It is really one of the most beautiful cities in Russia. Maybe because it is a well-traveled location for the last 100 years since Transsiberian Railroad was finished. Even before it had more attention from the government, church, and people because everybody understood that this place is unique. Travelers stopped here more than anywhere in Russia to visit Lake Baikal shore, except the two capital cities.
It feels like local people always wanted their city to look pleasant and in some way decorated. It is the tradition of Irkutsk.
Even when you see these destroyed wooden houses you can imagine easily how beautiful they once were and how skilled and creative were the builders.
The details of the churches are so interesting and some of them are almost ancient.
Beautiful nature right in the city.
Angara River is one of the cleanest rivers in Russia. Enjoy a boat ride around the island and learn about the city from the water. Very nice solution on a hot summer day. There are several islands in the center of the city. Some of them are connected by the excursion railroad. Some of them have restaurants. One has an observation weel.
Meet interesting people and have unique experiences.
People from all over the world travel to see Lake Baikal. All types of transportation. Starting from people who just like to walk finishing with exotic ways like hot air balloon to travel across Baikal, or submarine to go to Lake’s depths.
All year round Baikal is well-traveled and different travel-related events happen all the time organized by companies and individuals. Scientists, schoolchildren, bikers, hikers, runners, religious groups, sportsmen, artists, name any, there is always a chance to meet interesting people around this magical Northern Sacred Sea of Russian Siberia.
And of course, it is great to learn how local people live in this hard climate.
The main reason is that Irkutsk is near Lake Baikal. From Irkutsk, it is just a 1-hour car ride to the shore of the lake to the most popular Listvyanka settlement.
But Irkutsk is also worth of visit on its own. A good example of Siberian city.
Irkutsk and Lake Baikal is warm Siberia
Much warmer than the rest of Siberia. It is never too cold like you would expect it to be. Because of the big body of water of Baikal and Angara water reserve temperatures are 10 degrees warmer on average compared to other regions of Siberia.
It takes a long time for Baikal to freeze over. It is covered with 1-meter ice only at the end of January, and then winter starts to get warmer during February. It is usually very sunny and cold is not that hard after everything freezes over, and the weather becomes less windy.
Tasty, healthy and super easy to prepare. Get it as soon as you reach Irkutsk city. Great for all kinds of travel. Fall in love with your Trans-Siberian Train even more.
The following information significantly improves the quality of your train travel and other trips in Russia, Mongolia, and China.
Made in Irkutsk, here space technologies meet the best culinary traditions.
Made in the downtown of Irkutsk. Factory’s high tech kitchen is inside a traditional Siberian mansion. Design of the 19th century.
It is a soft container 15 x 20 cm (6 x 7 in) made of hard metal-plastic material. Designed to keep the meal inside for 1 year.
The meal that is inside is ready to eat.
300 grams per pack
Pea soup with smoked meat
300 grams per pack
Pilaf with beef
Chicken with vegetables
Salmon in cream sauce
Buckwheat with vegetables and liver
Buckwheat with vegetables and mushrooms
Korean chicken stomachs
Thai chicken wings
Sweet-and-sour chicken and pineapple
250 grams per pack
Just warm up the container. It is super easy, but don’t use a microwave oven, the packing material contains metal.
Tip: On the train, use a hot water boiler which is in every wagon and is free for all. Just put packs on top of the boiler, 3 minutes should be enough, 4 packs usually fit just perfect. Keep them up there for more time, if you like your soup to be hot. Be careful, in some trains the top of the boiler is very hot!
It tastes really good
A unique product, cooked from natural ingredients. No chemical preservatives are used. It is the technology of cooking and packing that keeps food good for 1 year.
The package will keep your food safe in a wide range of temperatures from -30 to +50 Celcius. The material is hard to break and it can be transported in very difficult conditions.
Where to get
In Irkutsk, this product is sold in Slata (Слата) supermarkets. They are located all over the city and usually work 24 hours every day. Angara Hotel, Karl Marx Steet, 130-th District all these and many other locations have Slata supermarket where Factory’s products can be found.
Welcome to visit Factory of Healthy Food, doors are open from AM 10:00 to PM 6:00 every working day, closed on Saturday and Sunday. Availability is usually much better at the Factory and the price is lower.
Russian name: Фабрика Здоровой Еды Pronunciation: Fábrika Zdoróvoi Yedí Meaning: Factory of Healthy Food
There is not much spicy food in Russia. Usually, people just add fresh garlic or onions to their meals. But be careful, homemade spicy mustard is as spicy as Japanese wasabi. Usually spicy mustard is served as a sauce for lard or meat jelly. Some people who like a lot of spicy put mustard on a piece of bread.
Try just a little bit in the beginning. Because if used too much it may hurt a lot. Sometimes people even cry and become and have a red face.
Usually, 1 tablespoon is enough for several people. The potency of mustard is defined by its freshness. If mustard is purchased in the shop it will never be as spicy as fresh homemade.
How to use taxi services in Russia? Is there Uber in Russia?
There is a very simple solution. Using the application on your smartphone you can easily call for a taxi in almost every city in Russia. It is very similar to Uber, it is called Yandex Taxi. Application is available for Android and iOS.
Yandex is one of Russia’s top IT companies, they develop services similar to Google. It is a trustworthy application which is very popular right now in all Russia.
Don’t worry, it is well translated into English. Prepare small change to pay for your rides without extra, because often drivers don’t have enough change. Or simply use the card to pay online in the application. Payment happens when you finish your ride, and you can even tip the driver with one tap on the screen if you like.
On August 2 and 3, 2019, an international aquabike festival will be held.
The second international Baikal Jet Fest aquabike festival will be held on August 2 and 3 in Irkutsk, in the water area near the Angara icebreaker. Amateurs, athletes, reigning champions and freestyle stars will come to Baikal from 15 countries to show their skills and exciting stunts on jet skis and flyboards.
Russia will be represented by more than 40 athletes from all over the country, including Primorye. And the festival will end with a unique night flyboard show with flamethrowers and concerts of stars.
Their participation in the event was confirmed by the world stars of a jetski: Rashid Ali Al-Mulla (UAE), Alessander Lenzi (Brazil), Tanner Thomas (USA), Niels Willems (Belgium), Abraham Hochstrasser (Mexico), and world champion Lee Stone ( Great Britain).
Competitions will be held in three spectacular disciplines:
Circuit racing (race with a common start),
Slalom (time trial with two athletes),
Freestyle (demonstration of tricks).
On the official website of the festival you can still have time to apply for participation. For the audience there are many entertainment areas that will operate on both days of the festival. Active fans are waiting for the SUP RACE BJF support race. You can participate alone, as a couple, as a company or as a family. Register online at www.baikaljetfest.com. A series of workshops awaits professional athletes from Nikita Martyanov, 13-time champion of Russia, European champion and bronze medalist of the World Wakeboard Championship, as well as the current world champion in aquabike Lee Stone. Anyone can attend the event as a spectator for free from 11:00 in the morning until the evening. See you on August 2 and 3!