Here you’ll find travel reports about Irkutsk. Discover travel destinations in Russia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

40 travelers at this place:

  • Day15

    Beautiful Lake Baikal

    June 22, 2017 in Russia ⋅

    Today's visit to Lake Baikal has been one of the highlights of the trip so far. An early start and one hour on the bus from Irkutsk, following the River Angara, brought me to this wonderful place. Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake, and contains 20% of the world’s freshwater supplies If all the rest of the world’s drinking water ran out tomorrow, Lake Baikal could supply the entire population of the planet for the next 40 years! Known as the Blue Eye of Siberia, it can apparently be seen from space.

    The main town, Listvyanka, is a bit touristy as you might expect. I joined in some of the tourist fun and enjoyed a show at the Nerpinarium by Lake Baikal’s famous freshwater seals. Not exactly Sea World, but the kids, and this adult, enjoyed their performance. I had a lovely walk in the sunshine along the front, and found a nice restaurant where I dined on fresh Omul, a fish only found in Lake Baikal, baked with cheese and potatoes - lovely (and I’m no’ a fish haun). A highlight however was going on a short boat trip to experience part of the lake. Again the weather hot and sunny, and it was a pleasure to feel some breeze about you and admire the beautiful scenery.

    Back safely in Irkutsk, no thanks to the marshrutka driver, who insisted I sat in the front of his packed minibus, while he drank coffee, smoked, ate his lunch, used his mobile phone, played loud Russian ballads which he sang along with, while driving at breakneck speed. When he stopped to pick up more passengers, an old woman got in the front beside me and I signalled to him that I couldn't find the seat belt - he dismissed me with a wave indicating I didn't need it - and I noticed he wasn't wearing one either!

    Once back in the city I had a walk round the extensive market. Although it was late afternoon it was still thriving with a huge selection of fish, fruit and veg, meat and bakery items. I decided to stock up on goods to get ready for tomorrow’s marathon train journey - 3.5 days to Vladivostok! As I probably won't have wifi on the train you may not hear from me for a while. What's that you say - thank goodness?
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  • Day13

    Life on board the Trans Siberian

    June 20, 2017 in Russia ⋅

    For those of you imagining the Trans Siberian as being pulled across the frozen wastes of Siberia by a puffing steam locomotive - think again. The whole line has been electrified by Russian Railways (RZD). Gone too are the days of the marble bathtub, ingeniously designed not to overflow as the train rounded a corner. Tanks full of fish in the dining room are sadly no longer a feature of the cuisine in the restaurant car. However the Trans Siberian still has a mystique and attraction of its own, and so far I am loving it.

    For someone more accustomed to 10 minute trips on the Cathcart Circle, journeys of 24 hours plus are a different matter for me altogether. This leg of the journey takes 48 hours. I am sharing a compartment this time with a young military guy, who fortunately speaks some English. When I said I thought soldiers travelled in the multi occupancy 54 berth carriages, as opposed to our comparatively luxurious 4 berth kupe (2nd class) compartment, he laughed and proudly declared that he was an officer. He kindly offered to share his food, but I headed for the restaurant car for breakfast. Again it was largely deserted but, in wee Jean’s style, I asked for a table for one!

    As ever, most things I pointed to were ‘aff the menu’ and I ended up with some kind of cold fish with olives, eggs with small slices of ham, a bread roll and black tea - all in all not too bad. I was disappointed however not to have experienced the ‘pickled pike with stuffed cabbage’, or the ‘rabbit living with onions and potatoes served with greenery’. Ah well, another time.

    As if it wasn't confusing enough, Russian trains run to Moscow time, and even local station clocks show this. This is regardless of the fact that this huge country spans 7 time zones. When I was due to catch this train at 03.54 in the middle of the night, my ticket said it departed at 01.54 - panic! But ours not to reason why..

    The weather is sunny and hot today. The countryside whizzes by - mainly forests, lush fields, mighty rivers or woods of birch trees (that reminds me of being beaten in the banya - ouch!). Occasionally, small isolated train platforms sit in the middle of nowhere (reminiscent of Fiddler on the Roof - ‘Far From The Home I Love’, Liz!).

    Our carriage is fairly quiet. I decided to explore the train to get some exercise. The next carriage had a party of Germans heading to Siberia. They had put up a huge poster/map of ‘Russland ’ with pictures of wildlife such as bears and wolves they might spot en route. Sadly the only wildlife we've seen so far have been the local neds, hanging about some of the stations as we zip through!

    As I was taking my stroll through the length of the train, I saw some SV or 1st class compartments - not much different from mine, but for 2 people instead of 4, and a lot more expensive. At the other extreme, the platzcart, or 3rd class, is an open carriage with 54 berths, mainly occupied by students and soldiers - the smell of sweaty socks and drying laundry were overpowering, so I quickly retreated to the safety and comfort of my kupe compartment.

    Along the whole length of the Trans Siberian Railway there are markers on the track on black and white poles every kilometre, telling you how far you have travelled from Moscow. They are hard to spot as the train whizzes by, but I'm told if you look closely out of the window on the south (left hand) side of the train you can glimpse them. I have to say I got some peculiar stares from folk passing down the corridor as I pressed my face flat against the window pane, squinting, and looking quite demented.

    We are in Western Siberia now, and there seem to be more ponds and rivers rather than just forests. The train stops occasionally and Madame Provodnitsa lets you know if you are allowed off. I don't stray too far, for fear of the train leaving without me. On the platform various women sell their wares - bakery items, soft drinks, fur jackets and smoked fish. I had been warned not to buy anything hot to eat, as it has often been cooked in the station toilets. I opted for a a soft bun with a sausage through it (not unlike a Gregg’s sausage roll). It tasted not too bad, and the sweet old lady came chasing down the platform after me insisting she give me my change - I had only given her the equivalent of 50p!

    The Provodnitsa keeps busy, hoovering the corridor and compartments, and telling folk off: ‘whit have a tellt you - get yer feet aff that seat!’. She also sells snacks (anything that can be re hydrated with boiling water from the samovar), and comes round selling ice cream, souvenirs and what looks like bingo tickets. However I certainly wouldn't like to give her a false call! She also keeps the toilets spic and span. There are always plenty of towels and loo roll (I haven't had to use those huge supplies you provided me with yet, Campbell). There is apparently one shower somewhere, but some folk just attach a piece of hose to the tap in the bathroom and give themselves a hose down. The water all runs away down a hole in the floor on to the track - just like a kind of wet room on wheels. I think I'll just stick tae a Paisley wash!

    According to my phone, the time has changed again! I don't know whether I'm coming or going. Apologies for the lengthy blog today, folks - I can't get off for more than 15 minutes every few hours, and there is a lot of time to fill
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  • Day14


    June 21, 2017 in Russia ⋅

    I survived the 48 hour train trip from Ykaterinburg and arrived in Irkutsk promptly at 7.18am. Took an extremely old rackety tram No. 1 to my hotel just outside the city centre (20p ride). Although I was very early, I breakfasted in the hotel by which time my room was ready. It is a lovely comfortable hotel with free wifi. I asked to get some laundry done, and it was back in my room washed and ironed by the time I came back later in the day. It definitely helps to travel light.

    Irkutsk is a popular stopping-off point on the Trans Siberian due to its proximity to Lake Baikal. It is a big, spread out city and I did a lot of walking. To be honest I found it a bit soulless and not as attractive as Ykaterinburg. A unique feature of the central area however is that there remains a significant number of wooden houses from the 19th century with beautiful carvings on the eaves and windows, and some beautiful churches (apparently the most beautiful, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was demolished to make way for the ugly bulk of the Soviet HQ).

    Although I am now in central Siberia you would never know it - it was 33 degrees today - and after me packing my fur hat, great coat and winter boots!

    To get some respite from the heat, I visited the city Art Gallery (not memorable), and a museum of wooden houses dedicated to the story of the Decembrists, a group of nobles involved in the unsuccessful coup against the Tsar in 1825, and who were sent into exile in Siberia to do hard labour. Interesting story and exhibits.

    For dinner, I went to a nostalgia themed Russian restaurant, and enjoyed some delicious local food - great after two days of British Rail type catering. Well, off to bed early - Lake Baikal awaits tomorrow...
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  • Day16


    August 31, 2015 in Russia ⋅

    Twee weken op pad en het gevoel van het reizen begint langzaam in te dalen. Na 48 uur in de trein. Een wat melancholisch afscheid reflecteert dit het abstracte gevoel van op weg zijn. Mensen ontmoeten. Mensen ontdooien. Tijd is daarvoor het middel. De katalysator. Nu zijn we in Irkutsk aanbeland. De stad laat zich vrij vertalen als het Parijs van Siberie. Laat dat nou precies de plek zijn waar we moeten zijn. Een russische stad met zeer veel aziatische invloeden. De chaos. De geuren. Het hurken op straat. En dat alles in een ongeschreven kader van goed en fout. Heerlijk. Het is nu wel echt begonnen. Kriebels in de buik. Wodka met verse cranberries en koken in hostel Dostoevski. Wat gaat er allemaal nog komen?Read more

  • Day42

    Transsib Teil 2/4

    October 1, 2016 in Russia ⋅

    Nach zirka 2'500 Kilometern Zugstrecke erreichten wir heute morgen Irkutsk.
    In Irkutsk haben wir im Vergleich mit der Schweiz sechs Stunden Zeitverschiebung. Unsere "Schlafrythmen" sind ein bisschen durcheinander, wir hoffen uns rasch anpassen zu können.
    Hier merkt man nun doch, dass man sich in Sibirien befindet. Das Thermometer übersteigt die Nullgradgrenze nur um ein Grad. ❄️Read more

  • Day42


    October 1, 2016 in Russia ⋅

    Gestern war "Waschtag"!
    Wir wuschen wie wild drauf los, bemerkten jedoch erst später, dass wir auch noch trockene Kleider zum Anziehen bräuchten... Das Resultat seht ihr in den Bildern 😁 Trotzdem konnten wir Irkutsk besichtigen, auch wenn wir einige schräge Blicke ertragen mussten. Da wir ja ca. 8'000km von zu Hause entfernt sind, war uns das aber ziemlich egal 🙈
    Wenn man sich die Temperatur-Tabelle von Irkutsk ansieht, würde man nicht denken, dass hier in dieser Stadt trotz den extremen Temperaturschwankungen rund 600'000 Leute leben... 💂🏼‍♀️❄️
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  • Day12

    Een tussenstop in Siberië

    September 14, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 0 °C

    In Irkusk trotseren we de lichte maar toch zeker voelbare koude Siberische lucht. Temperatuur vandaag: -2 met sneeuw in de ochtend. De ingepakte trui en jas kunnen dus aan. We verblijven momenteel in het Rolling Stones Hostel.

    We doen inkopen bij de plaatselijke supermarkten, koken samen in het hostel, starten de dag op met een instant havermoutje en oploskoffie en bereiden onze reisroute door China verder voor.

    Hoogtepunt in Irkusk was een bezoek aan het Baikalmeer. Met een oppverlakte van 31.500 km² is dit het grootste zoetwatermeer ter wereld. Met lokale bus en over een hobbelige snelweg rijden we tussen de lokale bevolking naar het dorpje Listvyanka. Na korte hike een prachtig uitzicht over het oneindige meer.

    Morgenochtend vertrekt onze trein richting Ulaanbaatar, Mongolië. Een treinreis van anderhalve dag naar het dunst bevolkte land ter wereld.
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  • Day82


    August 25, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    After five days enjoying Lake Baikal we returned to Irkutsk today. We walked around for a while and were happy to be in a city with cheap prices again.
    Funny: Yesterday we had our first day of rain since Cadiz on June 8!
    Tomorrow we will continue with the Trans-Siberian Railway to Ulan-Ude, which will be our last stop in Russia.

    Nach fünf erholsamen Tagen am Baikalsee haben wir uns heute auf den Rückweg nach Irkutsk gemacht. Hier sind wir noch ein bisschen durch die Stadt gelaufen und haben uns auch mal wieder richtig satt gegessen. Es ist schon erstaunlich das lediglich 80km entfernt von Irkutsk die Preise zwei bis dreimal so hoch sind.
    Gestern hatten wir übrigens unseren ersten Regentag seit dem 8. Juni in Cadiz... Heute war der Hochsommer aber sofort wieder zurück!
    Morgen geht es dann mit der Transsibirischen Eisenbahn weiter nach Ulan-Ude unserem letzten Stop in Russland.
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  • Day4


    June 29, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    利斯特维扬卡小镇上有很多布里亚特人——蒙古人的一个分支,就连我们住的酒店都叫作Baikal Khan。因为是东北亚人的长相,不太了解状况的家人好几次以为来接我们的司机或餐厅的老板是中国人,直接和他们讲起了中文,结果当然是搞得对方一头雾水。

    中午在回伊尔库茨克的路上去了一家当地的布里亚特餐馆,两个简易的蒙古包在湖边非常显眼,餐馆内的装修和服务也极其平民化:菜单要自己去取、吃完饭后要自己打扫收拾餐桌,不过菜品真的非常有特色。我们吃到了被称为蒙古包子的буузы(发音和“包子”一样)、做法和口味与馅饼一样的шарбин(读音也与“馅饼”非常相似),这几天一直在吃俄餐的家人吃得十分合口味。有了前一天的经验,现在的我已经可以“自如”地用俄语点餐了——数字+菜名而已嘛,说实话,我觉得比有时候在墨尔本吃饭还要简单,因为碰到不认识的英文单词,完全不知道该怎么发音,只能非常尴尬地用this one来代替,而在这里却至少可以念出菜名来。转念一想,不由觉得中文点菜才是最高级别的挑战,不仅要读出一个个汉字,而且菜品的名字往往也与真正的菜毫无关系——即便能读出“蚂蚁上树”、“狮子头”来,也不知道这到底是什么鬼……

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  • Day8


    July 3, 2018 in Russia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C



    在我的印象里,爸爸一直是一个低调的人,在工作和生活中都非常安于现状,用我妈的话讲就是“吃饱了不饿”的心态,说得再负面一些就是“没有进取心”和“不求上进”。不过在这次旅途中,我发现爸爸是一个充满好奇心、勇于探索、心态非常开放的人。在岛上的三天里,他不停地让我问Sergei各种各样关于俄罗斯、西伯利亚和奥利洪岛的问题,从农林牧渔到电力运输、从汽车进口到土地政策、从地质水文到一日三餐……他把看到的想到的都问了个遍,得到答案后他还会和自己所熟悉的中国情况进行对比,然后分析利弊给我们听。我心里暗暗想:不错,已经上升到higher order thinking了……刚到岛上的时候,他在既没有手机信号,又语言不通的情况下,竟然连声招呼也不打,就一个人“擅自脱团”跑出去乱转,说他要看看街景、自由地感受当地风情,让我们气也不是,笑也不是。



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You might also know this place by the following names:

Irkutsk, Irkoetsk, إيركوتسك, İrkutsk, Горад Іркуцк, Иркутск, Irkoutsk, Эрхүү хото, Irkùck, Ιρκούτσκ, ایرکوتسک, אירקוטסק, इरकुत्स्क, Irkutszk, IKT, イルクーツク, ირკუტსკი, 이르쿠츠크, Ircutia, Irkutskas, Irkutska, Эрхүү хот, Irkotsk, Irkuck, ارکٹسک, Irkuțk, Иркутскай, อีร์คุตสค์, Өркет, Іркутськ, ایرکتسک, אירקוצק, 伊爾庫茨克

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