Before he took an epic bus trip to Antarctica, trekked across Australia, flew over Niagara Falls by helicopter, and spotted whales in Quebec, our Digital Nomad, Andrew Evans spent time in Odessa writing a guidebook to Ukraine. Here are Andrew’s insider tips to Odessa, Ukraine’s fourth largest city and one he describes as taking “New Orleans and adding the weather of Marseilles, the people of Naples, the shopfronts of Coney Island, the grit of Baltimore, and the architecture of Paris and Rome.”
Odessa is My City
The first place I take a visitor from out of town is Deribasovskaya Street.
When I crave Pizza I always go to Zara Pizzara.
To escape the speeding taxis I head to the waterfront.
If I want to window shop I go to Passazh.
For complete quiet, I can hide away at the Panteleimonsky Monastery.
If you come to my city, get your picture taken with one of the street performers’ pet monkeys.
If you have to order one thing off the menu from Hebron it has to be kugel.
De Zire is my one-stop shop for great wine.
Locals know to skip the cheesy resorts and check out the beaches down the coast instead.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to Zharyu Paryu.
For a huge splurge I go shopping at Passazh.
Photo ops in my city include the Potemkin Stairs and the best vantage point is Primorsky Boulevard.
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Liz Taylor.
The most random thing about my city is the Monument to Oranges.
My city has the shadiest looking men.
My city has the most lavish women.
In my city, an active day outdoors involves the beach!
My city’s best museum is the Archaeological Museum.
My favorite jogging/walking route is Preobrazhenskaya.
For a night of dancing, go to Dali Gali. Or, for live music, check out Bar Bochka.
Druzya I Pivo (Friend & Beer) is the spot for late-night eats.
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Yug.
You can tell a lot about my city from the names of all the streets.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they tell good jokes.
In the spring you should pull up a park bench with friends at the City Gardens.
In the summer you should get a tan at Delphin Beach.
In the fall you should buy vegetables at the open air market by the train station.
In the winter you should go to the opera.
A hidden gem in my city is Odessa Literary Museum.
For a great breakfast joint try Fanconi.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Don’t miss the April Fool’s Day festival in the city center!
Just outside my city, you can visit the Odessa Catacombs.
The best way to see my city is on the streets, at night.
If my city were a pet it would be an aging pink poodle.
The best book about my city is The 12 Chairs by Ilf & Petrov.
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is Mozart’s Requiem.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the balloon sellers and baby pony rides in the park.
Pushkin’s love affairs could only happen in my city.
My city should be featured on your cover and website because it’s the only place like it in the whole world. Imagine taking New Orleans and adding the weather of Marseilles, the people of Naples, the shopfronts of Coney Island, the grit of Baltimore, and the architecture of Paris and Rome. It’s also the world’s largest April Fool’s Day celebration in the world!
Top photo: David Vladi/My Shot