Criminal/Gangster Odessa tour (Moldavanka)

Odessa Criminal excursion

We invite you to a fascinating tour – Criminal Odessa. You will hear stories about famous bandits and frauds of the century, you will see Mishka Yaponchik’s patio, Gotsman’s house, Prison Castle, etc. The tour can be either a pedestrian or a car-pedestrian. There is a variant to conduct a tour in the central part of Odessa and / or in the Moldavanka region.
Duration – 2,5-3 hours.

Map of Moldavanka

Moldavanka excursion


To feel the spirit of Odessa in full, we invite you to the most popular excursion – Crime Odessa. So yes, Odessa is not only a multinational cosmopolitan city with sparkling humor and luxurious architecture. Reputedly Odessa is also famous for its “criminal talent” …

Since the founding of the city-port and the right to free trade, Odessa was considered to be a sort of freemen, where people of different classes, wealth and nationalities were striving for a happy life. Odessa was developing rapidly, transforming into a large trading port. However, as you know, our people are resourceful. Therefore, it is not surprising that illegal goods became famous here, various gangs appeared and smuggling originated.

So, the most criminal area at the time was the notorious Moldavanka. At that time it was the outskirts of the city where small traders, workers and draymen settled. A future leader of Odessa bandits – Mishka Yaponchik, was born among the simple poor folk in one of the courtyards of the Moldavanka. Dreaming to conquer all of Odessa, Mishka gained fame in the criminal world and became the king of raiders smugglers. They used to make legends and compose songs about him. If you knew how many books and movies were made about Misha Yaponchik!

Odessa attracted the attention of many swindlers and thieves. Sonka the Golden Hand was a famous adventurer of the late XIX century. Her criminal talent fraudsters were rumored even in Europe. Sonya founded a secret thieves academy in Odessa and allocated her own funds for its maintenance. During the tour, we will show you where this academy was located and where Sonya lived.

The brightest Odessa adventurer of all time is the prototype of Ostap Bender – Osip Shore. We know about his “track record” of brilliant frauds from the stories of “The Twelve Chairs” and “The Golden Calf” by I. Ilf and E. Petrov. However, locals of Odessa know firsthand about the adventures of the great fraudster Osip Shore and can tell interesting incidents from his life.

Gangster Odessa was “glorified” not only in the stories, but also in the movies, such as the “Green van”, “Liquidation”, “Three days in Odessa”, “Dangerous tour”, “Deja vu”, etc. Also a lot of songs, driven far outside the country were devoted to it. Among them: “Murka”, “On the sea sand”, “I’m from Odessa, hello!”, “On Moldavanka”, “Today Sonia is celebrating barthday”, “Hop-stop” and others that have replenished the collection of songs about Odessa.

The “Criminal Odessa” excursion (“Gangster Odessa”, “Moldavanka”) has always been and remains among the most visited and fascinating ones. During the tour, we will walk along Moldavanka, take a look into the courtyards of famous Odessa criminals, visit the “raspberry”, as well as walk along Myasoyedovskaya, Kolontayevskaya and Malaya Arnautskaya streets, where they used to fabricate fakes and sell the stolen goods. You will hear the secrets and legends of the thieves’ world and entertaining stories about sensational scams. You will find out how contraband came up in Odessa, who created the “raider code” or who Yasha Blumkin, Grisha Kotovsky, Karabas and David Kurlyand are. Excursion duration is 2-3 hours.

In addition, we offer to visit the Smuggling Museum or to go to the old quarries of the Moldavanka.

Are you intrigued? Then join us! Call us or leave your application here.
Check out our guides here.