Partner Content: Odessa

In this pearl on the Black Sea coast, visitors can enjoy delicious food, rich history and a mix of different cultures. Odessa is a dynamic city, offering endless opportunities for shopping, relaxing on the beach, or exploring theatres and museums

Friday, 31 May 2019,
By Department of Culture and Tourism Odessa City Council
A stature overlooking Hotel Odessa in the distance
Photograph by Odessa

Odessa is a city that can be enjoyed all year round. Bursting with romantic acacia blossom in the spring; a paradise of fun during the hot summer; mellow moods and colourful markets in the golden autumn; and fabulous feasts to see visitors through the crisp winter. Simply put, Odessa is a welcoming destination at any time of year and always has something special and memorable in store with its festivals, lively nightspots, theatres, music clubs and boundless joy. As the Odessites say, ‘holidays are meant to last forever’.

Odessite cuisine is piquant and diverse, with its mixture of colours and flavours testament to its indigenous cultures and influences. Beautifully fragrant like Greek, spicy like Bulgarian, gourmet like French, and hearty like Italian, the dishes in Odessa are culinary masterpieces in miniature, delights of the table and the pride of each local family.

The very name of Odessa evokes the city’s special atmosphere, created by its location and unique mix of inhabitants. The city has welcomed numerous migrants over the years, from artists to artisans, merchants to mariners — mainly from Italy, France and other parts of Europe, but sooner or later, everyone feels at home. Today, people from more than 130 nationalities reside in Odessa. Every family, every garden, and every street can tell guests their secret history, whether sad or happy, long or short, but always intriguing.

Odessa is a city that was built according to a preconceived engineering plan. The Dutch military engineer and architect Franz de Volan set out a way of laying out cities within a rectangular grid of streets and with complex development of neighbourhoods with houses of equal size. But the architecture of Odessa is much more diverse, represented by various styles: empire, neo-baroque, neo-gothic, art nouveau, neoclassicism, constructivism, techno-architecture and postmodernism.

As well as an architectural gem, Odessa is the cradle of national cinema. Odessa resident J A Timchenko invented the world’s first film camera here in 1893 — a year before the Lumière brothers dreamt up thecinema camera. The world’s first motion pictures, Riding Horseman and Javelin Thrower, were presented to the public in Odessa in 1893. The first national film studio was established in the city in 1919. Its pavilions store the memory of many outstanding figures in the cinema — luminaries who began their ascent to fame there. In 2019, the Odessa film studio celebrates its centenary. The world-famous Odessa International Film Festival is held every year in the city. This project has become a landmark event not only for film industry professionals, but for all movie lovers. But it’s not just a cinematic city. It’s no wonder that artists, sculptors, writers and poets have always adored Odessa — it seems inspiration dwells in every nook and cranny of the city, from one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses, to diverse museums and galleries, peaceful gardens and amazing architecture. Guests can immerse themselves in one of the many musical, dance, literary and other cultural events hosted by the city.

The beach season in Odessa lasts from May to mid-September. At this time, the water temperature off the coast is a balmy 17-25C. The total length of the city’s beaches is almost 20 miles. All Odessa’s beaches are different (apart from the more manicured beaches in Odessa, there are a lot of nearby ‘wild’ beaches) and every traveller will find their favourite location. Among the coastal beaches of Odessa, the following stand out as being particularly stunning: Arcadia, Lanzheron, Otrada, Golden Coast, 13th Station of Big Fountain, Luzanovka, Dolphin, Seagull, Chernomorka and Prodmash.

After a day of cultural highlights, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to let their hair down and experience the city’s exciting nightlife. Numerous beach clubs (open from May to September) and indoor clubs (during the cold season) make Odessa a paradise for night owls. Arcadia is one the most iconic venues in Ukraine, unrivalled anywhere else when the summer comes. Many of the city’s nightclubs are popular not only among the citizens of Odessa, but also with visitors from all over the world, and they attract thousands of tourists throughout the summer. Elsewhere, Arcadia and the surrounding streets abound with numerous entertainment options and attractions.


Free excursions in Shevchenko Park every first Friday of the month, by pre-registration



• One Wall House visit
• Potemkin Stairs
• Cuisine
• Catacombs
• Odessa Opera & Ballet House
• Therapeutic mud from Kuyalnik Estuary


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