Odessa is unique and unlike any other place you may have visited.
A vibrant nightlife scene, beautiful beaches, friendly people and a relaxed atmosphere means Odessa's nightlife is on par with any we have seen in the world, which is why the pearl of the Black Sea is fast becoming one of the party capitals of Eastern Europe.
For years Russia's elite flooded down to Odessa's beaches in the summer, turning it into a wild, fun oasis.
Today, Odessa plays host to a worldwide ensemble of party revellers, thanks to the fine stretches of beaches, high-energy outdoor discos on the coast, and mega-clubs around the city centre. Considered the hottest place for summer nightlife in Europe, even during the Euromaidan revolution the outdoor discos played home to thousands of partiers most nights, because in Odessa, the party must go on!
Only a short, 20-minute ride from the centre of Odessa, a frequent hotspot for 'happening' discos and cafes is Arcadia. Here you are sure to find many young, single, beautiful party people with fascinating backgrounds and ethnic origins. The main attraction being, of course, the outdoor mega nightclub complexes, in particular, Itaka and Ibiza nightclubs which party until the sun comes up on the Black Sea. This is all well and good for the quick visit, but there are many more beach bars for the adventurous traveller, so don't be shy, explore!
If you only have a short visit, just hitting any of the discos such as Bono Beach Club, Western Club, Assol (a large ship-type club, operating as a seafood restaurant all day and during night turning into a wild club with dancers and dance shows), Mantra and others, and you'll quickly see that you could literally party at a different place each night of the week without even leaving Arcadia!
But Odessa has much more to offer for partiers....during the winter months the staffs of these clubs reappear at discos in the city such as Palladium and Fancy Room on Frantsuz'ky Blvd., amongst others. Numerous other year-round places in the city centre draw locals and tourists, including the ever-popular Morgan Club (formerly known as Captain Morgan).
For early evening chat and hookah, numerous indoor/outdoor lounges such as Granat Café, Fanconi 1872 and Central are worthy of consideration. And for those looking to "touch base with the western world" Mick O'Neils, aka "The Irish Pub", is a place to sit back in the day or evening and chat up a storm with ex-pats, first time visitors, and a few locals.
It's not unusual to hear accents from Holland, Sweden, England, and California all within a table's reach here, and people here are obviously very friendly towards foreigners because of the city's status as the tourism capital of the Ukraine, so you'll never feel unwelcome at any time of the year, just say hello in whatever language you like… The citizens of Odessa come from very dynamic ancestry as Odessa is a port city and was originally settled by Greeks, Italians, the Polish, and Jewish, which creates a strange dichotomy; some of the citizenry look like Rain Dog extras from a Tom Waits music video, while others are very exotic looking, and each have their own special touch of personality and spice to what they're seeking when they adventure out and about through nightlife!
Cafe culture is alive and well in Odessa and are the ideal starting points for visitors looking to mingle, meet new cool people, and even interact with other travellers! Many visitors in Odessa are Ukrainians from other parts of Ukraine, in transition, working, or studying and always have their eyes open for a prospective long-term life partner, after all, Odessa is a city full of romance.
Nightclubs and Cafes in Arcadia
Odessa nightlife is indeed rich, diversified and bright, and unlike Moscow and Kiev, Odessa is a relatively small city, with all of the nightlife attractions being easily accessible. People often switch several nightclubs before dawn. Prices for nightlife entertainment are much lower in Odessa than in Kiev or Moscow.
It's rumoured that the typical population of one million actually doubles to two million during summer, thanks to its affordable prices, numerous outdoor cafes, pubs, discos and restaurants, for many adventure minded folks, it's the ultimate place to take a vacation in East Europe. That's why it becomes a real tourist trap during the summer, with tens of thousands of people visiting the city to party the day and night away every week. The obvious benefit here is that the city will be filled with more tanned, beautiful people than you can shake a long stick at.
Odessa is a city that truly comes to alive at night, and the Arcadia district is the best place for summer nightlife in Odessa. Teeming with dozens of discos, nightclubs, and bars, the area provides ample opportunities for visitors. Itaka is a venue designed as an ancient Greek temple, with columns, Greek statues and marble elements that create a unique atmosphere for their guests. The place is very crowded during the weekends, and the most popular nightclubs in Odessa are already full by 11pm. You can always sneak in by giving a $10 bill to the security guys.
Arcadia is a big hotspot for nightlife because of the multitude of popular discos, bars, shops and restaurants, as well as other cool, smaller cafes where people can casually meet and take it from there! In the off-season (after mid-September), there are many nightclubs in Odessa city centre, as the town is bustling with nightlife. Popularity of nightclubs in Odessa changes often so it's best to ask the locals what is popular at present.
Be smart, go local, and watch your wallet.
Traveling as a tourist to the local wineries and restaurants or cafés can be a great way to make new friends of either sex—that can in turn then introduce you to more friends and potentially beautiful Ukrainian men and women!
It's worth noting that some of the smaller, local restaurants that are more frequented by the locals are some kilometres away from the heart of Odessa, but are nonetheless safe for (single) foreigners looking to meet new interesting people (and beautiful Ukrainian singles!). Interestingly enough, you might even find yourself stumbling across your soul mate and immersing yourself into a totally unique and different experience than originally anticipated for your adventures into Odessa!
As a single man, some final key points and advice to keep in mind is that prostitution is existent throughout Odessa, and while "illegal" per say, they exist in places including discos and bars fairly "openly", so be careful (should you wish), with who you interact with and how. Applying common sense will really go the extra mile—be on the lookout for women who simply just want to use you to buy her drinks throughout the night—and then vanish, or even worse, drug you and rob you!