24 Aug Listvyanka in One Day: Explore Baikal
Lisvtyanka is one of the most popular touristic stops to explore Baikal. It’s easy to reach and has a pretty good touristic infrastructure, at least in comparison to other villages around the lake. Maybe it’s not Saint Tropez but definitely a good point to start your Baikal adventure. Check below our recommendations on how to spend one day in Listvyanka.
What to do in Listvyanka?
Baikal Limnological Museum and arboretum
This is the only museum fully devoted to the history, fauna, and flora of the Baikal Lake. The museum was founded in 1931 and in 2004 a live exhibition was opened. Now you can observe many types of fish and other animals inhabiting Baikal. The living conditions in the 11 aquariums are arranged in a similar way to the natural lake biocoenosis. Although most of the information in the museum is written in Russian, you can book an English or German speaking guide free of charge (it has to be arranged at least a few days prior to your arrival). Outside the museum, there is a small botanical garden with numerous trees and plants. Tickets to the park area can be also bought in the Baikal Museum. The museum is located on Akademicheskaya Street 1.
It’s an observation platform named after a famous geologist, Ivan Dmitrievich Cherskiy. From there you get stunning views of the southern Baikal, Listvyanka, Port Baikal, and the Angara River with the Shaman Rock. The Shaman Rock is a subject of many legends and musterious stories about Baikal, in the past people also believed it has a miraculous power. To get to the Chersky Rock, either take a chair lift or walk along the serpentine-road, which starts behind the Baikal Museum (2200m).
St. Nicolas Church
A small, picturesque orthodox church from the 19th century, with a nice collection of old icons. According to a local legend, it was built by a merchant Ksenofont Serebryakov, who nearly drowned in Baikal but was luckily saved by the God. To get there, turn next to the demolished Kopeika supermarket and then walk along the road, passing by the hotel Krestovaya Pad. The address is Kulikova Street 90.
A small open-air museum opened in a private yard. You will find there all kind of old stuff rearranged into “retro art” with old cars, bikes, photo cameras, and iron figures. It’s surprising to see how much you can do practically from trash.
Banya, a Russian sauna
The best way to finish your day in Listvyanka is to visit a Russian banya. You might find a banya in your own hotel or find another one – there are plenty of them in the village. Usually, these are not public but private saunas, so you need to arrange the time in advance.
Hiking and biking
If you have more time to spend in Listvyanka, explore Baikal with hiking or biking. There are plenty of hiking routes, which start from Listvyanka or from Port Baikal, on the opposite side of the lake. One of options is to walk across taiga and get to Bolshiye Koty, another village on Baikal. However, if it’s your first time there, it’s better to hire a guide, cause trails are not very well marked. You can also rent a bike and explore Listvyanka yourself. Please notice that the area around Listvyanka is a part of the Pribaikalsky National Park, and you need a special permission to enter it. The tickets can be bought at the Pribaikalsky Centre, located next to the bus station in Listvyanka. One day ticket costs about 60 RUB.
Where to eat in Lisvyanka?
Baikal is famous for a local fish called Omul, and the best place to eat Omul is the local market. You can get smoked, baked or roasted Omul and some other food as well. It’s cheap, delicious and fresh. You will also find there a stall with fresh fruits and vegetables, and plenty of souvenirs. The market is located at the far end of Listvyanka, along the Gorky street (the main street in Listvyanka).
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Listvyanka, however, their prices are rather high and quality not that good. If you do not want to experiment or you have a limited budget, we recommend our favourite place – Cafe Podlemore on Gorkogo Street 31. You will get there different types of delicious, freshly made pastry but also full meals and a proper coffee.
There are also other things to do to explore Baikal. You can go for a day tour with the Circum Baikal Railway or visit Taltsy Museum, on the way to Irkutsk.
If you are looking for a tailor-made trip to Baikal or personal advice, simply contact us.