Top 10 Tourist Destinations from Odesa

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Girl watching hot air balloons in Turkey

The rise of low-cost airlines in Ukraine caused a full-blown tourists boom. Naturally, companies like Ryanair and WizzAir are only in the process of full emerging in Ukraine. That’s why we suggest taking a look at the established most popular tourist destinations available from Odesa.

Tel Aviv

 
 
 
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Публикация от Israel (@stateofisrael)


Given Odesa's large Jewish community, it's not surprising that the second most populous city in Israel belongs to the most popular tourist destinations. The tiny, 52-kilometer square city is packed with numerous historical and cultural landmarks. Take, for instance, Beit Hatfutsot - this multimedia museum tells a story of the worldwide Jewish community.

Tel Aviv's Old Jaffa is the authentic area with Ottoman-era St. Peter’s Church, the famous city flea market, numerous small shops, art galleries, and hip bars. The later casts light on Israel's dining scene: local restaurants and street food stalls offer delicious shawarma, dishes with creamy hummus, falafel, and the iconic pita.

The city's cluster area with multiple 1930s buildings is a perfect location for a walking tour: start with the Bauhaus Center dedicated to the architectural style, visit the 1925 Bialik House and Bialik Square named after the famous Israeli poet Chaim Nahman Bialik, pop to the Rubin Museum and finally finish the tour in the Great Tel Aviv Synagogue. The sacred building was erected in the 1920s and has beautiful stained glass.

Numerous airlines offer flights from Odesa to Tel Aviv. To name but a few, Ukrainian International Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Polish LOT offer non-stop and connecting flights at the price starting at USD 280 for a round trip.

Prague

 
 
 
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Публикация от Prague • Praha (@topprague.photo)


The capital of the Czech Republic is frequently visited by Ukrainians from all over the country, including Odesa. The Czech city boasts access to water with the Vltava River that divides Prague into two banks. The city's architectural style might seem gloomy to some, yet altogether it gives a rich Gothic European vibe.

The heart of the city is Old Town Square full of colorful buildings and Gothic churches. Its main landmark, the 600-year old Astronomical Clock always gathers tourists for a show. Another prominent city landmark is the St. Vitus Cathedral which is not only a sacred spot but also a work of art. Its stained glass windows are made by the famous art-nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha.

The Charles bridge is one more spot in Prague that often ends up on the viral travel Instagram accounts: the best time to come here is at the crack of dawn when the bridge is covered in mist and stays blissfully desolate. Local Czech cuisine restaurants serve classics like guláš, knedlíky dumplings, and sweet alačinky pancakes.

Flights to Prague from Odesa are operated by Czech Airlines and Austrian Airlines. The prices start at USD 200 for a round trip.

Riga

 
 
 
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Публикация от МАМА ❤ СЕМЬЯ ❤ ПУТЕШЕСТВИЯ (@olesia__bo)


Another city by the river and one more capital on the list, Riga attracts numerous tourists thanks to its vibrant architecture and lively vibe. Like many European cities, the capital of Latvia is divided into the 'New' and 'Old' Town. The latter boasts medieval wooden buildings and art nouveau design.

Riga's main landmarks are located conveniently enough for a one-day walking tour. Start with the 1330 Riga Castle that lies on the bank of the Daugava River, and advance further into the city center: to the medieval Riga Cathedral, the Gothic House of Blackheads, and the Orthodox Nativity Cathedral. The open-air Latvian ethnographic museum set in the vast forest familiarizes visitors with the country's crafts, customs, music and, of course, the food.

Like many countries in Eastern Europe, Latvian cuisine was influenced by its neighbors. Pop up to the biggest food market in Europe located in the former Zeppelin hangars for the bite of authentic pickles and sauerkraut, rasol potato salad, pelmeni and a glass of the famous Black Balsam - the vodka-based liquor with numerous herbs.

Riga can be reached from Odesa with Airbaltic and Ukrainian International Airlines. The round-trip ticket starts at USD 170.

Sofia

 
 
 
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Публикация от Юлия (@julia.sahno23)


The largest city of Bulgaria and the country's capital, Sofia was one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USSR. The city didn't lose its appeal and nowadays it offers well-developed infrastructure as well as numerous historical landmarks.

Sofia has a fusion of architectural styles and accents all due to its uneasy history of being ruled by the Romans, Greeks, Turks and the Soviets. Thus, the city's the 16th century Banya Bashi Mosque, the 20th century Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and the medieval Boayana Church create a diverse landmark map. The neighboring Vitosha Nature Park that hosts the Vitosha Mountain attracts many hikers from the Balkans. So does the traditional local cuisine: Shopska salad, baked Moussaka and the famous Bulgarian brandy Rakia.

You can travel to Sofia from Odesa with Bulgaria Air, Turkish Airlines and Austrian Airlines. The price for the ticket starts at USD 240 for a round trip.

Bucharest

 
 
 
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Публикация от Discover Bucharest [București] (@discoverbucharest)


One more capital on the list, Bucharest is the quickest getaway to Romania from Odesa. Much like Kyiv, Bucharest is famous for its prominent nightlife including city music festivals and raves. If you're not the one for parties, the Romanian capital has many historical and cultural spots that cast light on the country's history.

Quite literally, the most prominent landmark in Bucharest is the huge Palace of Parliament once built for the notorious dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. The palace has more than a thousand rooms, 12 floors and 8 underground levels. National Museum of Contemporary Art located right near shows a collection of modern Romanian artists and hosts eclectic exhibitions.

To dive into the more ancient history, visit Curtea Veche, the vast palace built in the 15th century during the reign of the Vlad III Dracula, or the baroque Kretzulescu Palace built at the beginning of the 20th century. Traditional Romanian dishes include mititei grilled rolls, stuffed bell peppers, fried chiftele meatballs. The country is also a notable wine producer of the region, so the local red and white are served in numerous restaurants.

Traveling to Bucharest from Odesa is possible thanks to the Romanian Tarom airlines and Austrian Airlines. The price for the round trip starts at USD 220.

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Dubai

 
 
 
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Публикация от Dubai (@dubai.uae.dxb)


One of the most famous emirates in UAE, Dubai is also a popular tourist destination from Odesa. Tourists usually go here during the winter to surf the waves and enjoy the city's warm heat. The most populous city in the UAE is believed to be established in the 11th century.

The old part of Dubai is almost completely lost due to the large fire that occurred here in the 19th century. However, there are examples of restored 1800s houses with wind towers in the Al Fahidi neighborhood. Nowadays, the emirate is well-known thanks to the futuristic 830-meter tall Burj Khalifa tower and the Burj Al Arab hotel that lies right next to the city's most popular beach.

Due to the extreme heat, most of the entertainment in Dubai takes place indoors: the city offers large malls with high fashion boutiques, top-notch clubs and restaurants. To get an idea about the local cuisine, try manousheh pizza, chelo kebab, and kousa mahshi - rice-stuffed zucchini.

To travel to Dubai from Odesa, seek flights with flydubai and Turkish Airlines. The price for the round trip starts at USD 160.

Thessaloniki

 
 
 
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Публикация от Melanie Steane (@melaniesteanephotography)


The Greek city Thessaloniki is among the new destinations now available for traveling from Ukraine. The iconic Greek port literally breathes with history: local landmarks point out the Byzantine, Ottoman and Roman influences. The tiny port is located on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, offering the fresh breeze and comfortable temperature around the year.

While much of the city was destroyed in a great fire a century ago, the most iconic landmarks stayed intact. To name but a few, the Ottoman White Tower, Roman Rotonda Temple and Hagios Demetrios church are among the must-visit spots.

Hagia Sophia of Thessaloniki is also worth visiting: the Orthodox church is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. The church was erected in the 8th century modeled after its counterpart in Istanbul. The local Greek cuisine is a great way to restore strength after the walking tours: Greek pies, roasted meat in pita called gyros or cheese-filled pasties mpougatsa are nourishing for any part of the day.

Thessaloniki can be reached from Odesa with Turkish Airlines and Ukrainian International Airlines. The round-trip ticket price starts at USD 300.

Antalya

 
 
 
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Публикация от Kuş Bakışı (@kus.bakisi)


The famous Turkish resort, Antalya, is often called the Turquoise Coast thanks to its crystal clear blue waters. While Odesa has a direct access to the Black Sea, its dwellers still enjoy going to Turkey for the best infrastructure at the decent price.

Apart from the numerous hotels with amusement and recreation zones peppered all over the coast, Antalya offers ancient landmarks for those who'd like to explore local history. Thus, Hadrian’s Gate built in 130 A.D and the 2nd-century Hidirlik Tower are among the city's most prominent landmarks. Local cuisine offers fresh seafood, meat dishes like kuzu tandır, and traditional yenge sandwiches with melted cheese, salami, and sausage.

Walking along the city coast in Antalya is a wonderful chance to explore local Islamic and Ottoman architecture: start with the Antalya museum full of Byzantine mosaics, marvel at the architecture of Yivliminare and Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Mosques and relax in the urban Karaalioglu Park that boasts a magnificent view on the sea.

Companies like Turkish Airlines, Ukrainian Airlines, Azur Air Ukraine and Windrose Airlines offer regular and charter flights to Antalya that start at USD 200.

Sharm El Sheikh

 
 
 
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Публикация от FS Resort Sharm El Sheikh (@fssharmelsheikh)


The famous Egyptian resort Sharm El Sheikh is a regular among the most popular tourist destinations from Ukraine. The clear waters, hot weather and crystal-clear beaches attract those seeking warmth in winter. Naturally, beach areas peppered with numerous hotels are often swarming with people. Sharm el-Maya with the Old City market and Naama Bay, known for its top-notch bars and restaurants, are the most fashionable areas here.

Ras Muhammad National Park and Mount Sanai natural reserve are the must-visit for those who'd like to explore the region's nature. Restaurants in Sharm El Sheikh mostly cater for the tourists' tastes, so international cuisines from Japanese to Italian are available everywhere in the city. For the more authentic vibe, try seafood, which is called samak here, gibna cheese and, of course, delicious baklava with honey and nuts in filo dough.

Flights to Sharm El Sheikh are the most popular in the Odesa International Airport. They are operated by Ukrainian International Airlines, Windrose, Azur Air Ukraine and Turkish Airlines. Currently, the price for the round-trip ticket starts at USD 500.

Ankara  

 
 
 
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Публикация от ANKARA (@ankara)


Last but not least, Turkish Ankara is the runner-up in the list of the most popular tourist destinations from Odesa. The capital of Turkey might be less visited compared to its fully-booked resorts but it also means the city is less cramped and not as swarming with tourists.

Ankara is Turkey's cultural capital: local orchestras, ballet, opera and theaters gather visitors from the whole region. History of the city is well-preserved and can be conveniently explored during a walking tour. The must-visits include the early medieval Ankara Castle that offers a panoramic vista of the city, the 13th-century Aslanhane Mosque, and the largest Ankara mosque Kocatepe.

Turkish cuisine is famous for its delights that are called lokum. The sugary delicacies have numerous flavors from the common pistachios and chopped dates to bergamot and rose. Opposed to the European coffee culture, Turkey has rich tea culture - it's easy to spot elders drinking hot tea at any time of the day at the city's markets. Many vendors treat their customers with tea as well.

Flights to Ankara from Odesa are operated by Pegasus Airlines, Ukrainian International Airlines and Turkish Airlines. The ticket for the round trip starts at USD 160.

The following list is the editor’s choice. All cities are mentioned in a random order. Cover photo: unsplash.com.

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