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Irkutsk Travel Guide

The City of Irkutsk

Irkutsk is located 60km east of the world famous Lake Baikal, southern Siberia at the confluence of the Angara and Irkut Rivers. More than 750,000 people live in this city surrounded by natural beauty. In Russia it means it’s a medium sized city.

Irkutsk was founded as a fortress. It was built by the Cossacks in 1661 on the right river bank of the Angara. Irkutsk was considered the window to the East. The first Russian ambassador travelled to China from Irkutsk. The merchants of the town used to control the whole trade with China, Mongolia, and East Siberia.

The city offers a mixture of small houses and modern buildings. The town’s main attraction is its close proximity to the legendary lake Baikal. It is the oldest, deepest (1,721 m) and cleanest lake of the world containing of the world’s fresh water.

Many rivers run through the region Angara and Lena, represent two of the largest rivers in Russia. The Omul, a salmon-like fish, is a must on every gourmet’s menu.

The City of Irkutsk

Beautiful Russian Orthodox Churches as well as Polish Catholic Cathedral this is the only one in Siberia. The historical center of Irkutsk today is under architectural conservation. There are more than 680 cultural and architectural monuments.

Some of them are the Savior Cathedral, the Christ-Epiphany Cathedral (1723), the building of the East Siberian Geographical Society and the statue of Alexander III and many others.

Irkutsk, in reality, serves several purposes for international travellers. It serves as popular stopover and resting point for travellers riding the Trans-Siberian railway. Irkust is home to several universities and a major branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, thanks to its proximity to Lake Baikal. It is a city rich in culture and history for those who want to get a sense of Russia's past. It is also used as a base for those who want to explore the nature and splendour of Lake Baikal. Irkutsk gives to visitors the option to enjoy a mixture of different architectural.

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