Be wary of purse snatchers and pickpocketers. Odessa has always been renowned for its skilled pickpocketers who tend to lurk around Privoz and other crowded areas. By the way the picture does not represent pickpocketeres, just a picture displaying privoz clientele.
Although I love Odessa -- grew up not far from it -- it is a common knowledge that this city is full of accomplished thieves. They are great actors, too! So watch out!
Here is Odessa joke:
"Zhorik (male name), take 'my' coat!"
"But there is a person in it!"
"It is OK, shake him out!"
Don't let this comment to divert you from visiting Odessa, though. Just keep your eyes and ears open and your brains functioning!
The weak standard of living, the number important of only women and the big proportion of pretty women in Ukraine, one brought little of the societies scrupulous to imagine a flourishing trade.
These societies sell the young and pretty woman coordinates, and when you bought an option on about twenty these ladies, propose you a cruise or a stay in the country. The tourist candidate to the marriage sees himself surrounded therefore during his stay by charming creatures who are all very attentive with him.
The most often, this kind of trade is only a simple, banal and sad swindle, porch of the procuring. The journey is invoiced ten times its cost, and the presented damsels, all very young, don't have really desire to get married. on the other hand, their worries are to make the men spend a maximum of royalties in hope to find a wife.
Other wound of this trade type, of the young women, who act in organized strips, via agencies, or to their own account, and that achieve real swindles to the marriage: soliciting money for the passport, the visa, the tickets of planes, and other services.
In general Odessa is a safe city. Most probably you will not meet gangsters or robbers here :). To keep your money safe - do not exchange it with people on the streets (even if they will suggest you unbelievable high rate), please use only official currency exchange ofices. If you want to catch a taxi - please agree about price first. Also will be a big advantage if your Russian or Ukrainian speaking friend or guide will agree about price with taxi driver instead of you, because othervise you will pay same price as in Europe or even higher. In order to avoid problems with stomach please buy food only at a big supermarkets.
There are many money changers hanging around Potemkin Steps. Don`t change money with them unless you have too much of it and don`t mind to be short changed!