Excursion to Chernobyl, Pripyat, to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant


An excursion to Chernobyl is a type of extreme leisure that is rapidly becoming popular. The abandoned city, where only shift workers live, is visited by numerous tourist groups everyday. Everyone receives individual dosimetric accumulators and are taught to use them on the spot. A person does not just go on a Chernobyl adventure, but also takes a mini-course on survival in the event of a radiation disaster.


How to get in?

There are three waves of interest in the ChEZ, both on the part of state researchers and illegal "stalkers". The first occurred in the 1990s - in that period mainly marginals penetrated into the territory, trying to find values ​​in order to sell them later. The second wave is associated with the game "S.T.A.L.K.E.R.". The largest tourist influx was given by the third wave, provoked by videos from the Internet about illegal entries.

Since then, about 1000 "guests" have been illegally arriving in the Zone every year. 

If you do not want to break the law, you should go on an excursion to Chernobyl from Kiev from a travel company. 


To go from a company you need:


  • to contact an agency that is officially allowed to work in the Exclusion Zone in a couple of days before the expected date of travel

  • to make an advance payment, provide contact and passport information. Special discounts are usually offered to Ukrainian citizens.

  • Since the ChEZ is a regime object, to stay here you must have a pass. It is issued by the tour operator. It is shown at two checkpoints located at the entrance to different subzones (30-kilometer and 10-kilometer).

  • At the specified time, everyone gathers in a pre-agreed place, where the guide is waiting for them. In one and a half to two hours they reach the ChEZ.


If you don't want to go by bus with other tourists, you can take an excursion to Chernobyl in your car.

All accompanying persons undergo special training, receive a license to conduct excursion programs. They help tourists to avoid a variety of hazards, including radiation.


What to do locally

Further programs are very different - for one day or several days. A variety of excursion routes are offered.

Today the nuclear power plant belongs to specially protected objects, it is located in a 10-kilometer zone, which is surrounded by a 30-kilometer zone. However, for those who take an extended excursion, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant can be shown from the inside. Tourists are even allowed to walk along the "golden" corridor that connects the administration building with the energy blocks. It is called "golden" because of the special gilded panels with which it is sheathed. They protect against radiation exposure.

An excursion to the Zone often begins with a tour of the deserted villages which residents left after the accident. Further, the tourist group goes to Kopachi, which is located 4 kilometers from the power plant. Local houses did not try to wash them from radiation, instead they are buried in the ground. If you are going on a one-day trip, there are a few hours of walking. If in a multi-day tour - much more time of walking in these places.


Accommodation and meals

Tourists who are taking a long tour (2 and more days) can spend the night right in Chernobyl. There are two hotels and one hostel to choose.

Lunch takes place in the 19th dining room. Before the accident, the employees of the power plant had their dinners here, and after that - the workers who built the dome to cover the fourth power unit. This is a rather interesting place that attracts with its entourage. Of course, there are no Michelin stars in the classic Soviet canteen, but the food here is tasty and satisfying.

If you want some diversity, you can visit another canteen (Pripyat) or go to the Ten cafe. Also in the city there are several stores selling all kinds of souvenirs: hats, T-shirts, magnets, mugs and lighters.


Travel rules

Officially, only 18 years old and + are allowed to enter the Exclusion Zone. There are no special health requirements. The dose of radiation that a person receives during a trip is not more than that which aircraft passengers are exposed to during an hour's flight.

It is still impossible to live near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, since there is "spotty" pollution - the places near which took place the main work  and was located the equipment of the liquidators . However, the territory is quite suitable for a secure location. There are no threats to tourists, even if they go on a one-week excursion.


Even though almost all excursion tours are organized according to the "All inclusive" principle, there is a list of restrictions on the territory of the ChEZ:

  • all visitors are required to put on tight and closed things, shoes with thick soles;

  • it is not allowed to take found items with you, only purchased souvenirs;

  • it is forbidden to smoke outside the designated areas, lie on the ground, eat local mushrooms and berries, drink water from open sources;

  • upon departure, it is obligatory to pass the dosimetric control.


If, as a result of the dosimetric control, no deviations are detected, then the tourist is allowed to leave the facility without any problems. If, for example, shoes emit radiation, they are washed, after which the tourist can safely leave the Exclusion Zone.

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