Listvyanka is the nearest village to Lake Baikal, which lies 70 Kilometers east from Irkutsk. It is usually the first place where tourists meets Lake Baikal. The village of Listvyanka is easily accesible by bus , minivans and even ferries from Irkutsk city.
Listvyanka has been the main river port of Lake Baikal for many years. During recent years, Listvyanka has gradually became the main toursits center for Lake Baikal, and a future projects including a new "Baikal city" is being planned to be built around Listvyanka. New projects such as a new Business center, a ski resort, an aquapark, a science center and a cable car rope way are currently under planning to transform Listvyanka into a comfortable recreation center.
How to get to Listvyanka
From IRKUTSK, you need to get to the local bus station , and take a bus to Listvyanka. (or a mini van). Beware of the taxis outside the bus station as they can be quite pushy and often take advantage of wondering tourists. They charge a significantly higher amount of money for the 1 hour ride to Listvyanka.
View Irkutsk bus station in a larger map
The bus / mini van's final stop will be at the "Tourist Information Center" in Listvyanka, and thats where you should get out.
This picture shows the timetable for the busses which leaves to Listvyanka. Can be found inside the bus station near the ticket counter.
Minivans leave every hour from 8am-evening.
The bus from Irkutsk comes in from the left side on the picture, and goes along the coast of Lake Baikal towards the last bus stop. Right there, lies the "Tourists Information Center"
Tourists information center in Listvyanka
The main tourist information center in Listvyanka has been opened since year 2006. They have an english speaking receptionist, and they provide free assistance to the following services
- Quadra-cycle and mountain bicycle rentals.
- Boat rides around Lake Baikal.
- Excursions and tours around Listvyanka and Lake Baikal.
- Transfers to and from Irkutsk city.
- Accomodation in Hotels and Guesthouse in Listvyanka.
- Hourse riding tours around Listvyanka.
- Excursions along the Circum Baikal Railway.
- Information regarding the timetable of the busses and regular land transportation around the Lake Baikal region.
- Dog sleding rentals.
Telephone number of the information center : +73952496987
Sights and Activities in Listvyanka
Baikal Astrophysical Observatory
Website : ru.iszf.irk.ru
The biggest solar telescope in Eurosia is located at this station, which is located on the eastern hill of Listvyanka. It is a short hike up the hill from the shore. From the hill, you can get nice views of Lake Baikal.
Named after a Polish geologists Ivan Dmitrievich Cherskiy who contributed much in the research of Lake Baikal and surrounding regions. It is an easy 2 KM hike up the hill top, where you get awesome views of Lake Baikal and Listvyanka village. There is a small cafe on top of the mountain, near the observation platform.
Serves to gather and exhibit data of the unique nature of Lake Baikal. It is situated by the shore of Listvyanka village, at the 2nd bus stop known as "MUSEUM". It is one of the 3 lake museums in the world. There is a special underground room within the museum, where you get to view the underwater life of Baikal at different depths, and what it feels like during a real dive.
It also exhibits various rare species of plants and animals around the Baikal region.
- Dog sledging
- Cycling on the frozen lake
- Ice fishing
- Snowboarding & Ski at Sludyanka. (1 whole day; Go to Sludyanka from bus station at Irkutsk)
- Circumbaikal railway (1 whole day)
- Boat trips
- Horse riding
- Circumbaikal Railway (1 whole day)
- Visiting neighbouring villages like Arshan, Krestovka, Olkhon island. (2-3 days)
Accomodations At Listvyanka
There are many accomodations available at Listvyanka but my personal favourite would always be the wooden house in Listvyanka runned by a kind retired couple. It is called Galina Vasilievna’s homestay.
It is a 5 minute walk from the lake, and it is located at a quiet and peaceful region in Listvyanka village. Rooms are wooden, and has all basic neccesities inside the room.
Picture of a room
Her address is Ulitsa Kulikova 44, Krestovka.
This is how it looks from the front door.
You can book a place from the tourist information center.
Galina will pick you up from the tourist information center.
Her son runs winter activities in Listvyanka such as dog sledging for the budget travellers.
Where to eat in Listvyanka
Prices of the roadside restaurants in Listvyanka are relatively expensive, considering the quality of food you get. Fortunately, we realized there was a local market at the far end of the road along Lake Baikal in Listvyanka. This local market has a great atmostphere and nice reasonably priced food for a good and enjoyable meal!
In this big market, you can also find all kinds of souvenirs of Lake Baikal made by the locals. Here you can also buy the all so famous OMUL fish ( a distant relative of salmon).
Omul could be bought also by the roadside where you will see some old ladies baking them. Cost around 50 roubles.