Epiphany Cathedral, Irkutsk, Siberia, Russia, Eurasia

Getty Images/Robert Harding World Imagery


The de facto capital of Eastern Siberia, pleasantly historic Irkutsk is by far the most popular stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and all points east. With Lake Baikal a mere 70km away, the city is the best base from which to strike out for the western shoreline. Amid the 19th-century architecture, revived churches, classy eateries and numerous hostels, plentiful English-speaking agencies can help you plan anything from a winter trek across the lake’s ice to a short walking tour through the city.


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