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Full-Day Tour of Chernobyl and Prypiat from Kiev
Ranked #1 of 66 Outdoor Activities in Kiev
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The first-hand trips to the Chernobyl zone, Chernobyl nuclear power plant and Prypyat-town. You are welcome to join our CHERNOBYL TOUR®, during which you will see all of the allowed locations in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. Professional and friendly guides. Exclusive routes. Dosimeters for rent. An open-eye experience.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

I booked a tour of Chernobyl and Pripyat through UkrainianWeb.com. First the basics. You need to pay a deposit and also complete some forms electronically, submitting exact details of the party that is visiting. On the day we were picked up at the hotel by a driver - one complaint here was that I had to had cash over to someone who was a random person, however, this was part of the formalities. We were a group of five who wanted to visit the Exclusion area. Its a drive of about 90 minutes before you reach the perimeter - it was clear that the formalities were required as our passports were checked against a list, and we were waved on into the Zone. Our tour took initially to a Kindergarden south of the Power plant, and I cannot express in words how it looked - stepping back in time is the first phrase that springs to mind. We drove a bit further, taking in a memorial to the villages that were levelled and buried, before driving onto an exhibit that had some of the robots used to clean up the mess - they are still highly radioactive. Driving further, visiting the still functional fire station and memorial to the brave individuals that were involved in the accident we travelled ontowards the power plant itself. A very recognisable sight, the power plant is immense in size - and clearly through teh building of a replacement sarcophagus is in active management still after all these years. We got an opportunity to see reactor 4 from a distance of 400m. After this, we entered Pripyat - the abandoned city. This review will not do enough justice to the impact it made on me. Our guide (mark) was excellent, and we spent around three hours walking around, and inside buildings. What there is to see is fairly well documented elsewhere, so I wont spend time on that - but we were privileged as a small group to climb an abandoned 16 story block of flats to its roof to get a panorama of the city. What was striking was not only what an attractive city this once was, but also how close it was to the power plant. It must have been a great place to live in the years prior to the accident. Climbing around the buildings, seeing the cinema, school, gymnasium and an apartment block has left an indelible image on my mind. If you have the chance to take a tour or visit, i would strongly recommend it - and do so soon - it wont be too long before the buildings are too unsafe to enter. this in a strange way was most clearly demonstrated by a visit to the football stadium - the pitch is an actual forest now. Very difficult to describe in words, but you only realise what it once was when you see the seating stands in relation to what was the playing surface. Nature has truly reclaimed Pripyat.

Visited May 2013
7 Thank Kevin_Floyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2013

I went for a day trip to Chernobyl (and Pripyat - the ghost town) with 23 other people. The tour was arranged by our local contact in Kiev (we paid in USD - even though we all are European, grr) and they asked for our passport info and reported it to the organizer, Chernobyl-TOUR(.com). (Remember to take your passports with you on the tour.)

We started at 8 am from the Kiev main railway station, and came back there at 9 pm.
In the bus (AC, TV) we were divided into two groups: Russian speakers and English speakers (the later having people from Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Germany). I can't say much of Dimitry, the first groups guide, but our own Vita was very lovely and extremely professional and knowledgeable.

On the way to the exclusion zone we were shown a documentary on the accident, which was very interesting - and sobering. We were also told how to behave: not to take pics of the security posts (at 30 km limit, 10 km limit and Pripyat itself - although in there we were allowed to shoot the post, but never the guards), keep our hands clean, not to eat or drink anything while within the zone (nor after, until we had washed our hands) etc.

On the way we had a pit stop at Ivankov (half way from Kiev and the power plant), then a stop at the village of Zalesye, where we walked amongst the ruined and inhabitable houses.

Then to the ghost town of Pripyat itself, where we spotted different hot spots (the radiation may increase threefold within a few metres) and saw high rise buildings - some outwardly in good condition, others half collapsed. We saw the hospital, the school (one of many), department store, swimming hall etc.

A short stop at the "sarcophagus" at the destoyed reactor Nr 4, where we had a group picture taken (thanks Vita :-) - you're allowed to take pics only of the sarcophagus and the new one built next to it.

Then back south, first stop being at the 10 km check point, where everybody had to go thru radiation screening (NB: Do NOT try to bring any souvenirs from the zone).
A lunch in town of Chernobyl, where 4400 people live - although not permanently, and further to the check point Dityatki at 30 kms (and another radiation screening).

On the way back we got each an individual certificate of having visited the zone, including our received radiation dose! (The guides had counters with them all the time.)

Oh, the zone is a haven for wild life. We saw Przewalski's horses in there! Also, do NOT step on any droppings you will encounter - they are quite well radiated. Might cause some trouble at the exit screenings...

We were quite tired after the long day, but it was worth every penny!

Also, at the end of the tour we were offered to buy souvenirs (glow-in-the-dark mugs, T-shirts and postcards - which Vita would have posted for us at the Chernobyl post office (unfortunately I was too tired to write any cards, as I had an early flight home waiting for me)).

Visited April 2013
3 Thank TJHelsinki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tarragona, Spain
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

I did the 2 day tour with chernobyl-tour company and it was AWESOME. I strongly recomend this tour to all my friends and collegues for all the things I saw and experienced.
Our guide, Vita, was fantastic!! She knew all related with the zone, the accident, its history and with many details and technical data! Also the driver help us with everything we need.
Thank you for all!! You are a great team!!!

Visited April 2013
5 Thank Xavier A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bilbao, Spain
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very Interesting!”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I did the 2 day tour, with workmates, and it was simply awesome. The guides were really nice and professional, and they knew a lot about what happened there, so they gave us a lot of information. I'm thinking about coming back in summer with another friends, because this a "must have" experience.

Visited April 2013
5 Thank Jon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I did the 2 day tour with chernobyl-tour company and it was really amazing. I strongly recomend this tour, not just because the things you are going to experience (crippled chernobyl NPP, prypiat, cooling towers, abandoned villages, etc), but because of the people who manage the tour (guide, driver, manager, etc), since they were really kind to us, very professional and passionate in what they did during the 2 days. I can only say thank you to them! I'm thinking of comming back in summer.

Visited April 2013
5 Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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