See some of the most important sights in the city and take breaks to sample some Siberian cuisine and drinks while learning about Irkutsk’s rich history!
- Take a stroll around the deepest lake in the world and let your breath be taken away by the magnificent views.
- Enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge and sample traditional local cuisine such as smoked Baikal fish.
- Explore an open-air museum of wooden architecture and shaman yurts, and get an insight into the lives of the Siberian people over the centuries.
- Listen to the personal stories of your local guide, from ancient legends about the lake to stories about the local people.
- Visit an unusual local museum in the charming village of Listvyanka.
Visit Lake Baikal in Siberia
A trip to Lake Baikal is a wonderful adventure and the best way to immerse yourself in the culture and history of Siberia. Alongside the spectacular views and pretty flora and fauna of the Siberian countryside, you visit Russia’s biggest open-air museum of wooden architecture, where you can see shaman yurts and typical wooden houses, and you visit a 17th-century church and orthodox school, too.
Once we’ve covered the architectural and historical gems, we head 20 kilometres south to the lakeside village of Listvyanka, known affectionately as the Baikal Riviera, to explore the water. We take a stroll along the bay, visit some spots that only locals know, and enjoy a picnic right on the Baikal Bay. A perfectly picturesque and fascinating day awaits you in beautiful Baikal.
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, ticket to Taltsy museum, snack in Taltsy museum (pancake with tea), snack of smoked Baikal fish at the bay of Baikal (there are vegetarian options available), public transport tickets, a taxi ride from Taltsy to Listvyanka, a ticket to museum in Listvyanka
Exclusions: Additional food and drinks, souvenirs and items of a personal nature, tips/gratuities for your guide
- Duration: 6.5 hours
- Meeting point: Main entrance to Central market (Центральный рынок, главный вход) in Irkutsk. Address: Litvinova, 17. Your guide will be holding an Urban Adventures sign. View on Google Maps.
- Starting time: 10.30 am
- Ending point: Central bus station in Irkutsk
Upon meeting your friendly local guide, we head out of the historical centre of Irkutsk onto the Baikal motorway on a public minibus. The journey to our first stop takes about an hour, which is a perfect amount of time for your guide to introduce you to the area and its people.
Our first stop is Taltsy, a wonderful open-air museum dedicated to the wooden architecture of old Siberia. Your guide regales you with stories of the different cultures that have settled or passed through the area over the centuries and their way of living. We explore the lives of local people and their house arrangements, from the Buryats and Evenks to the Tofalars and the Russians.
Next up, we check out the wooden church of Kazan, built in 1679, and check out a traditional wooden fortress. It’s interesting to find out what’s inside many of these Siberian ostrogs, as many of them went on to form the framework of the cities we know today.
You’re probably feeling peckish right about now, so we take you to a tea room to try Siberian sbiten (herbal tea with berries) and pancakes with honey and sour cream. So yummy!
Full, warm, and happy, we hop in a taxi and head towards the world’s deepest freshwater lake. It’s not a secret that Baikal is a sacred place, and you have the opportunity to feel the rejuvenating water on your skin. We arrive in the lake’s most popular village, Lisviyanka, and head straight to Dendro Park’s observation point for spellbinding views and photo opportunities galore (that Instagram feed isn’t going to fill itself!).
Our adventure continues with a stroll along the shore as your guide tells you about some of the legends of the lake. We also talk about conservation, why this site is so unique, why it needs our care and respect, and what the local community are doing to protect it for future generations. We then make our way to an unusual local museum that is small but absolutely worth visiting!
Picnic time is next! We buy some fish and maybe one or two other local treats and, weather permitting, set ourselves up at our favourite picnic spot along the lakeside (if the weather is bad, we head into a cute little café instead).
After a delicious, local meal, we head back to the city via public transport (the journey is about 1 hour 30 mins), arriving at the central bus station. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your guide for more tips on what else to see, do, and eat during your stay in Irkutsk.
Dress standard: If you’d like to go inside the Russian Orthodox Church, please be sure to wear clothing that covers your legs to below the knees. Women must also wear a scarf to cover their head.
Your trip: For your Urban Adventure, you are in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We’ll see you at the start point. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Child policy: No age limit. This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.
We can accommodate vegetarians and some other dietary restrictions. Please notify us in advance if you have any dietary requests. You can do so in the ‘Additional information’ box at checkout, or by emailing us at [email protected].