General City Information
Irkutsk has approx. 600 000 inhabitants. In Russia it means its a medium-sized town. However it is still a capital of the Pribalkalye, East Siberia, which is about 5000km to the east from Moscow. The town offers a mixture of small (1 or 2 stories) timber houses and modern buildings of 19th and 20th centuries. The towns main attraction is its close proximity to the legendary lake Baikal. Lake Baikal is the oldest, deepest (1721 m) and cleanest lake of the world containing? of the worlds fresh water.
Many rivers run through the region of Pribalkalye. Two of them, Angara and Lena, represent two of the largest rivers in Russia. Climate of Pribalkalye is continental with cold winters and hot summers. Wildlife, particularly fish, is great in its variety. The Omul, a salmon-like fish, is a must on every gourmets menu.
Irkutsk. Panoramic view
Irkutsk was founded as a fortress. It was built by the Cossacks in 1661 on the right river bank of the Angara. Since the late 17th century, because of its location, Irkutsk was considered the window to the East. The first Russian ambassador traveled to China from Irkutsk. The merchants of the town used to control the whole trade with China, Mongolia, and East Siberia.
Old wooden houses
The classical Russian architecture of Irkutsk goes back to the year 1880 when the town experienced a rapid development after gold was found in the surrounding area. Most of the brick mansions and enormous public buildings were constructed at the end of the 19thbeginning of the 20th century. They represent mixture of different architectural styles. Beautiful Russian Orthodox Churches as well as Polish Catholic Cathedral (the only one in Siberia) are at the heart of the town. 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 IIIto name but a few.
- Hotels in Irkutsk
Here you will find a list of hotels in Irkutsk with a reservation option. You may book any of the listed hotels via our agency and get a reduced price. If you book your hotel with us, your visa support (letter of invitation for a Russian visa) will be free of charge. If you are interested in booking a different hotel in Irkutsk, please, contact us.
- Sightseeing in Irkutsk
Irkutsk is located right next door to the Lake Baikal and has a lot to offer to its visitors. Here you will find a list of excursions, tours and day trips we recommend. On request, extra excursions can be organised. If you are interested in this option, please, contact us
- Transfer in Irkutsk
Here you will find a list of our transportation services (including the rent-a-car option). We offer individual transfers by private car and group transfers by bus. Usually the transfer does not include a guide, but it’s possible to arrange this. The guide (who speaks one of the available languages) will accompany you to your accommodation and will generally show you around.