004, the Transfiguration Cathedral is the third tallest in Russia, after Saint Isaac's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. Its nave is 96 meters high.

Khabarovsk city center runs along the wide Amourski Boulevard, which connects the station area to the Amur River. This is where most of the shops and restaurants are located. Do not hesitate to take a look in the passages between two streets; you can come across beautiful works of street art, such as this tiger, the emblematic animal of the Far East, also known as the Siberian tiger or the Amur tiger. On the verge of extinction in the mid-twentieth century, today there are around 500, a success achieved thanks to the preservation measures put in place by Russia.

Khabarovsk Regional Museum

My favorite in Khabarovsk is a visit to the regional museum. Located in a beautiful historic building, it is huge, with superb collections relating the history, geography and culture of the Russian Far East. There are no explanations in English but the windows are so successful that you quickly forget this inconvenience. It's a real journey through time!

Visit Khabarovsk practical notebook

Getting there: Khabarovsk is located at the end of the Trans-Siberian line, just before Vladivotok. For more information, I invite you to read my full article on how to organize a Trans-Siberian trip . To find Khabarovsk on the Russian Railways site, enter “Habarovsk” and not “Khabarovosk”: there may be alphabet translation problems in some cities.

Stop for a day without sleeping: I have often adopted this technique during my trans-Siberian journeys. I schedule short one-day stops to visit the cities, between two nights on the train. On the other hand, for more comfort, I reserve a dormitory in a youth hostel: this allows you to take a good shower when arriving in the morning and to put your luggage in a secure place. For Khabarovsk, I recommend the Hostel U Vokzala Brandson , located very close to the station (count between 5 and 8 euros per person).

Where to sleep: if you want to sleep a night in a more comfortable hotel, I advise you to check the availability at the Asti Hotel or at the Hotel Enigma .

Also read: take a look at my article All my advice for a trip to Russia as well as my City-guide for visiting Vladivostok .

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