One of the largest and most picturesque parks in Odesa, Shevchenko Park was opened at the end of the 19th century. Back then, it was known as Alexander Park, named after the Russian Emperor Alexander the Second. In 1875, he visited Odesa and even planted an oak to commemorate the park's opening. Many Ukrainian and Russian writers like Mykola Hogol, Anna Akhmatova, Anton Chekov and Fyodor Dostoyevsky liked to stroll in this park to seek for inspiration.
Today, the park attracts locals in autumn thanks to the beautiful golden foliage and numerous piles of leaves. Some of the alleys in Shevchenko Park lead to the Lanzheron beach. The well-known track Path of Health starts here as well. The nature-filled track goes along the seaside all the way to Arcadia.
To talk about beaches, summer isn’t the only time to visit the numerous beaches of Odesa. In fact, it’s even better – starting from mid-September, even the most popular beaches like Lanzheron are mostly empty, providing a chance for a quiet and serene relaxation near the water.
For those who’d like to explore something new, there’s a clean and wide Russian Beach that lies between the Path of Health and Frantsuz'ky boulevard (French Boulevard). Despite being wild, the beach is easy to find — take a long stroll down the French boulevard and right behind the Santorini cafe you will find the large, deserted paradise.
One Wall House
One Wall House, also called the Flat House is a sight that often puzzles tourists and even some locals. Visiting this location at 4, Vorontsovsky Alley is perhaps one of the most memorable things to do in Odesa. If you look at the façade, you will see an ordinary Odesa style with iron-coated balconies, chic ledges and fancy wall finishes. However, if you step just a few steps frontwards, the view will be entirely different: as if the house doesn't have a side wall and its width doesn't exceed one meter.
The One Wall House was constructed during the Russian Empire reign. The lack of money during construction inspired the unusual solution: bring two sidewalls together in order to avoid paying for back wall construction. That's why the building has a triangular shape and the impressive “one-wall” look, which attracts a lot of tourists.
Teshchyn Bridge, which literally means “Mother-in-law’s bridge”, isn’t mentioned in most tourist guides. The bridge itself is nothing special — it was built in 1968-69 as a late project to commemorate the anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution. In autumn, however, the bridge is wrapped in orange, golden and red tress and provides an unusual view on Odesa — one of the city’s harbors and a dockyard. The bridge connects Prymorsky and Zhvanetskyi boulevards, so it’s easily reachable from the city center.
House of Scientists
What is now called House of Scientists is, in fact, a mansion with many luxurious halls. The Russian classicism style building was constructed in 1831. It belonged to the count Michael Tolstoy, a well-known Odesa benefactor. A fun fact: the luxurious mansion was the first building in Odesa to have a telephone line.
The two-storey building has numerous halls to visit and marvel at the rich decor. At the moment, the Oak, Walnut and Silk living rooms are open for excursions. The second floor is occupied by a gorgeous White Hall, which still carries the vibe of the old Odesa elite. The Marble hall hosts one of the most expensive exhibits of the mansion: an old piano estimated to cost €500 000. The instrument is not only incredibly expensive but also carries historical value: the famous Hungarian composer Franz Liszt performed his works on it.
Duke de Richelieu Monument
The bronze statue of Duke de Richelieu located right near the famous Potemkin Stairs can be compared to Hatchiko statue in Japan with its popularity as a meeting point. It's also a nice observation point to look at the stable rows or ships docked in Odesa port.
Thanks to the efforts of Duke de Richelieu, Odesa was recognized as a European-level city ever since its early days. The abolishment of tax burden in the region led to the eventual trade success, especially as a trade port. Besides, Duke de Richelieu also played a huge role in the cultural side of the city - for instance, the idea to build the first Opera House in Ukraine belonged to him.
New Vasiuky Park
New Vasiuky Park is one of the unusual out-of-the-city locations to visit in autumn when the summer sun isn’t as harsh anymore. The park is located in 20 kilometers from Odesa in the Molodizhne village. It consists of several exhibits: authentic Ukrainian architecture, amusement rides, a small zoo, BBQ area, open fields perfect for picnics and an ostrich farm.
The latter is what often attracts local families: kids can get familiar with the several breeds of ostriches like African, Australian and South American that are present on the farm. Many visitors stock up on ostrich eggs, which weight up to 1,5 kg, at the local farmer’s shop.
Explore Odesa courtyards
It’s no secret that if you want to find the real spirit of Odesa, the city’s inner patios and courtyards are a must-visit. Even in the quietest areas, the city dwellers are already used to tourist groups and lone travelers that peek inside the patios.
There are numerous walking tours with English-speaking guides that can tell everything about authentic Odesa humor, attitude, traditions and cuisine. If you’re the one for solo travel, aim to the Grecheska street and square, Deribasivska street, Ekaterininska street, Lanzheronivska street, Palais Royal square, Literature museum, Pushkinska street, Philharmonic Hall, Italian yard and Arts yard.
Visit Odesa Opera House
Odesa Opera House is one of the most beautiful architectural landmarks of the city and the oldest opera in Ukraine. Apart from marveling at the building’s magnificence, visiting this Opera House has a practical purpose — hide from the rain that is often in Odesa in autumn.
Moreover, autumn is the start of the new theatrical season, which brings back classics and introduces new programs. Up to date, the repertoire has the timeless masterpieces like Carmen, Il Trovatore, Giselle, The Nutcracker, as well as contemporary performances — hits of the world cinematography soundtracks performed live.
Listen to the city jazz
In the recent years, Odesa surely became one of the prime jazz locations in Ukraine — not only it hosts numerous jazz festivals and concerts, but also is home to some of the country’s first specialized jazz cafes.
One of them is Perron No. 7 — the club located in the city center on Mala Arnautska Street. Visitors of this place will find a chamber concert hall placed in a full-functional recording studio, a restaurant with a chill-out lounge area and even a small hostel for six persons. The concerts are held in a room with a special architecture and sound absorbing walls that help to create the best jazz sound.
Another place to find jazz in Odesa is Central bar located in the very heart of the city not far from the famous Potemkin stairs. Locals love Central bar for the well-known Odessa cover band “Monkey juice” that often performs here.
Photo sources: VictoriaSh, Alexander Levitsky, A_Lesik / Shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.