Odessa is mostly known as a beach town. Not necessarily because the beaches are great (I wasn’t all that impressed) but that is mostly what people seem to be focused on when in town. Beyond the beach there are a few other things to see and do. But really only a few.
The main port and waterfront area in town is pretty enough, though it is most definitely a mix of tourist activities and active port. Given the city’s history and relation with the sea there are a couple museums, monuments and churches in the area. Pretty enough, but mostly not my cup of tea.
The area is perhaps most famous for the Potemkin Stairs leading between the port area and up to the top of the hill where the commercial area is. It is not entirely clear to me what makes the stairs famous or special. We climbed them a few times and they were fine for the buskers to have somewhere to work, I suppose, but they didn’t really seem special to me.
I did enjoy a couple of our brief strolls through the city, admiring the architecture and the parks which are plentiful. And walking through the main commercial area at the tip of the town at night can be quite entertaining as everyone is out dressed up for dinner and enjoying the night.
But overall the city was a bit bland to me. Enough to keep us busy once we worked in other excursions like visiting the catacombs or heading to the beach (sortof). But when it comes time to compare the various towns of Ukraine which we visited on this trip I’m moving Odessa down the list. Both because the others were so great and because Odessa really was just average in many ways.
Read more from this Trip Report under the Ukraine2012 tag here.
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The reason the steps are special is because one of the most famous sequences in the history of cinema took place on them. To wit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLEE2UL_N7Q
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