The southern city is easily reachable from Kyiv and other major transportation points by all means of transport from planes and trains to buses and cars. By far the most popular way is taking a train. The fastest option is, of course, Intercity - a high-speed train with the ticket price that starts at UAH 450. Booking a seat in a compartment of a regular train will cost you from UAH 650. Ukrainian Railways has more than 10 trains that go to Odesa from Kyiv every day – all you need is to look carefully at the trip time, as it ranges from 7 to 13 depending on the number of stops. Tickets can be booked on Ukrainian Railways website and via mobile app.
Read: A New Entertainment Park in Odesa Opens This June
Buses like Ecolines, equipped with WC, sockets, air conditioner and free Wi-Fi is another option of a comfortable way to get to Odesa. The ticket price is about UAH 400 in one direction depending on the date. Buses depart from the Vydubychi bus station in Kyiv and arrive at Starosinna bus station or Pryvoz bus station in Odesa. The detailed schedule, as well as ticket booking, can be found on the Ecolines website.
The fastest way to get to Odesa is provided by Ukrainian airlines Motor-Sich and UIA — the short one hour flight is performed 4 times per day on average. The ticket price starts at UAH 1000. Odesa International Airport lies in mere 7 kilometers from the city, so it’s easily reached by public transport as well as taxi like Uber.
Finally, the optimal car route takes up to 450 kilometers on Kyiv-Odesa highway. The trip takes up 7 or 8 hours depending on the number of stops.
Like many major cities in Ukraine, Odesa has plenty of options on the popular apartment rental service Airbnb. Many hosts offer accommodation in the heart of the city, for instance, Primorsky Boulevard, starting USD 15 a day. Moreover, there’s an opportunity to rent a penthouse for a large company for USD 120-200 per day.
Read: Best Hotels in Odesa
Booking.com safely provides hotel options from luxurious five stars like Bristol located in the 19th century baroque-style building to none less astonishing 4-star Frapolli 21 hotel that lies 10 minutes away from the major sightseeing spots in the center of the city.
Another popular option is Kadorr Hotel on the Black Sea coast — a quiet getaway location for those who want to enjoy deep relaxation in a spa, hot tubs and, of course, the sea. The rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi and A/C. The hotel’s restaurant offers delights of European and Japanese cuisine, as well as prime fresh seafood.
Sightseeing and Activities
A trip to Odesa isn’t full without a long stroll on Prymorsky Boulevard, full of 19th century-styled benches to rest on. The long pedestrian area leads to the most photographed landmark of the city - the statue of Duc de Richelieu, Odesa's first governor, located at the top of the Potemkin Stairs. The giant staircase of 192 steps is another frequently visited location due to the magnificent view on Odesa harbor. The Stairs is also a quick way to reach the City Port, which has many quiet corners to explore with a camera to capture the authentic Odesa spirit.
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Apart from the classic tourist spots, the Southern Gem has more intricate locations that open to those who seek. For instance, many tourists overlook Odesa Catacombs — an extensive underground network of 2.5 thousand kilometers. The tunnels were first used as quarries to extract the building stones and in the 18-19th centuries used for smuggling and slave trading and became largely known after their usage as a shelter for partisans and an antinuclear bunker during the WWII. Nowadays many companies offer tours with an English-speaking guide to explore the winding tunnels. By far the most popular options are located in Nerubais'ke and Velyka Balka villages.
Another highlight of Odesa is an abundance of murals that have popped up on the city streets throughout the recent years. One of the most visited, The Horse, located on Frantsuz'ky Bulvar was internationally acclaimed as one of the best world murals of 2018. American artist Ernesto Maranje captured the vibe of the green area and the sea in his colorful work. Destinations offers a detailed guide on Odesa murals.
Read: Best Wedding Locations in Odesa
Quest rooms is a popular leisure option in Odesa — various companies offer “get out” games that range from kid-friendly stories based on fairytales like Hobbit, where the whole family can enjoy magical vibe of Shire and Middle-earth, to thriller scenarios like Stephen King’s 1408, perfect for those who like to crack the codes and play detective. A selection of the most popular quest rooms in Odesa can be found here.
Finally, the Black Sea is a great spot not only for sunbathing but also for water sports. Chernomorsky Park, for instance, offers to try wakeboarding - a water sport, which is essentially a combination of surfing and waterskiing. Riding the small rectangular board keeps all muscles toned and exposure to sun promises a nice tan. Wakeboarding schools with professional coaches for adults and kids, as well as a clean beach with fluffy sand to enjoy beach volleyball are all easily reachable from Odesa city center.
Events in Odesa
The long June holidays coincide with some major festivals and music concerts near the Black Sea:
One of the biggest summer festivals of electronic music, the 6th Ostrov Festival will take place on the territory of the former rock-climbing park near Frantsuz'ky Boulevard. The line up features more than twenty stars and headliners of underground festivals that will light up the stage with the greatest techno live. The ticket price is UAH 1300.
When: June 29 – July 1
Where: Frantsuz'ky Boulevard
Read: Odesa Underground Theater
One more chance to enjoy live electronic music, this time brought all the way from Kyiv to the hot sand of Agharti Beach near the Odesa downtown. Jugendhub club residents led by Sasha Zlykh will present the underground vibes of the capital. The ticket price starts at UAH 200.
When: June 30 – July 1
Where: Agharti Beach
Bike and Cars Rock’N’Roll Festival
Finally, those who appreciate retro cars will enjoy the festival in the center of Odesa that brings back the 1950s vibes, a motorcycle show and handmade fair all set to the sounds of lively rock’n’roll music. The entrance is free.
When: June 30, 9 A.M. – 7 P.M.
Where: Derybasivksa Street – Hrets'ka Square
Read: Rock Bars in Odessa
Photo sources: Alexey Lesik, Inspired By Maps / shutterstock.com, unsplash.com, dumskaya.net. All images belong to their rightful authors.
Ideas for June 2018 Long Weekend in Odesa
In 2018 Ukraine celebrates the Constitution Day on Thursday and according to the government decision dwellers enjoy four consecutive days off — June 28, 29, 30 and July 1. The long weekend is a perfect occasion to get away from the city bustle and enjoy quality time with friends or family near the Black Sea. Luckily, Odesa has plenty of events and secret sightseeing spots to explore this summer.