Lake Baikal. Buy plane tickets to Irkutsk
Dog Sled. Buy plane tickets to Irkutsk
Traditional house. Buy plane tickets to Irkutsk
Epiphany Cathedral. Buy plane tickets to Irkutsk
Lake Baikal
Dog Sled
Traditional house
Epiphany Cathedral

The most convenient way to get to Irkutsk is to buy a flight ticket to Irkutsk. The best money-saving option is to purchase a round-trip ticket. Flights arrive at Irkutsk International Airport (flight duration: about 6 hours). Please note that the best airfares to Irkutsk usually sell out quickly, so we strongly recommend booking tickets in advance.

Irkutsk is the pearl of Siberia. If not the only, it is certainly the most ancient gateway to Asia (970 kilometres to Manchuria): a fort (ostrog) at the confluence of the Irkut and Angara rivers was founded back in the 17th century. Why is the city worth visiting? Get acquainted with its rich history, explore interesting museums, and see Baikal, which is only 70 kilometres from Irkutsk.

You should not be frightened of Siberia’s notoriously low temperatures: due to the dry cold air, it is easier to bear. In fact, most of the winter days in Irkutsk are sunny. The warm season usually starts in May and lasts until September. The daily high temperatures in July — the warmest month of the year — hold stable above zero, sometimes reaching up to +20°C.

General flight information Moscow   Irkutsk

Distance between cities

4202 km

Time difference in winter

+5 h

Time difference in summer

+5 h

Average flight time

5 h 50 min

What to see

Irkutsk is referred to as the «capital of wooden lace». It is the location of the Shubin House, constructed in the 18th century and is known as one of the oldest wooden buildings in the city. The historic city centre is recognised as an architectural landmark and included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

For the 350th anniversary of Irkutsk, which was celebrated in 2011, the Green Line tourist route was laid through the city. A bright line on a sidewalk starts on Karl Marx Street next to the Monument to Alexander III. The four edges of the monument are decorated with bronze sculptural portraits of the prominent historical figures (one of them is Yermak Timofeyevich — the conqueror of Siberia).

The Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore is located nearby. It is the oldest one in Russia outside of the two capitals. On exhibit in the museum is the Korsukova treasure: Scythian bronze figures of animals dating back to the 6th century BCE; and its facade features the nameplates of the great conquerors of Siberia — Bering, Wrangel, Meyendorff, Humboldt, Przhevalsky… However, some of the nameplates remain empty: Siberia is yet to be fully explored!

Irkutsk is an important mark in the history of the Russian Revolution: this is the only place to see the Monument to Admiral Alexander Kolchak. Back in the 19th century, the city was a refuge for the exiled Decembrists. In their honour, the manors of Trubetskoy and Volkonsky were turned into the Irkutsk Regional Historical and Memorial Museum of Decembrists. A monument to the Wives of the Decembrists is located in the near vicinity.

The most touristic district of the city (of course, after the historic centre) is the 130th quarter or Irkutsk Sloboda. The locals believe that the first houses were built here. The city block, paved with tiles, and carved wooden houses, emerged in 2011.

The entrance to the new area is guarded by a proud Siberian tiger with a sable in its mouth  — Babr. This is what the big cats were called in the old times. In fact, a tiger with a sable in its mouth has been a symbol of the city since 1790, but in the 19th century, it was accidentally misspelled as «bobr» (beaver), which explains how the animal with a tiger face acquired webbed hind feet and a wide beaver tail. A mistake gifted the people of Irkutsk a new mythical creature, which according to their belief has protected the city and its dwellers for over three centuries.

As a merchant centre and a large transport node, the city has always welcomed guests. Today, Irkutsk remains a starting point for tours to Lake Baikal. Therefore, there are more than enough reasons to visit Irkutsk: historical heritage, fantastically old museums and theatres and gorgeous nature which amazes with its beauty all year round.