The undiscovered beauty of Odessa

Sep 17, 12 The undiscovered beauty of Odessa

Situated on the coast of the Black Sea, the Ukrainian city of Odessa is an old but undiscovered cultural and touristic attraction that has is of an irresistible Bohemian delight for people of all ages and backgrounds. It is a mixture of European styles and the ones who have been lucky to see it call it a place of unspeakable beauty, where the old and the new mingle in a complex city with warm, pleasant weather, alluring streets, mesmerizing beaches and prominent cultural heritage.

Also called “The Pearl of the Black Sea”, Odessa has a legendary past. Few people know that the Duke of Richelieu, most often associated with French history, was the first mayor of this city and wanted its beauty to surpass even that of Paris. At present, the Ukrainian attraction has a certain French spirit, but also an uniqueness hard to put into words. The gems it welcomes tourists with are numerous and range from museums and operas to catacombs and, of course, beaches.

Deribasovskaya street  is a well established landmark and a great place where you can take a walk, submerge into the spirit of Odessa, shop for souvenirs and enjoy the marvelous buildings surrounding it. For a majestic view of the city, climb the Potemkin Stairs, the “escalier monstre” a giant symbol and magnificent piece of architecture that is magnificent in its simplicity.

 

While in Odessa, going to the Opera house is a must. Is has been called by many great minds the best opera in the world, and it was included in the list of most important sites in Eastern Europe. It was the first Ukrainian opera to be built and on its stage memorable performances were given by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Anna Pavlova. The acoustics is simply amazing, not to mention the breathtaking Baroque architectural style, and tickets are surprisingly affordable, starting from $20. As a renowned cultural destination, Odessa offers a great variety of museums, from literature, marine, picture galleries to cinemas and archeology.

For a complete experience, you have to walk through the Catacombs, which form, in fact, the largest underground network of this type. The dark, labyrinthine tunnels are shredded in mystery and make an extreme attraction for brave explorers. Be careful to go only in groups, though, because there is the risk of getting lost. There is no better way to get to know the locals than to the kaleidoscopic Odessian markets, where locals will welcome you with fresh-smelling fruits, vegetables and colorful bazaars. In local restaurants, taste the traditional “kompot” or “vareniki. For fun, visit the amusing House with One Wall, the Monument to an Orange and the Mother-in-Law Bridge.

 

Since Odessa is first and foremost a port, you can find beaches everywhere, even close to the city center (Lanzheron) and some have dolphinariums where you can have a great time with your family. Last, but not least, accommodation is easy to find in Odessa: small rooms available for rent from hospitable locals, motels, hostels and luxurious hotels. Whatever you like to see in a new town, Odessa has attractions even for the most pretentious tourists, so you are bound to live a unique and different experience.