"The Capital of Humor" Top 5 Page for this destination Odessa by hunterV

Odessa Travel Guide: 497 reviews and 1,260 photos

Famous City at the Black Sea Coast

In 1834 when the resort of Odessa was only beginning to develop I.Vitsman, a resort doctor, said,
"Located on the hills, washed by the Black Sea from the south and the west, surrounded by steppes from the north and the east, where nothing prevents free movement of air, Odessa disposes of one of the healthiest climates. Its air is dry, mild, clean, especially in summer. It is considerably richer in oxygen than ordinary air"...
Odessa resort district has long been known for its favorable climate and beautiful countryside.
Combination of the sea climate and the steppe climate, the warm sea, splendid beaches, a great number of sunny days, unique coastal salt lakes, abundance of fruit, vegetables and grapes - all this made Odessa a smithy of health, All-Union health resort in Soviet times.
Arcadia, Dolphin, Otrada ("Delight"), Chaika ("Seagull"), Zolotoy Bereg ("Golden Beach") - these famous beaches of Odessa made this resort very attractive on hot summer days. The total area of beaches in Odessa is over 200 hectares. The beaches can seat simultaneously up to 400,000 vacationers.
Washed by the waters of the Black Sea from three sides and located in the sunny south of Ukraine, Odessa is its largest sea port and an important industrial and cultural center.
The city stretches for more than 50 kilometers along the Black Sea coast. Administratively the city is divided into eight districts.
The city area is 240 sq.km and the population is over 1,200,000 inhabitants.
There are about 1,400 streets, alleys, lanes and boulevards with the total length of about 900 km in Odessa.
As a member of the World Federation of Twin Cities, Odessa has ten twin-cities, nine of them are sea ports such as: Varna (Bulgaria), Genoa (Italy), Marseilles (France), Liverpool (Great Britain), Yokagama (Japan), Alexandria (Egypt).
Contacts between the twinned cities, even when they are of a purely practical nature, help people better understand each other, awaken mutual interest and promote closer ties.
St.Nickolas, the patron saint of all sailors, is the patron saint of the city too. There is St.Nickolas Cathedral on the territory of the port.
Odessa is long famed as a resort area with a noted city park system. There are a lot of sanatoriums and more than 20 hotels in Odessa.
Odessa with its splendid Black Sea harbor is also known as Ukraine's southern window on Europe.
Ukrainian socioligists have declared recently that Odessa is the best Ukrainian city to live in according to all life criteria.
I have visited Odessa many times and stayed at "Passage" hotel and at "Magnolia" sanatorium.
The city is considered to be the capital of humor in Ukraine. They say humor crystallized like salt from the seawater in Odessa.
April Fool's Day is a great city holiday that is observed in Odessa like nowhere else in Ukraine. It is called Day of Laughter here. Every year the city mayor traditionally declares April 1 a day off in the city to enable all the city residents and city visitors to enjoy the festivities to the full...

Odessa – the Sea Pearl

My Memories of Odessa

I hear it was calculated that the literature about Odessa included more than 200,000 titles - a sea of information, isn't it? So why write more? But having visited that hospitable city more than once, I just couldn't help adding my own humble page to that sea of information on Odessa.
Although all my trips to Odessa (except one family holiday trip) were business trips (teachers' professional development seminars, students' English contests), I managed to see and to experience a lot in the city.

You can find more useful information in the website of Odessa (in Russian) which I like:
www.odessapassage.com
City Information Site
And some other web sites in English:
www.odessaguide.com
www.odessaglobe.com
www.2odessa.com

A Legend about the Origin of the City Name

The city was founded in 1794.
The first name for the new port and city was Khadji Bay.
On January 27, 1795, according to the Decree of the Empress, the city under construction got its name: Odessa.
There is an interesting story about the origin of the city name.
There were many discussions about founding a town in the waterless steppe at the seaside. According to the legend, it was Empress Catherine the Second who put an end to all the debates by simply saying, "Assez d'eau" (read: "assedo") which means "enough water".
But the empress was wrong. On the contrary, there was not enough water in the area. So one of the first town residents who was dying of thirst one day wanted to contradict the empress. He evidently had a good sense of humor and formed the negative of the empress' famous phrase by pronouncing it the other way round. And there was the word "Odessa". So thanks to a joke the city got its name.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A lot of sunshine, beaches, cafes and historical places, rich cultural life
  • Cons:Quality of the air is sometimes spoiled by the industrial enterprises
  • In a nutshell:A Splendid Place To Stay in Summer
  • Last visit to Odessa: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated Feb 24, 2013
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Reviews (73)

Comments (110)

  • arturowan's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2013 at 6:26 AM

    Very informative tips, & I see there are still aspects of 0dessa I've yet to discover...

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2013 at 1:23 AM

    Victor, I enjoyed your Odessa page. One of my ambitions is to travel the Black see and see the famous cities. We were in Istanbul during 2010 and I missed my chance.

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Hi Victor, your great Odessa tips bringing back great memories!

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Mar 31, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    Hello Victor, thank you for visiting my Cannes page. A nice place but somewhat pricy.
    I wonder what is the cost of staying at Odessa. There are certainly more things to see. Surprising that they had a Duke of Richelieu while the French had a Cardinal de Richelieu.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    Victor, very comprehensive page about this Ukrainian Hero City. In Belarus I have just visited Minsk and Brest which are both named Hero Cities as well. Interesting "Warning and Dangers" tip about the "Orders of the Patriotic War".

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Jan 26, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    Hi Victor, this is very good reading about a city I'd heard so much of it... and it certainly makes for a must visit when in UA :) Thanks for these great tips, I guess nightife must be good to try there :)

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Jan 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    always good for read,ta victor

  • Andraf's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Nice page Victor, full of good info. I've visited Odessa five years ago and came back with a nice impression of the city.

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jun 13, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Out telvision featured the city today and I wanted to go back to the "expert" to read more on the history and culture. Good job of pictures and comments

  • catoxford's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    interesting page! Thanks! i was born in Odessa but haven't been there for many years. i'm planning to stop there in August on my way to Kherson. 2 weeks holiday.

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