Author: Katya Grigerman

Best Craft Beer in Saint Petersburg

As someone who comes from Seattle, I am a big fan of craft beer. From porters to IPA’s, and pilsners to brown ales, I appreciate them all. I was worried that Russia would have none of this wonderful variety – or even good beer in general – but I was pleasantly wrong. Prices for craft […]

Weekend Trip to Novgorod from St. Petersburg

About one month in to our semester, the SRAS students took a weekend trip to Novgorod, one of the oldest and most important cities in Russian history. Located between Moscow and St. Petersburg, it is believed that Novgorod is the birthplace of Russia, since it was here in 862 that Prince Rurik proclaimed the modern […]

Peter and Paul Fortress Excursion in Saint Petersburg

As part of our SRAS program, we had a guided tour of the Peter and Paul Fortress. On a beautiful summer day, we took a tram out to the fortress. Once there, our guide started off by explaining the history of the fortress. Peter the Great established the fortress on May 16, 1703 on Hare […]

A Trip to Ulan-Ude from Irkutsk

As part of our SRAS program in Irkutsk, our group took a trip to Ulan Ude, a city about an eight hour train ride east, on the other side of Lake Baikal. Ulan Ude is the center of Buryatia, a republic within Russia that is the homeland of the Buryat people. The Buryats are native […]

Irkutsk’s Green Line Self-Guided Walking Tour

The “green line” is a self-guided tour of Irkutsk, which goes around the center of the city with several stops along it. The path is about 5k long, and can take anywhere from 2-3 hours, or even a whole day if you were to stop at even half the museums it passes. I found this […]

Poznaya 38 in Irkutsk: Traditional Local Fast Food

Poznaya 38 is a chain of restaurants across Irkutsk that has a variety of Russian, Central Asian, and Buryat foods. It is very inexpensive, very fast, and the best part, very tasty! Meals here run 300-500 rubles ($4-8). There are several locations all around the city, and there are two within a 5 minute walk […]

Taltsy Museum and Listvyanka: A Day Trip from Irkutsk

A few days after arriving in Irkutsk, SRAS took us on a day trip that went first to the Taltsy Architecture and Ethnography Museum, and then to Listvyanka, a small town on Lake Baikal. Located about an hour drive away from the city towards the lake, Taltsy is an open-air museum that features different types […]

Olkhon Weekend Trip from Irkutsk

One weekend, my two friends and I decided to take a weekend trip to Olkhon. The planning for the trip was overall very simple! The best way to the island is to take a marshrutka (a small bus). The trip will take about six hours and cost 600-1000 rubles ($9-15) each way. If you have […]

Staying Kosher in Irkutsk

Having grown up Jewish, I stopped eating pork when I was around 5, and have not eaten it since then. Coming to Irkutsk, I was very curious to see if not eating pork would be a challenge, or if it would be simple to avoid. Spending six weeks in Siberia, I have realized that a […]

A Manicure in Irkutsk

Back in the States, I’ve gotten enough manicures to know the difference between a good one and a bad one. Or at least that’s what I had thought until I came to Russia. A few days into being in Irkutsk I realized I needed to get one, and decided to call around to a few […]

Dacha, Banya, and Buryat Cooking Party: SRAS Excursion in Irkutsk

On a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon, SRAS took our group and headed about 30 minutes north of the city to a dacha owned by a friend of the academic coordinator of our program. A dacha is place located away from the city that generally has a small home, a plot of land, and sometimes […]

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