The trams (all driven by women) are held together with pop rivets and wire, I would guess the only kind of maintenace theses things see is when something breaks, never the less a fantastic site to see one of these historical modes of transport still running.
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.
A service of catières (maritime shuttles - of French " côtières " ?), existed once : Kataïev borrows them - " the small boat steam accelerated its race... " -, Trotski uses them - " I installed myself on the bridge of steam... " -, Ilf and Petrovs take them. Because of the rise of the price of fuels, it will be necessary, I fear, to satisfy you of these literary evocations. Their working became very uncertain, and the service in is disrupted. The pontoon of craft is on the left side of the maritime station, just after the ship hotel Taras Chevtchenko.
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 ($15-20). My recommendation is to ask for a ticket in the newer cars which has softer berths and civilized toilets.
You should by tickets well advance if you decide to visit Odessa over the weekend or major holidays city like Odessa Yumorina (Odessa’s Fool Day, April 1) and the City Day (September 1-2). You should by tickets WELL IN ADVANCE if you decide to travel there any time in summer.
It's very easy to arrive to this fabulous city, especially from Kiev and other big cities, so I will skip this topic.
When you're in Odessa, the cheapest transport is tram. The ticket price is 0,5 kopeiki, around 0,1$. 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).
The impressive train station of Odessa offers connections to most destinations, there is an airconditioned Cervice Center hall with comfortable sofas and chairs. Some english spoken, ok service for ukrainian standards...
There are plenty of minibus and trolley connections from around the station and to all areas of interest in town.
The way to the railway station is a 15-20 min. walk from down town Odessa.
The nearest proper hotel is the Chernoe More (Black Sea hotel), just two blocks away, but it is better to search for a more central accomodation.
Getting to and from Odessa by sea is easy and there are regular ferries to and from Istanbul, Constantia and Haifa. A couple of companies leave weekly to Istanbul and the cost start around $50.00 USD for a seat.
The trip takes about 40 hours.
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...
The gondola ride up the hill near the beach Lanzheron. Odessa is built upon a 30 meter (100 ft) plateau that overlooks the Black Sea, and as such, all Odessites are good climbers (except those who ride this gondola).
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')
The best way to get to Odesa is either by a higher-class train or by an ariplane.
The best way to get around is to rent a car. I don't advise to use public transit, because it's overcrowded and has a lot of thieves in it. Especially avoid trolley-buses and streetcars (trams)
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
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...
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.
Getting around in Odesa by public transport is straightforward don`t bother to find a place where you can buy tickets , there is a conductor in every tram or bus! A ticked for one trip is only 0.50 hryvnia