You have arrived to Odessa and you have free time? – In this case you should visit the Odessa museums and to see the places of interest of this amazing city by your own eyes! The Odessa inhabitants think that Odessa has to be investigated via hiking because this kind of excursion will provide you with lasting memories!

You won’t find two similar buildings in the ancient Odessa centre. All of them are original and unique; each of them has its own architecture and style. Therein is the uniqueness of Odessa city centre. You can start sightseeing with the Arab Cultural Center situated in the centre of the city at the Richelieuvskaya and Bolshaya Arnaytskaya Streets intersection. Arab Cultural Center is a lacy and airy building in the oriental style which resembles a mosque. The Center has been built relatively recently - in 2001. The money was given by the eastern businessman Kivan Adnan. Now this building is the oriental pearl of Odessa. It is beautiful not only outside but also inside. You can visit the Arab Center any day of the week except Friday, because Friday is usually the pilgrimage day.

The famous Odessa Philharmonic Hall building is situated in several blocks from the Arab Centre. You can endlessly take a look at it: mosaic, stucco, huge semi-circular stained glass windows... The main entrance looks even more exciting and you are sure to like this magnificent building. In front of the Philharmonic Hall you will see a beautiful pink building which greatly differs from all the other houses standing nearby. It is a completely renovated “Krasnaya” Hotel which resembles a masterpiece of a pastry genius because of the abundance of openwork balconies, beautiful sculptures and intricate molding decorating every inch of the facade. If you walk down the street you will see the monument to the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin who lived in Odessa during a period when he was deported by the Russian Czar. This monument is situated near the entrance to another interesting building - Pushkin Literary and Memorial Museum. Several steps – and you will be captured by the beauty of another architectural masterpiece - Odessa Western and Eastern Art Museum. This museum has been recently renovated.

Turn left from the museum and you will find yourself on Greek Square. This Square always had great importance for Odessa and now it is the one of favorite Odessa inhabitants rest places. There are fountains and benches at the square and it is pleasant to spend time there. Shopping mall “Athena” which is the one of the biggest in the city is also situated there. There you will find a lot of different boutiques to any taste. Great place for shopping, isn’t it? You can go on moving in the direction of Preobrazhenskaya Street. You will see the biggest Odessa Orthodox temple – Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral built in 1794 and totally plundered and destroyed in 1936 when Bolsheviks came to power. The Cathedral restoration started in 1996 when its survived foundation was discovered after the diggings. The Cathedral reconstruction was done by charity organization named the Black Sea Orthodox Foundation. Nowadays Spaso-Preobrazhenskyi Cathedral is the Odessa crown jewel and the one of the main places of interest. You will see a souvenir market near the Cathedral. The souvenirs made by the Odessa masters and artists are sold here. You can buy real Odessa souvenir or have your own portrait created by the brush of local painter. Almost all the things sold here are unique because all of them are handmade.

It will take you only one minute to get to famous Deribasovskaya Street from the Cathedral. This street was named after one of the first Odessa mayors Jose de Ribas. Though this street is rather small it is loved by many local people and by the guests of the city. Maybe it is because of its special coziness and because it creates “home” atmosphere. There are a lot of various restaurants and caf?s in this street and you will definitely like to visit them in order to drink a cup of tea. The city garden adjoining Deribasovskaya Street is a favorite place of rest. It will be interesting for you to see the monument to the prominent inhabitant of Odessa Leonid Utyosov who brought fame to this city. You will also see the Twelfth Chair statue, the Tree of Love and the statues of the Lion and Lioness which are the symbols of Odessa. You can wonder what the Twelfth Chair is and what it is famous for. It appeared in the City Garden because of the similarly-named novel written by Odessa writers Il’f and Petrov who also lived in this amazing city. There were treasures hidden in one of twelve chairs sent to all the parts of the former U.S.S.R. And the book characters were persistently trying to find those treasures having various difficult and funny situations.

Local legend says that an Odessa stone lion can make your dreams come true. You just need to whisper your secrets into its ear. This task doesn’t seem to be difficult but nobody knows which stone lion has magical abilities. So, you should also try to find it! Who knows, maybe you will really see the magic! One more legend assures: if you touch the Tree of Love which is also set in the City Garden, your beloved person will always be with you. Go through the City Garden and you will find yourself in Lanzheronovskaya Street where the Odessa Opera House is situated. It is the most beautiful Opera House in the world. Its fa?ade is decorated with mythology sculptures and there are statues of brilliant Russian composers and writers installed on the gable. There is a small and cozy yard called Palais Royal to the left of the Opera House. Chinese fountain silently murmurs there and you will be able to sit, to rest and to relax drinking delicious cocktails.

At the end of Lanzheron Descent you will see the Architecture Museum and the Literature Museum famous for its Sculptures Garden. If you continue your walking tour, you will appear at Duma Square where a very beautiful City Council stands. World-known Primorskiy Boulevard is also situated here. You will notice antique village dig and you will definitely pay your attention at it. Walking down Primorskiy Boulevard you will see the monument of another Odessa founder – Duke de Richelieu. This monument and the Potyomkin Stairs starting next to it are the visit cards of the city. The Potyomkin Stairs have 192 stair-steps. It is 142m long and 24m high. If you have enough time, go down the Stairs to the Sea Port where you will be able to admire the “Golden Child” sculpture and the statue to seamen’s wives and at the same time to breathe fresh sea air.

Ekaterininskaya Square is situated behind the Duke’s statue. There is a monument to Russian czarina Katherine II and to four founders of Odessa. This monument also has its history. When the Bolsheviks came to power at the beginning of the 20th century the monument was demounted, the czarina’s head was destroyed and the monument to the seamen from “Potyomkin” battleship taking part in the rebellion was mounted at that place. The city founders’ monuments were covered by dust in different museums closets but at the end of the century the original monument was reconstructed and set at its historical place. We should say that the public reaction was ambiguous because not everybody considers Katherine II to be Odessa benefactor. At the end of Primorskiy Boulevard there is one more extremely interesting place of Odessa – wonderful Vorontsov’s Palace with a colonnade belvedere overlooking the sea bay.

Passing the Vorontsov’s palace by Vorontsov Lane you will see an absolutely unusual building: the so-called “One Wall House”. At first it seems that it is just an ordinary house but if you stand at a certain angle with it, you will be absolutely sure it is completely flat! Standing next to the Vorontsov’s palace belvedere you will mention the Mother-in-Law Bridge connecting two parts of the city with each other. It was really built by the caring son-in-law to create more comfortable conditions for his mother-in-law’s visits. Traditionally newlyweds hung the locks with their names to the bridge and throw the keys into the sea in order to make the marriage stronger. Crossing the bridge you will appear in the old Odessa corner. There are little “humpy” bridge with iron bars, gryphon statue, delicate iron-shod arbor and the well built in 1858.

Pursuing your excursion you will mention oriental style building at the intersection with Gogol Street. It is a real Shah’s Palace where Shah and his numerous wives really lived. You will surely make your steps slower to remember every small detail because this building is a very exotic one. Turn to Gogolya Street and find the house number 5. It is known as “The House with Telamons” because two amazing telamons are really holding it. You may finish your small walking tour here. It is possible to talk about Odessa and its places of interest for hours but it is better to come and to see everything by your own eyes because Odessa is unique and indescribable! Of course, there are even more places of interest in Odessa so the excursions about Odessa can be extremely various. Everything depends on your interests and preferences. We also advise you to visit interesting places situated in the Odessa region: a town of Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy which belongs to ten most ancient cities of the world and which is famous for its medieval fortress; Vilkovo city which is called “Ukrainian Venice” because it stands on water and it is crossed by numerous channels; Shabo village with its famous vine lands and where you will drink the best vine; Koblevo resort situated on the Black Sea shore where you will be able to visit great water park.

Make a fascinating trip to the cities of Ukraine! By all means visit Lvov which is the capital of Western Ukraine. You will understand what the real Ukrainian coloring is. You should visit Mukachevo city situated close to Lvov because there is an ancient Palanok Castle built in 11th century. Belaya Tserkov is an old city in Kiev region founded at the place where the ancient Slavic settlement was. The settlement was destroyed in 13th century during Mongolian and Tatar invasion. Many centuries passed and the settlement appeared there again because of big castle building which had defensive function. There are many relics of the past in the city though it is not well-known even in Ukraine.

The Crimea is one of the most beautiful and attracting places of Ukraine especially in summer. There are SPA resorts and holiday centers, sea resorts, dolphinariums and water parks. The Crimea has wonderful conditions for active rest and sightseeing: there are many coves, forests, mountains, waterfalls, dolmens (“stone boxes” of ancient people) and historical monuments belonging to different epochs and peoples lived in the Crimea. There you can see ancient polis ruins, remnants of ancient cultures, cave cities, medieval fortresses and numerous palaces. And surely visit the capital of Ukraine! Kiev is also an ancient city on the river Dnepr which is called the heart of Ukraine. Kiev is considered to be “the mother of Russian cities”; it is the cradle of Kievan Rus; it is the place where the orthodox religion started its spreading. When you come to Kiev, you will feel the energy of the ancient city everywhere.