This is a brief guide on how to get to Listvyanka – a small peaceful village on the western side of Baikal. Nowadays Listvyanka is known to be the most comfortable place on the lake. For the last couple of years, the location has been turning into a resort area with new hotels and guest houses, restaurants, and boat excursions.
The Irkutsk-Listvyanka route is the shortest way to reach the lake since it is only 68 km from Irkutsk. That is why Listvyanka is the most popular place due to super easy and fast access to Siberian Pearl (aka Baikal).
However, if the truth be told, there are far more enchanting places to visit. But this is a topic for a different article. Visiting Listvyanka is a perfect opportunity to see and touch the biggest lake worldwide if you have only 1 or 2 days to explore.
Here are 4 ways of reaching Listvyanka from Irkutsk – the jumping-off point to explore Baikal region.
The bus/minibus (aka marshrutka). Private buses offer the most convenient as well as a cheap option to get to Listvyanka. Most travelers (even Russians) prefer bus trips, and so do I. Private buses run daily, starting at about 8-9 a.m. The last bus from Listvyanka to Irkutsk usually departs at 7-8 p.m. There is no fixed timetable for them, so when the bus is full, it departs. The fare is 150 rubles (≈ 2 USD). NO NEED TO BOOK any tickets! Just go and get into the bus, you will pay to the driver later. The place of departure: Irkutsk Central Market. You will find a parking spot between the shopping center and a market place on the Timiryazeva street side. The bus is easy to find by the nameplate “ЛИСТВЯНКА” on its windscreen.
Municipal bus. If you think that taking a private bus is too much for you, there is always Irkutsk Bus Terminal at your service. Location: Oktyabrskoy Revolutsii st, 11. As for me, the location is a bit inconvenient compared to Central Market, but if you are staying somewhere nearby – why not? On the terminal's website ( https://en.avtovokzal-on-line.ru/ ) you can book tickets and choose the suitable timing for the trip. The ticket cost does not differ a lot, and the first bus departs at 8:30 a.m. If you are traveling alone and care about 100% safety of your travels, this is your choice.
Another ground-based option is to get a taxi. This one is perfect for a group of 4-5 friends. It should cost 1300-1500 rubles (20-25 USD) one way and takes normally an hour. Use the following taxi apps: TaxiMaxim, YandexTaxi. Both are available in English. You may also try the BlaBlaCar app to find a driver and a company.
Ship adventure. Irkutsk stands on the Angara River which is famous for being the only river that flows out of Baikal. Do not miss the chance to feel yourself a real sailor and enter the deepest lake worldwide on the ship. The price should not be more than 1000 rubles (15 USD). In summer season the boat sails according to the timetable, which can be checked on the website of Navigation Company ( https://vsrp.ru/en/ ). Also, notice that the boat is very often overbooked, so plan your trip wisely and ahead. The tickets can be booked on the website above. A couple more words about the trip. The point of departure from Irkutsk is Port Rogatka – nowadays a very popular recreation area for citizens. It is located in Solnechnii district, Marshal Zhukov Avenue, 98 (проспект Маршала Жукова, 98г). Travel time: 1 hour. It arrives at the pier known as Rogatka.
Personally, I have never sailed to Listvyanka from Irkutsk. On the other hand, as a kid I happened to travel to the North of Baikal on the ship. This ship sails to Nizhneangarsk from Irkutsk and back even today.
Now you know more about getting to Listvyanka than an average Irkutsk citizen.
Safe travels, and remember to be a traveler, not a tourist!