What can be said about Odessa except for nice words?! The town is charming, located in the north-west of the Black Sea and is the capital of Odessa district, one of the largest in Ukraine. It is an important commercial, tourist, industrial and cultural center and one of the biggest Russian ports. It was founded two centuries ago, and only a century after the founding, it became the third largest center of Russian Empire after St. Petersburg and Moscow. Empress Catherine the Great honored the city with the status of Porto Franco – meaning free port. During the communist period, Odessa was the most important trading spot in the USSR. It has a population of over one million inhabitants and nowadays it is increasingly visited by tourists from all over the world.
The city is easy to roam thanks to its wide generous boulevards, many of them on one way, which greatly facilitates the traffic flow. The streets are arranged like a chessboard, being parallel and perpendicular to each other. Avenues and streets are “guarded” on both sides by tall, thick trees that provide shade all day, giving a cool, fresh air all the time. So it is a pleasure to walk on the famous Primorsky, Richelievskaya, Panteleymonivskaya boulevards or Pedestrian Deribasovskaya. All are animated, with many restaurants of different culinary styles (Ukrainian, Georgian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.), very chic cafés, pubs and shops, ultramodern malls, such as Europe or Athena, historical monuments, museums, theaters where you can enjoy opera and ballet performances, the Vorontov Palace – a true architectural gem -, the City Hall, the statue of Pushkin standing with the back towards the building as in an act of defiance. You can see many other buildings with a wonderful architecture (for instance the Passage), the Variety Theater, the Russian Drama Theater, the railway station (beautiful both on the outside and on the inside) with a huge chandelier decorated with gold hanging under the dome that dominates the entire building, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Synagogue, the Mosque, and several renowned nightclubs: Ibiza, Europarty Club, YO Club, Vis-a-Vis etc.
An important attraction are the famous Potemkin Stairs that took their name after the famous Soviet silent film “Battleship Potemkin” where a group of civilians were massacred by tsarist troops. These steps seen above, give you an optical illusion that gives you the impression that only the first step of each group is visible, when they are actually 192 steps. You can either climb all the steps by foot, or take the funicular. The steps lead to the port, where encounter the passengers’ terminal, a modern naval station.
Here we the magnificent four stars Odessa Hotes is awaiting. Constructed on a strip of land that was imbedded into the sea, the Odessa Hotel is offering its guests a wonderful scenery consisting in the infinite horizon of the Black Sea. In front of the terminal, there is a futuristic bronze sculpture named “Golden Children”.
Odessa also has beautiful parks with ancient trees that are suitable for visits during any season; however, the fall offers an amazing scenery doe to the change of the leaves colors, which, beginning from late September, they turn from green to yellow, orange or rust and the autumn flowers are in bloom.
Odessa is known as the most popular seaside resort, and has two important beaches: Arkadia, with a wide and smooth entry into the sea, an amusement park, and the largest dolphinarium in Eastern Europe, called Nemo.
Odessa is delightful and has many beautiful and interesting places waiting for you to visit; afterwards, you will leave with great memories and beautiful pictures.
Photo source: Picture 1: turnul.blogspot.ro; Picture 2: commons.wikimedia.org; Picture 3: ua-travels.com; Picture 4: ua-travels.com; Picture 5:visittoukraine.com; Picture 6: nektony.com; Picture 7: visittoukraine.com