Odessa Travel GuideThis is my guide to Odessa after my 2012 trip took me to Ukraine.
Getting to OdessaI arrived via train from Moldova. It was pretty straightforward. The train stopped at the Ukrainian border, we went through formalities and I had my Ukrainian entry stamp. I had arranged to couchsurf while I was in Odessa, but was off on my dates when I arranged with my host Galya. I arrived in Odessa 1 day earlier than I had down on paper. Galya and her boyfriend Max were up in Kiev visiting family still, and so my first night in Odessa would be in a hotel.
AccommodationI wandered around the Odessa train station for a while, until finally getting my bearings and headed towards a hostel I had booked the day before. It was about 30 minutes walk away in Arcadia Beach. I was hurried away quickly: They were full, my Hostelworld booking meant nothing here. I walked back to the train station and figured I'd try my luck there. I finally found a taxi driver that could speak some English. My Russian and Ukrainian was very limited. I told him I needed a hotel, he said Tokyo Star and I hopped in.
He literally drove about 10 laps around the train station and dropped me off across the street. But whatever, at least I had a place to sleep.It was an odd place. I paid anyways and dropped off my bags. It was the tiniest room.
After getting checked into what was the the smallest hotel room I'd ever seen I headed out to get a glimpse of the Black Sea.I had a nice afternoon out in the sun and then going to a Ukrainian McDonald's. Luckily the menu is English words, just written in Cyrillic. So the Чікін сендвіч I wanted to order sounds exactly the same as saying 'chicken sandwich' even at a Ukrainian McDonald's. Obviously anywhere else that wouldn't be the case because our words for chicken are different. I headed back to the good ol' Tokyo Star for the evening. It was a night filled with loudly watching Russian music videos to drown out the sound of the Russians next door having extremely loud sex next door. All that separated us was a paper thin wall.
Good thing I slept fully clothed and with my own pillow and blankets. At least I only paid the equivalent of $10 in Ukrainian Hyrivnia.
The next morning when I did go meet Max and Galya at a cafe before heading over to their apartment they both about had a heart attack when I told them the Tokyo Star is where I had stayed. They said people get murdered there all the time and that's the place you bring your prostitute and rent a room at an hourly rate.