20 reasons to visit Odessa
Odessa is the most popular city of our country that everyone needs to visit at least once in his life, to feel its magical atmosphere, enjoy its incredible beauty and unforgettable flavor. Odessa will not leave you untouched; it leaves only the brightest and the most pleasant and memorable feelings in your heart for a whole life. It is not only a beautiful resort town on the South of Ukraine but also is the capital of humor and culture, the motherland of many talented people: musicians, singers, comedians, actors, artists, scientists and writers. All these facts provide an ever-increasing flow of tourists who come to Odessa from all corners of the globe.
Each guest has its own reasons to visit the Southern Palmyra at the Black sea, and it is worth to see this amazing city with your own eyes, breathe in the sea air and walk along its picturesque streets. It is worth to visit Odessa because of the following:
1. Odessa is a place of the sea and beaches
Certainly, the first thing that attracts tourists in Odessa is its fantastic beaches that are stretched for tens of kilometers along the Black sea side. Due to the Odessa Gulf, the high waves cannot almost be seen here, the shallow and sandy sea entry is perfect for the rest with children. The beaches in the city have fine amber colored sand and clean water. Absolutely all city beaches are equipped with showers, changing rooms, toilets and emergency services, and beach chairs and beach umbrellas are offered for the visitors’ comfortable rest. There are a huge variety of hotels, lodges, restaurants, snack bars, cafes, souvenir and beach shops along the city's beaches. The transport service is also carefully thought-out; you can easily take to any urban beach by public transport.
The beach season in Odessa lasts from May to September, but at other times it is always possible to walk along the beaches and promenades, admiring the amazingly beautiful sea views. They don’t call Odessa the "South Palmyra" for nothing - this city has a mild and warm climate, even in winter the climate here is much warmer than in other cities of Ukraine. According to the statistics, there are no less than 300 sunshine days per a year in Odessa, and that means that this city is simply created for rest and good mood. If you are tired and miss the sun after the long winter days come to Odessa, here your body and soul will feel warm.
2. Odessa is the biggest Black sea port
Initially, the history of the city began with the advent of the port, which was one of the biggest on the entire Black sea. The settlements had grown around the port that Catherine II later called Odessa city, it was the time when the official calendar of the city began. Odessa had "blossomed" due to its port, because it was the most important source of replenishment of the city budget. Today Odessa still remains the largest port city, it is annually taking tens of thousands of merchant and passenger ships from around the world. This port is often attended by the huge oceanic cruise liners, in order to show their passengers the beauty of this European city.
3. Odessa is a beautiful place
Everyone who has ever visited Odessa notes that this is an amazingly beautiful city, which is surrounded by greenery and flowers and its narrow and picturesque streets are remembered for the whole life. The beauty of Odessa was sung in many songs, poems and prose; it inspired a large number of creative people and artists for their immortal works of art. This city magically combines the historic charm and the modern infrastructure, ancient buildings and houses with modern restaurants, galleries and boutiques.
Odessa is especially beautiful in late spring; when numerous chestnuts, acacia and lilac are blooming throughout the city. There are good reasons why Leonid Utesov sang about Odessa: "The Black sea opened to me a flowering acacias city", because the city has been just planted with these trees and their flowering beauty and fragrance can be compared with the cherry blossoms in Japan.
4. Odessa and its inhabitants
The heart and soul of Odessa, without a doubt, are the inhabitants of this Southern city that have a particular mentality, a great sense of humor, kindness and hospitality, so that is why all the guests of the city usually remain in admiration of the indigenous inhabitants, who have absorbed its atmosphere. Odessa is very rich in talents, a huge variety of prominent people were born and grew up here; a poet Anna Akhmatova, a writer I. Babel, a poet S. Kirsanov, comedians O. Filimonov, G. Deliev, Boris Barsky, a satirical writer M. Zhvanetskiy, an intellectual and TV presenter Boris Burda, an actor R. Kartsev, a writer I. Ilf, a singer L. Utesov and many others.
In this city lived and worked such outstanding people of culture and art as A. S. Pushkin, N. V. Gogol, a composer P. I. Tchaikovsky, L. Ukrainka, I. A. Bunin, A. P. Chekhov, F. Chaliapin, a composer Franz Liszt, a painter N. Ayvazovsky. They all were delighted with Odessa and sang it in their immortal works.
5. Odessa is a special sense of humor
Everyone knows that Odessa is the capital of humor, and not only in Ukraine but throughout Europe. The speech of Odessa’s indigenous inhabitants is permeated with a special humor, which is gladly remembered by visitors and dismantled for quotes in order to joke at home. Odessa’s humor originates from noisy shared apartments and the famous market "Privoz", where you can hear the real "pearl" of folk art. These popular "works" are collected for performances by many well known comedians, such as Michail Zhvanetski, Roman Kartsev, Oleg Filimonov and many others.
Every year on April, 1 an international festival of humor «The Funny Yumorina» is organized in Odessa; it attracts thousands of tourists from all over Europe. During «Yumorina» you can see funny performances, pantomime, jokes, dancing and street performers in the center of the city. Odessa citizens and guests wear funny accessories, masks, wigs and make-up that turn the entire downtown into a solid comic action.
6. Odessa flavor
All guests of the city certainly point out that Odessa has its own unique culture and flavor, which is manifested in all spheres of life. This is due to the multinational character of the city and the cheerful disposition of local residents. Only in Odessa it is typically to answer a question with a question, for example, a typical answer in Odessa is: "Hanged if I know?" means "I don't know."
Odessa flavor is so interesting and unforgettable that lots of movies were made about it, books are written and even legends are put up. If you want to feel it fully, you should go to the most famous market "Privoz" to the fish stall or the old shopping stalls, and be ready to listen, see and remember.
7. Odessa and its unique yards
While visiting Odessa, you should obviously walk along its unique yards, which are located in the historical centre of the city and in Moldavanka district. As most of the houses in the city centre had been built before the revolution, almost all of Odessa's yards are two- or three-stored, closed and picturesque. Here you can plunge into the atmosphere of old Odessa, which it seems to be not affected by the time – Odessa yards in Moldavanka district have remained unchangeable since the mid-twentieth century. You can hear Odessa dialect and the smell of grilling fish from the open windows of shared apartments; in the yard you will see hanged out laundry, kids running around and men playing dominos.
8. Odessa is the cultural capital of Ukraine
This city effects not only with its beauty and flavor, but also with the abundance of cultural objects, the number of which can compete with many European capitals. There are many theatres, galleries, museums; a variety of exhibitions and shows are usually held here. The most famous is Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre, which makes the top five most beautiful theaters in the world, and its drama group successfully tours across the world. In the Odessa Philharmonic Hall, you'll be able to listen to concerts by the Odessa Philharmonic orchestra and guest musicians and in the Odessa Art Gallery you can see the greatest works of the world art.
9. Odessa is a city of romance and love
Young Palmyra is a perfect place for romantic meetings and walks, thus attracting thousands of couples who want to spend an unforgettable time in romantic atmosphere. Odessa «is permeated» with romance and love, there are many attractions for lovers, and the ability to make a promenade along the beautiful Arcadia or Lanzheron waterfronts. Everyone who wants can walk through the Mother-in-law’s bridge to the sculpture of "The heart in Love" and hang a lock on it with their names as a symbol of their strong and everlasting love.
In this city there are many restaurants and cafes which are perfect for romantic evenings, where the atmosphere and unobtrusive service will contribute to romance; and fine food and drinks will make your evening unforgettable.
10. Odessa it is a fascinating story
The history of this amazing city is very exciting; you will not be enough even weeks to visit all excursions and museums and get acquainted with it. Odessa is a multi-faceted city, so there are excursions for every taste: historical sites, places of military glory, gastro excursions, Shustov and Chabot Museums, "Criminal Odessa" excursion, the Catacombs and others. There are many museums in Odessa, the most popular ones are Archaeological and Maritime museums, brought together under one roof tens of thousands of interesting exhibits, which were found during excavations of ancient settlements or were raised from the bosom of the sea.
11. Odessa is delicious
Odessa cuisine is known throughout the world for its variety, spicery and lightness. An outstanding feature of Odessa cuisine is abundance of different kinds of fish from coastal zone and Black Sea mussels and rapa whelks. Delicious Odessa style fried goby, the tastiest collops made of fresh sprat, spurdog soup, grilles catfish, rice pilaf with mussels, stuffed fish – all these delicacies alone make it worth visiting Odessa.
12. Odessa means happy children
Odessa has to offer much interesting and enjoyable time for children of any age as there are numerous amusement parks and gaming centers, thousands of playgrounds, cafes with delicious milkshakes and ice cream. Odessa Luna Park in Shevchenko Park is popular for its fairground attractions and Ferris wheel which is highest in Europe. Sea beaches, so much loved by children, have all the necessary infrastructure for having a good time such as showers, toilets, locker rooms, playgrounds, Life Saving Service, first-aid post cafes and shops.
13. Odessa is affordable
One of doubtless advantage of visiting Odessa would be its affordability. One can always experience most of the fun for a less cost in here. While hotels and restaurants in a resort part could be somewhat pricey, there are numerous guesthouses and hostels that anyone can afford. The entrance to the most of the city beaches is free, you pay only for renting lounge chair and beach umbrella. Prices for excursions, and entrance tickets to theaters, museums and galleries are quite low which allows you to have a great time in Odessa without spending a fortune.
14. Odessa means a lifetime experience
Everyone who has ever visited Odessa would say that this city would impress for life. Odessa charms at a first glance, it is absolutely impossible to not fall in love with this "southern beauty" that will make you want to come back over and over again to discover its new faces.
15. Odessa means a busy nightlife
This amazing city attracts many clubbers and party animals with its numerous night clubs, discos and bars. Most of Odessa's nightlife is located on coast under open air and is open during summer season only. The most popular summer clubs are ITAKA and IBIZA located in Arcadia beach. There are also many different night clubs working all year round 24 hours a day, such as Ministerium that often hosts VIP parties. For those who want to hangout without spending heaps of money we would recommend such night clubs as "Ё", "Captain Morgan" or Praetoria.
16. Odessa means an excellent shopping
Odessa is famous not only for its beautiful and clean beaches but also for its shopping. The wholesale market "7th kilometer" is the largest in Ukraine where people from all Ukraine and Moldova come to buy goods at lowest prices. One can find anything here – clothes, accessories and shoes ranging from luxury brands to cheaper Chinese stuff, leather and fur clothing at the most attractive prices, cosmetics, perfumes, household chemistry, everything for children, carpets, textile and much more.
In a legendary market “Privoz” you can feel the authentic Odessa atmosphere. You can buy any kind of groceries here and its customary to negotiate the price and taste food. A visit to Privoz would be lots of fun and interesting experience even if you are not planning to buy anything
17. Odessa means picturesque parks
Odessa is a very green city with numerous large and smaller parks that make the air clean and fresh and the city itself simply drowns in exuberance of vegetation. The most beautiful and popular among them is “Shevchenko” Park where Odessa Observatory and the stadium "Chernomorets" are located very close to “Langeron” beach and the dolphinarium "Nemo".
Park Pobedy and 411 Batareya Memorial are huge parks with cozy paths, lakes, bridges, playgrounds and benches. Those are not less picturesque parks that offer perfect pastime for those who are tired of urbanistic landscapes and willing to enjoy the beauty of nature.
18. Odessa means all year round international festivals
As a very popular city, Odessa hosts many international festivals that gather famous personalities of art and culture. The number of tourists increases significantly during festivals such as International Film Festival, the Video Art Festival VIDEODESSA, the Odessa Contemporary Art Festival Freierfest, the Festival of Self-cognition and Music AVATAR YOGA FESTIVAL, the Odessa International Dance Festival, the Literature Festival Meridian Odessa, the Musical Festival Koktebel Jazz Fest, the festival of Vyshyvanka and many others. All festivals are free to participate.
19. Odessa is unique
A vacation in this southern city would differ significantly from any other Ukrainian city as just here you will experience the most interesting, exciting and unusual things. Anyone will find an entertainment to their taste here by visiting the most unusual sightseeing, excursions and quests. You can visit Europe's largest underground labyrinths (Catacombs), sail at the Black Sea on a yacht, visit international festivals and much more. Odessa will never let anyone get bored!!!
20. Odessa means prestige
A vacation in Odessa is considered very popular and prestigious. Different celebrities and gilded youth from around the world visit Odessa regularly. Odessa is called Ukrainian Riviera for a reason. Those who prefer high level vacations can find many luxury hotels and shops, premium restaurants, casinos, closed nightclubs with swanky parties, VIP beaches and recreation areas. VIP clients can enjoy personal excursions, luxury yachts and cars rent mansions and villas with staff. Everything is well thought-out in Odessa for a very luxurious and prestigious vacation.
As you can see there are more than enough reasons to visit Odessa. Anyone can find amusement to their taste and budget so du not hesitate to visit "pearl by the sea" to enjoy all its beauty!