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Gateway to Lake Baikal

By Linda Tancs

The hub of Eastern Siberia, Irkutsk is a popular stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and all points east thanks to its vibrantly colored churches and array of theaters and museums. It’s also a popular gateway to Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nicknamed the Pearl of Siberia. Begin your exploration at Irkutsk Regional Museum, the oldest museum in Siberia and the first provincial museum in Russia. The Moorish-style building contains a history of the museum itself, dating to 1782 before a fire forced its relocation in 1883. You can book tours of Irkutsk and Baikal in the museum.

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