Following Odessa Foreign Settlers

This Odessa group walk provides an exciting journey into the city’s early days. You’ll walk in the footsteps of Odessa’s early settlers, including Italians, Greeks, Polish and French. They arrived in the frontier of the Russian Empire and made the «Odessa project» happen.

The story of the four foreigners

The four foreigners met on a Russian navy vessel in 1780s- Jose de Ribas, Duc de Richelieu, Count of Langeron and François de Wollant. De Ribas convinced the Russian Empress Catherine to found Odessa on the frontier. Richeliue made it the 3rd largest city in the Russian Empire in just 11 years. Langeron established here a free economic zone, which boosted city’s economy. Finally, de Wollant created the first plan of the city and the harbor. Quite an impact!

Those four took the lead and were supported by hundreds of French, Germans, English, Bulgarians, Greeks and Italians who were encouraged to settle in Odessa.

This Odessa group walk takes you through the ethnic neighborhoods of the city center, soaked in history and packed full of the most entertaining stories. After all, it can’t be any other way! Odessa’s foreign settlers were adventurous and entrepreneurial people. Fanconi, Astoridi, Frapolli, Pototsky, Sabansky — they played key roles in wheat trade,  opened the city’s first coffee shops and bakeries, designed splendid buildings, which still exist.

We’ll walk through Odessa’s Palais Royal (you did not know we have one as well? :)) and along one of the finest and longest streets once called Italian. We’ll see the first English men’s club (well, when the Brits moved in, they needed to feel at home, right ?:) ). Off the beaten track Greek and Polish streets, La Strata Ribas – that part of it, which starts with the statue to Odessa’s founder in his actual size. We bet you’ll be surprised to see how he looked… You’ll enjoy this walk. It will make you forget that you are somewhere there… Eastern Europe….. traveling…. You’ll feel at home!

More information about our Odessa group walks is available here

What’s the price?

$15 per person. Children under 14 go free


2 hours

How to join?

Email us at with your name and date when you’d like to join. Booking is free and should be made at least a couple of hours before the tour. We’ll respond with confirmation

When is the walk?

April — Oct: daily, at 4.00pm Nov-March: daily, at 3.00pm

Where’s the meeting point?

City Garden on Deribasovskaya street. Look for the guide with the Odessa Walks sign

What’s the group size?

12 people max. We highly recommend booking a spot on a group walk a day in advance during the high season