Located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, Odessa enjoys warm summers to go with its glorious sandy beaches. Odessa is also famed for its cosmopolitan city life and elegant neo-classical architecture. The biggest draw of the city itself is the Old Town which is abundant in grand buildings and boulevards designed with a certain Mediterranean flair. The Old Town is also dotted with perfectly manicured parks most notably the City Garden (Gorodskoy Sad), where visitors can enjoy a picnic by the musical fountain and watch some outdoor theatre.
Essential activities in the city include a wander along the famously grand Primorskiy Boulevard followed by a walk down the famous Potemkin Steps, an iconic piece of architecture that also serves as a visual illusion. Browsing the boutique stores found within the upmarket Passage Gallery is a favourite pastime for shoppers. The city also boasts a healthy portfolio of museums including the Maritime Museum and Sea Port Museum which both trek the story of the city's maritime importance and the Archaeological Museum and Odessa Region Museum which each pay homage to the city's past. Fans of the arts can enjoy the Picture Gallery, the Museum of the Cinema, the Museum of Western and Eastern Art and the Literature Museum.
In the evening it is worth buying tickets to the Odessa Opera which plays out in one of the city's most iconic and beautiful buildings, the Neo-Baroque Opera House. Visitors may also want to try to see the Odessa Philharmonic, which is also housed in a grand historic building.
Be sure to save a couple of days for the beach, especially during the summer months. The Lanzheron beach is found close to the city centre and is good for families as it's also next to the Dolphinarium. Arcadia Beach is ideal for a full day and evening entertainment as it offers a range of beach facilities, shops, cafes and bars.