Vul Derybasivska

Top choice street 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.