Take a trip to the Black Sea coast and Ukraine's fourth largest city, Odessa, located in the south of the country. On private guided tours you will be treated to beauty, charm and intrigue as well as culture, history and art.
It was in the late 18th-century that Odessa was founded as a naval fortress for Russia. It was a free port for years in the mid 19th-century and as a result, it became a multinational city with many nationalities making this city their home.
There is much history attached to the city of Odessa which anyone can learn through guided tours of places such as the Museums, galleries, Palaces, monuments, churches or cathedrals found here.
There is also the coastal facilities that can be enjoyed as Odessa is a popular tourist attraction for beach holidays and relaxation. There are a number of beaches to choose from and the majority have boulevards, entertainment, cafes, restaurants and not forgetting water sports activities and tours. Read More...
Enter the City on a Guided Tour Which Leads You Up the Potemkin Stairs
One of the best-known landmarks of Odessa is the Potemkin Stairs. On a guided tour or city tour, you are sure to be brought up these steps which are regarded to be the city’s formal entrance.
Some trivial information relating to Odessa is that it is Ukraine's Official Capital of Humor and the place that holds the annual Humor Festival!
The local restaurants have to be sampled as they are known for good food, large quantities and great prices. There is an Odessa Food Tour which is a tasty experience and one not recommended to be missed.
Top 10 Things to Do in Odessa
The Potemkin Stairs
The Potemkin Stairs / Steps are regarded to be the formal entrance to Odessa. They are a giant stairway from the sea front and lead up to the city. These stairs were built during the 19th century and are one of the most well-known symbols of the city. The stairs are 150 yards long and even though from the bottom it looks like the steps are continuous, thankfully, there are landings after every 20 steps. Great to see on a city tour.
Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre
The other well-known symbol of the city is the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater which is the Odessa’s oldest theatre. The architecture of this building is spectacular to see on a guided tour. There is an obvious mix of wealth and art. The architectural styles used are Vienna Baroque, Italian Renaissance, rococo and classical baroque. The details and features are amazing and wonderful to see. Try to see a performance when in Odessa!
The Catacombs of Odessa
No guided tour of the city of Odessa would be the same without a visit to the Odessa Catacombs. There is a huge tunnel network located underneath the city which is known as the Catacombs. The history you learn when on tour, will amaze you as these tunnels were used as a refuge during World War II by Soviet partisans and then, later on, they were very popular with smugglers. Make sure to visit the small museum here.
Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa
Transfiguration Cathedral - The Savior, is Odessa’s largest Orthodox Church. The architecture of this building is very beautiful and the details found in the facade all add to it. When you are on a private guided tour, you can see the wonderfully preserved relics of a Nicholas of Myra ancient image and copies of ancient icons along with many other things. You will also learn a wealth of history attached to this cathedral.
Odessa Archaeological Museum
Among the oldest in all of Ukraine, the Odessa Archaeological museum is a must see guided tour. It was established in 1825 and these days it has over 160,000 exhibits. There are relics of ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, archaeological relics of classical culture and primitive. Also here is the best antique sculptures and a valuable coins and medals collection. There is so much to see, be sure to have a few hours to spare.
Pryvoz Market is one of two largest and most famous markets found in Southern Ukraine and you can visit it on a sightseeing tour of Odessa. Primarily it is the largest food/farmer’s market in the City and was established in 1827, but there are vendors with stalls selling everything from cheap to luxury items. Be ready to haggle as it is a must when you shop in any open market and the prices given are based on the fact you will haggle.
Museum of Smuggling
One of the strangest and most unusual places to take a guided tour of is the Museum of Smuggling. Not surprisingly to learn it is the only smuggling museum in the world that exhibits different method on how to smuggle, would you believe the economics of smuggling and so much more. There is plenty on the most famous smugglers who use the catacombs. It is very interesting and most definitely different museum experience.
Odessa City Garden
Located in the town centre of Odessa is The Odessa City Garden. This wonderful piece o f greenery with the city is a delight to stroll through at any time of the day whether with a sightseeing tour or by yourself. A man named Felix de Ribas founded this City Garden back in 1803 and it is recognized to be the oldest park in Odessa. It is immaculately kept and extra beautiful in Spring with flowers blossoming.
Odessa Fine Arts Museum
It is believed that the Odessa Fine Arts Museum is the owner of the most interesting and one of the richest collections or Artwork in Ukraine. The museum is located in the centre of Odessa and even the building is beautiful. A guided tour is advised as they will make sure you get to see the rarest and best artwork on your tour. The artwork found in this museum is regarded to the most diverse and significant in the Country.
Walking Tours of Monuments in Odessa
There are many stunning and fascinating monuments found in the city of Odessa within walking distance of each other. There is the statue of the Duc de Richelieu who was first governor of Odessa, the Monument of Orange with a statue of Emperor Paul I inside which symbolizes the saving of the city and your tour guide will go into more details as it is fascinating. Also, there is the very beautiful Love Heart of Odessa and so much more.
Travel Tips for Odessa
Best Time To Visit Odessa
The best time to visit Odessa for sightseeing tours is during the months of March to May or September to November. There are fewer crowds and weather conditions are more comfortable for tours that involve a lot of walking. For a beach holiday, the best times are June to August when temperatures are high but be aware that there are going to be more crowds during these months as most European schools are off.
Typical Costs in Odessa
Odessa is slightly more expensive than others cities in Ukraine such as Kharkiv or Lviv but it is still very cheap for a tourist when compared with other destinations in Europe. The prices vary from season to season but expect the most expensive time to be during June to August. A meal for two at night can cost on average US$28 but this includes wine and a dessert and a lunch can cost as little as US$5.
Know Before Visiting Odessa
The top travel tip for Odessa is to have lots of suncream with you when visiting the coastal beaches during the summer months. When going in sightseeing tours bring bottled water with you especially on hot days. Be careful of pickpockets as they are always waiting for the opportune moment to rob you when there are crowds. At night it is not recommended to was alone especially in dark streets,
Weather in Odessa
June, July, August up to late September are the nicest months with sun and good average temperatures. The hottest month is July when temperatures average 28 degrees Celsius. The coldest month of the year in Odessa is generally January with temperatures of zero degrees Celsius. July is the wettest month even though it is also the hottest month, so suncream and umbrella needed. October is the driest.