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If you would like to go on a short or day trip to Odessa in the Ukraine, we have put together a few facts and sights for Odessa.

Day trip in Odessa – sights and tips

Odessa is now the most important port city in Ukraine with around one million inhabitants and was laid out in 1794 on the instructions of Katarina the Great. It was supposed to serve as an efficient military port for the Black and Mediterranean region.

Today the pearl on the coast of the Black Sea is the starting point for many tourists, whether by airplane or cruise ship. The many hours of sunshine and sights in Odessa are perfect for spending a few days or a day trip in the city.

How to get to Odessa

The easiest way to get to Odessa is by flight. There are some direct connections from Europe, such as from Berlin. Odessa International Airport is just 8 kilometers outside the city and there are taxi and bus connections that will take you straight to the city center. You can find an overview of the flights at Skyscanner.

There are also regular bus connections from neighboring countries such as Poland, Romania and Moldova as well as Bulgaria that will bring you directly to Odessa. Taking the train would also be an alternative. However, there are no direct connections, but this is also possible with a change in Poland. You can find more information about destinations and prices at 12go.co.

Another option is the ferry, which you can take from Georgia, Turkey or Bulgaria. Since Odessa is right at the Black Sea, it is well-connected via the water.

Accommodations in Odessa – our hotel tip

The NEMO Hotel Resort & Spa is an ideal starting point to enjoy Odessa. It’s just a few minutes from the beach and you can also walk downtown to see the sights of Odessa. Swimming pools, restaurants, a great view and modern rooms with all amenities ensure a great stay.

You can find even more hotels in Odessa in different categories in this overview.

Odessa sights: Tours and tickets

1. Morskoy Vokzal, the port of Odessa

We start at the port, the Odessa sea station, as it is called in Russian and Ukrainian. It lies below the Potemkin Stairs and is one of the largest sea ports at the Black Sea coast. Here, also many cruise ships stop at Odessa.

Morskoy Vokzal, the port of Odessa in Ukraine
The port of Odessa

2. The Potemkin Stairs

From the port you can get to the Potemkin Stairs. It is the landmark and one of the most famous sights of Odessa. The flight of stairs with 192 steps (142 meters long) connects the port and the old town. The stairs look longer than they really are. Because it was built in perspective and is wider at the bottom than at the top, the ascent can seem very long to you.

The Potemkin Stairs in Odessa
The Potemkin Stairs

Incidentally, it was built at the beginning of the 18th century. It used to be known as the Richelieu or Boulevard Staircase, but was renamed in 1955 to mark the 50th anniversary of the mutiny on the Potemkin.

3. Monument to Duc de Richelieu

Above the Potemkin Stairs, the monument to the Duc de Richelieu adorns the beginning of the old town. It’s located on Primorsky Boulevard. The bronze statue created in 1828 commemorates the Duc de Richelieu.

Monument to Duc de Richelieu, Odessa, Ukraine
Monument to Duc de Richelieu

He played a major role in the creation and development of Odessa. The Duc de Richelieu was even a governor general and looked after the city’s prosperity, e.g. lowered the tax burden and helped boosting the industry.

A street sign in Odessa, Ukraine

The old town of Odessa in the Ukraine

4. Catherine II monument

A little further ahead in the direction of the old town is the monument to Catherine II, the founder of Odessa. Around the base there are other statues of her companions: Grigory Potemkin, Platon Zubov, José de Ribas and François Sainte de Wollant.

The Catherine II monument in Odessa
The Catherine II monument

5. Vorontsov Palace

If you stand walk to the right standing in front of the Duc de Richelieu monument, you will come to the Vorontsov Palace, which is also located along Primorsky Boulevard. The Vorontsov Palace and its colonnades were built between 1827 and 1830, on behalf of Prince Mikhail Vorontsov. Today, however, only the front part of the original building remains. With the exception of the weekend, it is open to visitors every day from 9.30 A.M. to 4.00 P.M.

The colonnades of the Vorontsov Palace in Odessa, Ukraine
The colonnades of the Vorontsov Palace

6. Odessa City Hall

If you now go back down Primorsky Boulevard and keep straight ahead, you will arrive at the Odessa City Hall. It was rebuilt into its present form between 1871 and 1873. Every half an hour the clock above the entrance portal plays the melody “Odessa my City”. A beautiful experience that is one of the top sights in Odessa.

Odessa City Hall
Odessa City Hall

7. The Opera House

The Opera House is about 5 minutes from the city hall by foot. The Opera House, built in neo-baroque style, opened in 1887. Static problems arose at the end of the last century and it closed as it started to slide. It was then renovated for more than 7 years and reopened in 2007.

The Opera House of Odessa, Ukraine
The Opera House of Odessa

8. City Garden (Deribasovskaya Park)

The City Garden, sometimes called Deribasovskaya Park, is the first park created in Odessa. It is located on Deribasovskaya Street, which is a pedestrian street. Right in the heart of Odessa, you will find many restaurants and shops here. There is a lot going on, especially on the weekend.

The Deribasovskaya Park
The monument to Utjossow in the Deribasovskaya Park

Restored in 2006/2007, you will find many opportunities to linger in the park. Beautifully laid out flower beds, fountains, benches, but also some monuments and statues of e.g. Utjossow, popular singer and actor born in Odessa, or The Twelve Chairs memorial for the satirical novel by two authors from Odessa.

9. Transfiguration Cathedral

The last stop on our Odessa day trip is the Transfiguration Cathedral. It stands diagonally across from the City Garden. The cathedral, built on the orders of Catherine the Great, was built at the beginning of the 19th century, then destroyed by Stalin in 1936 and rebuilt true to the original in 1999.

The Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa
The Transfiguration Cathedral

The new building was completed and inaugurated on July 21, 2010. The Episcopal Church belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and is now one of Odessa’s sights. A short stop after the City Garden is worthwhile if you are interested in the history of the city.

A very nice day trip in Odessa is coming to an end and we leave Odessa with many new impressions. This city is definitely worth a visit.

Plan your trip to Odessa now

More hotel recommendations for Odessa:

Have you ever been to Odessa? Do you have any more tips for sightseeing in Odessa? Write us a comment.

Photos: Photo 3 and header (Monument of the Duc de Richelieu): 515 street/shutterstock.com