Odessa is the fourth largest city in the country of Ukraine with just about a million people populating it. It was found in the 18th century as a Russian naval fortress just along the coast of the Black Sea. It used to be a free port in the 19th century and became a multinational populace. However, in 1905, Odessa became the site of a major Russian Revolution which was an uprising by the crew members of a battleship. The city is filled with some amazing beaches and very good opera houses. The views from around the city are mesmerizing and beautiful with some really good spots for hanging out.
When To Go:
Summers in Odessa mean that there is high rainfall in the region, which makes it difficult to get out into the city and walk around to see all the lovely sites. Temperature is normal and pleasant with a maximum of 25 degrees Celsius in the city. The winters can get quite cold in the city as well as the country considering the fact that it is right next to a sea. The winds are really chilly so if you plan to go in this season take some highly warm and thick clothing. The fall months of September till November are good times to visit the city which have very low chances of rainfall and the weather is pleasant too. The spring months of March till May are also another good time period to visit the city with cool winds blowing from the sea and the temperature not rising more than 15 degrees Celsius. This season also allows people to admire nature in Odessa. So the best time to go to Odessa would be during the seasons of spring and autumn which allow people to enjoy the surroundings thoroughly.
These are the top things to do in the city of Odessa:
Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre
It opened in 1810 and during its construction it was the first building to have its own meaning and population being the first Opera House in Ukraine. In 1873 it was completely burnt down due to fire and then the country invited Viennese architects to draft a new design for the building. The Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre then took about 15 years to be rebuilt and it was inaugurated on the 1st of October in 1887. In 1925 another fire caused on the stage damaged the auditorium.
The acoustics of the Opera House are extraordinary to an extent that even a single whisper can be heard across the auditorium. The auditorium is itself built in Rococo style with the domes, arches, columns, gilding, candles and the amazing colors of the ceilings and walls in sync with each other. This place is not only interesting for its architecture but also for the historically rich biography it holds. The theatre is one of the most credited places for development of music in Ukraine and Russia. Head out to this beautiful building and be amazed by the lovely architecture.
Get in touch with the true culture of Ukraine while walking along the Deribasovskaya Street. Lined up with musicians playing as groups or just solos, this street is amazingly magnificent to experience. The small bars and cafes serve traditional Ukrainian food along with many other cuisines as well. This street has become a symbol in the city of Odessa and has become an avenue from a street where the locals and tourists like to walk around sightsee. The street is specifically for walking and all other kind of traffic is blocked.
The Deribasovskaya Street is an important historical part of the city which holds many buildings with architecture from the 19th century. The Odessa’s City Garden right next to the street makes it a boulevard great for walking along and the small eating places liven it up. The street has been named after the first governor whose memorial is set up right at the beginning of the street. On the street is a building known as the Passage, which was built in Baroque style in 1856. This building is filled with sculptures and statues from history. Walking down this street you will realize its historical and cultural importance to the city.
Secrets of Underground Odessa
The history that Odessa holds is known to most people in the world. However, exploring it while travelling through the tunnels, catacombs and dungeons built right underneath the city is something that is interesting for everyone visiting the country. This museum with special tour guides takes you through the underground tunnels explaining the history in such a way that you will enjoy it extremely.
The oldest tunnels are known to date back till the 17th century and were created as extensions of the natural cavities by smugglers and dealers of the city. These tunnels are the largest underground passages in the world which go up to almost 3000 kilometers. There are special gang rooms made within these catacombs which have wooden furniture and some carpets and rugs hanging from the cave walls. The Secrets of Underground Odessa is a public organization set up to attract more people to the city and educate people more about the history of the country. Take a tour of these dark tunnels and be amazed.
The Odessa City Garden stretches along the three major streets of the city including the Deribasovskaya Street. It was the first ever city garden made and it began when the brother of the first governor de Ribas started planting trees right next to his house. In some time it became a fully blooming place with filled with natural beauty. In 1806 the City Garden was officially presented to the city. There was a brass band right within this garden where the more sophisticated classes of people liked to rest.
The City Garden has a lovely fountain, many flowerbeds which are always blooming with colorful flowers and a bronze statue of the Tree of Love. This tree statue has 210 petals which are in the form of hearts. You will find one word, love, in 65 different languages written on this tree. There is also a theatre dedicated to the legendary aviator Utochkin and also a monument in his memory. A restaurant almost next to the cinema is a place where you can relax and sit while eating food or drinking some refreshments. This park is filled with history and some amazing nature, so don’t forget to walk here.
The Primorsky Boulevard is more like an open museum with exhibits around the avenue which you can admire while walking through the boulevard. Primorsky (Seaside) Boulevard is an exciting place where you can interact with the past of the city and watch real art. This boulevard starts from the old stock exchange building which is renowned to be one of the most beautiful sights in the city. It ends at the Vorontsov Palace which depicts wonderful architecture of the country. This picturesque place right on the seaside is said to have been built in the beginning of the early 19th century.
During its construction traces of Greek settlements from the 6th and 5thcenturies BC are said to have been found. These have been covered by glass domes so people can look at the history of these ancient settlements. The Primorsky Boulevard has gone through a few changes with time as some buildings have been restored and rebuilt. None the less the positive surroundings of the boulevard attract many people to walk around. At nighttime the place is alive with people walking around and lighting which illuminates the lovely avenue. Visit this place and be charmed.
Odessa Dolphinarium Nemo
This park is one of the most interesting sites to visit because it hosts a dolphin show along with a seal show. Located near the sea this water park hosts some splendid shows which attract people from all around the world. The guides around are super friendly and allow you to take pictures with the seals and dolphins. The seating area is very clean and the whole show is managed very properly.
The Odessa Dolphinarium Nemo was opened in 2005 and was built according to international standards. The facilities present at this place include special education about the dolphin, presentations for both kids and adults, environmental education for visitors, rescue and rehabilitation of the dolphins within the area and most of all a comfortable place for spending a holiday. This place is a must visit if you are with your kids or even by yourself because the dolphin and seal shows are amazing to watch and worth it all. So go ahead and get seated!
Odessa Film Studio
The Odessa Film Studio is one of the oldest Soviet film studios and was founded in 1907 and got its current name in 1938. During the World War I it was evacuated and work in it began in 1954. The studio is still a major film producing site in Ukraine and even in Europe. The logo used for the studio is a copper ship which has been a renowned trademark across the USSR.
Going to the Odessa Film Studio you will learn about the rise and fall of the film making in the Soviet and Ukraine with some interesting facts in history too. The studio has lists and posters of all the movies produced by it and all the actors that worked for it. Get a tour of the museum and ask your guide to show you some of the very famous films of the house. The studio has been put in order to display the legendary part of the cinema in Ukraine. Visit this historical place and learn about the film making in Ukraine.
Monument to L. Utesov
Odessa is a city that has seen many turbulent times throughout history and is known for being affected by the World Wars that began in the world. During these harsh political and social times a musician stepped into the limelight to bring some peace and calm within the society. This musician was Leonid Utesov. People listened to his music to seek escape from the times they went through and he is considered to be a musical savior of the city of Odessa.
He was recognized as the ‘people’s artist’ which was an honor given to him in 1965. His statue stands in the famous City Garden right next to the Deribasovskaya Street surrounded by peace and quiet, overlooking the gardens and people. This monument was made in 2000 in his loving memory. While taking a stroll in the garden, take a look at this statue of a legendary musician.
Odessa Regional Philharmonic Society
The society that majorly conducts concerts within Odessa is the Odessa Regional Philharmonic Society which aims to keep the traditions and culture of Ukrainian music alive. The society first came into being when its first sources arrived in 1842. Partnership of the society was created but it could not work actively until 1848 when a concert was held. After this a regular philharmonic activity began across Odessa by the society.
The collective work of the Odessa Regional Philharmonic Societyincludes not only the tours of local performers but also anniversaries, performance reports, holding international music festivals and other concert programs. The building is lovely to see with the special Baroque architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th century. Try to get a ticket to one of the concerts held which would be absolutely enthralling to watch and once in a lifetime experience. These concerts are renowned all over the world and are so memorable to watch and listen that you will indeed cherish it. Learn about music and the philharmonic society when you visit this place.
The Odessa Port
The Odessa Port is one of the loveliest sites in the city. Your trip will be incomplete if you do not visit this side of the city. The port has always been an important hub for trade activities in history and also in the present. While taking a walk along the port you will see many ships standing in the harbor and the sight is beautiful with the blue water and the ships.
You will also find many eating places around the port with some excellent seafood especially. From the Odessa Port you can find many cruises which will take you from one point to another. The port is also an excellent point from where you can take some very panoramic pictures of the sea and the surroundings of the city. This place is perfect if you want to sit down and watch the view of the ships cruising by while enjoying some traditional Ukrainian food by the seaside. Take a walk to this place and feel relaxed after spending your day here and do watch the sunset, it is bound to be amazing.
The Potemkin Steps are a legendary place in history which is a reminder of a battle fought between the army of the Czar and the mutinous sailors in 1905. During its construction the sea approached the cliff at the base of which a port was beginning to be built. People used to go to the sea by this really steep path until the prince of Ukraine ordered steps to build on this site as a birthday present for his wife.
Due to the expansion of the port only 192 steps of many more remain and these have the name of the Potemkin Steps. The way the stairs are built is very amusing. From the top the stairs seem to be of equal width but in reality the base is twice as wide as the top. People prefer to walk on the stairs because even though they are large in number they are easy to climb and much more interesting than the funicular that is built around the steps. These stairs are considered to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. The view from these steps is also spectacular, so make it a place to visit on top your list.
The city of Odessa is a remarkably amazing city filled with culture, history and traditions. The sites and views consist of many romantic places where one can sit alone or with a loved one to enjoy their holiday. The wonderful places in the city are a major attraction. The ballet and opera theatre being the most viewed site in the country. The city holds so much history that you have to unravel it and such is the case with the underground tunnels located beneath the city.
The Primorsky Boulevard with its brilliant life in the day and its lively nightlife is another place where you shouldn’t forget to roam about. The Deribasovskaya Street is filled with different things from food to shops to historic monuments exhibited along the street. For some peaceful time head out to the City Garden and relax within the serenity it has to offer. Look at the monument of Leonid Utesov. Wander around this amazing city and catch the breathtaking views from the Potemkin Steps and the Odessa Port. Make it an exclusive holiday.