Odessa Vacations

As a former hub of art, culture and trade for the Russian Empire, Odessa was once a city that liked to flaunt its stuff, with the sort of extravagant architecture and tree-lined promenades that a city of its stature deserved. The fall of the Soviet Union and the financial troubles that followed left more than a few dents on this port city, but ... Read more
Odessa still has an elegant charm that makes it a great place to wander around for a few days. This is now a place where old and new each have their place; old men play Dominoes in dusty streets yelling loudly in Russian, while elsewhere the local youth saunter into modern boutiques in buildings with fresh pastel coats. Begin your acclimatization by taking a stroll down some of the main boulevards -- Deribasovskaya is a great place to start. Later catch a (cheap!) show at the red-velvet-adorned Opera House, one of the finest of its kind in the world, and then dine on some of the region’s delicious beef and wine. If you have some time, grab a towel and head to the city’s popular beaches, although it’s worth doing research beforehand as some are clothing-optional.
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Odessa reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    Nightlife Lovers
  • 8.4
    Foodies
  • 8.4
    Backpackers
  • 8.3
    History Buffs
  • 8.3
    Art & Design Lovers

Member Reviews(65)

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Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Odessa's position on the Black Sea has defined its role as commercial port, a fun-loving seaside resort, and an exotic escape for the former Russian Empire, former-USSR, and now Ukraine. The broad tree-lined avenues and architectural mix of Baroque, Art Nouveau, and other styles lend the city a foreign-feel. Odessites are different from the rest of Ukrainians. Most identify with their city first, before country. Although it feels older, Odessa's history only goes back some 200 years. In its past, opportunity and relaxed laws attracted a diverse mix of ethnic groups and religions. Today, the city is majority Russian-speaking. There are a few good museums, monuments, and beaches around town, but the real draw of Odessa is simply strolling the broad avenues, sitting in the parks, feeling the sea breezes; enjoying the essence of the city and its people.

Recommended for:Art & Design LoversBackpackersNightlife Lovers
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Byron, Georgia

Odessa was great i had an excellent time there. All the food i ate there was amazing. The streets were dirty and messed up then thats not what i was used to ,plus this was my first real experience out of the country. The cab service is excellent they are there in flash. I was taken back when i went to swim in the black sea, when i had to pay to go to the beach. I had to literally pay for everything towel ,chair and to swim. Then again i was used to something else . Over an all i had a really good time there and the clubs are amazing..

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Pittsford (town), New York

This is an unexpected jewel on the Black Sea. The city has a very Parisian flair. It is easy to walk around after conquering the Potemkin Steps (Primorsky Stairs). The weather was unseasonably cold during our visit - cold air from Siberia but it was still worth being there and we would like to come back to visit longer.

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Layton, Utah

I loved Odessa. It is a quaint city is very walkable and includes a lot of interesting things to see and do. The cobblestone streets are lit up in the evening, giving the city a festive atmosphere any time of the year. I was there in September and it felt like Christmas. The nice thing about Odessa is they speak Russian there -- not Ukrainian, so it was way easier for me to communicate.

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San Francisco

I both hate and love Odessa. On one hand, it IS the touted gem of the of the old imperial Russian empire. The black sea is breathtaking, especially in Fall with the golden/brown leaves falling all around the forests that surround the beaches. On the other hand, you will probably get pickpocketed, robbed, or otherwise fear for your safety/get yelled at for doing nothing. This is because Odessa is mostly run and operated by the cartels and gangs, with enough influence to actually extort money from most small bars, restaurants and buildings (our hostel was under Mafia protection). People will not help you here, in my experience, and good luck trying to find out how to get out of Odessa without spending hundreds of dollars on a flight. We eventually had to escape through Moldova and Romania, which was...interesting. Regardless, I'm not ever going to forget Odessa because I had some crazy/scary/uncomfortable/fun times there, just be warned and get really drunk, it helps a lot.

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Tasty city

Recommended for:FoodiesGreen TravelersAdventure TravelersArt & Design Lovers
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Wwooow

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Visit this place and u'll like it..!!!

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San Diego, California

Architecture and culture. A most unique place.

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Local from Odessa, Ukraine

City, where my life)

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