Odessa Travel Guide: Things to Do, See and Eat traveling in Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa Travel Guide

Odessa Travel Guide
Photo by reksik004 on Pixabay // CC0


When a brutal summer heatwave hits, most Ukrainians dream about visiting to Odessa. It boasts some of the Black Sea’s finest beaches, with many sporting white grains of sand.

However, Odessa has numerous cultural attractions that are worth seeing.

From tunnels that sprawl like spiderwebs, to one of Europe’s most elegant opera houses, there’s plenty to see and do.

Come check out our Odessa travel guide as we cover the best things to do on Odessa, Ukraine.

Top Attractions

Begin your visit to Odessa by visiting the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. This attraction, which boasts Neo-Baroque architecture, is its most beloved cultural institution. Throughout the year, it plays host to numerous operas and ballet productions. For instance, a dance interpretation of Sleeping Beauty was one of its most recent shows.

Lucky enough to attend a show during your visit to Odessa? You will be astonished at the incredible acoustics this hall has. Even when performers speak in low voices, they can be heard perfectly from any corner of the building.

When people think of catacombs, destinations like Paris and Rome come to mind. According to visitors, though, the underground passages beneath Odessa rival them both. Learn more about these mysterious tunnels by dropping by the Secrets of Underground Odessa Museum.

Over the centuries, its constructors carved an endlessly complicated network of tunnels beneath the city. By the time workers hauled out the last load of dirt, the Odessa catacombs stretched over 2,500 kilometres.

These subterranean passages served several purposes over the years. They hid treasure for a Ukrainian captain. They gave Soviet soldiers a place to hide during World War II. And, they would have provided Odessa citizens shelter from fallout in the event of a nuclear attack.

Today, they are one of Odessa’s biggest tourist attractions. Tours are available in Ukrainian, Russian, and English.

Sample the alcohol Odessa is most famous for by paying the Shustov Cognac Winery Museum a visit. This institution details the process behind creating one of the most beloved Cognac brands. Start by checking out the stills used to create brandy and cognac more than a century ago. For decades, this complicated equipment concocted the potent nectar Ukrainians have come to know and love.

At the end of your tour, you will have an opportunity to sample some of Shustov’s finest blends. For this reason, be sure to book a tour through your hotel. No need arguing with friends about who gets to be the designated driver!

Whether you visit at Halloween, or during April, the Insomnia Haunted House will give you a good fright. A favourite among friends and dates in Odessa, this attraction places you in the middle of a horror movie.

This attraction’s showrunners offer experiences that range from survival to extreme. The latter setting only admits people over the age of 21 – do not select this option lightly! Insomnia also offers a Resident Evil escape room. If zombies are your thing, be sure to give it a try.

Other Attractions

Travelling in Ukraine as a family? During your visit to Odessa, drop by the Odessa Dolphinarium. As the name suggests, this facility’s dolphin shows are the prime attraction. However, it also features sea lions and over 218 other kinds of marine life.

This facility is open from 10 am to 7 pm – during that time, trainers put on several shows. If you miss one, stick around for the next, as it is an experience you won’t want to miss.

After a long day exploring the attractions of Odessa, you will need rest. When you need to relax, pay a visit to Odessa City Garden. For the most part, it is a typical city park. However, if you are visiting during the summer, you may be able to check out the Odessa Orchestra.

At the park’s centre, there is a pavilion. Inside, the city schedules musical performances, including those by the Odessa Orchestra, throughout the summer season. Otherwise, you can enjoy this park’s paths to get in some badly-needed exercise during your visit.

Are you looking for a place to blow off steam during your time in Odessa? Make a beeline for Deribasovskaya Street. People pack this pedestrian thoroughfare during evenings, weekends, and holidays, making it a great place to people-watch. With no shortage of bars, restaurants, and cafes, you’ll quickly find a place that’ll entertain you and your travel party.

Is the weather not cooperating? Or perhaps you need gifts before heading home to friends and family? In either situation, you’ll want to head to Odessa Passage. This downtown attraction is a hotel and shopping arcade, combined into one.

It draws favourable comparisons to Milan, also has a shopping arcade filled with luxurious independent retailers. Even if you visit to window shop, it is worth a side trip.

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