There are multiple options for reaching 0dessa, both from outside & within Ukraine (- I have visited 4 times from London, but never boarded an aircraft!)
0dessa is the busiest port on the Black Sea, with a regular ferry service to Turkey, & in summer it is also possible to visit through the port, via Varna (Bulgaria)...
There is a very large train station in the city, receiving international services, including a sleeper service, direct from Berlin, usually arriving twice-weekly, though it depends on the time of year...
Unfortunately, train from Europe is rather expensive service, so will only really appeal to diehard train enthusiasts, & is also slow, taking all of a night, & the next day, to go from Germany>Ukraine...
There is a long-distance coach that ECOLINES operate, direct from 0dessa>Riga, but unfortunately, unless you have a transit visa for Belarus, it cannot be taken using an EU passport...
My journeys have all boarded a coach direct to Kiev, from London, the most recent experience of which had me in the Ukrainian capital before midday & boarding an AUTOLUX service for 0dessa, an hour later - GUNSEL provide an almost identical service, (for 10Grivna less) leaving an hour later, both of which have you in the Black Sea resort for late evening...
These 2 operators also offer frequent overnight services between the 2 cities, costing between 125-165Grivna (correct as of February 2011)
0ther privateer 'marshroutka' (minibus) services, connect 0dessa with the capitol, & are advertised at the relevant bus stations, but will only be suitable if you're not travelling with luggage...
This seems to be the motto of all Odessa cab drivers.
There are a lot of taxi stands and you can catch a taxi in any street or at any bus stop.
But here are some useful phone numbers for you just in case:
Amsterdam Taxi Service
Nickolay: +38 048 775 88 87; +38 067 485 88 87;
Yuriy: +38 048 777 06 66;
Vyacheslav: +38 048 774 81 58;
Gennady: +38 048 231 60 49
Once when I was in Odessa last we had to pay $10 for a half an hour ride downtown.
The prices depend on what you agree upon.
Don’t forget to ask the taxi driver what you have to pay for the ride before you depart.
It is also good just to show him a visiting card of the place you are going to if you have one.
The city is connected with all regional centers and major cities by railroads, highways and flights.
The shortest distance to a regional center is 120 km to Mykolayiv, a sea and river port at the Dnipro and the Black Sea.
The longest distance is to Luhansk by railway: about 1,000 km ( 24-hour ride by a passenger train).
It is also a long way to Uzhgorod, the capital of Transcarpathian Region: about 900 km.
Other distances in kilometers:
Kiev – about 500 km;
Kharkiv – 650 km;
Donetsk – 660 km;
Simferopol – 500 km;
Lviv – 800 km;
Sumy – 700 km.
I know this is no surprise to anyone but attempts at rip offs by taxi drivers is thriving in Odessa. I asked a local for info on how much I should pay for a cab ride I was taking. When I asked the cab drivers they would quote me double the 50 grevny that I was told I should pay as a very maximum. One guy asked for 150. Sticking it out though for a little while and eventually I found someone who offered to do so for 50.
There's a cab rank at the top of the main tourist pedestrian street. There's a guy there with grey hair who seems to be the head honcho of taxi corruption. He also seems to be very friendly with the police also. The same police guys that he was talking to tried to extort a bribe out of me walking alone from a bar early in the morning.
There are a zillion buses, trams, mini buses etc that can take you anywhere, even down to the Arkadia night club scene if that is what you are after. 2 grevny 50 flat fare
Tauria Ailines is another flight company in Odessa.
The office is in Cathedral Square.
They also have their own web site:
this is the fastest and the cheapest option available so far - to get to Odesa from Kyiv (Boryspil International Airport, terminal A) for a 1.5 hour for as low as UAH 68 (around $15 one way; all taxes included).
this is a SUPER PROMO price offered by a newly launched budget airline WIZZAIR (all planes are of a Airbus A320 model). to get this lowest price, one has to make a reservation (via internet) at least 2 weeks in advance, as the regular price might be as high as UAH 436 (one way).
the flight from Kyiv-Boryspil departs on 18:55 on M, W, Fr, Su., and arrives in Odesa at 20:10.
the flight from Odesa departs on 20:40 on M, W, Fr, Su, and arrives in Kyiv at 21:50
P.S. unfortunately, wizzair discontinues its flights to Odessa last year.
An overnight train remains the most afordable/safe way to travel in Ukraine.
The train #105 from Kyiv to Odessa leaves at 21:54 and arrives in Odessa at 6:12 am; the return train #106 leaves Odessa at 22:54 and arrives in Kyiv at 7:37. the train is a combination of new and old cars, with price difference in UAH 40 ($5). The newer cars are located in the beginning of the train (#1-10). the price for a one-way second class ticket (a sleeping berth in a compartment for 4 people) is between UAH 120-160 Hr ($15-20). My recommendation is to ask for a ticket in the newer cars which has softer berths and civilized toilets.
You should by tickets well advance if you decide to visit Odessa over the weekend or major holidays city like Odessa Yumorina (Odessa’s Fool Day, April 1) and the City Day (September 1-2). You should by tickets WELL IN ADVANCE if you decide to travel there any time in summer.
The city is connected with the Ukrainian capital and other regional centers by passenger trains.
There are lots of such trains every day.
If you decide to take a train to Odessa, better to choose a compartment car (36 seats in a car and four berths in a compartment).
Close to Odessa to the west is Chisinau (capital of Moldova) which is 5 to 6 hours away, but beware of the Transnistria region, which is between the cities, this is technically in Moldova but is subject to the rules of the local police and wants independance.
I took the overnight train from Odessa to Kiev and it was excellent. Odessa station is modern and efficient. There is a left luggage room at the end of one of the platforms, if you need it.
A sleeper to Kiev cost me 43.70 UAH. Sheets, blankets, a mattress and pillow were provided. The train left Odessa at 22.45 and arrived in Kiev at 08.30.
The funicular railway which runs next to the Potemkin Steps from the port up to the city is a free service, which is great if you don't want to walk up the steps again. It runs daily from 8:00 to 23:00.
You probably will arrive by train, bus or plane but after my opinion the only adequate way to approach Odesa, at least for the first time, is by boat!
When I was there trams and buses were for free (at least I was told that) but this service is not always frequent enough. But there are plenty of cheap and reliable route taxis ('Marshrutka')
Odessa's airport is small and functioning but u won't find any big selection of duty free souvenir gifts.
The trip to / from the city centre should not costs u more than 10 dollars/ 50-60 Hrv, already a tourist price, but they are likely to ask u for even more!
Travel by land is the most environmentally friendly way of getting to know the world, but there are times where air travel becomes expedient. The least we can do when we do travel using such low-fare, budget schemes is to try to be accountable for the potential damage we do to the environment and compensate for the adverse effects by also buying a "climate ticket". heck the link below...
It's very easy to arrive to this fabulous city, especially from Kiev and other big cities, so I will skip this topic.
When you're in Odessa, the cheapest transport is tram. The ticket price is 0,5 kopeiki, around 0,1$. However, not everywhere you can get by train or trolley bus, so the other good option is marshrutka which is a bit more expensive (from 1 - 2,5 grivnas).
MV Gloria, It sails from Odessa to Istanbul and takes 2 days, 1 night. Meals are provided for free and is simple fare but nice. You arrive in Istanbul about 1930hrs - the boat travels at 24kphrs.
The only drawback is Turkish immigration - took 2hrs to get off the ship & through customs.