Author: D. Garrison Golubock

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 […]

ABC Language School in Irkutsk

ABC School of Languages / Языковая Школа “Эй-Би-Си” ул. Рабочая, 2А, 5 этаж 8:00 – 20:00 http://abc-irk.ru/ Phone: 780-160 As a native English speaker abroad, many students studying in Russia find their skills to be in high demand and take side jobs teaching and tutoring English. Teaching offers a chance to make money while abroad […]

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 […]

Cafe Dali in Irkutsk

Cafe Dali / Кафе Дали Трудовая 108Б 09:00 – 00:00 Irkutsk is a mere 100 miles from Mongolia, yet due to the difficulties of the international border and the Sayan mountains which come between the two, it can be difficult to check out that country of Yurt-dwellers and horse milk. For those who can’t take […]

Kafe na Volzhskoi in Irkutsk

Kafe na Volzhskoi / Кафе на Волжской Байкальская 125 Weekdays 900-2000, Sunday 900-1900 A stolovaya, or cafeteria, is always an excellent place to look for cheap food, and Irkutsk is home to a wide range of stolovayas with widely varying quality. Most students will quickly become familiar with the cafeteria at IGLU, but if you’re […]

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 […]

Chaikhana in Irkutsk

Chaikhana / Чайхана Байкальская 14/1 1000 – 1700 A chaikhana is a traditional Uzbek restaurant, and while Central Asian food is widely available throughout Russia, a lot of it is quite bad. Chaikhana, located near the central market, is cheap, convenient, and also quite an interesting dining experience. It is also, as many chaikhanas are, […]

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 […]

Cafe Osh in Irkutsk

Cafe Osh / Кафе Ош Ул. Чехова 22 Hours: 10:00-20:00 The central market is probably one of the most interesting areas in Irkutsk. A huge area with many different trading squares, malls, and open air plazas, the market has traders from all over Asia selling items ranging from apples to cashmere socks to industrial machinery. […]

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, […]

Cafe Izbushka in Irkutsk

Cafe Izbushka / Кафе Избушка Ул. Красного Восстания 9а Hours: 8:30 – 0:00 Phone: 8-3952-48-58-21 Website: www.izba38.ru The buffet is a fairly ubiquitous feature of restaurants in Russia. Often, a buffet is a clear sign that the food you are about to consume will be cheap, yet boring, lukewarm and tasteless. Cafe Izbushka is a […]

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 […]

Pekarnya Osetinskiye Pirogi in Irkutsk

Pekarnya “Osetinskiye Pirogi” Черемховский Пер. 9в Hours 1000-2400 www.irkpirog.ru / (3952) 60-60-52 Meals from ~$7 per person  Pining for pizza? Does mayonnaise-coated lavash not fulfill your craving? Though American-style pizza can be found in Irkutsk, consider a delicious Soviet substitute – Ossetian pies! These round, pizza-like pastries are made of a deliciously greasy dough, stuffed […]

Poznaya “Kafe Hausbrandt” in Irkutsk

Poznaya “Kafe Hausbrandt” / Позная “Кафе Хаусбрандт” Ул. Горкого 32 Hours 1000-1800 Meals from ~$3 A poznaya is a type of restaurant which serves the most famous dish of the Buryat people: pozy. Pozy are large flour and water dumplings filled with fatty meat and spices and then steamed until they became fragrant sacks of […]

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