Odessa (Odesa) is a city in Ukraine located next to the Black Sea. Odessa can be reached by plane, train, bus or ferries. Close to Odessa is the Moldovian and the Romanian borders. Odessa is both one of the largest Black Sea ports and a resort city.
Although Ukrainian is the country's only official language, it's spoken hardly by a half of city's population, which speaks mainly Russian. Almost every of the city's numerous colleges and universities has a ”Russian as foreign language” teaching department, though having to teach oversees students, would likely be kind to offer private classes.
- Train 109O goes daily from Odessa Glavnaya 19:57 to Bratislava hl.st. 05:23, two nights later.
- There is a regular ship service to Illichevsk (Odessa's harbour) from Batumi and Poti in Georgia; approx 42 hours of sailing.
- There is a regular ferry service to Istanbul twice a week on Saturday (36hours) and Monday (24hours)
- Odessa airport serves connection to Istanbul, Vienna, Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, and Moscow every day and other places as well.
- At the above-listed points it is also possible to transfer to/from a connecting flight with the rest of Europe/Asia and even with some point in North America, Japan, etc.
- As soon as you are in Ukraine, there are many trains and buses going to Odessa
- Hitchhiking is also an option, especially on the road Kyiv-Odessa (one of the best in Ukraine)
Getting to/from major transportation hubs
- Airport is easily reachable to/from a center, as well as other neighborhoods by a number of jitneys, and buses. Bus 129 links an airport with a railway station making stops in the "Cherjomushki" section of Odessa. Bus 117 links an airport with city center.
- Railway station ("zhe de vokzal, or simply "vokzal") is located at the southern edge of city center. It is extremely easily reachable from all point of the city. One of the major tram hubs, as well as trolleybus hubs is located next to it.
- Marine terminal (Morvokzal) is located just underneath Primorsky Parkway. The famous Potemkin Steps are leading to it from the monument of the Duke De Richelieu. It is reachable by several buses and jitneys, as well as trolleybus number 10 stops there.
There is a good system of trams, bus (and mini-buses) and trolley-buses running through the city. Trams and trolley-buses are very cheap (50 kopiyok one travel p.p. - nearly 0.10 USD ). Buses and mini-buses costs 1.00-2.00 UAH - nearly 0.20-0.40 USD.
It is very difficult to get around Odessa by car, because there are almost no signs. You will see just "Kyiv" signs or "Airport" signs, but just from time to time. Buy a map before you get in.
The most interesting thing to see in Odessa is the old town itself. The city was once the center for trade coming into the Russian empire and as such has much of the grandeur of a wealthy city. Conversely though the city appears to have had no upkeep since the 1917 October revolution and has had even less since the end of Communism in 1992. As such, vast portions of what was a magnificently wealthy old city are falling into a state of total disrepair. The old section of the city though is quite clean and feels very safe so it makes for a good two days worth of casual unguided wandering particularly with the wide tree lined avenues and large open parks.
In the much smaller and more well kept part of the Old town there is a large and beautiful Opera house and some very nice parks. There is also one main street leading through the old town that is vibrant with people selling street goods to tourists.
Also there are many interesting museums in Odessa.
- Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Muzey Zapadnogo i Vostochnogo Iskusstva. Perhaps the most interesting. You can see paintings by Aivazovsky and Caravaggio and other famous artists.
- Literature museum, at the very beginning of Lanzheronovskaya street. Features a 100 year walk through the history of Odessa in literature.
- Maritime museum, just between the Opera House and Literature museum. Houses a history of Marine Fleet.
- Archaeology museum, just around the corner from the literature museum.
- Picture gallery, at the very beginning of the Sofievskaya Street.. once a palace of Prince Pototskiy, features a huge collection of Russian artist paintings.
- Walk along the Deribasovskaya street, it has a very colourful pedestrian part, especially at summer or early autumn evening time.
- Walk along the Primorskiy Parkway (bul'var), is also very good promenade place.
- In the middle of the Primorsky Parway, you will find a monument to Duke Rechelieu, one of the founders of Odessa.
- From this point you can walk down the famous Potemkin Steps, to the Primorskaya street to the Marine Terminal, where a lot of buses and trolleybus # 10 stops
- Instead of walking up or down the potemkin steps, it possible to use the funicular.
- If you turn 180 degrees from Potemkin Steps, you will see a Cathrene Square, where you can take a short walk to. This square features a recently erected a monument to Catherine the Great, who is also one of the founders of Odessa.
- Yekaterinenskaya Street: Walk on it a few blocks from its very beginning. A first couple of block is full of greenery, elegant houses where on a first floor there is either a restaurant or some store. In two blocks it intersects with Deribasovskaya street.
Most of the city waterfront, except the port territory, forms a beach zone. All of the beaches are located at the eastern edge of Odessa. The most popular beaches are the following: listed in according to their distance from city center.
- Lanzheron - is closest to the city center, located just underneath the Shevchenko Park. Richable by tram # 28, as well as by trolleybyses # 2,3 then a short walk is needed.
- Otrada - is slightly farther from the city center then Lanzheron. It is the closest to the center among the beaches located under the French Parkway (Francuzskij bul'var). Otrada is easily richable by tran # 5, is 3 stops from Railway Station, and in 5 stops from the interesection with Preobrazhenskaya Street which is the major transportation artery of the city center.
- Dolphin - is located in 3 more tram stops farther from, then Otrada. Now a dolphinarium is located somewhere nearby.
- Arcadia is a most popular beach, and tourist place with a lot of restaurants, bars, discos, night clubs and other entertains. Even though it is farther then Otrada and Doulphin it is easily reachable from city center. Arcadia is a last stop of the Tram # 5, as well as Troleybuses 5 and 13. Both tram and trolleybus #5 go toward the city center passing the Railway station. Trolleybus 5 goes to the heart of Odessa.
- Malibu A beach at Luzanovka Neighborhood, easily reachable by a numerous bus routes which link city center with the Poselok Kotovskogo section of Odessa. Malibu is the clearest beach on the sea shore with excellent service similar to ones in Arcadia.
The price for food is very cheap (under 2 USD) so long as you don't eat in any restaurants owned by wealthy famous Ukrainians as the prices are extremely expensive. The 'fast food' on the street is particularly tasty and if you don't speak Russian or read Cyrillic is much more accessible as you can just point at what it is you want. Menus in normal restaurants sometimes are exclusively in Russian so either have an idea of what you want before you sit down or be prepared to randomly pick something from the menu.
Avoid food from street vendors especially at the open air markets. The food quality is questionable so it is wise not to take chances. There are several supermarkets in Odessa that have high quality foods that you can buy as an alternative. There are several McDonald's restaurants in the city (str. Deribasovskaya 23, Privokzalnaya square 1a).
The beer served in the south of Ukraine is outstanding and goes excellently with the hearty food. In the words of one not so impartial citizen of Central Europe who visited the country, 'Hey, this is as good as Czech beer!?!' A beer in a restaurant will usually cost around 0,7 - 1 USD. But Odessa does not have a native beer manufacturer (except '1st Private Odessa Brew', but it is sold only in some restaurants and pubs). It does however have a home brewery right in the city center near McDonalds their beer is of outstanding quality but a bit higher priced as you can only get them in this nice restaurant. Just look for a sign that says "Hausbrauerei" (German for Home Brewery) and tell them you just want to have a drink at the bar unless you want to have dinner there of course.
Long-lasting traditions of wine production in neighbouring Moldova and Crimea make Odessa an excellent place for winelovers. Must taste: Negro de Purcari, Pino and famous sweet Kagor from Moldova, Massandra Portwine and Muscat from Crimea.
In the big supermarkets and in shops with alcoholic drink specialization you can find a full assortment of alcoholic drinks from beer to absinthe, and from local brands to world famous brands.
In non-alcoholic drinks here is a large quantity of various brands (foreign: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite, BonAqua etc.; national: Obolon', Bon-Boisson, Prem'era, Kuyal'nik, etc.; local:Kristall, Green Star, Dana, etc.).
Odessa also has a lively nightlife, but foreigners should beware of locals and taxi drivers who often receive payoffs from strip clubs or brothels for bringing you there.
Accommodation is plentiful in Odessa and ranges from renting a small room from a local resident to more expensive hotels.
If you enter by train you will be immediately approached by one of the many locals in an attempt to get you to rent a room from them. This may end up being a small not so well constructed (but basically clean) one room structure located in their garden. It may also not come with a shower with running water, instead consisting of a small outdoor cabinet with a tank located above it that your host will fill with hot water upon request. Additionally the local accommodation will most likely have a Turkish toilet. For those uncomfortable with using a Turkish toilet the facilities at the McDonalds near the train station make for a good substitute. Note that nobody speaks English or German (even the most basic talk). This makes the negotiations very difficult! In July/August most budget hotels are fully booked off. The total price for your garden residency will usually not exceed 10 USD and in the summer it is more than suffice.
- Zirka Hotel, 70 Uspenskaya St, ☎ 380487222343(firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: 38048724011), . checkin: 12.30; checkout: 12. $25(double room).
- For medium budget travelers one option is to book an apartment on internet in advance (rates 40/60 Euro).
- Best Odessa Travel apartments, ☎ +38-067-797-70-20, . -Click to open web site. Best reliable and secure apartments for a short or long term stay are cost efficient and private comparing to noisy Hotels. The apartments are located in the historical center, around and on main Deribasovskaya Str.; or in Arcadia area by the beaches and summer discos. Big choice from budget comfortable to luxury style, choice of different designs, shower or bath tub or Jacuzzi. Discussable check-in/check-out time" prices="30-150 USD, Hr. Free City map for travelers,discounts depends of term and for constant visitors"
- St. Paul Church House, Novoselskogo, 68, 65023 Odessa, ☎ +38-048-777-32-64(email@example.com, fax: +38-048-777-32-64). A good place to stay is the St. Paul Church House, a house operated by the German Lutheran Church in Odessa. They rent nice rooms to travelers, when they are not occupied by visitors of the church.40 Euro(double).
Odessa Apartments, ☎ +38-077-08-55-01(firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. As mentioned numerously before, renting an apartment for a short stay is a great cost alternative to Hotels. The apartments vary in size and cost and come as simple as one room with a bed to luxurious pads with Jacuzzis, private terraces and even Saunas on the high end.35 - 250 USD(double).
Odessa Apartments in Apart-Hotel Paradis, ☎ +38-098-21-55-623(Paradis@odessa-visit.com), . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Contemporary furnished apartments in Odessa with all modern amenities,air-conditioning,high-speed internet, fully stocked kitchens and Jacuzzi tubs45 - 110 USD(double).
- Odessa Holidays, Travel and Tourism 
- Odessa Hotel Reservations Hotels Around Ukraine 
- If you are going to the Crimea it is a 12 hour overnight train ride costing somewhere around 10 USD (2 persons sleeper 25 USD, very nice!) . If you buy your ticket on the day you are leaving (not recommended) there is one group of cashier windows where you buy your ticket in the train station. If you buy your ticket on any other day (i.e. at least one day in advance) there is a completely separate group of cashier windows where the ticket must be purchased. As the lines can take longer than 90 minutes make sure you are in the right one. Nobody in the train station will speak any international language other than Russian. In Simferopol you can take a trolleybus to Yalta via Alushta. The beaches on Crimea in summer are awfully crowded and the beach resorts are very noisy. Its better to go to East Crimea on the Sea of Azov.
- For those, who want to go to Chisinau, the only way is the bus (one daily). Price in September 08 was 50hry. Because of the troubles at Moldova, the buses do not go through Transnistria. In case of this the trip takes about 6hrs.
This page was last edited at 15:21, on 13 March 2009 by Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel. Based on work by Peter Fitzgerald, Boris Rozenberg, David and kristina, Wikitravel user(s) Vidimian, Hotelein.com, Morph and Episteme, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.