Odessa is one of the largest seaports of the Black Sea, the capital of the South of Ukraine, an amazing resort city. Sandy beaches, lush parks, luxury palaces, interesting museums made it favorite holiday destination among the Ukrainians and tourists from many countries of the world. Odessa is famous not only for picturesque streets, fascinating architecture, and beach recreation but also for a unique spirit of welcome and sparkling sense of humor. All this gives charm to the resort city, and every tourist, who comes to South Palmyra, senses it.
Districts of Odessa
Sandy beaches, magnificent palaces, marvelous parks, amazing monuments, interesting museums — you won’t manage to see all the attractions even in several days. It’s better to plan your route beforehand, to see all breathtaking places of Odessa.
In the 14th century, the territory came under the control of the Nogai Horde, later included in the Golden Horde. On the site of the present city, the Genoese settlement was established. Its inhabitants carried on trade with nomadic people.
In the late 14th century, the lands were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Cacybei fortress with a wharf was built in the area.
In the second half of the 15th century, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Empire. Thereafter, it received the name Khadjibey. The city’s fortress was strengthened and considered to be unassailable. But the myth about the strength of the fortification was shattered by the Zaporozhian Cossacks, who have successfully attacked it several times.
The rapid development of the city began after Elizabeth II, the Empress of Russia, signed the decree concerning the foundation of a trade and military seaport city in the place of Khadjibey. During the same period, it was renamed as Odessa. The city became one of the main ports of the Russian Empire. Broker's boards, commercial banks, and consulates of many countries were opened there. The city’s growth owed much to the city’s governor — the Duc de Richelieu.
In 1920, the Soviet regime established its power in Odessa. During World War II, the city suffered from bombing. It had been under the German occupation for more than three years.
After the war, Odessa was quickly rebuilt. New modern port and buildings were constructed; the infrastructure was improved.
Following the independence of Ukraine, vigorous efforts were made to reconstruct the historical city center. Many streets and squares were returned their original names.
After many centuries, having outlived many governors, the beautiful Odessa manages to preserve its unique charm, a special temper that makes the city incredibly attractive for tourists.
Before the trip, you should calculate the approximate budget that you will require for the travel:
The best time to visit Odessa
One of the most traditional holidays is City Day celebrated on September 2. You can watch fancy-dress parades, performances of famous musicians, yacht competitions in the seaport, a parade of flowers, and participate in many entertainment activities.
Annually in the middle of July, movie enthusiasts from different countries come to the city to the International Film Festival. The festival has a loaded program: feature, short, and documentary films are judged by viewers and critics. The Odessa Film Festival is becoming more popular every year. The Grand Prix of the festival - the Golden Duke - is becoming more desired among the filmmakers from many countries.
The city's public transit system is currently made up of trams, trolleybuses, buses, and fixed-route taxis. The price is fixed in trams and trolleybuses; and it depends on the route length in buses. In all means of transportation, except for fixed-route taxis, the fare is paid to a conductor, who is in the interior. Fixed-route taxis stop on demand. Passengers pay the fare on their way out.
If you’d like to save on accommodation, choose hostels or 1 - 2 star hotels. The price for one night is approximately $15. In 3 star hotel, you will have to pay $34 per night; in 4 star hotel — $61. The suit room costs an average of $100.
There are a lot of cafes, restaurants, bars, and other eateries in Odessa. The price for a standard Big Mac set in McDonald’s is about $2.6. Lunch for one person in an affordable cafe will cost from $5.6. In a respectable restaurant, dinner with alcohol for two will cost from $20.5.
The city beaches will suit every taste. If you’d like to lounge at the beach with well-developed infrastructure, pick up those in the city center, for example, Arkadia or Zolotoi Bereg. One of the best places for summer vacation and picnics is Luzanovka beach, which is located in the park area not far from the center.
What should a tourist do in Odessa
- Stroll along the famous Deribasovskaya Street. If you’d like to sense the authentic atmosphere of the city, go to the favorite street of the locals and tourists. Buildings of the 19th century are located along the street. The Passage is one of the most beautiful constructions that combined Classics, Baroque, and Art Nouveau in its architecture. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants that offer great cuisine on Deribasovskaya Street.
- Get down to the sea by the Potemkin Stairs. One of the main tourist attractions has 192 steps. It was constructed in the 19th century in the style of classicism. It offers a splendid panoramic view of the city. The stairs themselves became a venue for many festivals and flashmobs.
- Admire the beauty of Vorontsov Palace. The building was constructed in several architectural styles for Mikhail Vorontsov, the governor-general of Odessa, in the early 19th century. The mix of different styles creates a feeling of extraordinary lightness and charm. The palace complex includes the main building, belvedere-colonnade, the Orlov-wing, a riding hall, and storage units.
- Recognize the splendor of the Holy Assumption Cathedral. One of the largest churches of the country was erected in the late 19th century. Its total height with the chapel is 56 m. It can accommodate 5 thousand people at a time. The Cathedral is a pilgrimage destination for Orthodox Christians. Healing Kaspersky Icon of the Mother of God is kept there. People believe that it heals from all diseases.
- Be thrilled by the Odessa Opera Theatre — one of the most prominent sightseeings of Eastern Europe. The theatre was built in the second half of the 19th century by a well-known French architect Thomas de Thomon. The façade of the building is decorated in the Viennese Baroque style, while the interior — in French rococo style. The horseshoe-shaped audience hall fascinates by its decor: a ceiling that is painted with the scenes from Shakespeare’s works, modeled ornaments with elegant gliding, exquisite sculptures, comfy velvet upholstered chairs.
- Be impressed by unique exhibits of the Museum of Western and Eastern Art. A splendid museum building is designed in the eclectic style. Admire paintings, sculptures, etchings, decorative objects of famous masters from all over the world. The museum collection includes paintings by Magnasco, Caravaggio, and Hals, furniture from Eastern Asia, etchings from Japan.
- Visit a unique wax museum U Baby Uti, where you can also find a cafe. It is explained by the fact that legendary Baba Utia was the first one to open an eatery in the city. Many celebrities visited the cafe, and you can see their wax figures in the museum. The museum collection includes 70 figures located in different theme halls.
- Have a rest in a luxury city park. The first garden of Odessa was established in the early 19th century. Take a walk along the shady parkway and admire wonderful world-famous sculptures. You can see and listen to a singing fountain in the park. Concerts of well-known musicians and bands often take place on a covered venue of the park.
- Take a thrilling tour to the city catacombs. The length of the underground passages and labyrinths is nearly 3 thousand kilometers. They are the longest catacombs in Europe. It is considered that they appeared as a result of stone mining. But many researchers don’t share this explanation, because some passages are older than the city itself. The records show that citizens hid in the catacombs from the plague at the beginning of the 19th century.
- Visit a picturesque Privoz. The well-known market has become one of the major symbols of the city. Here you can hear famous Odessan humor, sense vibrant atmosphere of dwellers’ everyday life, buy fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, pickled products, and different local delicacies.
- Take a chance to enjoy the most delicious Odessa cuisine. Order vorschmack (a paste made of herring, apples, onion, and other ingredients), fried surmullet (local fish), tzimmes (a stew made of beans, onion, tomato sauce), mussels in a pot (seafood in own juice with sauces and pickles). Try local eggnog (eggs whipped with sugar, vanilla, and other spices), vertuta (pastry with apples) for dessert.