Irkutsk is arguably Siberia’s most beautiful city. Most tourists stop there on their way to Baikal Lake without spending enough time to explore its magnificent wooden houses. We spent three whole days wondering around and soaking up its decadent atmosphere. Though a bit younger than Krasnoyarsk it has maintained most of its historical buildings, with neoclassical palaces popping amongst the hundreds of colorful two storey wooden houses.
Funny thing, while we thought that practically everything built in the last couple of decades is absolutely bad looking, the lady at the Laundromat said the city is finally becoming beautiful. There is even an entire neighborhood backed by Chinese investors, that replicates old houses but overdoing everything that could be overdone. Happy Frog sincerely hopes that big investors do not develop this city; otherwise its outstanding heritage will be gone forever. Long live Old Irkutsk!!!