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Why visit Odessa?
If you have time when you are in Odessa, then you must try and attend the Odessa National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Probably the second most famous site in the city after the Potemkin Stairs, the Odessa Opera is a masterpiece of world-class architecture. Tickets for performances can be bought online and when planning a trip it is advisable to check availability and performances well in advance.
For those looking for something a bit more quirky and unusual when they visit a city, then the Odessa Catacombs should be visited. One of the world’s largest urban labyrinths, only a small portion of it is officially open as a museum. In the 19th century, most houses in Odessa were built of limestone that was mined nearby and when these mines were abandoned, local smugglers created a labyrinth of tunnels beneath Odessa. There are still rumours of hidden treasure to be found in the catacombs!
Finally, as a fitting tribute to Odessa and to the dark humour that runs through the city and its people, we suggest a visit to the Darth Vadar statue. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, old statues of Soviet figures in Ukraine have slowly been removed. One particular statue of Lenin on the outskirts of Odessa was scheduled to be removed before local artist Alexander Milov had a better idea. He transformed Lenin’s billowing coattails into the ominous cape of Darth Vader himself and created the famous mask of the Star Wars character to fit the statue. As a bonus, Milov also fitted the helmet with a wifi router, providing free connectivity to all who cower in his presence.