Irkutsk kept the spirit of 19th century Russian city. In the center, there are blocks of traditional wooden buildings with typical carvings. Most of the buildings of this kind were destroyed in Moscow and other
Irkutsk is also a starting point for expeditions and tours to Baikal Lake, which is just in 1 hour ride from the city. 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, we recommend you to visit the central market with its fabulous fish rows. You can buy any type of Baikal lake fish there as well as caviar. Irkutsk is a really nice place to spend several days just walking around the city, or going to the trip to Baikal Lake.
If you would like to know where you can go out or walk in Irkutsk, please, see the Irkutsk / Going Out section. For more information about traveling out of the city, visit Irkutsk / Around Irkutsk section.
Location & Map:
[Click here to see a big map of Baikal Lake - new window]
Irkutsk was founded in the 1661 as a fort to colonize Siberia. It was the main Russian fort behind the Ural mountains, so all the expeditions to colonize Kamchatka and Alaska have begun there. For centuries Russian emperors and communists (later) exiled political prisoners to Irkutsk, so many brainy Russians spent years in the city and this influenced the average IQ level of inhabitants. This year the city celebrates its 350 Anniversary.
As of 2011 the population is about 587 200 people. Irkutsk is important business center in Siberia and considered to be important Trans-Siberian Railway junction. Local phone code is (3952). Local time is GMT+5. The city is situated on the both banks of Angara river, which is going out of lake Baikal. Baikal is in 30 km. from Irkutsk.
Emergency phones: Fire department - 01; Police - 02; Ambulance - 03
WEATHER. (degrees celsius) January -21 | February -18 | March -9 | April +1 | May +9 | June +15 | July +17 | August +15 | September +8 | October 0 | November -11 | December -19