About Odessa

Nestled on the coast of the Black in the south of Ukraine lies the bustling port of Odessa. Famous throughout the Russian Empire and subsequently the Soviet Union, Odessa is being rediscovered by the rest of the world and for good reason. Catherine the Great founded the city more than 200 years ago and the locals have been building a proud tradition ever since. The centre of the city boasts many monuments to the city’s glorious past and the beautiful architecture provides a constant reminder of the city’s greatness. When you get to Odessa please ask a resident about the Opera House and you will get a sense of the pride the people here take in their wonderful city.

History and architecture are not all Odessa has to offer; with nearly 300 hundred days of sunshine and its multitude of beaches Odessans know how to relax and enjoy themselves. Plus, they are usually more than willing to help out foreigners looking for some fun. The nightlife in Odessa is quite extraordinary, just outside the city centre Arkadia teems with restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that wouldn’t seem out of place in locales such as Ibiza. There are plenty of hotspots in the centre where you can find something to eat or drink. Derebaskoya is particularly well suited to sit and people-watch at one of the numerous cafes lining the street.

Odessans have a well-deserved reputation for their sense of humour and will have no problem sharing a joke with you. April Fool’s Day is a civic holiday which attracts thousands of visitors from the surrounding villages and is celebrated with such enthusiasm foreigners will hardly believe it. Festivals and celebrations are a nearly constant in the city and it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find something to do or see while spending time in Odessa. The summer is punctuated by Independence Day, Constitution Day, Children’s Day, and the Day of Odessa celebrations. While January’s cold is warmed by New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Old New Year’s, and Orthodox Christmas festivities. Basically, there is a good chance someone somewhere will be celebrating something and they would probably enjoy sharing the experience with you.

Good to Know

Russian is the first language in Odessa; while most residents understand Ukrainian, at home and in the street Russian is spoken.

Prices in Odessa are generally lower than in North America or Western Europe for example: bread $0.25, chicken breast $1.50, beer $0.50, wine $3.00
Going out to eat in Odessa is also usually less expensive; a nice meal in an above average restaurant will cost between $10-15 depending on your choice of beverage while eating in a canteen will cost significantly less.

Getting around Odessa is generally quite easy and inexpensive. Public buses and trams cost $0.15, Marshrutkas (mini-buses) are $0.25, and most taxi rides should cost less than $20.

The weather in Odessa is one of its main selling points. Throughout the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union Odessa was known as an ideal place for a summer holiday with the temperature rising above 30?C while the winters are generally mild with the temperature rarely dropping below freezing.

Odessa has many cultural events throughout the year from ballet to basketball, check our Cultural News Page to find out what’s happening while your here.

Getting Here

Odessa is one of Ukraine’s largest cities and has a variety of transport links. Odessa International Airport has direct flights from many Central European cities and can be connected from most major European centres. Odessa also has a very beautiful and more importantly well-connected train station which links Odessa to many Ukrainian and other international destinations. Odessa’s bus terminal also travels domestically as well as internationally. Another option you may consider is flying into Kiev on one of the budget airlines and come to Odessa either by train or bus (5-8 hours, around 15 euros). As Ukraine’s largest port Odessa has many ships coming into and out of port which may be suitable for you.

www.uz.gov.ua – trains schedule around Ukraine and abroad (in Russian and Ukrainian).
www.bus.com.ua – buses schedule around Ukraine (in Russian).
www.autolux.ua – buses from/to Odessa from/to Kiev and Kiev airport (in Russian, Ukrainian and English).

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