Odessa Introduction Walking Tour, Odessa

Odessa Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Odessa

Odessa is the marvel of a city on the Black Sea shore and a true tourist mecca. Rich in history, it abounds in splendid architecture - buildings, fountains, monuments, statues, and more. Follow this walking tour to explore the most notable sights of Odessa.
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Odessa Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Odessa Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Ukraine » Odessa (See other walking tours in Odessa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 18
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 Km or 2.2 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral
  • Passage
  • The Monument to the 12th Chair
  • Leonid Utyosov Monument
  • City Garden
  • Shah's Palace
  • Mother-in-Law Bridge
  • Vorontsov's Palace
  • Flat House
  • Potemkin Stairs
  • Duc de Richelieu Monument
  • Monument to Catherine II the Great
  • Palais-Royal Garden
  • Opera and Ballet Theatre
  • Odessa City Hall
  • French Cannon
  • Odessa Archaeological Museum
  • Derybasivska Street
Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral

1) Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral (must see)

Located at Sobornaya square, Spaso-Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Odessa. After its construction in 1795, it was one of the biggest cathedrals in the Russian Empire. The cathedral was destroyed in 1936 and rebuilt as of 1999.

2) Passage (must see)

Odessa Passage is a passage and a hotel on Deribasovskaya Street. It has 4floors. On the ground floor there are many boutiques and on other 3floors there is a hotel. The passage was built at the end of the 19th century and was the best hotel in Southern Russia until the Krasnaya Hotel was opened.

An interior and the ex-terrier of Passage building are decorated by numerous sculptures. The Passage houses multiple shops, restaurants, offices and economy hotel “Passage”.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Monument to the 12th Chair

3) The Monument to the 12th Chair (must see)

Situated at Ostap Bender’s Square, in front of the beautiful city garden, you will see a fine monument to the last 12th chair from a prominent novel by Illia Ilf and Evgeniy Petrov. Near the chair you will also find a hero’s suitcase. An excellent place for pictures!
Leonid Utyosov Monument

4) Leonid Utyosov Monument (must see)

Located on Deribasovskaya Street, the Leonid Utyosov Monument is another impressive monument in the city’s center. It was erected in order to commemorate Leonid Osipovich Utyosov, well-known Soviet jazz singer and comic actor. The monument depicts him sitting on a bench and resting after a concert.
City Garden

5) City Garden (must see)

The City Garden is one of the oldest and most beautiful parks in Odessa, and was created by the brother of the city founder - Felix de Ribas. It is a wonderful place to rest and houses a beautiful fountain, nice benches, attractive trees and fine sculptures of the lion and lioness.
Shah's Palace

6) Shah's Palace

Shah's Palace was built in 1852 by architect F. Gonsiorovskiy for Polish nobleman Zenon Bzhozovsky. It is one of the most attractive buildings in Odessa. From 1909 to 1917, this charming building belonged to Persian shah Mohamed Ali who escaped from Iran, hence its name. This marvelous palace combines English Gothic and French Medieval styles and features beautiful windows and impressive towers.
Mother-in-Law Bridge

7) Mother-in-Law Bridge (must see)

The Mother-in-Law Bridge is situated close to the sea port and has many love locks along its length, which symbolize devotion and love of sweethearts. It was constructed in 1968 and acquired its name when the former head of Odessa, Mihail Sinitza, took this route to visit his mother-in-law.
Vorontsov's Palace

8) Vorontsov's Palace

The Vorontsov Palace is a 19th century palace and colonnade located at the end of the Primorsky Boulevard pedestrian walkway. The buildings were built between 1827 to 1830 by the Sardinian-born architect Francesco Boffo for Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, one of the governor-generals of the Odessa region.

Vorontsov chose to build his city palace on the spot where the former governor general Richelieu's humble house had once stood. Vorontsov was so impressed with Boffo's work, that he contracted Boffo to design the Potemkin Stairs. In 1906 it became an engineering school. In 1917 it was the headquarters of the Soviet Red Guards, and in March 1917 the first Soviet of Workers' and Sailors' Deputies met in the building. In 1936 the Vorontsov Palace was acquired by the Young Pioneers, and renamed the Children's Palace.

The present day palace is only the front part of the original structure, the less valuable part of the complex, the Orlov wing was torn down. The Orlov wing was mainly apartments and outbuildings —nicknamed the "Orlovsky outhouse", it stretched from today's Mother-in-Law's Bridge.

In the second-half of the 20th century, the palace has had two fires. In 1994 sculptor Mikhail Reva built a fountain called "Day and Night" in the courtyard. Unfortunately, the fountain hasn't had any water since 1999.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Flat House

9) Flat House (must see)

The Flat House (a.k.a. Devil’s House or One Wall House) is probably the most impressive, remarkable and unusual building in Odessa. You will be shocked to see just one wall and imagine how people live here. Due to lack of funds for the construction of the side wall, this mystical building took a triangular form.
Potemkin Stairs

10) Potemkin Stairs (must see)

The Potemkin Stairs, or Primorsky Stairs, are considered a formal entrance into the city from the direction of the sea and are the best known symbol of Odessa. The staircase is 27 meters high, and extends for 142 meters, but it gives the illusion of greater length. The stairs were designed to create an optical illusion. A person looking down the stairs sees only the landings, and the steps are invisible, but a person looking up sees only steps, and the landings are invisible. A secondary illusion creates false perspective since the stairs are wider at the bottom than at the top. Looking up the stairs makes them seem longer than they are and looking down the stairs makes them seem not so long.

The original 200 stairs were designed in 1825 by Francesco Boffo, St. Petersburg architects Avraam I. Melnikov and Pot'e. The staircase cost 800,000 rubles to build. In 1837, the decision was made to build a "monstrous staircase", which was constructed between 1837 and 1841. An English engineer named John Upton constructed the stairs. After the Soviet revolution, in 1955 the Primorsky Stairs were renamed Potemkin Stairs to honor the 50th anniversary of the Battleship Potemkin uprising. After Ukrainian independence, the Potemkin Stairs, like many streets in Odessa, were given back their original name, the Primorsky Stairs. Most Odessites still know and refer to the stairs by their Soviet name.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Duc de Richelieu Monument

11) Duc de Richelieu Monument (must see)

The Monument of Duc de Richelieu is situated at the top of Potemkin Stairs. It represents a bronze statue of Armand Emmanuel Sophie Septemanie de Vignerot du Plessis, 5th duc de Richelieu, a famous French statesman and governor of Odessa from 1803 to 1814.
Monument to Catherine II the Great

12) Monument to Catherine II the Great (must see)

The Monument to Catherine II the Great is one of the most prominent and beautiful landmarks in the city. Located at Ekaterininskaya Square, it presents the statue of the Russian Czarina, who founded the port and the city in 1794. This impressive monument also features other founders of the city: de Ribas, de Volaan, Potemkin and Zubkov.
Palais-Royal Garden

13) Palais-Royal Garden (must see)

The Palais-Royal Garden is located right next to the marvelous Opera and Ballet Theater. This wonderful, pleasant garden houses a fine fountain, built in 1847, which presents a sad bronze girl on the very top of the cliff of rough stone. On the garden’s grounds you will also find an embracing couple, Cupid and Psychea.
Opera and Ballet Theatre

14) Opera and Ballet Theatre (must see)

The Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet is the oldest theater in the city. The first opera house was opened in 1810 and destroyed by fire in 1873. The modern building was constructed by Fellner and Helmer in neo-baroque style and opened in 1887. The luxurious hall follows rococo style. Its unique acoustics allows to deliver even a whisper from the stage to any part of the hall. The most recent renovation of the theater was completed in 2007.

The Saint Petersburg architect Thomas de Thomon designed the first opera theater, opened on February 10, 1810. This first theater is in almost exactly the same spot as today's theater. On the night of January 2, 1873, the building was gutted by fire. Two Viennese architects, Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer began to construct the larger replacement in 1883. The foundation stone was laid on September 16, 1884. On October 1, 1887 the theater was completed, costing 1,300,000 rubles to build. The building's façade is decorated in the Italian baroque style. In the niches are the busts of Mikhail Glinka, Nikolai Gogol, Alexandr Griboyedov, and Alexander Pushkin. The large hall was modeled after the style of Louis XVI, and is richly decorated with gilded stucco figures and designs. The architects provided the foyer with twenty-four exits, to avoid tragedy in the case of a fire. On the side of the theater is a lawn with fresh flowers and shrubs.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Odessa City Hall

15) Odessa City Hall

Odessa City Hall, located on the cross of Primorskiy Boulevard, Chaikovskogo Lane and Pushkinskaya Street, occupies the Neoclassical building on Seaside Boulevard, built to a design by Francesco Boffo and Gregorio Toricelli in 1828-34. In front of the hall is a monument of Alexander Pushkin who spent 13 months in Odessa. Every half-hour, the clock above the entrance chimes the melody "Odessa my town" (the same tune greeting incoming trains at the Odessa Train Station). This is from the operetta "White Acacia" by the Soviet composer Isaac Dunayevsky. In the building of modern Odessa City Hall was Stock exchnage in the past. In front of Odessa City Hall building is a small square, called “Dumaskaya” with a monument to Pushkin, canon extracted from French Fregate "Tiger" sank in battle with Russian troops during the Crimean War.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
French Cannon

16) French Cannon (must see)

In front of the beautiful Neoclassical Odessa City Hall, you will see a huge cannon. This monument is dedicated to the successful attack on the English-French squadron off the shore of Odessa during the Crimean (Eastern) War of 1854-1855. The monument was unveiled in 1904.
Odessa Archaeological Museum

17) Odessa Archaeological Museum (must see)

The Odessa Archaeological Museum, located on Lanzheronovskaya Street, is one of the oldest archaeological museums in Ukraine and the post-Soviet countries which was founded in 1825. Since 1997 Odessa archeological museum functions not only as a museum but also as institute of scientific research. The major directions of scientific research of Odessa museum are: archeology of primitive society in Northern Black Sea region, archeology of the Middle Ages. The museum conducts expositions, restorations and publishing activities.

The museums possesses more than 160000 exhibits: archeological finds of The Black Sea Northern region, the largest in Ukraine collection of Ancient Egypt (sarcophagi, stone slabs with hieroglyphics and fragments of papyrus, funeral inventory); Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome exhibits. The museum is also famous by its collection of coins and medals. There are over 50000 coins in the museum treasury: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Byzantine Empire, Ancient Kievan Rus, coins of Russian Empire Romanovs' dynasty.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Derybasivska Street

18) Derybasivska Street

Derybasivska Street is a pedestrian street in the center of Odessa. A busy thoroughfare packed with numerous historic landmarks, as well as shops, restaurants and cafés, this is a choice spot for people-watching. Walk, shop and take a comfortable seat for a coffee - you’ll get a real feel of what Odessa "Mama" is really about.

Walking Tours in Odessa, Ukraine

Create Your Own Walk in Odessa

Create Your Own Walk in Odessa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Odessa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Downtown Odessa Tour

Downtown Odessa Tour

Downtown Odessa is the heart of this city, where you will find the most prominent attractions and wonderful landmarks. There are numerous monuments of important personalities in the city, beautiful sculptures and gorgeous buildings. Take the next self-guided tour and discover Odessa’s Downtown!

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles
Odessa Primorsky Bоulevard Walking Tour

Odessa Primorsky Bоulevard Walking Tour

Primorsky Boulevard is one of the most prominent streets in Odessa, starting at Dumskaya Square and ending at Vorontsov’s Palace. This popular tourist attraction and wonderful sight is home to several monuments, and is a valuable landmark from an architectural, archaeological and historical points of view. This walking tour will guide you through amazing sights of Odessa.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles