Odesa's main commercial street, pedestrian vul Derybasivska

©Pavlo Fedykovych/Lonely Planet

Vul Derybasivska

Top choice in Odesa

Odesa's main commercial street, pedestrian vul Derybasivska is jam-packed with restaurants, bars and, in the summer high season, tourists. At its quieter eastern end you'll discover the statue of José de Ribas, the Spanish-Neapolitan general who built Odesa's harbour and who also has a central street named after him. At the western end of the thoroughfare is the pleasant and beautifully renovated City Garden, surrounded by several restaurants.

A large wrought-iron arbour in the centre of the gardens serves as a stage for live jazz and classical concerts during weekends. Nearby, ex-Soviet tourists line up to get photographed with bronze sculptures, one of which is simply a chair – a reference to the satirical Soviet novel The Twelve Chairs. The other one is that of Odesa-born 1930s jazz singer Leonid Utyosov.

Across the street, the opulent art nouveau edifice of Bolshaya Moskovskaya Hotel, designed by Lev Vlodek in 1901, stands locked, waiting for a long overdue reconstruction.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Odesa attractions

1. Odesa Opera & Ballet Theatre


The jewel in Odesa's architectural crown was designed in the 1880s by the architects who also designed the famous Vienna State Opera, namely Ferdinand…

2. Passazh

0.22 MILES

The opulently decorated Passazh shopping arcade is the best-preserved example of the neorenaissance architectural style that permeated Odesa in the late…

3. Museum of Western & Eastern Art


This mid-19th-century palace houses a collection that's both rich and eclectic – apt for a cosmopolitan port city like Odesa. Classical Italian and Dutch…

4. Prymorsky Boulevard


Odesa's elegant facade, this tree-lined, clifftop promenade was designed to enchant the passengers of arriving boats with the neoclassical opulence of its…

5. Preobrazhensky Cathedral

0.31 MILES

Leafy pl Soborna is the site of the gigantic, newly rebuilt Preobrazhensky (Transfiguration) Cathedral, which was Odesa's most famous and important church…

6. Duc de Richelieu Statue

0.32 MILES

At the top of the Potemkin Steps on bul Prymorsky you'll find the statue of Duc de Richelieu, Odesa's first governor, looking like a Roman in a toga.

7. Archaeology Museum

0.32 MILES

Occupying a purpose-built, neoclassical edifice in the historical heart of the city, this half-renovated museum contains a fairly rich collection of…

8. Pushkin Statue

0.32 MILES

Odesa's most photographed monument, the statue of Alexander Pushkin, stands in front of the City Hall on pl Dumska. The plaque reads 'To Pushkin – from…