In this paper we present a review of sedimentological, geomorphological, lithological, geochronological and geophysical data from major, minor and satellite basins of the Baikal Rift Zone (BRZ) and discuss various aspects of its evolution. Previously, the most detailed sedimentological data have been obtained from the basins of the central BRZ, e.g., Baikal, Tunka and Barguzin, and have been used by many scientists worldwide. We add new information about the peripheral part and make an attempt to provide a more comprehensive view on BRZ sedimentation stages and environments and their relations to local and regional tectonic events. A huge body of sedimentological data was obtained many years ago by Soviet geologists and therefore is hardly accessible for an international reader. We pay tribute to their efforts to the extent as the format of a journal paper permits. We discuss structural and facial features of BRZ sedimentary sequences for the better understanding of their sedimentation environments. In addition, we review tectono-sedimentation stages, neotectonic features and volcanism of the region. Finally, we consider the key questions of the BRZ evolution from the sedimentological point of view, in particular, correlation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic basins, bilateral growth of the Baikal rift, Miocene sedimentation environment and events at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary, Pliocene and Pleistocene tectonic deformations and sedimentation rates. The data from deep boreholes and surface occurrences of pre-Quaternary sediments, the distribution of the Pleistocene sediments, and the data from the Baikal and Hovsgol lakes sediments showed that 1) BRZ basins do not fit the Mesozoic extensional structures and therefore hardly inherited them; 2) the Miocene stage of sedimentation was characterized by low topography and weak tectonic processes; 3) the rifting mode shifted from slow to fast at ca. 7–5 Ma; 4) the late Pleistocene high sedimentation rates reflect the fast subsidence of basin bottoms.