A Short Trip to Odessa, Ukraine

Odessa Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
The Steps of Potemkin
With my mom visiting us in Kyiv for 2 weeks and all of the theaters being closed, we decided to take a side trip to Odessa for a few days.  It's about 500 km from Kyiv, so not a bad drive at all.  The Odessa road is in surprisingly good condition, so it makes the drive not so bad at all.  Mostly, it is boring, as there is not much to see besides farms and bus stops.  Sunflowers were in peak bloom at this time of year, though, so we did see some beautiful fiedls filled with yellow.
We decided to go for 2 nights in the middle of the week.  This let us avoid any weekend crowds and also spend 3 days.
An Odessa Sunset
  We got a decently early start heading out and left midday on the way back.  We had arrangeed to rent an apartment in Odessa.  It was decent sized, with 2 bedrooms, a living room and a small kitchen.  The bathroom even included everything in one room, a very Western concept.  It had a nice location as well, with about a 10 minute walk to the Potemkin Steps and "boardwalk" area.  Renting an apartment was the way to go for Odessa.  We were able to negotiate the price by about half because we booked it the day before.  Owners would rather get half price for an apartment than have it sit empty because it hasn't been rented. And because we were there midweek that helped with getting the price down.  We paid $80 total for the 2 nights, so very affordable.  The owner was also very flexible with check in and check out times.
The Hotel Ukraine

On our first evening, we made the walk to the Steps and the Funicular and found a restaurant to get some dinner in.  My 2 year old doesn't especially like the concept of sitting still, so eating out with him is not always easy.  We found the restaurants in Odessa to be overall more accomodating to young children than the ones in Kyiv.  For dinner on our first night we found a very nice Mexican place.  Their food was great and rivalled a decent Mexican place in the States.  The service was even decent, which is saying something in this part of the world.  After dinner, we walked around a bit.  We thought about walking down the Potemkin Steps but decided to forgo that since we had the stroller with us.  And the thought of walking down all those steps with a toddler seemed a little too much.
Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая)
  So we opted to take the Funicular down the hill instead.  The Odessa Funicular is neat, but different than Kyiv's.  Kyiv is a one of a kind, where the two cars share a cable and a track.  Odessa's has a track for each car so they just go up and down.  It is all windows and has a nice view of the waterfront and the Hotel Ukraine across the street.  We crossed over to take pictures of the steps from the bottom and then walked over to the waterfront where the cruise ships dock and the hotel is located.  Dusk was coming on fast and we really wanted to see the sunset from the pier.  We made it in time to see a beautiful orange sunset.  We don't see many nice sunsets in Kyiv as the skyline is obscured by many skyscrapers.
The next day we had a full day for exploring and sightseeing and we must have walked 10 miles.
The top of the Odessa Funicular
  We found a little cafe with outdoor patio dining and went there for breakfast.  They served actual breakfast fare (i.e. eggs, waffles, etc) I think because Odessa is a touristy destination.  We don't find too many places in Kyiv that serve breakfast so it was a nice treat.  After breakfast we headed out to just walk around and see the sights and take pictures. The weather was beautiful, sunny and not too hot. We saw the Odessa Opera house and the local government building. We saw statues of Aleksander Pushkin and Catherine the Great and just enjoyed our surroundings.
On our final morning we found another breakfast spot and sat outside again. One of the things I love about this area is that in the warm months there is so much outside seating for restaurants.
Aleksander Pushkin (Алекса́ндр Пу́шкин)
This restaurant was also good, but not quite as good as the place the day before. Also, while we sat the enjoying our breakfast, a little gypsy girl about 7 years old came right up to our table and started begging from us! Quite brazen.
After breakfast we took a back way we had found earlier to get back to our apartment. It was a nice walk on an elevated pathway on the side of an embankment. At one point there was a foot bridge adorned with locks. The locks were all engraved or painted with names and dates. These "love locks" were all up and down the bridge and dated back for years. Very neat. We packed up and loaded the car when we got back and headed back to Kyiv!
missandrea81 says:
I know I already heard you talk about but this is a nice summary. Love the pictures!
Posted on: Dec 07, 2009
sylviandavid says:
Sounds like a lovely time.... You did a lot! It sounds like you showed your mother a nice time! Sylvia
Posted on: Dec 07, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The Steps of Potemkin
The Steps of Potemkin
An Odessa Sunset
An Odessa Sunset
The Hotel Ukraine
The Hotel Ukraine
Catherine the Great (Екатер…
Catherine the Great (Екатер…
The top of the Odessa Funicular
The top of the Odessa Funicular
Aleksander Pushkin (Алекса́…
Aleksander Pushkin (Алекса…
The Odessa Opera House
The Odessa Opera House
Pedestrian walkway along the water…
Pedestrian walkway along the wate…
The Duc de Richelieu, with the Hot…
The Duc de Richelieu, with the Ho…
The pedestrian bridge with the lo…
The pedestrian bridge with the "l…
Cruise ship docked in Odessa
Cruise ship docked in Odessa
the funny little man on the toilet…
the funny little man on the toile…
Sponsored Links
Odessa
photo by: Biedjee