People care about how the city looks and feels.
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.