Odessa or Odesa is the third largest city in Ukraine located in the south of the country, the administrative center of the Odessa region and the main naval base of the Ukrainian Navy. This city, standing on the shore of the Odessa Gulf of the Black Sea, is the largest commercial sea port of Ukraine.

The architecture of Odessa is represented mainly by buildings constructed in the styles of neoclassicism, modernism, postmodernism, constructivism in the 19th-20th centuries. The historical center of Odessa is listed in the preliminary UNESCO World Heritage List. Odessa is famous for its picturesque streets and yards. In the city there are a lot of monuments, including very unusual ones.

Odessa is one of the most important cultural centers of Ukraine. There are a lot of theaters and museums that have a long history. Many cultural figures were born and grew in this city: pianists Emil Gilels and Svyatoslav Richter, violinist David Oistrakh, singers Leonid Utesov and Valery Obodzinsky, composer Oskar Feltsman, actors, writers, artists.

5 reasons to visit Odessa

1. Odessa is a place of the sea and beaches. Certainly, the first thing that attracts tourists in Odessa is its fantastic beaches that are stretched for tens of kilometers along the Black sea side. Due to the Odessa Gulf, the high waves cannot almost be seen here, the shallow and sandy sea entry is perfect for the rest with children. The beaches in the city have fine amber colored sand and clean water. Absolutely all city beaches are equipped with showers, changing rooms, toilets and emergency services, and beach chairs and beach umbrellas are offered for the visitors’ comfortable rest. There are a huge variety of hotels, lodges, restaurants, snack bars, cafes, souvenir and beach shops along the city's beaches. The transport service is also carefully thought-out; you can easily take to any urban beach by public transport.

2. Discover unique yards. While visiting Odessa, you should obviously walk along its unique yards, which are located in the historical centre of the city and in Moldavanka district. As most of the houses in the city centre had been built before the revolution, almost all of Odessa's yards are two- or three-stored, closed and picturesque. Here you can plunge into the atmosphere of old Odessa, which it seems to be not affected by the time – Odessa yards in Moldavanka district have remained unchangeable since the mid-twentieth century. You can hear Odessa dialect and the smell of grilling fish from the open windows of shared apartments; in the yard you will see hanged out laundry, kids running around and men playing dominos.

3. Delicious food. Odessa cuisine is known throughout the world for its variety, spicery and lightness. An outstanding feature of Odessa cuisine is abundance of different kinds of fish from coastal zone and Black Sea mussels and rapa whelks. Delicious Odessa style fried goby, the tastiest collops made of fresh sprat, spurdog soup, grilles catfish, rice pilaf with mussels, stuffed fish – all these delicacies alone make it worth visiting Odessa.

4. Immerese in busy nightlife. This amazing city attracts many clubbers and party animals with its numerous night clubs, discos and bars. Most of Odessa's nightlife is located on coast under open air and is open during summer season only. The most popular summer clubs are BONO and IBIZA located in Arcadia beach. There are also many different night clubs working all year round 24 hours a day.

5. Try excellent shopping. Odessa is famous not only for its beautiful and clean beaches but also for its shopping. The wholesale market "7th kilometer" is the largest in Ukraine where people from all Ukraine and Moldova come to buy goods at lowest prices. One can find anything here – clothes, accessories and shoes ranging from luxury brands to cheaper Chinese stuff, leather and fur clothing at the most attractive prices, cosmetics, perfumes, household chemistry, everything for children, carpets, textile and much more. At a legendary market “Privoz” you can feel the authentic Odessa atmosphere. You can buy any kind of groceries here and its customary to negotiate the price and taste food. A visit to Privoz would be lots of fun and interesting experience even if you are not planning to buy anything.

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