Odessa safety warnings

what to see in odessa
Humorina festival in Odessa

Whether Odessa Ukraine safe for travel?

In this article, we will try to consider is Odessa safe for travelers. First of all considering the place of living within the city. Almost all tourists live in city centre, so you should consider specifics of this part of city and areas nearby.

  • Downtown. Main tourist zone. Most of streets in downtown are quite safe in the afternoon and relatively in the evening. It is better not to walk alone at night, unless you are in a big company, or accompanied by a local friend. Also take in mind, that even at night during summer season here walks lot of tourists and locals, so is’t hard to find yourself in a deserted place.
  • Stations & market. Highly unpleasant places. Without necessity try to avoid the area of train-station, bus-station and privoz market (Odessa Privoz). This rule is suitable for any city in Ukraine – train or bus station, market, and nearest streets – is traditional places of congestion of all suspicious personalities. If you go there it does not mean that something necessarily will happen with you, but simply avoiding such places, you significantly increase chances of not getting into trouble.
  • Suburbs. Keep in mind, that suburbs doesn’t mean little private houses along silent streets. Suburbs in Odessa is a place of cheapest estate and city slums. You can go there in the daytime, but highly recommended to avoid this area at night.

Dating in night clubs and bars

First of all, remember that atmosphere, purpose of visit and culture in bars of Odessa, is somewhat different from european one. It often happens that a nice girl acquainted with you in the bar, and then offers to go somewhere. Then she leads you to a quiet place where her accomplices rob you. This kind of robbery happens quite often, as many tourists like to sit in the evening in a bar and are naive about such acquaintances. This is a well-developed scheme of robbing.

is odessa safe

Don’t get drunk alone

How to avoid this? Of course, it is difficult to say with what intentions a girl in a bar meets you. Decide whether you continue to dialogue with her, or not, depends on you, but be careful if she suggests you go somewhere. Best solution is to offer her something yourself, not letting you take to some unknown and incomprehensible place to you. Important! – never get drunk in a bar! In such cases you can say farewell to all your money. To get drunk is neither safe for american travelers, nor for anybody else.

Trust or not to trust

Speaking about is Odessa safe, we should mention another one thing. If it so happened that you need to ask a local person a question, here are a couple of tips with whom you can talk and whom is better to avoid.

  • Language. First of all, remember that people over age of 30 do not know English language. Using English, you can easily communicate with teenagers, or young people under 35. To understand the language situation in Ukraine, see our special article.
  • Appearance. Pay attention on appearance. Never talk to young people in cheap sports suits and jockey caps. This is traditional clothing of street robbers, scammers and other such persons. They are bald-headed or have short hairdress. Just try to avoid them. Such people never have hipster beards or long hair.
  • Age. It is best to chat with new generation. For example – hipsters or teenagers. They always know English, are polite and have no hidden intentions. Young people who wear hipster beards, long hair or ponytails are also trustworthy.

Odessa Ukraine safety. Money exchange tips

Speaking about is Odessa safe for travelers, we need to mention another one thing. Many tourists from abroad, perhaps, believe that non-cash payment system is not developed in Ukraine. This is not true. Most of services in Ukraine, especially in a big city, can be paid by your international card. Any restaurant, dining room, large supermarket – have card terminals. Cash you need to pay a taxi, when using public transport, buying tickets to museums or theater, to do some purchases in small outlets on the street, or in bazaar.

is odessa safe

Odessa Ukraine safety tips – use cards

First of all, you need to remember one thing: never get all your money out of pockets. What does it mean? Let’s consider. Any tourist or traveler, coming to Odessa, will change money in currency exchange office. For example, you exchanged $500. The fact is that in currency of Ukraine this amount will be a large bundle of money. And it attracts attention very much. A big bundle of money in your hands always attracts attention in Ukraine! Most common mistake of travelers is when they pay even for a cup of coffee on the street, they take out whole pack of money from their pockets, thereby showing them to possible robbers.

is odessa safe

Travel to Odessa warning – don’t keep big bundle of money

What should you do? If you use cash, it’s best to divide them into several parts, and get only a small amount, for example ₴1000 hryvnia, for cash payment. Such amount is almost always enough for you to pay for any service, be it a taxi, a small bill in a restaurant, a bottle of water or a cup of coffee. In addition, this amount will not attract special attention to you. Therefore, try to get only a small amount of money. Keep the others in your pocket. Many currency exchange offices are located directly on the streets. If you will change money on street, it will not be difficult for anyone to see how much cash you have with yourself. Try to change money in closed premises of any bank.

Watch your phone

Especialy in summer season, when thousands of tourist come to Odessa, many people become the target of a pickpocket. It can happens it crowded places of old city, where dozens of people walking around in the evening. Sometimes it happens in shops with big number of people in it. But the most popular place for that is city transport. Odessa transport is pretty bad and usually awfully crowded. That is why you should be careful and watch attentively to your phone, or pocket.

is odessa safe

Public transport is usual place for pickpocket

How to avoid this? Best option escape any crowd and don’t get inside it. Second one option is to keep you phone or pocket in right place. If you have a backpack or handbag, keep it in front of you, not behind. Do not put your phone into hip pocket! It’s best place for stealing. Always better to put anything in front pocket of jeans ect. You should remember this rules, because if somebody steal your pocket or phone, be sure, police don’t help you and even won’t try. So remember the right places to keep things, or carry phone in your hand while you are in crowd.

Is Odessa safe? – taxi cheating

Another important point to understand is Odessa safety, is to know how taxi service works. There are several types of taxi.

  • Normal. The first option – a taxi that is ordered in a special service by phone. This is most preferable option, because you only contact with operator of communication, and you will immediately get information about price of your trip. In this case, driver will not know in advance where you came from, and will not be able to tell you a different price than the one that was first determined by operator of service.
    Such a taxi is easy to order by purchasing a sim card of Ukrainian mobile operators. This is also easy to do, because SIM cards in Ukraine are not attached to passport data. Also you can ask to order a taxi at the reception in your hotel, or to get local taxi service numbers.
  • Cheating. Another type of taxi – stationary, which stand just on the street. Such taxi drivers always see who gets into their car, a foreigner or a local, so it’s not always safe. In addition, they always take a much larger fee for their services. The most striking example of this will be taxi drivers at airport, who will offer you a fee twice and thrice time higher, than if you order a taxi by phone. Just remember this.
  • Uber. Uber system operates in Odessa. If you have an appropriate application in your smartphone, you can easily use this service.

We hope that the question is Odessa safe for travelers become clear to you. If you have any questions regarding safety, leave a comment under this post, or ask a question in our social networks. We will try to respond as accurately as possible to any of your questions regarding tourist safety, various dangerous situations and options for getting out of them.