"It was my 22nd birthday when my friend and I went to Odessa to meet an old friend at a private beach. After a few drinks we decided to swim naked and I couldn't resist capturing the moment."
- Alexander Alekseenko
Go: If you don't have your own private beach to enjoy, try Chkalovski. Just slightly south of the city center, it offers large sheltering boulders to set up your camp behind.
Stay: The Odessa Apartments in Amina Center are cheaper than a hotel and offer a more local experience. Everything is proximal though, so choosing other options won't steer you wrong.
Eat: Alex recommends being a bit adventurous with the menus. "Pick out the strangest sounding meal- it always works," Alex says. It goes without saying that borscht and varenyky (Ukrainian stuffed dumplings) are a must try.
Drink: The Ukraine is home to a number of craft breweries and brewpubs with hearty lagers. However, for the true Odessa experience, find a truck selling kvas, a traditional Russian beer brewed from bread.