Welcome to Odesa! Whether you came here for a perfect summer getaway or to find a new home, be sure Odesa will welcome you with the open arms. Over one million people, 150 nationalities, fourth largest city in Ukraine… This list can be continued with many interesting stats. But it’s not the numbers that matter, it’s the people and memories that touch our souls. So, let’s set our sails and start exploring.
Update from 2018: Since the story was published, Dream House has won a number of awards and spread out to many cities across Europe. I have stayed there a couple of times myself and my experience couldn’t be more positive 🙂
Back to early 2000. One evening over 6 years ago we were having a cup of tea my friend and fellow Toastmaster Eugene. At that time he was having some trouble arranging an accommodation in Kyiv for his foreign friends. Having traveled all over Europe, I often stay at hostels, hence, I was surprised to find out that there was no decent hostel in Kyiv at that moment.
Time has passed and recently I was even more surprised with the great news that not only had Eugene opened a Dream House Hostel in Kyiv, but his hostel made it to the TOP 10 best large hostels worldwide, according to the Hostelworld ranking.
I will be honest: in winter it gets really-really cold in Kyiv. So, together with some outdoor activities on your to-do list, it’s important to have a safety plan that includes some nice cozy places to warm up. One of these should definitely be the art Gallery of Lavra.
Remember the last time you were at home relishing that tasty jam right away from a jar? Enjoyed it? Then you are most welcomed to the Banka fan bar, a conceptual democratic bar in Kyiv where everything, food and drinks, is served in traditional jars of glass (a jar is ‘banka’ in Ukrainian, and that’s where this place got its name from). Soups, sausages, and even desserts – everything here is served in cute glass jars which is, believe me, a totally new culinary experience.
If you ever visit Mamaeva Sloboda, you’ll find yourself in a traditional Ukrainian village with small houses, wooden churches, and windmills. Thus, this open-air park is a great place to dive into the history of Ukraine and experience the traditional Ukrainian life of 16-17th centuries. Especially, if you come over during spring or summer, the picture will be enhanced with the spectacular view of the rich green meadows, colorful water lilies on blue lakes, and many blooming trees.
Whether you are looking for that one cup of extra strong espresso, or a huge traditional American breakfast, or just a quiet place to work and dive into your laptop for a couple of hours, sooner or later the bumpy Kyiv roads will bring you to Aroma Espresso Bar.
Some time ago a trip to San Francisco has had a big impact on my life. Being in this beautiful city taught me to be more attentive to the world around me, to appreciate the city I live in and to notice what might not be seen from the first glance. That’s why, when I came back to Kyiv I was more than excited with an offer from Cityshare, a popular European travel startup, to write a blog about Kyiv.