Irkutsk is located 60km east of the world famous Lake Baikal. This city surrounded by natural beauty. Irkust is an industrial center, a port, the site of a hydroelectric dam and a major stop along the Trans-Siberian Railway.
The city of Irkutsk, with attractive embankments along the river and many surviving wooden houses on its tree-lined streets, is an administrative and cultural centre for Eastern Siberia and of the Russian Far East. The wide streets and ornate, continental architecture led to Irkutsk being called the capital of Siberia, the pearl of Siberia, and even Paris of Siberia.
Irkutsk became the major center of intellectual and social life for Russian artists, officers and nobles exiles, and much of the city's cultural heritage comes from them; also, many of their wooden houses filled with pastel colour, adorned with ornate, hand-carved decorations, brick mansions and the dark black wooden cabins survive today in stark contrast with the standard Soviet apartment blocks that surround them. Ice palaces and sculptures are the main attraction, while classic Russian palaces are of interest to those wanting to know more about the city's history.
In summer, there are a lot of travellers from all over the world going to the lake from Irkutsk. If you don’t have time for the lake but just several hours in the city, you can buy any type of Baikal Lake fish there as well as caviar. Irkutsk is a really nice place to spend several days, or just going to the trip to Baikal Lake.
Another of Irkutsk's attractions is the proximity to lovely, 636km long Lake Baikal where hiking, biking, horse trekking, fishing and boating are big time. The north end is the most beautiful and isolated. Listvyanka village is a popular place to stay for tourists.