Visiting Lake Baikal

Where to stay

Being situated in a pretty remote location in Siberia, Lake Baikal is not frequented by many tourists. However, there are some places where you could stay and visit the surroundings of the lake.

By far the most popular destination for tourists is the village of Listvyanka. It is located less than 2 hours away from Irkutsk, a city which is served by international airlines. Listvyanka has a number of good hotels and it is also the preferred destination of locals.

Much further from Irkutsk lies the town of Severobaykalsk, on the northern shores of Lake Baikal.

There are also many islands on Lake Baikal. Out of them, by far the most popular is the island of Olkhon, a big island with several villages.

If you are looking for accomodation near Lake Baikal there are a few options – You can follow our Baikal hotels – best deals page to choose one of the latest offers or use the search box:

Lake Baikal – Local lifestyle

The traditional lifestyle of locals around the Baikal endures, revolving around the lake and its bounty.

Most local people live on a diet that consists largely of fish.

Roads from the major city of Irkutsk into the lake region are dotted with stands where elderly women bundled up against the cold sell warm, freshly-smoked fish.

Lake Baikal during winter

Visiting Baikal in the summer, it is almost impossible to imagine that for five months of the year the lake is covered by metres of ice.

The freeze begins in November and ships head for the sanctuary of Irkutsk’s harbour.

During the Russo-Japanese War in 1904-05, the lake’s ice was so thick that the Russians were able to lay a railway straight across it and transport supplies to the battle front throughout the winter.

Lake Baikal Tours and To Do’s