If you only saw Moscow or Saint Petersburg, your idea of Russia can’t be complete without visiting the mysterious Siberia…
Irkutsk, the informal capital of Siberia, has a lot to offer.
For one thing, the historical center of the city with its charming two hundred-year-old wooden buildings is very interesting. The houses have recently been reconstructed and look like ones from a fairy-tale! It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.
Another great site is the beautiful Angara embankment where you can see one of the world’s oldest icebreakers.
And then, if you are into Russian history, visit the Decembrists Museum (Volkonsky and Trubetskoy Houses) and learn about the exiles and their wives. Their story is truly amazing!
Also, make sure to see the symbol of Irkutsk — the charming Babr (a hybrid of tiger and beaver) statue at the entry to the shopping and restaurant area named the 130th District.
And (of course!) the lake Baikal is an absolute must-see when in Irkutsk! One of the most popular places to go there is the Olkhon Island. A car ride from Irkutsk to the island may seem a bit too long and bumpy, but it is definitely worth it! The views from the island are breathtaking!