Where to Go: Listvyanka Settlement on Baikal Lake
A small village 1 hour drive from Irkutsk, on the western side of Baikal, Listvyanka is the most comfortable location on the lake. There are a few hotels there for all budgets as well as many various tourist activities (boat rides, trekking, excursions to the more remote parts of the lake, winter sports).
Listvyanka is a bit overrated as it’s not that picturesque in itself: it just provides an easy and fast access to the lake, so it gets overcrowded at times. But if you only have not more than 3 days for your visit, perhaps it’s the best choice. Otherwise it’s better to skip it and to head further into the lake, for example to Olkhon island or to the Eastern side of the lake.
Map, Location & How to Get There & Back
What to Do & See in Listvyanka
- Walk along the shore of the lake;
- Take the picturesque Circum-Baikal railway to Slyudyanka and back.
- Eat the local smoked Omul fish – amazing;
- Visit the tourist market;
- Take a boat to Peschanaya bay;
- Have a meal at one of the small cafes or restaurants on the lake;
Baikal Limnological Museum
Located at the very entrance to Listvyanka this museum has an aquarium complex with living inhabitants-endemics of the Baikal lake, as well as exhibitions about the flora and fauna. They also organize video excursions to the bottom of the lake. It’s better to take an English-speaking guide though.
Circum-Baikal railway starts at Port Baikal, which is just a few minutes away from Listvyanka, on the other side of Angara river (there's a ferry). It's a great and beautifully picturesque trip, you can stop along the way and walk around, do camping, or simply enjoy the views of the Russian countryside. Read more about it in our Circum-Baikal railway guide.
Visit Peschanaya Bay
While Listvyanka can get a bit crowded (not so good if you want to enjoy Baikal on your own), you can always take a short boat trip along the coast towards the north and visit some of the emptier areas around Baikal. They will still probably be crowded, but at least you'll get a glimpse of the nature and also be able to really enjoy the lake's vastness without any distractions.
Sval Restaurant (and Sauna)
A restaurant located next to Podlemorie Hotel is known for its great fish menu. During the summer you can seat outside and thereís even a sauna, so you can have a drink there after the relaxing banya sauna time.
Gorkogo Street 31, 664520 Listvyanka (near Podlemorie hotel, on Baikal lake shore)
Горького ул, 31, Листвянка
Popular among locals this restaurants has a good selections of local dishes and is cheaper than its more expensive touristic counterparts.
Gorkogo 85A, 2nd floor (on the lake shore)
Горького ул, 85А, Листвянка
Krestovaya Pyad Hotel
A more expensive option, rooms at this hotel start at €90 per night for a double. The hotel is built out of wood, pretty nice although a bit tasteless decor inside. If you get a room at the second floor, you’ll have a nice view of the lake and the restaurant is quite good also. Located about 1 km from the lake.
Gornaya Street 14-A
Горная ул, 14-А, Листвянка
+7 395 249-68-63
Book online: www.bit.ly/krestopyad
Baikalksie Prostory Guesthouse
Located in about 8-minute walk from the lake this guest house made out of wood has very basic rooms starting at €35 per night for a double.
Chapaeva Street 41
Чапаева ул, 41
Usadba Demidova Guesthouse
A nice private guest house that has a few simple, but clean and somewhat old-fashioned rooms made out of wood, very cute. Prices start at only €50 per night for a double, so it’s a great deal. There’s also a sauna and the house is just 50 meters from the lake.
Ulitsa Sudzilovskogo 2
Суджиловского ул, 2
Book online: www.bit.ly/demidovu
Podlemorie Hotel Listvyanka
A popular option for travelers with a bit more money, this hotel is located right on Baikal shore and also houses a popular Sval fish restaurant. The rooms have a bit bulky furniture and are a bit more tasteless than the ones in Krestovaya Pad, but the staff is helpful and the location cannot be beaten. Prices from €100.
Gorkogo Street 31
Горького ул, 31, Листвянка
Book online: www.bit.ly/podlemor
Locals usually charge $15-$20 per night. When you walk around Listvyanka you'll see some ads on the street, you can just come in and ask if you can stay there. That should do it.
Listvyanka is actually located on one long Gorkogo street that goes along Baikal shore, so it’s easy to make your way around — all the main spots and places are located on this street.
To send a post or make an international phone call go to the post office at Gorkogo St., #49 (open hours: 8.30-17.30, closed 13.00-15.00, on Saturday opened: 8.30-12.00).
All the shops are located next to the main bus stop and there’s also a great market where you can buy food and smoked Omul fish. If you want to eat in a cafe, there are plenty around the bus stop as well.
If you would like to go to the Circum-Baikal railway, you should go to Listvyanka peer to get to Port Baikal first. The ferry circulates daily, starting from 6.30 until 20.00 (about 6 a day), and departs from the bus station. It takes about 15-20 minutes, costs 50 R (€1) one way. From Port baikal the ferry goes back to Listvyanka. If the Circum Baikal train from Slyudyanka to Port Baikal arrives after 20.00 the ferry will either wait or there’s a big probability that there’ll be somebody taking the train’s passengers to Listvyanka.
The boat tickets to Irktusk can be bought at the River Terminal or at the Central Ferry Office on Chkalova street, 37. The River Terminal is located in the end of Baikalskaya Street, you can get there by taking any shuttle - marshrutka from the Central Market that goes to “Rechnoi Vokzal” (river terminal in Russian).
It’s better to buy the tickets for all destinations beforehand, because many people like to travel by boat. The ticket sales offices are opened from 10.00 to 18.00 daily. If you want to take the boat that departs on the same day, you can only buy the ticket 1 hour before its departure.
There’s a diving center opened at Nikola settlement, by the hotel “Nikola”. An hour of diving costs 2000 R (~ $70). For other tour activities inquire at the big hotels – usually they’ll have good options on offer.
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