From catacombs to sunny beaches, Odessa holds an array of environments that appeal to any type of explorer. It is a city that balances the quaint with the extraordinary.
The port city of Odessa sits along the southern coast of Ukraine on the shores of the Black Sea. Founded by Russian empress Catherine the Great, the relatively new city contains modern history of its establishment dating back to the 14th century.
However, the settlement that existed in its stead in ancient times led to Odessa’s great diversity, influenced by the cultures of the Greeks, Tatars, and Turks. Steeped in such varying cultures, Odessa developed a unique aura that you can still feel today as you wander its countless, winding streets.
Deribasovskaya Street exudes a carnival vibe, brimming with shops and restaurants that bring a colorful energy to the city. Its cobblestone paths, now only open to pedestrians, pulls you into the city’s history and beckons you to find more treasures amidst its 19th century buildings and markets.
The iconic steps of the Potemkin Stairs, renowned from cinematic history, appear to stretch up into the horizon. But in reality, they lead to the port’s entrance where an unparalleled view of the Black Sea’s gulf greets the adventurer hungry for more than local cuisine.
Speaking of eating, a visit to Odessa is not complete without sampling the city’s fresh sea food fare. Dishes like bichki (bull fish) and Black Sea mussels in white wine, cream, and herbs entice you with their delectable aromas and mouthwatering flavors.