Our signature 2-days tour to Pripyat, Chernobyl Zone and NPP.

"It is the place, where the history of mankind has changed forever. And this could be your story too."

 

This is our speciality. A program that will give you an in-depth understanding, what exactly happened back in 1986. What was the foundation, ideology and approach of the Soviet Union.
How just in one day, everything what we consider important and valuable, may turn to ashes, leaving a ghost city behind.

All of this — together with an opportunity to visit Chernobyl Nuclear power plant from inside, see the facility with your own eyes, and get detailed answers to your questions from the experts. So use this chance well.

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Key features of this tour

  • Explore 20+ locations of the Zone for the best 2 day Chernobyl tour price.
  • Visit to the Control Room of the Unit IV, Reactor III, unique SKALA reactor control computer is included.
  • All permit documentation for your visit is included
  • Transfer from Kyiv or STALKER hotel in Dityatky
  • Comfortable accommodation is included
  • Archive media and hours of stories
  • Professional guiding in English
  • Available in standard and author's version

Book this tour to Chernobyl now:

E.g., 09.12.2021
Select the start day ("Day 1") of the tour. The NPP requires 15 full days for the permit clearance.
Check to have the personal expert-level guiding by Alex, evening discussions, and see our archives.
Learn a powerful story of life and afterlife of Pripyat while walking there together with its world-famous resident.
We will pick you on 6PM from Kyiv a day before the tour, and bring to Stalker Hotel&Hostel for a comfortable stay and rest. So you save money on stay in Kyiv and do not need to wake up super-early.
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Detailed itinerary

If you are looking for a longer, 3 day Chernobyl tour, check the price and program here. If chernobyl tour cost is an issue and you are on budget, then you may like 1-day tour to Chernobyl we also offer,

(Optional) Day 0 — Evening transfer and an overnight stay

Kyiv — Hotel STALKER

We pick you up in Kyiv near your hotel or at the desired meeting point at 06:00 PM in the evening and transfer with a comfortable vehicle to the village of Dityatky, where the main checkpoint of the Zone is located. In two hours, we arrive at the STALKER hotel complex, where you meet our team. The hotel's name refers to the A. Tarkovsky eponymous movie, based on the Roadside Picnic novel. In Ukrainian, the word stalker exclusively means a person, who explores the Zone. 

We check you in and have dinner together. After this, we have an introductory briefing, give safety instructions, check the documents, and set up the plan for the next two days.

After this, you can have a good rest — as you will need a lot of power the next day.

Day 1 — Into the Zone.

Kyiv/Hotel STALKER — Checkpoint Dityatky

If you choose not to have Day 0 overnight stay, we pick you up in Kyiv near your hotel or at the desired meeting point at 08:00 AM and come around 10:00 AM to checkpoint Dityatky.

If you stay overnight before, then at 08:00 in the morning, we have breakfast, and after we move to the checkpoint Dityatky — the main gate of the Chernobyl Zone, which is 1.5 km away from the hotel. You get your personal dosimeters, sign a paper that you are acknowledged with rules and regulations. Then we pass the entry control, enter the Zone and our journey begins!

Checkpoint Dityatky — Zalissya

We take the main highway that leads to the town of Chernobyl. On this way, we give oyu a general introduction about the history of Chernobyl lands from their ancient times. It is important to know this background in order to properly understand many phenomenons and events that happened later.

After 20 minutes of driving, our story comes to the disaster times. We make a stop in the place, which is a good illustration of human tragedy - the village of Zalissya.

Store in Zalissya villageAbandoned grocery store in Zalissya village

Having more than 3,200 inhabitants, this village was the biggest in the region. We will go pretty far here, off the beaten track — to see streets and houses once full of life. It is one of the places, where you sharply will feel, how it is to leave behind the home, where your family lived for a few hundreds of years.

Zalissya villageA house in Zalissya village

Although Zalissya is located on a busy highway, according to the opinion of many of our guests, it is enough to walk just a little apart to be impressed by the power of nature reclaiming a human civilization remains.

Zalissya — Town of Chernobyl

In a few minutes we come to the town of Chernobyl — probably, you will be surprised how close this half-alive town is to abandoned Zalissya. Chernobyl is an ancient town — the first known historical records mention it in 1193. Being a center of the Chernobyl district of the Kyiv region, it had around 13,700 residents. Contrary to popular beliefs, Chernobyl was never related to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. However, it gave its name to it as the closest town that existed in 1970 when the construction started.
Before the disaster, the town was an important river port. In 1987, Chernobyl was converted to the administration center of the Chernobyl Zone and up to the present day is a home for many organizations and facilities. Its regime life did not change its original Soviet look.

To Those, who saved the worldA monument to firefighters in Chernobyl

We make a few stops here at the major sites and landmarks. On your choice, we may do it within one day or leave some for the second day.

  • Exhibition of real robotic equipment, that was in use during clean-up operations on NPP rooftops.
  • Monument to Those, Who Saved the World near the operating firefighters' department. We participated and coordinated the restoration of the monument in 2020.
  • Bay of ChREB (Chernobyl Vessel Repair Plant), where we can see original cargo ships left behind there.  If you played S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, then it will be in particular interesting, as this location was a prototype of Zaton with Skadovsk and Shevchenko vessels.
  • Jewish district — as Chernobyl had a massive Jewish diaspora in the past.
  • St. Elias church — the last function church of the Zone.
  • Central square with the Wormwood Star memorial and a large concrete map of the Zone.
  • Welcome sign of the city and restored Soviet police checkpoint.

Town of Chernobyl — Checkpoint Leliv  — Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH radar ("Russian Woodpecker")

We exit Chernobyl and arrive to the Leliv checkpoint of the 10-km zone, named after the nearby village. Probably, you will notice a cubic-shaped structure with small windows and a bunker-like door. This is an original checkpoint building, a relic of the earliest post-Chernobyl period, that was protecting the staff by its 50-cm thick walls.

Checkpoint LelivAnti-radiation bunker at Leliv

At some point, we turn to the military concrete road and drive approximately 6 km to Chernobyl-2. This formerly supersecret town is hidden in dense forests and was one of 6 components of Duga (eng. "Arc") over-the-horizon radar complex, designed in the 1970s to detect launches of U.S. ICBMs to the Soviet Union.

Duga antenna array in Chernobyl-2Duga antenna array in Chernobyl-2

This place is the only, where you can see such a huge antenna installation straight in front of you. Moreover, being a relic of the Cold War, a visit to Russian Woodpecker is a superior opportunity to learn about this period of history from the side of the USSR, Soviet military, and computer technologies of the Socialistic Block (that are the most important part of this project).

When we come to Chernobyl-2, we leave the car near its checkpoint, and go on foot to visit antennas, go around the data processing center and other facilities, like vehicles service depot, fire station, and so on.

Technical zone of Duga radarTechnical zone of Duga radar

As the Chernobyl disaster caused a contamination of Chernobyl-2, being followed by end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fate of the Duga project was dark — it was canceled and all the components destroyed, except the array of Chernobyl-2. 

Chernobyl-2 Duga OTH radar — PRLRW Red Forest

Shortly after we return to the highway, the landscape changes, and from time to time, you will notice radiation hazard signs standing in the grass. This is the original way to Pripyat — the one, which now is in the Red Forest.

Driving through the Red ForestA view to Chernobyl NPP from the Red Forest

It is a territory, that faced extreme contamination from the western fallout track. Being an old and dense forest, it mostly had pine trees, which naturally have a high level of radiosensitivity. After fallout covered them, few zones of damage were formed — from minimal to lethal. In the lethal zone, all the trees, and undergrowth died and after a certain period of time got a distinctive rusty color, that gave a modern name for the area. During the winter of 1986, original trees were bulldozed and then buried in the ditches on site, and the new forest was planted.

Since then, the area is a major research spot of ecological processes. After a couple of forest fires in recent years, many modern trees got practically the same look as the original — so although it is not related to irradiation anymore, it allows us to imagine, how did the original Red Forest look like.

Monument in the Red ForestKomsomol monument in the Red Forest

We drive by the old road here, without stops and open windows, passing the "Firetorch" — a monument, that once was a welcome sign of the Chernobyl NPP, and eventually stop near the famous entrance sign of Pripyat. From this spot, you will be able to see the Forest Village, created in 1970 to house the first builders of NPP. 

PRLRW Red Forest — City of Pripyat

We arrive at our major destination, the city of Pripyat — the satellite of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, established in 1970 and 16 years old only at the time of disaster. Designed for ~50000 residents it consists of 5 districts and more than 180 structures. As it faced very intensive decontamination, the levels of radioactivity there generally are not high except for minor small hotspots. Approximately up to 2000 some facilities in the city were used by many organizations and companies of the Zone. Few facilities still operate in Pripyat.

Aerial view of PripyatAerial view of Pripyat

We leave our car at the central square and start our. We will explore the city on foot for a few hours — it is the best practice to walk there, not drive. We offer you a balanced route to cover really much on your tour to Pripyat.

A typical streetview of PripyatFrom the ground it is not less impressive

An average list of locations includes (depends on actual constraints, such as the size of the group, weather conditions, and how much you can physically walk):

  • Avenue of Lenin, the central street of Pripyat, where we stop near one of I. Litovchenko's monumental mosaics.
  • Yards of District 2, that represent typical architecture and urban planning technics of the 70-s
  • The grocery store of the District 2
  • Liquor and furniture stores of District 2
  • School of the District 2
  • Kurchatova street
  • Voskhod (Sunrise) store
  • The "White House", an apartment complex where lived the highest staff of the NPP, including Victor Brukhanov.
  • School of the District 1
  • Hospital complex
  • Riverport and cafe Pripyat
  • Prometheus movie theatre and the music school
  • Hotel Polissya
  • Governmental office, where the government task force (in which participated Valery Legasov and Boris Scherbina) has been deployed
  • The central square of Pripyat
  • Palace of culture 'Energetik', a multifunctional community center for leisure and sports
  • Central Park and the infamous Ferris wheel.
  • Shopping center, which was one of the very first soviet supermarkets.
  • Central Stadium
  • Kindergarten in the District IV
  • Unfinished part of Pripyat
  • Left behind vehicles
  • Firefighters station.

A typical streetview of PripyatFrom the ground it is not less impressive

Grocery store in PripyatGrocery store in Pripyat

Hospital of PripyatHospital #126, that received the first victims of Chernobyl disaster

Cafe at the river port of PripyatCafe at the river port

Supermarket in Pripyat. Probably, the first in the USSR.Supermarket in Pripyat. Probably, the first in the USSR.

Pripyat port cranesRiver port and cargo cranes in Pripyat

Soviet soda machinesSoviet AT-101CK soda machines

Graffity in Pripyat"My dear Pripyat, our young city..."

City of Pripyat  — PTLRW Kopachi

Do you remember, how hours before you noticed radiation warning signs appearing around the road? It is hard to believe, but this place once was densely populated. A field with some randomly growing trees is all that remained from Kopachi village. It, along with the villages of Chystogalivka and Yaniv had a sad fate — it faced extreme contamination, so during the decontamination works 99% of structures were buried underground.

Apart from remaining kindergarten, there is not much to see, but very much to think about. In that, now not even recognizable hills rest everything, what belonged to inhabitants — including their houses. Now, for them, there is no place to return to remember the past, and to the name of their village is added the acronym PTLRW — Polygon of Temporary Localization of Radioactive Waste.

PTLRW Kopachi — Checkpoint Leliv

We head south and arrive at the Leliv checkpoint, where we pass contamination check-up using automatic beta-radiometers.

(Optional) Checkpoint Leliv — Bridge over the river of Pripyat — Checkpoint Paryshiv-2 — Paryshiv

We take a  turn in front of the town of Chernobyl to take a road to the east. It was built in 1989 as a new connection to Slavutich — the city, built as a replacement for the abandoned Pripyat. On this way, we will pass an impressive bridge, from which you will be able to see the river of Pripyat with the Chernobyl NPP on the horizon. Shortly after, we arrive at the checkpoint Paryshiv-2 and head to the Paryshiv village.

Paryshiv in a winter seasonParyshiv in a winter season

These places, located on the left bank of the Pripyat river, are quite special. Being clamped between rivers, endless swamps, and dense forests, for centuries they were a site for ancient neighborhoods. As physical access here was obstructed, a traditional, pretty archaic way of life continued here, making these lands an epitome of Chernobyl Polissya culture.

Checkpoint Leliv — Chernobyl — Checkpoint Dityatky — Hotel STALKER

We drive to the Dityatky checkpoint, where we pass once more the contamination check-up (this time — with a stricter threshold) and exit the Zone. In a few minutes, we arrive back at the hotel STALKER for dinner and rest. In the evening, it is a good idea to have free time for talks and drinks. If you choose the author's version of the tour, we will be happy to answer your questions and cover some specific subjects you became interested in. You will also have a chance to take a look at various artifacts and documents that we will bring for you from our archives.

Stalker HotelReception of the Stalker Hotel

Stalker Grill BarStalker Grill Bar

Day 2 — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Hotel STALKER — Checkpoint Dityatky

At 07:30 in the morning, we have breakfast, and after we move to the checkpoint Dityatky, where we pass the entry control.

Checkpoint Dityatky — Cherevach — Zalissya — Checkpoint Leliv — Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

We take the familiar main highway towards the Chernobyl NPP. This time, behind the village of Kopachi, we turn right and enter the industrial site of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, following the exhaust water channel that used to connect the NPP with the cooling pond.

Przewalski's horsesIf we will be lucky, we may see Przewalski's horses

Chernobyl Nuclear Power PlantChernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Generally, people hardly imagine how huge this site is and how many structures are here. We pass the cooling towers of Units V and VI, ISF-2 storage for spent nuclear fuel, and stop at the turn of the road. Here opens the most impressive view to the main facilities of Chernobyl NPP. From here you can see the giant main structure, both operated and unfinished units, and the New Safe Confinement of Unit IV. This place is good to explain how organized the NPP's compound as well as to look at a few historical images.

Facilities of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, including Units III and IV.

We park at the NPP ABK-1 administrative building and meet the officers of the Chernobyl NPP. This part of the program takes approximately 5-6 hours and includes multiple important locations. We ask you to take this visit seriously — as you are going to attend a functioning nuclear facility, where many good people lost their health and sometimes lives to overcome the results of Soviet mistakes. 

The history of the power plant is divided into before and after. The core event of the post-disaster period was the construction of the Shelter Object (the Sarcophagus). It is undoubtfully one of the most complex structures ever created by mankind. Being built in record short times, often with a single attempt of placing the large prefabricated parts, it gave the challenges never seen before and required many ultimate solutions. 

Take the construction of pioneer protection walls, made from metal cage-like structures with the distant-controlled concrete distribution system. To give the first row of protection, these were concreted straight with the railway platforms used to bring it on the place. Or an episode with the Plane Beam placement, when the 200-ton superlift of the Demag crane lift off the ground because of the overweight. Imagine, what the engineers felt seeing the super crane at the risk of collapse? Or the cascade wall, that became an eternal tomb of heavily-contaminated IMR-2 engineering tanks, lined, welded together with thick rebars, and concreted over?

This program is a great chance to meet the true experts in the subject, so use this chance well and do not hesitate to ask questions to learn more — who knows, will you get such an opportunity again? 

  • ABK-1 Administration building
    This is the head office of Chernobyl NPP. Here you pass SICh (spectrometry of body), an ID, and security clearances, as well as visit the Fallout Shelter #1

    Chernobyl Fallout ShelterFallout Shelter #1

     
  • Clothes changing facility
    Here you have to change clothes to an internal one to proceed to the maximum-security area.
     
  • Golden corridor (Г-301)
    A 600-m long corridor that connects all the units. It has walls lined with anodized aluminum panels, the color of which gave the nickname for this place.

    Chernobyl Golden corridorGolden corridor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

  • Grid control room - CSchU (ЦЩУ)
    Control room for the energy distribution switchyard of the power plant. As the power plant continues to operate as an energy hub, this room allows controlling ongoing operations.

    Grid control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power PlantGrid control of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

  • SKALA (СКАЛА) mainframe computer system 
    Reactor control computer system from 1973, based on ES EVM mainframe — a Soviet architectural clone of the IBM/360. While nowadays it is exceptionally hard to find devices like high-speed data tape reel drives or punch tape readers, here you can see them preserved in a perfect shape in their original machine hall equipped with an airtight dust-free zone.

    SKALA (СКАЛА) mainframe computer systemChernobyl SKALA computer

  • Control room of Unit III - BSchU-III (БЩУ-3)
    Control room of Unit III. For its original purpose, it operated up to mid-December 2000, when Unit III was shut down. Technically, the control room of the infamous Unit IV used to look the same.

    Chernobyl Reactor 3 control roomChernobyl Reactor 3 control room

  • CZ-3 Unit III Reactor central hall (ЦЗ-3)
    Reactor III hall, the main place for technological operations. Here a famous mosaic-like cover of the upper biological shield is located, and you will be able to walk over it!

    Chernobyl Reactor 3Chernobyl Reactor 3

  • Unit III 3GCN main circulation pumps (3-ГЦН)
    Gigantic pumps were used to provide circulation of water through the active zone of the reactor of Unit III.
     
  • Valery Khodemchuck memorial
    A plaque installed on the wall separates Units III and IV in memory of V. Khodemchuck — operator of circulation pumps, that died during the explosion and whose body was never found. This place 
     
  • The room, where the history has changed — the Control room of Unit IV — BSchU-IV (БЩУ-4)
    The Control Room of Unit IV — a place from which Unit IV was controlled. Here remained the original control panel — the same, like at #3, but rusty, with marks of decontamination. In the dim light, it is possible to recognize the radiation level writings left on equipment by technicians in the past — that time when one had to spend as little time as possible here.

    Chernobyl Reactor 4 Control RoomChernobyl Reactor 4 Control Room

  • Canteen
    You pass one more spectrometry of your body after the visit to the maximum-security area and have a transfer with internal transport to the canteen for a lunch. Then, you continue to two more locations.
     
  • Observation point of NSC
    A square in ±200 m distance from the New Safe Confinement.
     
  • Information center of Shelter Object/NSC
    A place where you will learn very much new about the original Shelter Object (Sarcophagus), its design, and operation, as well as about the New Safe Confinement.

    Model of the Chernobyl SarcophagusModel of the Chernobyl Sarcophagus

After this program, we continue on our van. You will have many questions and things to discuss — it is a good idea to review them in the evening.

On your choice, we can return to Pripyat (especially, if you choose the Last Days of Pripyat sub-tour by Oleksandr Syrota). Or, we can head back to Chernobyl and then to Kazkovy Pioneers camp.

Checkpoint NPP — Checkpoint Leliv — Town of Chernobyl — Rudnia Veresnia — Kazkovy Pioneers camp

We head to the place, that played a major role in the early post-disaster history — the pioneer's camp of the Chernobyl NPP. On the way, the first place we pass is the Rudnia-Veresnia village, which age is estimated to be at least 200 years. In old times, the river Veresnia that passes through the village has been used as a source of bog iron, that was collected for further processing at iron-production manufactures. This specialization of the village is reflected in the word Rudnia that refers to ore in Ukrainian. The lands here are exceptionally sandy, so this neighborhood is relatively low-touched by sprawling vegetation and we find it very picturesque.

Skazochny pioneers campThe pioneer's camp of the Chernobyl NPP

Next, we drive to the Kazkovy ("The one from a fairytale") camp. Initially, this camp was built as a summer resort for kids of NPP workers. It features the same architecture style as Pripyat — up to streetlights. After the Chernobyl disaster, it became the first temporary camp for those employees of the power plant who were involved in the liquidation process. We have some archive footage from the times it was still alive — so you will be able to check them out.

Dragon playground at the campDragon playground at the camp

Kazkovy Pioneers CampCheckpoint Dityatky — Museum

We head to the exit. At the Dityatky checkpoint, we pass an already familiar contamination check-up. After this, we arrive at our secret museum — a carefully restored radiation control outpost from the Ilovnitsa village that operated in 1986-87, during the active phase of liquidation of consequences of disaster at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Here you can see various artifacts, operating equipment and immerse into the atmosphere of that time.

(Optional extra) Dinner at STALKER hotel restaurant

If you wish, we can have a dinner and summary talk in the restaurant.

Dityatky — Transfer to Kyiv

After that, we drive to Kyiv back, where we will arrive approximately at 08:00...09:00 PM.

Possible extensions:

  • On-demand, you can meet our experts on history, radiation, dosimetry, nuclear energy, or wildlife or have them join you while you are in the Zone.
  • We can provide you with industrial-grade professional dosimeters (no cheap devices for home use).

The price and what is included:

There are no hidden charges, we discuss everything beforehand. The price will include:

  • All documents and fees for the required permits, permissions for photo/video (which are an integral part of the permit) for the visit to the Zone.
  • The price includes a 3500 UAH/person fee by the power plant and is valid if you book the visit to NPP according to the instructions we will provide you with (so we can keep it cheaper for you and it takes a few minutes). We can make this booking for you, but in this case, additional charges will apply. Meals are not included, because the restaurant offers such a variety of meals, that we do not want to limit your choice.
  • Individual dosimetry control 
  • Guiding in English based on the itinerary above and chosen type (standard/authors)
  • Accommodation for 2 nights for the itinerary with an overnight stay, or for 1 night if without (hostel rooms, or, by extra charge — hotel rooms). 
  • Transfer from Kyiv, within the Zone, and back by a minivan with a skilled driver that knows the Zone well.

Notices:

  • During the winter season, this itinerary may be adjusted to better use the daylight. 
  • We need your full and accurate passport information and all details discussed before document submission.
  • For this very itinerary, it is required to send the information 15 (fifteen) full days before the visit to fit the requirements of the Chernobyl NPP security and legal clearance. The day of the power plant visit must be a business one. There is no way to make it faster.
  • All visitors must be 18 years old. 
  • In order to enter Ukraine, you must have valid travel insurance that covers COVID cases as well. Please grab it with you, as authorities of the Zone check it selectively as well.
  • The itinerary is built with attention to technological closures of the 10-km Zone.

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