Trams and buses are a very cheap way to move in Odessa. More convenient are taxis. There are two types of taxis: the normal ones and the gipsy taxies. Gipsy taxies are cheaper. They are nearly always Ladas, and thats the only sign of how to recognize them, I guess.... Just raise your hand in a frequented street and they will stop.
Never pay more than 15 Hrivnas for rides inside the city. You can also rent them for a whole day, I payed approx. € 30 (including police fees and petrol).
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.
Tauria Ailines is another flight company in Odessa.
The office is in Cathedral Square.
They also have their own web site:
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.
South Airlines - this is the name of Odessa airlines.
One day my American friend and I were in a hurry and took a plane to Kiev ($85).
We had to wait at the booking-office before we got a seat. The flight turned out to be very popular and the plane, Antonov-24 was full of people.
It took the plane one hour and twenty minutes to get to Boryspil International aiport.
There are also planes to Donetsk and to some other Ukrainian cities from Odessa, to say nothing of the foreign flights.
The office of South Airlines is at: 85 Kanatnaya (Rope) Street in Odessa.
This company makes direct flights to Frankfurt/Main, St.Petersburg, Aleppo, Moscow, Kiev and Krasnodar.
Booking offices are at the Main Post Office (10 Sadovaya Street), at the main office at 17 De Ribas Street and at the airport itself (booking office # 1).
There are a lot of flights to Odessa from many European cities.
Once we took a plane to Vienna by Austrian Airlines.
I also took a plane from Odessa to Kiev one day.
South Airlines is a company that flies from Odessa.
Odessa has a very extensive public transportation system. It has busses and trams that are very cheap, about 10 cents US per trip. They run from very early morning until midnight or so, but are not 24 hours! They are very crowded, so don't expect to sit unless you travel late in the evening. To pay, one must have local currency, no tickets are issued. Only residents can get passes. One pays the 50 kopeki fare to a woman who circulates the bus or tram collecting fares, she usually has a blue vest or smock on. If you don't pay when she asks for fare, she will throw you off at the next stop! No. They won't cheat you and try to get more fare out of you after you first pay, sometimes they hand you a small receipt, sometimes they don't.
If one wants to travel in less crowded, more comfortable accomodations, one can catch a "machina". This is a minibus that holds up to 24 passengers. They are usually white, but some are green or red or blue. They run routes and have yellow route cards in the front window and sides of the bus that have route number and major streets they travel. One can hail these anywhere, like a taxi. But they only go certain routes, so try to find out if the machina goes to where you want to go. Most drivers only speak Russian, so if you don't know it, you may have trouble finding out if they are going where you want to go.
Once one gets on, pay the 1,25 Hrv. fare to the driver (about 25 cents, US) or sit and pass it up. If the machina is busy, one may spend most of the trip passing fares up and change back. If you don't want to do this, sit in the back. When one wants to get off, one alerts the driver and they will stop as soon as they can, usually at the next corner.
Machinas are comfy, have tour bus type seats, and many are air-conditioned. They may be worth the extra cents, but drivers will pack them full, so one may end up standing on these as well, but it is less likely than on a tram or bus.
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.
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 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).
Odessa is a city over 1 million citizens so it's not easy to see everything without using some transport. But if you want to use the public transportation you'll have to pass, because it nearly doestn't exist! Few barely running trolleys go around once in a blue moon and almost noone gets inside.
That's because Odessa is dominated by private companies which have hundreds of minibuses in different condition (some really fine, but most lower than avarage). But if you consider getting anywhere you want within the city limits for a sum of approximately €0,2 than you get more than you pay for :).
Plus there are some (but few) free buses that will get you to the largest shopping centre (compared to our Polish ones- dramatically small!), but they offer nothing more than the rest...
All in all the transport is a rather exciting experience for someone from the West. But the people are open and the atmosphere is nice when you are inside.
The Karpaty Express from Lviv to Odessa goes out in the evening and after 12h You're there.
Now Ukrainian transport hastn't got the best reputation, said to be dangerous, but if this is right then this train is exceptional...
Service very nice, prices veeery low (tea for example will cost you some... €0,1, the ticket for second class is some €5-7)
Of course don't expect luxuries, but it's really decent.
Watch out for the bedclothes. We refused to buy them (clean by the way so don't worry) and it turned out it's obligatory. We were even threatenned with loosing our "staying card" and later would have problems passing the borders, so we bought it. But if you really don't want to- DON'T TAKE IT! You may refuse- they won't do what we thought they can...
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.
When you arrive there are people on the platform trying to offer you private accomodation.
If you have to buy tickets. Don't despair trying to find out which window but go straight to the Service Center. How to find it: When you see all the ticket counters to your right in the main hall, go to the end of the corridor and turn left and go to the very end and through the doors.
The counter when you come in sells tickets within Ukraine and the one in the back to other countries.