The most interesting sights of the Irkutsk region: list, photos and descriptions

Lake Baikal and the natural lands of the region are of main interest to tourists. Expeditions to nature reserves, eco-tourism and education make this region especially attractive for nature lovers. The Irkutsk region is proud of its natural and historical monuments and this is reflected in museum exhibitions.

1. 130th quarter

The 130th quarter, or Irkutskaya Sloboda, is a unique historical landmark in the very center of Irkutsk, known for its colorful wooden buildings. The Irkutsk settlement began to be built up back in the 18th century, and at that time the basis of its architectural ensemble was made up of log peasant houses and rich merchant estates. Several years ago, for the city's anniversary, the historical buildings of the Irkutsk settlement were restored, and now the 130th quarter boasts many original old mansions with elegant window frames and elegant decorative carvings. The historical atmosphere of the Irkutsk settlement is perfectly complemented by the most interesting museums located on its territory: the Museum of the Siberian Railway, the Craft Compound and one of the departments of the Irkutsk Museum of Local Lore.

The main attractions of the Irkutsk region: photos, names and descriptions

The region is located in Eastern Siberia, 5 thousand km from Moscow and 4 thousand km from Vladivostok. The region occupies a huge area that could accommodate all the states of the Balkan Peninsula. The length of the region from north to south is almost one and a half thousand kilometers!

What attractions is the Irkutsk region rich in primarily? And what interesting things can a tourist see here?

Educational, recreational, health, and sports tourism is quite developed in the region. A number of resorts and health resorts operate in areas of water and salt sources: Angara, Nukutskaya Matsesta, Ust-Kut, Rodnik, Metallurg and others. Business tourism is also actively developing in the region, the core of which is the annual Baikal Economic Forum.

When compiling a list of the main attractions of the Irkutsk region, a photo of Lake Baikal, without a doubt, should be number one on it. The deepest freshwater body of water on the planet borders the region on the southeastern side. The lake is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and its shores within the region are under the jurisdiction of the Pribaikalsky National Park.

It is worth noting that the natural attractions of the Irkutsk region are not at all limited to Lake Baikal. In its southern part, in the mountainous regions of Eastern Sayan and Khamar-Daban, there are many objects that attract the attention of climbers, water and pedestrian tourists. Among them, one cannot fail to mention the Baikal-Lena Nature Reserve, Lake Heart, Sandy Bay, the mysterious Shamansky Cape, as well as the unique Warm Lakes on the border with Buryatia.

Below is a list of the ten most interesting attractions in the Irkutsk region (some of them will be described below):

  1. Pribaikalsky National Park.
  2. Skansen "Taltsy".
  3. Circum-Baikal Railway.
  4. Bratsk hydroelectric power station.
  5. Olkhon Island.
  6. Patomsky crater.
  7. Lake Heart.
  8. Clock Museum in Angarsk.
  9. Mineralogical Museum V.A. Zhigalova.
  10. Mount Ekhe-Erdo.

Lower Angara embankment

The lower Angara embankment is one of the most picturesque sights of Irkutsk. Several centuries ago, numerous merchant and military ships moored to the shores of the Angara, and today this place is a wonderful walking area. Among the main attractions of the embankment are the monument to the founder of Irkutsk, the pioneer Yakov Pokhabov, the monument to Saints Peter and Fevronia of Murom, the magnificent Epiphany Cathedral and the monumental Moscow Gate. From the observation deck on the embankment there is an excellent panorama of the mighty Siberian beauty of the Angara and the city landscapes on its opposite bank.

Circum-Baikal Railway

Just 70 kilometers from Irkutsk is the deepest and cleanest lake on the planet - Baikal. One of the most popular attractions of the city of Irkutsk - the Circum-Baikal Railway, starting and ending in the city - will help you make an exciting journey around the famous lake. While traveling on a tourist train or a retro steam locomotive, tour participants will be able to watch educational films about Baikal and the nature of Siberia, enjoy magnificent views of the endless expanses of the great lake, and, of course, take stunning photographs. The route of the Circum-Baikal Railway passes through protected and incredibly picturesque places: steep rocky cliffs, stone arches, mountain tunnels, monumental bridges and retaining structures, which are real works of architectural art. In summer, during the longest stop, you can even relax on the shores of Lake Baikal and swim in its bay.

Lake Baikal

A relict lake of glacial origin and a unique climate in the area adjacent to the lake. The nature around the lake is extremely beautiful and has its own attractions, here are just a small fraction of them:

  • Listvyanka village;
  • ethnographic and cultural complex “Taltsy”;
  • Peschanaya Bay;
  • Balanya Rock;
  • Khuzhir village on Olkhon Island.

The chemical composition of the water is saturated with oxygen and its biodiversity is distinguished by endemic, relict species of flora and fauna. You can get to the lake by plane, train and car.

4. Nerpinary

If you come to Irkutsk with children, do not deny yourself the pleasure of visiting such an attraction as the Irkutsk seal nursery and see an unforgettable show with the participation of Baikal seals. The Baikal seal is a rare freshwater seal species that lives only in Lake Baikal. In the wild, seals are quite shy and cautious, but in the nerpinarium during a performance they work real miracles. These funny pinnipeds frolic merrily in the water, dance, sing, draw and even count, delighting both children and adults. As a souvenir of your visit to the nerpinarium, you can purchase photographs of your favorite artists, as well as original drawings made by waterfowl “artists.”

Source of Thalay

Mineral Munok springs, located on the right bank of the Kirenga River near Lake Baikal. The springs are thermal mineral waters that do not contain radon and hydrogen sulfide. There are several springs on the territory and they were first discovered in 1868 by the merchant Bushuev, who began selling water. The healing properties of water are used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, metabolism, and others. In the 90s, a sanatorium was built here and the territory has the status of a health complex of federal significance.

Temple of the Icon of the Kazan Mother of God

The Temple of the Icon of the Kazan Mother of God occupies an honorable place among the main Orthodox attractions of Irkutsk. It was built at the end of the 19th century at the expense of the Irkutsk millionaire gold miner Evfimy Kuznetsov and other wealthy citizens. For several decades, the Kazan Church was the main religious building in the city of Irkutsk, until in the 30s it was blown up by order of the Soviet leadership. Nowadays, the temple has been completely restored: this time, a large trading company donated funds for its construction. From the outside, the temple is impressive with its colossal size, the splendor of the Byzantine style and a huge bell. The interior decoration of the temple also deserves close attention: the central place is occupied by a luxurious iconostasis made of Indian granite, and the walls are decorated with skillful frescoes based on biblical scenes. And, of course, here you can pray in front of the patroness icon of the temple - the Icon of the Kazan Mother of God.

Table: how to get to Irkutsk

Departure pointTrainAirplaneAutomobile
MoscowThere are four daily flights. Departure takes place from Kazansky and Yaroslavsky railway stations. Travel time: more than three days. Ticket prices: from 4000 rubles. There are seven daily flights. Flight time: 5.5–6 hours. Ticket price: from 3800 rubles. Route length: 5180 km. Travel time, excluding overnight stays: more than two days. Routes: M7, M5, P254, P255.
Saint PetersburgThere are no direct flights.Flights operate from Pulkovo Airport once or twice a day. Travel time: just over 8 hours. Flight cost: from 10,500 rubles. Route length: 5720 km. Time required for the trip, excluding sleep: approximately three days. Routes: M10, M8, P243, P242, P351, P402, P254, P255.
NovosibirskFlights operate approximately seven times a day. Travel time: 29–33 hours. Ticket price: from 1740 rubles. There are four daily flights. Flight duration: 2.5 hours. Ticket prices: from 6900 rubles. Route length: 1840 km. Travel time: about a day. Route: P255.

Cathedral of the Epiphany

The Cathedral of the Epiphany is one of the most beautiful churches in Irkutsk, a real architectural decoration of the city. In addition, the Epiphany Cathedral, built during the time of Peter I, is one of the oldest stone buildings in all of Eastern Siberia. The light walls of the cathedral are decorated with paintings and carvings, and decorative kokoshniks and elegant window frames give the temple an even more elegant look. The highlight of the temple is the presence of two bell towers, which is extremely rare in Orthodox architecture. The second bell tower was built specifically for the huge Siberian Tsar Bell, cast by a local craftsman at the end of the 18th century. Nowadays, the Cathedral of the Epiphany is one of the most visited attractions in Irkutsk. For several years in a row, the opening of the annual all-Russian festival “Radiance of Russia”, dedicated to Orthodoxy and Russian culture, has been held here.

Decembrists Museum

One of the key events in the history of the Russian Empire was the Decembrist uprising, the participants of which were sent to eternal settlement in Siberia. Irkutsk was also among the notorious Siberian cities. Many exiled Decembrists lived here: the Volkonskys, Trubetskoys, Muravyovs and other representatives of noble noble dynasties, who left a noticeable mark on the culture of the city. At the end of the 20th century, a museum of the Decembrists was opened in the house of Sergei Trubetskoy, where you can get acquainted with the history of the stay of convicted rebels in Irkutsk. Here you can not only see a collection of documents and things that belonged to the exiled Decembrists, but also become a spectator of one of the performances of the Volkonsky Home Theater.


The executive branch is headed by the governor, the legislative branch by the Legislative Assembly.

Executive branch

The governor's term of office is 5 years; the governor's candidacy is submitted by the President for consideration by the Legislative Assembly of the Irkutsk Region.

The current governor is Sergei Vladimirovich Eroshchenko, who has been in office since May 29, 2012 (since May 18, 2012 - acting governor). Appointed after the resignation of the previous governor Dmitry Fedorovich Mezentsev.

The highest executive body of state power is the Government of the Irkutsk Region. The central executive bodies of state power are ministries, of which there are 12 in the Irkutsk region. The head of government is the governor.


The legislative body is the Legislative Assembly of the Irkutsk Region.

Elected for a term of 5 years, the number of deputies is 50.

Chairman - Alexander Viktorovich Vedernikov.

Judicial branch

Judicial power in the region is exercised by the Irkutsk Regional Court, the Arbitration Court of the Irkutsk Region, district courts and magistrates.

Kirov Square

Kirov Square, located in the center of Irkutsk, is the main square of the city. Here are the main government institutions and architectural attractions of Irkutsk, including the Spasskaya Church, the Epiphany Cathedral and the Polish Church. In addition, Kirov Square has a wonderful walking area: an abundance of greenery, flowers and a large round fountain invite you to relax in the very center of the city. On holidays, entertainment events are held on the square, and in winter, the main city New Year tree is decorated here and the skating rink is filled.

Circum-Baikal Railway

This abbreviation hides a unique railway that was laid along the shore of Lake Baikal. It was built for a total of fifteen years (from 1901 to 1915) with the participation of the best engineers from Russia, Austria and China. The so-called Circum-Baikal Line is 94 kilometers of road along rocky cliffs and tunnels, 173 architectural and 583 engineering monuments!

9. Taltsy

The architectural and ethnographic complex “Taltsy” on the banks of the Angara is a unique protected area of ​​the Irkutsk region, by visiting which you can take a fascinating journey through time and get acquainted with the life of the indigenous peoples of the Baikal region. On the territory of the museum complex, ancient sites of Evenks and Buryats are adjacent to later Russian settlements of the 17th – 20th centuries. Here you can see ancient wooden churches, visit the parish school, look into the house of the city Cossack, admire the cascade of mills and watch the work of local craftsmen. The museum often hosts folklore festivals, celebrates national holidays on a grand scale, organizes tea parties at the samovar, and also hosts fascinating master classes on ancient crafts. The perfect end to the excursion will be a hearty lunch at the tavern, where you can taste traditional local dishes: stuffed pike, lingonberry pie and aromatic sbiten.

Baikal-Lena Nature Reserve

A strict natural reserve with an area of ​​659 hectares and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia. The administrative center is located in Irkutsk. The reserve is divided into areas:

  • coast of brown bears;
  • Verkhne-Lensky;
  • Kirenga.

The source of the Lena River is located on the territory of the reserve and a relict part of the steppes is located along the Baikal coast near the southern part of the Baikal ridge. In 2001, a nature museum of the reserve was organized with an area of ​​75 sq.m. The museum provides environmental education to schoolchildren, and exhibits exhibits of various natural objects (representatives of flora and fauna). Visiting the museum is free and the tour takes 30-40 minutes.

Museum-estate of Vladimir Sukachev

The estate museum of the Irkutsk mayor Vladimir Platonovich Sukachev rightfully enjoys a reputation as one of the most visited museums in Irkutsk. Vladimir Sukachev is known in Siberia as an outstanding public and political figure of the 19th century, a generous benefactor and founder of the Irkutsk Art Museum. In his house, designed in the best noble traditions, Vladimir Platonovich received guests, held balls, worked in his office and housed his rich collection of paintings in the gallery. The owner has built a beautiful park around the house, where even today it is so pleasant to walk in the shade of hundred-year-old larches. Today, the estate of Vladimir Sukachev is not just a museum, but also a venue for exciting events: balls, art exhibitions, performances and children's parties are often held here. On weekends, the museum hosts entertaining master classes in painting, decoupage and other forms of art.

Mount Ekhe-Erdo

In the valley of the Anga River, ten kilometers from the village of Elantsy, rises the unusual hill Ekhe-Erdo. The uniqueness of this mountain lies in the fact that it has become a sacred object for representatives of the Buryat people. Here they hold their Erdyn Games - an ancient national holiday. The culmination of this event is a grand round dance around the mountain.

Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore

Having visited Irkutsk, it will be interesting to visit the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, founded in the second half of the 18th century. It is one of the oldest museums in Russia. Over several centuries, his collection has grown so much that today it is housed in several buildings. In addition to traditional departments dedicated to the history and nature of the Baikal region, the Irkutsk Museum of Local Lore includes the “Window to Asia” department, the Children’s Museum and the famous icebreaker “Angara”. The exhibitions of the “Window to Asia” department are dedicated to the development of Siberia and the contribution of Russian researchers to the study of North-East Asia. The Children's Museum has an interesting collection of toys from the times of ancient Baikal settlements to well-known Soviet and modern toys. And finally, the unique museum ship “Angara” introduces its visitors to the history of the legendary icebreaker, built before the revolution.

Baikal Astrophysical Observatory

The observatory is located in the city of Listvyanka, a stretch of strip between Lake Baikal and the mountain range. The village is a tourist area and its business area is hotel. The main focus of the observatory's work is studying the activity of the Sun, its flares, and the structure of solar formations. The observatory operates at the institute of the branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and has an arsenal of telescopes that make it possible to study the solar surface and its activity with multiple microscopic magnification.

The Irkutsk region is famous for the Shishkinskaya pisanitsa and monuments of Orthodox culture (churches, temples). The Museum of the History of Irkutsk and the Region can be compared with the Moscow Museum in terms of the number of exhibits - local history, fine arts.

Znamensky Monastery

The last interesting attraction of Irkutsk on our list is the Znamensky Monastery, which is one of the oldest monasteries in Siberia: its construction began in the 17th century. The architectural ensemble of the monastery with white walls, green roofs and blue domes is made in the traditions of ancient Russian architecture. The 19th century was a time of real prosperity for the monastery: before the revolution, on its territory there were two churches, monastic cells, a hospital, a women's religious school, a parochial school and a shelter for the poor. Many famous people are buried in the necropolis of the Znamensky Monastery, including the outstanding traveler and explorer Grigory Shelikhov, the wife of the Decembrist Princess Ekaterina Trubetskaya, and the famous Soviet writer Valentin Rasputin. Within the walls of the monastery is kept its main shrine - the relics of the heavenly patron of Siberia, Innocent of Irkutsk.

These are the sights you can visit in Irkutsk. Thank you for your attention!

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