Cruise Port Atlas | Odessa, Ukraine Day Trips | Attractions

Odessa, Ukraine Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Odessa: Voyages of Discovery, Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, MSC Cruises, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Potemkin Steps, Primorsky Boulevard, Odessa City Hall, Vorontsov Palace, Arkadia Beach, Dolphinarium, Chkalovski Beach, Lanzheron Beach, Odessa Cathedral, Uspensky Cathedral, Odessa Theater and Opera House, 7-Kilometers Bazaar, Deribasovskaya Street, Pushkin Museum, Literary Sculpture Garden

City Hall on Primorsky Boulevard

Primorsky Boulevard and the Potemkin Steps

Port to Primorsky Boulevard (top of Potemkin Steps) - 5 KM by taxi, 5 minutes, 0.25 KM walking, 5 minutes walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Exiting your ship into the cruise terminal, you will enter a tunnel leading to the famous Potemkin Steps where you can either take the funicular or walk the steps. At the top you will be at the northern end of Primorsky Boulevard which features historic homes and City Hall. This is the starting point for any walking tour of the city. Prince Vorontsov built a palace here and Pushkin is honored with a statue in front of City Hall. It is a favorite place to walk for Odessans as well as tourists. There is a beautiful Lion sculpture at the top of the steps.

Historic homes and a palace   Views of the steps and the sea   Trees and Sculptures  

Uneven surfaces and hills    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

City Hall Photo by CruisePortAtlas

Opera HouseOpera House

Port to Opera House - 5 KM, 11 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Odessa's Opera (and Ballet) House was built in the Viennese style and completed in 1887. Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Isadora Duncan performed there during its early heyday. Beginning in 1925 when a fire destroyed the stage, the theater began a period of decline resulting from wars, natural deterioration and Soviet neglect. Several efforts were made to restore it during the Communist era, but it was finally restored to its former radiance in 2007, when it reopened for performances. Some lines offer performances in the Opera House as part of the excursion packages. When we were there in 2006, the interior was still incomplete but the outside was stunning.

Historic building   Viennese Roccoco   Opera, Theatre and Ballet  

Easy    Wheelchair Accessibility

Opera House Photo by CruisePortAtlas

Pushkin Museum and Sculpture GardenSculpture Garden

Port to Opera House - 1.5 KM, 5 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The Pushkin Museum is housed in the former hotel where he stayed when he was exiled in 1823 from the capital of St. Petersburg for political activity. Pushkin was a young man of noble birth, irrepressible creativity, uncontrolled appetites, and immense self-regard. Considered the father of modern Russian literature, he was a published poet at 15 and participated in some 29 duels before succumbing to injuries sustained in one in 1837 at the age of 38. Just next door is a literary sculpture garden depicting scenes and characters from Russian literature. The picture at right shows characters from Ilf & Petrov's comic 1928 novel, The Twelve Chairs, which was filmed by Mel Brooks.

The house where Pushkin lived   Humorous Sculptures  

Easy    Wheelchair Accessibility

Photo of Odessa Literary Museum Sculpture by CruisePortAtlas

Shopping in Odessa Odessa Shopping Mall

Port to 7-Kilometers Bazaar - 14 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Passazh Shopping Mall - 3 KM, 6 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

We did not visit the 7-Kilometers Bazaar, one of the world's biggest outdoor markets. Its major appeal is this size and "outside the law" merchandise.

We did make it down to Deribasovskaya Street, a pedestrian street considered by many the center of modern Odessa. There is a beautiful small park at one end with vendors selling local crafts and art, lovely little restaurants, and high-end shopping. Nearby is the Passazh Shopping Mall.

Good for families during the day   Food Stalls and Fine Cuisine   City Park  

In most areas walking is easy    Wheelchair Accessibility limited

Photo of Passazh Shopping Mall by CruisePortAtlas

Arkadia and other beaches

Port to Arkadia Beach - 9 KM, 20 minutes
Port to Lanzheron Beach - 6 KM, 16 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Arkadia Beach area is the most popular spot for the party crowd with restaurants, bars, and discos that stay open to the wee hours. Lanzheron is the nearest beach to the city center and is close to the Dolphinarium. Chkalovski offers two nude bathing spots, one of which is family friendly.

Popular Beach area with many attractions   Good for families during the day   A wide variety of popular restaurants  

Off the beach walking is easy    Wheelchair Accessibility limited

The CathedralsUspensky Cathedral

Port to Uspensky Cathedral - 4 KM, 8 minutes
Port to Odessa Cathedral - 3 KM, 7 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

My favorite experience while visiting Odessa was our first stop at the Uspensky Cathedral. The exterior was not all that promising, but entering the cathedral, the mystical sound of an Orthodox chant perfectly matched the airy, timeless light coming down from the cathedral's 5 domes. The golden altar and icons lent an other-worldliness to the temple.

We did not visit the Odessa Cathedral which at one time was Russia's largest church holding up to 9000 people. First constructed in the early 19th century, it was destroyed by Stalin in the 1930s and rebuilt between 1999 and 2002.

Byzantine Art   Byzantine Holdout against the Ottomans   The Castle  

Flat Walking    Wheelchair Accessible

Uspensky Cathedral Photo by

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible