Odessa Tourist Traps

  • This photo was taken in the Soviet era...
    This photo was taken in the Soviet...
    by arturowan
  • Another historic shot of the iconic 'stairs'...
    Another historic shot of the iconic...
    by arturowan
  • A rare view of the steps, painted...
    A rare view of the steps, painted...
    by arturowan

Best Rated Tourist Traps in Odessa

  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Buying Soviet Souvenirs

    by hunterV Updated Jul 10, 2014

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    Soviet souvenirs, Odessa, Ukraine
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    There are numerous vendors at The Duke in Maritime Boulevard (Primorsky Boulevard) offering you lots of souvenirs including those dating back to the Soviet times.
    I would describe it as a trap because lots of foreigners are attracted by the good-looking Soviet orders made of silver and guilded ones dating back to the times of the World War II.
    The problem is that they are sold freely for $10-$15 a piece like the one on the picture - the Order of the Patriotic War, First Class. But you can hardly take them home through our strict customs at the airport for according to the Ukrainian legislature they belong to historical values and may not be taken across the state border...
    My American friend whom I saw off at the airport had to give me three orders back hoping to be able to take them home some day later...When I wonder?...

    Unique Suggestions: Buy some simple badges and not orders that belong to historical values.
    If you still have them, try to make an innocent face passing the Ukrainian customs at the airport red lane, especially after your baggage has been X-rayed and your souvenirs have been discovered. They will be confiscated without any ceremonies...
    Just smile it off...
    Just remember the soldiers and officers had to fight for those orders during the whole war...

    Fun Alternatives: buying some simple badges and souvenirs

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • Enzyme_X's Profile Photo

    Book In Advance

    by Enzyme_X Written Aug 7, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When we arrived in Odessa, first we wanted to find a place to sleep. We checked in our guide-book for some reasonable priced hotels and went to see what they can offer. To our surprise and disappointment and concern all were full. Then we tried at some local tourist office where the lady told us it won't be easy to find a place to stay just for that day but for some 5 days.

    Unique Suggestions: If you want to stay in Odessa in summer, make sure you book in advance or you'll end up wandering around searching for a free bed.

    Fun Alternatives: Luckily we found a place to stay. Check my hotels & accomodations tip.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Spa and Resort

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  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    Potyomkin City Limits...

    by arturowan Updated Dec 10, 2013

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    This photo was taken in the Soviet era...
    2 more images

    The Potyomkin Steps are in every top10 things to see in 0dessa, & if you go there, you must take them in, but they're probably best seen after dark, when local folk are just enjoying an evening stroll, as in the day, this is such a busy, bustling area, the architecture is lost for people...
    This key feature of the city has traded names over the years, originally known as the Boulevard Steps, then the Giant Staircase, or Richelieu Steps, today they are officially titled The Primorskiy Stairs...
    HOWEVER, the association with General Potyomkin persists, (& in proper Russian, this means his name becomes an adjective, so they're actually called 'Potyomkinskaya Lyestneetsa'...)

    Unique Suggestions: Remember, this was the location where Eisenstein filmed his epic, Battleship Potyomkin - probably the most influential cinematrography of all time, but also the least watched in its original state, & still difficult to obtain in the 'director's cut' from 1925
    ...
    Yet, everybody is familiar with the filming technique, because it made slow motion for dramatic action scenes, de rigeur in just about every movie that has ever followed it...
    I.e; the immortal baby carriage scene, featuring the unattended pram bouncing 1 step at a time, from the top of the great steps, to the bottom, in agonisingly slow motion...
    In its time, Eisenstein's masterpiece was so influential, tourists actually visited the stone steps because they believed this was the location of the massacre, so graphically depicted in the screenplay...
    In fact, it's an example of how 'urban myths' are created, because Eisenstein chose the location for added (melo)drama, knowing full well that the episode of rioting actually occurred elsewhere in 0dessa...
    If you're an English speaker, than like me, you've probably been mispronouncing 'potemkin' for years, & it ain't us to blame, because Cyrillic Russian is pathetically lax at indicating pronunciation, especially of vowels, of which it has 10 - with further pronunciation variations...
    What you need to know is that there are 10 vowels in Russian - 5 'hard' & 5 matchiong pairs, 'soft', & 3 actual letters 'e' - although 2 of the letters 'e' are printed identically...
    I regard this to be a daft deception, because the second version of 'e', which should be printed with 2dots over it, isn't an actual "e" at all - it's a "YO" (& I use capitol 'Y0' to emphasise that this is the vowel under stress in the word...)
    Also, the 'e' with 2 dots is really more like the Russian '0', because the actual 'o' sounds more like a 'u', or an 'a', in a word, (unless preceding another vowel under stress, & 'Y0' is ALWAYS stressed...)
    So, to properly pronounce "Potemkin", say "po-tYOm-kin"!

    Fun Alternatives: If you don't care to stretch your legs on the steps, there's a funicular lift nearby...

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Beaches
    • Study Abroad

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  • arturowan's Profile Photo

    The Waxworks Museum...

    by arturowan Updated Nov 22, 2013

    0dessa's waxworks museum is easily the worst pay-to-view public place in the city - the interior is cramped, amateurishly arranged, & eerily lit, like a ghost train ride on an English pier!
    For your entrance fee, there's not much to see, & nobody that most would consider to be famous, apart from Arnold Schwarzenegger, (though why this waxwork, which bears no resemblance either to the muscly 'Arnie', or the latterday, flabby governor, is even in the museum, remains a mystery to me?) !

    Unique Suggestions: You really need to have gelled up on the history of the city before visiting, otherwise the notable folk on show will mean nothing to you...
    Figures of the likes of Pushkin, are deserving of study, but the likeness of him, cast in metal, outside the museum dedicated to him, is more worthy of attention...
    If you want to see waxworks of notable 0dessites, than this is the opportunity, but there are only 26 models, & many of them are better depicted around the city, cast in bronze, & to be seen for free!
    My visit was in 2005 - I've looked up the museum on the internet recently, & the interior has been transformed from when I was there, so please take this into account, but even so, you do need to know about 0dessa's founders, for this museum to be of interest...

    Fun Alternatives: 4 Rishelyevskaya 0olitsa, where the museum is located, is 1 of 0dessa's most interesting places to stroll, so make the most of it - the waxworks was only a place to go, in order to escape a cloudburst...

    Related to:
    • Study Abroad
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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  • fipsi's Profile Photo

    Canal grids

    by fipsi Written Aug 31, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Missing canal grids (c) Gerold Pawelka

    Watch out for missing canal grids in Odessa. Especially at night they can be dangerous tourist traps ;-)

    Unique Suggestions: Cry out loud.

    Fun Alternatives: At night only go the same streets you already took during daylight.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel

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Odessa Tourist Traps

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