Boating in Irkutsk

One of the best parts of Irkutsk in the spring and summer is the beautiful Angara River and, of course, an unfrozen Lake Baikal. One can walk along the shores of the river or cook out near the forests surrounding the river. There are lots of fisherman and small boats around  – and boating, we […]

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Bar Dekabrist in Irkutsk

Located downtown and a short walk from the central market is The Decembrist’s Bar or Bar Dekabrist. This local hangout is perfect for a night out with friends. The atmosphere is quite different from that of most other local bars and is more of a “hipster” vibe with a very comfy feeling. It is also […]

Dorm Sports in Irkutsk as an Immersion Experience

As spring arrives and the weather is getting better the urge to get out and active is getting stronger and stronger. While gyms can be found around the city they can be expensive unless you do some shopping around for a good deal. Luckily there is another way to stay fit and active for free. […]

Russian Banya in Irkutsk

One of the most relaxing ways to spend time with friends and rid yourself of some stress is visiting a Russian banya. Not only is this beneficial to one’s health, but it is also a great way to experience one of Russia’s fun traditions. A banya traditionally consists of three rooms: the pre-bath room, the […]

Skiing in Olkha (Daytrip from Irkutsk)

While there are several options for skiing within Irkutsk city limits, it is nice to take a short day trip to get a taste of the more rural nature scene. As someone who loves to ski but is by no means a professional, Olkha Ski Resort is a great option. Olkha offers several different hills […]

Maslenitsa Through the Eyes of American Students, 2018

On February 17, squares, avenues and parks in every corner of Russia celebrated Maslenitsa, a traditional Russian holiday that marks the imminent end of winter with mountains of hot, delicious blini and revelry. Originally a pagan holiday celebrated as early as the 2nd century A.D., Maslenitsa has been somewhat folded into Orthodox Christian traditions and […]

Ice Skating in Irkutsk

There are many great things about living in Siberia, but one of my favorites would be constant access to ice skating around October-March. There are several rinks both indoor and outdoor at varying costs, but the best two I have found so far are Ice People, Law School Rink, and a small rink on Ulaan […]

Being Catholic in Irkutsk

Staying religious abroad can be hard for many; I know it has been for me, especially in an environment where there is a language barrier and it takes a bit of effort to seek out the resources needed. Luckily, after visiting a few different churches, I found The Immaculate Heart of Mary Cathedral (Собор Непорочного […]

Cat Café in Irkutsk

Koteyka Kotocafé is a cat café that is a great place to relax and pet lots of friendly cats. The café is clean, modern, and minimalistic. The place is big enough to hold a good amount of people without feeling cramped or uncomfortable. This unique café is a well-hidden gem which is more than worth […]

Paintballing in Irkutsk

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush and an hour of fun look no further than Baza 38. Located only a few minutes from the university dorms, this paintballing arena is a well-priced, fun option to spend a day with friends. The outside actually says Институт систем энергетики им. Л.А. Мелентьева (Melentiev Energy Systems […]

Unity Day in Irkutsk

Unity Day (День народного единства) is held on November 4 every year across Russia. It commemorates the uprising which kicked out the Polish occupying forces from the Kremlin in November of 1612 at the end of the Polish-Muscovite War. The holiday was recognized during Imperial times, but after the 1917 Revolution, the Soviets replaced the holiday with […]

Zvezdny Bowling Center

Zvezdny Bowling Center Декабрьских Событий, 102/1 10:00-0:00 Price 3-13$ Website Zvezdny bowling center is located in the center of Irkutsk, not far from the university. While my friends and I were just there for the bowling, there is also an attached movie theatre that looks clean, nice, and inexpensive. The bowling center is very clean […]

Victory Day in Irkutsk

Victory Day in Irkutsk Holiday Celebrated every May 9th Festivities around the city generally free Victory Day (День победы), celebrated on May 9 across Russia, is arguably the most important Russian holiday, other than New Year’s. There are massive celebrations across the country dedicated to Russia’s win in World War Two, or the Great Patriotic […]

Buryat Cooking Lesson at Ulus in Irkutsk

Ulus, Buryat-Mongolian Restaurant (Улус) Buryat Cooking Lesson Part of SRAS Cultural Program, Spring, 2017 130 Kvartal, ul. 3 Iyulya 23 One of my favorite things about living in/traveling to other countries is getting to know the national cuisine. Irkutsk is located right next to the (Russian) Republic of Buryatia, and as such has a large […]

Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk

Okhlopkov Theater (Иркутский академический драматический театр им. Н.П.Охлопкова) ul. Karla Marksa 14 Tickets from 100 to 500 rubles Dramateatr.ru. The Okhlopkov Theater in Irkutsk (or the Irkutsk Academic Dramatic Theater named for Okhlopkov) is the main dramatic theater in Irkutsk, and the oldest theater in Eastern Siberia. The theater’s directors are understandably proud of their long […]

Dinamo—Skiing in Irkutsk

Dinamo Ski Base (Динамо Лыжная База) Kaprinskaya 119, Irkutsk (Капринская 119, Иркутск) 9am to 9pm Part of the SRAS cultural package for spring, 2017 Dinamo is a skiing facility just outside of Irkutsk. It’s right near the K9 bus stop, where you can get the 4C, 102, or 113 buses. My fellow SRASers and I went […]

Holidays in Russia

For a full list of holidays of cultural importance in Russia with dates, days off, and histories included, please see this article on Folkways, part of the SRAS Family of Sites. Share this…FacebookGoogle+TwitterLinkedinVKStumbleUponemailPrint

City Dump Museum in Irkutsk

Irkutsk City Dump Museum Fifth kilometer of Aleksandrovskiy Highway Free The Irkutsk city dump museum is one of the strangest places I have ever been in my life—not just for the fact that it exists, which is weird enough in and of itself, but for what’s in it. The dump/museum is probably about a 20-minute […]

5 Ways To Experience Buryat Culture in Irkutsk

Today there are approximately 500,000 people that identify with the largest indigenous group living in Siberia, the Buryats.  The Buryats are a group of people descendent of various Siberian and Mongolian people that inhabited the Lake Baikal area, where most of the ethnic group is still concentrated, with many continuing to engage in traditional ways […]

Rollerblading in Irkutsk

Ролики в Иркутске By Elizabeth Smart Irkutsk is a city filled with historical markers and buildings, blossoming parks, and spectacular views. How does one manage to take in all these sights within the city of Irkutsk? By rollerblade of course! The fad that swept the US in the 80s and 90s has a thriving culture […]

Kirov Square: the Place to Go in Irkutsk

Why Kirov Square is the Place to Go in Irkutsk By Selene Palomo   Students! Are you looking for a place to picnic, take a break, or attend festivals? Kirov Square will definitely be able to offer you all of those things. Kirov Square is located between the streets of Lenin and Sukhbaatar, just across the […]

12 Russian Brands You Should Buy

Greetings dear readers! As this is an opinion piece, you should first know who I am: an American who finds marketing and pop culture fascinating and who has lived in Russia for more than 10 years. What follows is a list of a few local Russian brands that I’ve personally come to prefer over western […]

Travel to Mongolia: from Irkutsk and the rest of Russia

For most Westerners, the name Mongolia conjures up the idea of a mysterious Asian country which they know little to nothing about. Most Americans are aware, if anything, of Genghis Khan, and perhaps have heard stories of Mongolian throat singing or seen National Geographic videos of the great Gobi Desert. It is likely due to […]

Volzhskii Rynok in Irkutsk

Volzhskii Rynok / Волжский Рынок Волжская 14 0800-1900 Contrary to the expectations of most travelers, Irkutsk is not a cheap city. While cheaper than Moscow, most products in Irkutsk are no cheaper than they would be in the United States. For this reason, if you are here for a long time you’ll try to find […]

IGU Botanical Garden in Irkutsk

IGU Botanical Garden / Ботанический сад, ИГУ Ул. Кольцова 93 9:00 — 18:00 Irkutsk is better known for its Siberian taiga than for tropical flora, and in the dead of winter it can feel particularly gray and lifeless. However, it’s a well-kept secret that there’s always one place you can go if you’re pining for […]

Bar Acabama in Irkutsk

Bar Acabama / Бар Акабама Ул. Чехова 2 18:00 – 6:00 It’s no secret that a lot of Russians like all things tacky, flashy, and over-the-top, yet for anyone who has not yet been convinced of this salient fact, a quick trip to Bar Acabama will quickly make them understand. An American-themed bar, restaurant, and […]

Tengeri Shaman Center in Irkutsk

“Tengeri” Local Religious Organization of Shamans / «Тэнгэри» Местная Религиозная Организация Шаманов Ул. Седова 68 Hours by appointment Telephone: 99-81-54, 8-952-622-9185, Email: baltaev_va@mail.ru Shamanism is the common name for the traditional religions of a number of native Siberian peoples; the word describes a system of beliefs in which a large number of spirits, gods, and […]

Great Baikal Trail Weekly Meetings in Irkutsk

Great Baikal Trail Weekly Meeting / Болшая Байкальская Тропа, еженедельная встреча Лапина 43В Thursdays 18:30-20:00 www.greatbaikaltrail.org The Great Baikal Trail is one of the most successful NGOs in Russia; founded only 10 years ago in 2002, GBT has succeeded in building and cataloging hundreds of kilometers of trails all around the Baikal region using the […]

Cafe “Belaya Vorona” in Irkutsk

Cafe “Belaya Vorona” / Кафе Белая Ворона Ул. Карла Маркса 37 0900 – 2200 8 (3952) 400-854, http://vk.com/coffeenbook, www.facebook.com/coffeenbook  Siberia isn’t a place one goes to for good coffee. However, for a city of its size, Irkutsk is actually reasonably well served in terms of coffee shops, and there are a number of places where one […]

IGLU Youth Theater Group “Experiment” in Irkutsk

IGLU Youth Theater Group “Experiment” / ИГЛУ Молодёжный Театр «Эксперимент» Актовый зал, ИГЛУ Thursdays 6:30-9:00 As Shakespeare said, all the world’s a stage, and it seems that this maxim applies even to Siberia. Indeed, Irkutsk is quite well serviced as far as theater goes: with the musical theater, A.V. Vampilov Theater, puppet theater, and youth theater, […]

Lingua Cafe at Cafe Most’ in Irkutsk

Lingua Cafe at Cafe “Most’” / Кафе Мость Цесовская Набережная 2 Thursdays 20:00 – ???? Entrance free, drinks from ~$3. Phone: 706-388, Website: www.most-cafe.ru Irkutsk isn’t a city which is known for its nightlife; there are very few clubs and bars and those that exist are generally the kind of tacky, overpriced places filled with […]

The V.P. Sukachev Mansion in Irkutsk

V. P. Sukachev Mansion / Усадьба В. П. Сукачёва Ул. Декабрских Событий 112 Hours: Tues.-Sun. 10:00 – 17:30 Entrance: 100 rubles, free for students with Russian student ID. Phone: 8(3952)53-12-24, Website: www.sukachoff.ru The house-museum is a peculiarly Russian institution; in most Russian cities one can find small, underfunded museums preserving the apartments and possessions even […]

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