Welcome to Irkutsk

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 apartment hostels, plentiful English-speaking agencies... Read More

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Irkutsk activities

$6234 Tours & Sightseeing

Transiberian Photo Expedition Russia Mongolia China Tour from Moscow

Day 1 - MoscowAfter the overnight flight to Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation and our starting point for our Trans-Siberian photographic expedition, we will have the morning free. We will have a welcome lunch and orientation to the expedition. The city is full of unique architecture such as the Kremlin and Red Square, Stalin’s giant skyscrapers built during the economic “boom” of recent years, and the stunning metro system. The city is the center of political and economic power in Russia and visitors can feel the energy in the streets. There is always something going on in Moscow. Photo Theme: Free. Overnight in Moscow (L)Day 2 - MoscowAfter breakfast, we will depart for a traditional tour of the city. In the evening we will have an optional outing to photograph the beautiful square with its colorful lights. Photo Theme: architecture, people, everyday life, landscape. Overnight in Moscow (B) Days 3 - 7 - Trans-MongoliaFree morning. In the afternoon we will go to Yaroslavl train station, from which we depart to Ulaan Baatar. 4-7 days will be spent aboard the Trans-Mongolian Express. The route will be through Irkutsk and along the shores of Lake Baikal, and Eastern Siberia. Photo Theme: people, transportation, landscape. Overnight in bed train (B) Days 8 - 11 - Ulaan BaatarWe arrive on the morning of day 8 in Ulaan Baatar, the tranquil capital of Mongolia. The heart of Ulaan Baatar is Sukhbaatar Square. The next few days will be open to explore the region, with the Terelj National Park as an option. Photo Theme: architecture, people, transportation, landscape. Overnight in Ulaan Baatar (B)Days 12 - 13 - BeijingToday we leave for Beijing. We arrive the morning of the 13th day and after a few hours of rest and a tasty traditional Chinese lunch. In the Purple Bamboo Park, we can interact and photograph people who dance and sing in the park. We will also see the Temple of Heaven. Photo Theme: architecture, people, transportation, landscape. Overnight in Beijing (B) Day 14 - BeijingFree day for personal interests. Photo Theme: Free. Overnight in bed and train in Beijing (B) Day 15 - JinshanlingIn the early morning we will take a rickshaw tour to one of the best hutongs (village) of Beijing. Then we travel to the city of Jinshanling, which is part of the Great Wall. Photo Theme: people, daily life, architecture, markets, transport. Overnight in Jinshanling (B) Day 16 - BeijingWe will have the opportunity to photograph the sunrise over the Great Wall, followed by a break until late afternoon where we will photograph in the light of sunset. Shortly after, we return to Beijing where we will have our farewell dinner. Photo Theme: people, daily life, architecture, landscape. Overnight in Beijing (B,D) Day 17 - BeijingAfter breakfast, the photographic expedition will come to an end and you will be dropped off at your Beijing hotels. (B)

$94 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Tour to Arshan and Tunka Valley from Irkutsk

Your day will start with an 8 am hotel pick-up and then a departure from Irkutsk. At about 10 am, you will stop for breakfast at a café with a view. Dine on a local Serbian breakfast while you take in the spectacular views of the Southern Baikal shore and mountains. From there, your driver will take you to the Badary observatory for a private guided tour. Badary is a scientific station, where Siberian physicists research solar activity. Over 200 satellite dishes follow the Sun all day round. You will take a walk here with your guide, enjoying the harmony between science and nature. Prepare for even more nature at noon with your trip to Arshan, the famous mineral water resort. Arshan is located at the bottom of the high Sayan Mountains. Strap on your hiking shoes for a short jaunt up to the waterfall to witness a 500-year old larch tree and taste the healing mineral water. Nearby you can test your haggling skills at the local crafts and herbs market. Work up an appetite smelling the aromatic spices and herbs and then head over for a native buryat lunch of pozy—a meat dumpling cooked with steam. After lunch, you will explore the crater of a dormant volcano. This is a unique chance to see volcano from the inside, so bring your camera. Your tour will wind down with a trip to the Zhemchug village and its tranquil hot springs, open all year round. Bring your swimsuit and towel for a dip in a 130-degree pool. If you’d rather skip the soak, the Village is a great place to experience Buryat culture.  At about 5 pm, you’ll towel off from your luxurious hot springs bath and meet with your driver for a three-hour trip back to Irkutsk.

$37 Tours & Sightseeing

2.5-Hour Irkutsk City Walking Tour

Irkutsk is often called "Siberian Paris" in old books, and bloggers call it similar to Barcelona. Start your tour at noon from Moscow gates. Moscow gates, which are now reconstructed, used to be the historical point of city entrance of all travelers and merchants of the past. See the Monument to the founders of Irkutsk afterwards. Irkutsk was founded in 1661 by cossacks, built the first ostrog (wooden kremlin) here. This is the place of many inportant events for the city. Continue your walk to the Main Square. The main square of the city was built on the place of swamp, is surrounded by buildings of different times of the Old and New Histories. Next is the Old houses of Zhelyabov street. Vtorov mansion, Rogal House, museums and hotels, old and new buildings of Irkutsk. Flea market and city fire of 1879. After that you will see Karl Marx street, which is the main street of the city and used to be a part of ostrog wall, the border of the town.Next the tour will visit Kazan church. Called by some tourists Notre-Dam de Kazan, this church has very beautiful and impressive decoration. Walk to Old Town and see the protected Gryaznova street, saved part of the medieval wood and stone Irkutsk. See also the Raising of the Cross Church. This unique church combines elements of Orthodox Christianity and Buddhism. See a restored part of Old Town area, which was newly built several years ago and has many historical buildings before your tour ends.

$60 Day Trips & Excursions

Tour to Circum-Baikal Railway

Program: 09:00 Departure from Irkutsk. We pick you up from any point you requested 11:00 Arrival in the starting point of trekking. From here we will start walking part of the tour. We will go downhill from the new line of the Transsiberian through the valley to Lake Baikal 13:00 Coming to the lake, village of Staraya Angasolka. Staraya Angasolka is a small station and few buildings, there are art galley and good eatery with tasty pancakes during summer! 13:15 Picnic (not included) and walking by the old Transsiberian line till the station of Kultuk.After the village we will follow the tracks, coming through three tunnels, several bridges and small stations (4 km). We will also see some leftovers of disassembled second line of Transsiberian. 16:00 Lunch at cafe (not included). Our guide/driver will wait for you at the Circum-Baikal Railway monument, which is built right on the railway. After the final shots of the lake we will drive to the top of the mountain, where we can have a lunch (not included) with a beautiful view of the lake. By the way, "kultuk" in turk language means "dead-end". 16:30 Departure from Kultuk 18:30 Arrival in Irkutsk. We arrive to Irkutsk and drop you off to where you need

$345 Day Trips & Excursions

Full-Day Private Tour to the Shamans from Irkutsk

Departure from your hotel/homestay in Irkutsk: 9:30 am. Coming back to Irkutsk at 3 - 4 pm.By comfortable car or mini-van, tourists and a guide come to the settlement of Ust-Orda, the administrative and cultural center of Ust-Orda Buryat National Region, situated 70 km from Irkutsk. Its population is about 10 000 people, mostly involved in herding cows and sheep in the vast Mongolian-like steppe. In Ust-Orda, the local guide meets the guests and takes them on an excursion of the Local Lore Museum, showing the history of Siberia from the Stone Age to the present day using fossils, rock-painting, pictures, authentic tools, robes and dresses, weapons and jewelry.After getting dressed in Buryat traditional clothes, the tourists are invited into a yurt. Before entering, the main Shaman pefromrs the cleansing ritual on the guests making sure no evil spirits accompany them. Inside the yurt, everybody sitting around the fire tastes the Buryat tea, followed by oriental dishes typical of this region.

$3467.28 Rail

Trans-Mongolian Express

From the Great Wall of China to the Hermitage in St Petersburg, travel halfway around the world in three incredible weeks. Board one of the world’s great trains and ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip across the grassy steppes of Mongolia and through the taiga forests of Siberia. Share train carriages with locals, overnight in a Mongolian ger and in a cozy Russian homestay. Not only does this trip provide the perfect blend of comfortable accommodations and plenty of activities, but also free time to explore this fascinating region at your own pace.