Public Bus Transportation
There is an extensive network of public buses in Irkutsk and smaller cities around Lake Baikal. In Irkutsk many of the routes are also served by trolleys and trams. Bisides, many private transport companies have their own buses running within the city and out to Lake Baikal. Most of those do not sell tickets in advance, one pays directly to a driver after boarding.
Public Transport in Irkutsk
Irkutsk railway station is located on the left bank of Angara, just across the river from the historical center. Irkutsk international airport is situated only a few kilometers away from the city center very close to the residential suburbs. A taxi will take about 15-20 minutes from both the railway and the airport to virtually any hotel in the city. (You may find a better deal if you walk a bit away from the airport or the railway to catch a cab). Public bus will cover this distance in about 30-40 minutes while the fare is only 12 Rub (less then USD 0,5).
Bus Service to Listvyanka
Public buses depart to Listvyanka settlement from the intercity bus station located at Oktyabrskoi Revolyutsii street, building 11. Schedule board and ticket office are inside of the bus station. Tickets should be purchased there and presented to the driver when boarding. Public buses are rather slow, besides there are only 5 of them per day.
Alternatively, one can use bus service to Listvyanka operated by private transport companies. There will be a square packed with numerous minibuses right across the street from the public bus station (across the tram line). Usually, those are small 14-seat Korean-made vans (marshrutkas) that depart to different destinations including Listvyanka. Privately run minibuses are faster and more frequent than public coaches. Minibuses depart to Listvyanka every 15-20 minutes. Once at the square just ask drivers for Listvyanka bus, they will most likely understand the name and point out the direction. Passengers pay for marshrutka service directly to a driver once boarded in a van. Current fare to Listvyanka is 100 rubles (USD 3,3).
In Listvyanka, both public buses and marshrutkas have their route ended at the main Listvyanka square with the pier to the right and tall Mayak (meaning Lighthouse) Hotel to the left. Everybody will be coming out of the bus here. One may leave privately run minibuses earlier by asking a driver to stop.
Bus Service to Olkhon Island
There is a daily public bus service from Irkutsk intercity bus station to Khuzhir settlement at Olkhon Island. The trip takes about 7-8 hours. Tickets are usually sold out in advance at the ticket office inside of the bus station. The coach departs daily at 8:00 am and costs 350 Rub (USD 12) for one way trip.
We also have numerous private transport companies operating scheduled minibus service to Olkhon Island. Normally, they have 14-seat green-colored Ssang-Yong Istana vans running on this route. During peak tourist season these depart several times a day from different locations in the city. Last summer we had this service from the central market, the backyard of the Angara hotel, “Trud” stadium and the railway station. All departures from Irkutsk are in the morning, typically from 8 to 10 am. Trip to Olkhon takes about 5-6 hours and highly depends on the line to the ferry from the mainland to the island. Unlike public coaches these minibuses drop off each passenger in front of a lodge or a hotel in Khuzhir settlement where the person has reservation at.
We operate our own minibus service to Olkhon island. And it is often easier for us to pick up our foreign guests from their accommodations in Irkutsk (if it is a regular hotel in the city center). Please, let us know where you stay the night before your departure to Olkhon and we will advise on that.
On the way back from Olkhon to Irkutsk minibuses pick passengers up from their accommodations around Khuzhir. This is very convenient since there is no other means of transportation within the settlement. Buses depart in the morning, the first one is usually at 7 am and the last one around noon. This often changes, so we will double check that and advise shortly before the next summer season.
One way fare is USD 30 per person. We can book tickets for any of these minibuses whatever timing suits you best.