So many people say”Don’t go to South Ukraine, it could be dangerous!” – Nonsense. For me it was one of the most peaceful places in Europe. No tourist crowds and everything is affordable and cheap 🙂
Ukraine gets more and more popular as a vacation destinations. Locals in Odessa told us that since two years tourist business is exploding. Because people don’t visit the Crimea island anymore and therefore come to Odessa to spend their holiday. The number of people in Odessa during summer jumped from around 1 million up to 7 or 8 million. That is crazy!
Therefore they began to introduce free walking tours & tourist information booths. When we visited, free walking tours only happened once a week in the morning. It was a Wednesday at 10pm. Lovely women, who told us lots about Odessa, the history and showed us secret spots in the town. In the city center, you’ll feel like exploring an old European town. The place is unexpectedly beautiful.
We stayed in an hostel called “Grand Babushka Hostel”. The older lady, who was operating the hostel, was the nicest person I have ever met. She called us “Her children”. haha We felt absolutely save. Even though she couldn’t really speak English, she tried to explain it to us in Russian, but talking back and forth with all our hands we could communicate quite well 🙂
During night time, I would not recommend to stroll around in the streets, since it could be a bit dangerous. As soon as locals her you talking in another language, they just stare at you. Just be super careful, watch you bags and don’t stay out too late 🙂
My absolute HIGHLIGHT of Odessa were the Catacombs. It is like a labyrinth network of tunnels underneath the city of Odessa and further out in Ukraine. It is about 2 ,500 kilometers of tunnels, carved into the limestone. Just for imagination thats like from Odessa to Paris, which is 2,138 kilometers. During war, people were hiding in these catacombs, no daylight and about 11 degrees. After the war, it became a popular place for smugglers and criminals, who hid in these tunnels. I found it incredibly interesting and highly recommend everyone to do a tour through the catacombs. We asked in our hostel and the lovely lady booked our private tour guide. It was a little sketchy. And to be honest, I was scared, because we were only three people, who participated in this tour. The guide picked us up and we took the public bus to get out of the city. We jumped off on a random side street and walked to a field. No official entrance, no toilets, nothing. Behind the bushes was a hidden entrance to the Catacombs. The guide gave us a flashlight and a jacket and we started our 2 hour tour. SO COOL and interesting. SO definitely check it out if you visit beautiful Odessa.
A local gave us a restaurant recommendation “Buffet-Dining” in the city center and we absolutely loved it. Its a buffet-style restaurant and you pay by weight. Lots of meals to choose from. Salad bar, many baked goods to choose from, soups, fish, meat, desserts, snacks, etc. … Highly recommend to check out this place 🙂
PLACES TO SEE