Where to Go: Listvyanka Settlement on Baikal Lake
Listvyanka is the most popular place on Baikal lake. Perhaps, every traveler visits it, because it's the easiest way to reach Baikal. Listvyanka is located 60 km south-east from Irkutsk, and it takes about 1 hour to get there by car.
There is a wide range of accommodation (from luxury hotels for $100 / room to budget, but clean, dorm rooms for $5 a night, and bed and breakfast accommodations with locals). Baikal lake is just across the road.
However, popular is not always the best, so is Listvyanka. It seems a bit dirty, and overcrowded in Summer, but if you walk about 2-3 kilometers away (there are some paths along the lake up north), you'll be able to enjoy Baikal lake in all its beauty.
Map, Location & How to Get There & Back:
What to Do & See in Listvyanka:
Listvyanka is a comfortable place to stay. Many hotels offer good meals, Russian steam-sauna (banya), day-trips.
In Summer, you can walk along the shore of Baikal (to the north), there's a path through the hills, and it is very nice. Alternatively, you can rent a
Listvyanka, Baikal lake
mountain bike ($18 per day), make a day tour ($35), rent horses for the whole day ($35), or go for a rafting trip (from $30).
In Winter, you can rent a snowmobile ($32 per hour), go skiing, or try dog sledging ($15 for an introductory 1.5 hour trip). Steam-sauna is a must in Winter (imagine, heating yourself up and then jumping in the snow!), and you can get it for about $25 (for up to 6 people, so $4 for a person).
All these activities should better be booked in advance (there are many tourists in Summer), so we recommend you to book it through the Activities / Budget Tours section on our site.
The standard must-sees are Limnological Museum (or Museum of Baikal), where you can learn about flora and fauna of the lake and see some unique species in aquarium (located 5 km down the road (south) from bus station. Entrance: $3, $2 for students, open: 9.00-19.00.
On the road to Listvyanka there's Shaman-rock, sneaking out of Angara river, it is considered to be a sacred stone.
About 15 km from Listvyanka on the road to Irkutsk (20 mins by car), there's an interesting Taltsy Museum of Wooden Architecture. Samples of old wooden houses were brought here from all over Siberia, so it may be quite interesting. There's also a bad cafe, and nice
The market next to bus stop in Lisvyanka
traditional souvenirs (open hours: 10.00 to 17.00 (in winter to 16.00), entrance: $2). If you take a bus from Listvyanka, there will be a bus in 1 hour passing back to Listvyanka from Irkutsk, so it's convenient.
Finally, we recommend you to visit a market on the main square of Listvyanka (next to the bus station). Local people sell all kind of souvenirs there and nice fish made in different ways (salted, smoked, baked). You can also get delicious home-made food there. A fish usually costs about $1, and a dinner can be bought for $1-$2.
Accommodation: Hotels in Listvyanka
There is a wide range of accommodation options available in Listvyanka. Some people even prefer to stay there, instead of Irkutsk, because you can really save a lot on accommodation, to be able to afford a daily trip to Irkutsk and back for about $6 return.
Baikalskie Terema Hotel
The hotel is situated in the center of Listvyanka village, about 5 minutes walking from the bus station.
It is a small, cozy hotel overlooking the lake Baikal and snow-topped
Baikal Terema hotel
peaks of the Khamar-Daban on the lake's opposite side. There's nice, authentic, and relaxed atmosphere and good restaurant. The rooms are built of pine wood and overlook Baikal lake. Staff is quite friendly, but doesn't speak English very well.
There are 17 rooms in all. A double costs 2700R ($90), and a single costs 2550R ($85). There is no phone. Fridge and TV in every room, breakfast included in the price.
You can also rent a bike, or make a day horseback riding or trekking tour. The hotel has its own Russian steam-bath. Owned and managed by GreenExpress company.
To reserve, please, send a message to email@example.com or contact the operator directly - click here.
A double room: $30, additional $10 for a breakfast and $30 for a dinner. Quite overpriced, but ok. Steam-sauna $5 per hour, only one shower in the whole hotel.
Address: Gudina ulitsa., 7/11, Tel.: 395-2-250468
Quite nice and inexpensive hotel offering dorm, double, and single accommodation from 200 R ($7) per night for a bed, to 600 R ($20) per night for a single room. There is shower, common toilets, ugly concrete building. Staff doesn't speak English. The rooms are quite clean, and there's no bad odour.
Address: Gorkogo str., 101 (100 m north from the bus station)
Hotel Pribaikalskiy Natsionlany Park
Bed in a dorm for 240 R ($7), no shower, steam-sauna, staff doesn't speak English. The rooms are quite stuffy and small.
Address: Ostrovityanova str., 39, Tel.: 112-520
Locals usually charge $15-$20 per night. There is not a specific bed and breakfast organization through which you can book a homestay for yourself. So, most travelers arrange accommodation through travel agencies. If you're interested, please, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll refer your request to GreenExpress company, who can arrange homestay in Listvyanka for you.
Listvyanka is actually located on one long Gorkogo street that goes along Baikal shore, so it's easy to make your way around — all the main spots and places are located on this street.
There is no internet cafe in Listvyanka, but you can send a post or make an international phone call from the post office at Gorkogo St., #49 (open hours: 8.30-17.30, closed 13.00-15.00, on Saturday opened: 8.30-12.00).
All the shops are located next to the bus stop, and there's also a great market where you can buy food. If you want to eat in a cafe, there are plenty around the bus stop as well.
If you would like to go to the Circum-Baikal railway, you should
A Morning in Listvyanka
get to Port Baikal first. The ferry circulates daily, starting from 6.30 until 20.00 (about 6 a day), and departs from the bus station. It takes about 15-20 minutes, costs 20 R ($0.7) one way. From Port baikal the ferry goes back to Listvyanka. If the Circum Baikal train from Slyudyanka to Port Baikal arrives after 20.00 the ferry will either wait or there’s a big probability that there’ll be somebody taking the train’s passengers to Listvyanka.
The boat tickets in Irktusk can be bought at the River Terminal or at the Central Ferry Office on Chkalova street, 37. The River Terminal is located in the end of Baikalskaya Street, you can get there by taking any shuttle - marshrutka from the Central Market that goes to “Rechnoi Vokzal” (river terminal in Russian).
It’s better to buy the tickets for all destinations beforehand, because many people like to travel by boat. The ticket sales offices are opened from 10.00 to 18.00 daily. If you want to take the boat that departs on the same day, you can only buy the ticket 1 hour before its departure. Come as early as you can to be the first in the queue.
River transport information phonelines (in Irkutsk): 29-75-70 or 29-75-44 (long-distance boats), 35-88-60 or 29-74-67 (short-distance boats).
There's a diving center opened at Nikola settlement, by the hotel "Nikola". An hour of diving costs 2000 R (~ $70).