Odessa – the come-back of a cultural hot-spot

Odessa was once the cultural and intellectual centre of Ukraine, and the majority of the city’s most amazing buildings come from the pre-Soviet period.

Odessa is a special place in the South of Ukraine, where thanks to a combination of more than 100 nationalities, a one and only language, the Odessa cuisine and a unique Odessa humour were formed. The inhabitants of the city affectionately call Odessa “mother”, her guests – “a pearl by the sea”.

The Department of Culture and Tourism of Odessa City Council is at ITB Asia promoting the extraordinary cultural aspects of this city. The Council takes a direct part in the organization and undertaking of different mass-cultural events, making major efforts to increase the attractiveness of Odessa, through promoting the city as a tourist and business capital of Ukraine both on national and international levels.

The architecture of Odessa appears to have more of a Mediterranean or French influence, giving it a unique look and style.

The most spectacular buildings cluster around the Deribasovskaya pedestrian street and Potemkin Steps. Highlights include the Opera house – the second biggest opera in the world after La Scala in Milan – and the Potemkin Steps. Opened in 1841, these 192 steps are the peculiar entrance to the city, the best recognised symbol of Odessa. The steps were designed to give an optical illusion – when one looks down from the top, the stairs can’t be seen but when one looks from the bottom, all one sees is stairs.

In 2016, a programme was launched by the local tourism authority to increase the international tourist flow by 2020, as the city had previously primarily catered to domestic tourism. Odessa is rapidly integrating into the global tourism industry, with the city offering all the prerequisites for the development of domestic and foreign tourism: geographic location, a favourable climate, the largest seaport of Ukraine, resort and recreation complexes, social and cultural infrastructure


Photo: Potemkin Steps