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Irkutsk

Although vastly isolated, the historical city of Irkutsk remains one of Siberia’s largest cities, and is widely considered to be the unofficial capital of this North-eastern part of Russia. This is also one of the most popular stop-offs on the world-famous Trans-Siberian railway route across Russia, and the old city streets offer a welcome respite from the lengthy train journey together with enough sights to keep visitors occupied for a few days.

The mini tourist boom in Irkutsk in the past few years has seen inevitable development, with the city’s 19th-century architectural foundation now standing side-by-side with modern restaurants, hip bars and stylish hotels. Visitors can explore the multitude of churches and monasteries throughout town, as well as a good selection of museums and art galleries. The spectacular Lake Baikal is another popular tourist hotspot, and is less than an hour’s drive from Irkutsk.

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Jay is fascinated by Siberia's spectacular landscapes, historic architecture, diverse ethnic mix and extreme climatic conditions - truly one of our planet's remotest lands.
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