A traveler who arrives to Odessa for the first time might be overwhelmed with the number of museums and art galleries in this southern Ukrainian city. Let «Destinations» point you in the direction of the finest museums and galleries to visit in Odessa as well as top exhibitions and events they have to offer.
Most of these vast permanent collections could be seen for a very modest fee, so you can explore Odessa’s museum marvels without spending too much cash.
Odessa Fine Arts Museum
Located in the former palace of Count Pototsky, this museum has an impressive collection of Russian and Ukrainian art, including a few seascapes by master talent Ayvazovsky and some Soviet realist paintings.
Address: 5A, Sofiyivska street, Odessa.
Opening hours: 11am-6pm Wed - Mon
Gold jewelry and coins from early Black Sea civilizations are joined by a few Egyptian mummies at this under-visited museum.
Address: 4, Lanzheronivska street, Odessa.
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm Tue - Sun
Museum of Western & Eastern Art
Read: Deribasovskaya Street in Odessa
Housed in a beautifully renovated (at least on the exterior of the building) mid-19th-century palace the museum's star used to be one of 12 known versions (most likely not the original one) of Caravaggio's «The Taking of Christ» brilliant painting. However, in July 2008 the canvas was cut from its frame in Ukraine's biggest art heist and was recovered by police only two years later. Lately, the Western collection was kept out of sight because of ongoing renovations, but its highlights have recently been returned to the exhibition halls. The Eastern Art section has displays of porcelain and other artwork, mostly from Japan, China, Tibet and India.
Address: 9, Pushkinska street, Odessa
Opening hours: 10.30 am-6 pm Thu - Tue
Odessa Jewish History Museum
Photo: Russiantowns Livejournal
Less than 2% of people call themselves Jewish in today's Odessa – against 44% in the early 1920s, however, the resilient and humorous Jewish spirit still permeates every aspect of local life. Hidden inside a typical rundown courtyard with clothes drying on ropes and a rusty carcass of a prehistoric cars, this modest exposition consists of items donated by Odessite families. Perhaps most touching is the photo of «Ruslan» steamship carrying the first Zionist settlers to Palestine in 1919, along with their immense hopes and terrible fears, both of which would soon materialize. English-language tours of the museum are available, but need to be arranged in advance.
Address: 66, Nizhynska street, Odessa
Opening hours: 11am-4.30 pm Mon - Thu
This is where Alexander Pushkin spent his first days in Odessa, after being exiled from Moscow by the tsar in 1823. Governor Vorontsov subsequently humiliated the writer with petty administrative jobs. An affair with Vorontsov's wife, a simultaneous affair with someone else's wife and more epigrams…. and in 13 months Pushkin was thrown out of Odessa too. Somehow, he still found time while in town to finish 'The Bakhchysaray Fountain' poem, write the first chapter of Eugene Onegin, and scribble the notes and letters that now can be viewed in this humble museum.
Address: 13, Pushkinska street, Odessa
Opening hours: 10am-5pm Mon - Fri
Read: Shakh Palace in Odessa
In case you are looking for a fix of culture but not sure where to start «Destinations» offers you five museums to visit straight away in order to learn more about beautiful city of Odessa.