In one of the more interesting part of my trip to Ukraine, my friend Stanislav insisted we take the sleeper train from Lviv to Odessa.
I’ll never forget what he said to me. He said: “You need to take this train to get a local experience, you’ll hate it because I hate it.”
Well, I’m always down for an adventure so I said yes to taking this supposed “terrible” train ride.
24 hour train ride from Lviv to Odessa
The train ride wasn’t as bad actually. Sure, the train is pretty beat up but it’s not something I haven’t done before. I took a sleeper train in India before and that was definitely a rougher experience.
The only thing I didn’t like about the train ride was how the lights was turned on during the whole night. It was very bright and made it hard to fall asleep.
To be honest, I expected a lot from Odessa and that’s the first mistake I made. You shouldn’t make any expectations when you travel.
Stanislav did not like it because he said there’s something about the city that felt artificial.
For me, I actually really liked the weather. In mid-September, it still felt like a nice hot destination.
On the other hand, the beach is really terrible in Odessa. It’s dirty and polluted and not really the best place to go swimming or to lounge around.
However, if you don’t go to Odessa for the beach, I think you would like it just fine. I personally liked the city itself and they had one of the best hostels I’ve stayed at.
Just a word of warning, Ukrainian people are really weird and they have having air conditioner on. So at night, I had to fight with the Ukrainians in my dorm as we took turns playing turn the AC on and off (this happened to me too when I had a Ukrainian dorm mate in Dubrovnik, Croatia).
They also have some neat exhibitions of different weapons and canons around the city that’s worth a look.
To be honest, I’m not sure if I would ever return to Odessa. While it’s a neat city and I personally liked it more than Lviv, it just didn’t stand out to me. I would rather check out other beach destinations in Europe that I haven’t seen yet like Split in Croatia or Varna in Bulgaria.
It’s definitely worth to check out at least once if you’re already in Ukraine so go ahead and do that.