Irkutsk – Entertainment
The choice of concert venues in Irkutsk is limited. Stars usually appear at the “Trud” Sports Stadium and the N.M. Zagursky Irkutsk Music Theatre (the sound is very mediocre in the latter, tickets 1,000-4,000 roubles). But the Irkutsk Regional Philharmonic has incredibly good acoustics (tickets 200-500 roubles). Classical music performed by the Governor’s Symphony Orchestra is definitely worth listening to – the orchestra is led by eminent conductor Ilmars Lapins. Rock concerts are held in the “Dikaya Loshad” (Wild Horse) club (tickets 600-2,500 roubles).
A real draw for theatre-goers is the N.P. Okhlopkov Irkutsk Academic Drama Theatre, one of the best theatres in Siberia. The repertoire includes dramaturgy of the 20th century, and the company is worthy of the highest praise. Excellent children’s performances of Russian fairy tales are held in the “Aistenok” Puppet Theatre and the Theatre of the Young Spectator. And children can get even better acquainted with Russian folklore in the Theatre of Folk Drama, showing both musical Russian fairy tales and ceremonial performances, such as Siberian weddings. Theatre tickets: 100-500 roubles.
The city has a lot of nightclubs, but most of them are full of laughing students. If that doesn’t scare you off, welcome to “Megapolis”, which periodically hosts star DJs. Young people love “Akula“ too, a club on the embankment of the Angara with bowling and vibrant parties. A little calmer is the “Benzine“ club, where guests like the great atmosphere and sound. Competing with them is the newly opened Meridian bar with its hookah pipes and spectacular sound and light show.
Children and adults come to the Irkutsk seal sanctuary, where trained Baikal seals demonstrate a range of tricks (tickets 300-350 roubles). Here, you can have your picture taken with these sweet little animals. In the spring, Irkutsk hosts an international “Jazz at Baikal” festival, which brings together a range of star guests. In the autumn, classical music lovers gather for the academic “Stars on Baikal”. But, even without reading the poster, you could stumble upon some flash mob or local festivities, walking along the lower promenade along the Angara with a look at the main square in the city, Kirov.
Irkutsk - Dining
In Irkutsk, it’s worth trying dishes from three types of cuisine: Siberian, Buryat and Baikal.