Khabarovsk or Chabarovsk (Russian: Хаба́ровск, khah-BAH-ruhvsk) is a city on the Amur river in the Russian Far East, near the Chinese border. Often overlooked due to its proximity to Vladivostok, Khabarovsk could easily be a highlight in the long line of predominately dull cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway. But while most cities look their best when the sun is out, in few is the effect as profound as in Khabarovsk – attractive parks, beaches, outdoor beer tents with live music, pretty girls promenading and classic architecture await if the weather gods favour you. Even if you are unfortunate, it's not a loss to go indoors: the city also houses some of the best museums east of Moscow.
Overlooking the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, Khabarovsk is the second largest city in the Russian Far East, approaching 600.000 residents and growing. It is also the capital of both Khabarovsk Krai and the Far Eastern Federal District. Unlike Vladivostok, the city has never been closed to foreigners, and retains a distinct international feel, rare for the Russian provincial centers – a feeling propped up by an increasing Asian presence with arrivals from Asian countries now numbering over a million each year. In turn, Asians come here to experience a piece of Europe close to home, with the fortunate effect that the city is spending huge swaths of money renovating the city, in which old classical buildings were spared much of the destructive effects of the 1917-23 civil war, to provide its visitors with just that feeling. From a European's perspective, Soviet city planning has unmistakably taken its toll, but it is still far more attractive than your average Siberian city.