Everything about our tours

General Questions

We are IPO "Center "Pripyat.com" — legally registered public organization that unites those, who have Chernobyl Zone in their hearths. We are NOT a travel agency, but a team of experienced and skilled explorers that for almost 10 years work in the Zone. All tours are bing held upon state-issued permit we obtain from Department of the Zone of Exclusion.

Despite we use the word "tour" as more understandable for general public, it would be much more correct to call them "explorations" or "expeditions".

Rules below applied to _all_ visits to Chernobyl Zone, regardless who organizes the trip. Therefore we disclose them here, as well as you will read the rules and sign that you are acknowleged with them once you come to checkpoint. 

Contrary popular beliefs, the Chernobyl NPP Exclusion Zone is not a simply abandoned barren land, but a strictly regulated secured area under the rule of State Agency of Exclusion Zone of Ukraine, where numerous nuclear facilities are still operating. Therefore, you must confirm that you have read and agree with rules described below.

  1. You must provide a complete list of passport data for participants at least 10 days prior to tour in order to match the processing time. 
  2. You must be at least 18 years old in order to obtain a permission.
  3. You must follow designed route, orders and recommendations of your guide / envoy officer;
  4. You must follow the rules of nuclear safety regardless of weather conditions:
    • wear long-sleeve clothes that covers your body. Any kind of t-shirts, skirts, shorts are strictly forbidden. You have to wear convenient shoes that cover you feet and have no huge holes (everything close to military boots is the best option, sandals, casual women shoes are forbidden);
    • not drink or eat outside the bus or structures;
    • Smoking within the Zone is allowed only in designated places;
    • Drinking alcohol beverages during the tour, as well entering the Zone in alcoholic inebriation condition are strictly forbidden;
  5. Please do not take any things ("nuclear soveniers") originated from the Zone, e.g. debris, things from structures, stones, etc. This is illegal and can cause criminal responsibility. However, you can freely take back goods you can buy at the stores at Chernobyl;
  6. It is forbidden to go inside the structures in the city of Pripyat.
  7. Photos and videos are welcome, however, there are some objects or locations that are forbidden for shooting or filming (there are just few of them — checkpoints and so).
  8. Drones are subject to explicit authorization.
  9. If you are reporter, it is important to get an authorization from Zone's administration. Please contact us regarding pro exploration or 1-day private tour
  10. You take all the risks related to your visit to your own and will additionally sign appropriate written confirmation on arrival to the Zone.
  11. You refuse any legal claims to organizers of visit and authorities involved in visit for any damages to health and property caused before, during and after the visit by other visitors, facilitators of visits, third parties, as well as by effect of radiation and other harmful factors, natural disaster, animals, etc.
  12. You refuse any legal claims for any damages to health and property of a visitor caused before, during and after the visit by actions or failure to act of the services agencies that keep order of traffic, municipal or other services agencies that provide services to visitors.

Really, keep in mind that place you're going to attend not an amusement park, bur territory under heavy regulations. So violation of these rules in some very rare cases can result even in an immediate tour termination for entire group of visitors (without any refunds), and/or legal responsibility. Your guide will advice and aware you, if something will go wrong.

We really do all our best to make your visit as good as it is possible, but we are not responsible for changes or cancellation of visit or its parts in case of wrong submitted data, or in case of force major situations, that include, but not limited to forest fires, flooding, or regime changes that lead to temporary restriction of access to entire Zone or its parts (such as military trainings, governmental- or other regime activities, etc.).

We collect personal information of visitors only for permit processing purposes, and send it as a part of request to State Agency of Exclusion Zone of Ukraine. We do not store this data after the tour is complete.

We offer 3 types of transportation to and within the Zone

  1. From Kyiv — we will pick you up in Kyiv and return back to same point after the tour.
  2. From Dityatky village — you have to come on your own to Dityatky village, where the master checkpoint of the Zone located. That could be done either by regular bus from Kyiv or by rented car. We will pick you up at checkpoint and return back after the tour.
  3. By your own/rented car — you come by own car to Dityatky, reserving at least one seat for our envoy officer (guide) and pick him up. All expenses for fuel are yours (please note there are no gas stations within the Zone available for visitors). Also please note that this option is available only if you know the brand and number plate of the car 5 days prior to the tour, as we need to obtain a vehicle entry permission. Vehicle can be with foreign registration.

Contrary popular beliefs, Chernobyl is a small ancient town (15,000 of population before the disaster), that located around 18 kms far from Chernobyl NPP, and was never related to it in any way. Currently, Chernobyl serves as administrative center of Chernobyl Zone and a staypoint for around 3,000 employees of its different departments, who come on shift basis. Radiation level at Chernobyl is generally normal.

While Pripyat is a much bigger (55,000 inhabitants, now abandoned) city created in 1970 directly near NPP as its satellite. Currently, only very few facilities that serve the NPP still operate in city. It has no population and heavily contaminated with long-living nuclear substances.

Average radiation exposure during 1-day stay at Zone roughly equals to that average human can get during regular flight. It is around 2 μSv (or 200 μR in microRoentgens). Just for comparison, it is less than when you make a X-ray check. If you will follow safety rules and recommendations by your envoy officer (guide), risk will be reduced.

All our routes planned in such a way to avoid contamination of visitors. However, you have to clearly bear in mind that visit to Chernobyl Zone means a visit to the territory of nuclear disaster which followed by radiation exposure and/or physical contact with radioactive sources.

 

The cheapest option is to take a bus Kyiv-Chernobyl from 3rd platform of Polissya Bus Station of Kyiv (located at T. Shevchenko square), which starts on 7:30, 11:40 and 15:30 and arrives to checkpoint Dityatky within 1.5-2 hours. You will have to purchase a ticket at bus station (~50 UAH). Return buses start from checkpoint to Kyiv on 15:20 and 18:00, fare is to be paid to driver.

Please note: as a visitor, you cannot enter or exit the Zone via bus, even if you have a permit, as passing the checkpoint is tied to particular vehicle.

Another option is to drive by taxi or rented car (~110 kms from Kyiv) and park it at parking lot near checkpoint.

Depending on actual availability and your wishes, we may stay:

  • Authentic hotel ("Pripyat") of town of Chernobyl, built in 60s, but equipped with new furniture and bathrooms/toiilet in every room. Warm water bathroom is shared use. For good rest this place is the best.
  • Touristic hotel of Chernobyl ("10ka"), more modern and just a little bit more comfortable (however, bathrooms and toilets are shared). No noice isolation, so can be really noisy in the night, because in the same building the bar for tourists is located.
  • Private guesthouse at village of Orane, few kilometers away from the Zone. Wooonderful place, equipped with everything and awesome for evening parties.

Please note that since Chernobyl is a town under special security regulations, visitors are not allowed to leave territory of the hotel without being accompanied by envoy officer. In case of Orane, no restrictions applied, but we will have to exit the Zone on each day's evening and enter it again next morning. It takes just a little time.

We always recommend to come one day before the tour to meet in Kyiv for a coffee — to discuss all questions, check gear and documents and just to let us know each other closer. Moreover, it is a good idea to have a day of a rest before the adventure :)

Must-know rules, restrictions and recommendations

Well, it is not recommended. Really.
In fact, it is officially forbidden to enter them since 2011, and it is explicitly written in every permit for any group of visitors, regardless, who organizes the visit. There is an exception of this rule only for scientific visits. All other interpretation of this fact is simple not true.
Please don't forget that most structures at Zone stay without even basic maintenance for almost 3 decades, so you cannot be sure that particular object won't collapse just behind you.

In Pripyat we select structures, where you can see internals very good without entering them. Plus, we prefer to go to structures at Chernobyl-2 which currently is far more rich in this aspect - contrary to popular beliefs, Pripyat passed very intensive decontamination in 1986-87, so inside the structures a very little amount of stuff remained. Many structures also were used after disaster, hence internals changed too.

No, you can not. Since all substances within the Zone considered the nuclear waste, taking some artifacts from Zone may cause criminal responsibility. For sure, this not related to your personal items, clothes, etc, and things you legally can buy at sttores at Chernobyl.

Yes, you can, but not in open areas — only in the bus or within permitted facilities. You can take food and water with you, but keep in mind that, well, we have a problem with toilets at Zone :)
Before you eat or drink, check that your hands are clean (it makes sense to take a pack of wet wipes).

Please note that drinking any kind of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited, as well as entering the Zone in intoxicated condition.

Drinking any alcohol (even beer) before 19-00 (7PM) is strictly forbidden by legal order of Zone's administration.
Entering the Zone in intoxicated condition is also banned. Violation of this rule will result in immediate termination of a trip for the entire group without compensation of payment and/or legal actions.

In order to reduce the β-radiation, you must wear long-sleeved clothing — your body should be covered as much as possible, especially when you are at the 10-kilometer zone. This means that regardless of the weather conditions, no T-shirts, tops, shorts, skirts, etc. allowed. It is desirable that you choose the clothes made of durable fabric, so you could not break it if we pass through extensive vegetation. However, basically to at least minimally fit requrements it is enough if you wear long-sleeved shirt and jeans long enough to cover your shoes 1-2 cms. When traveling in the wet season it is reasonable to have a waterproof jacket. In the dry season, some participants wear "Tyvek" suits, that are lightweight and comfortable enough and meet all the requirements set out above.

As for the shoes, keep in mind that you could meet virtually anything on the surface while at the Zone. This can be gravel, stones, branches, rusty metal, barbed wire and so on. In the summer it is hidden with grass, and in the winter with snow. Additionally, it can be contaminated with radioactive substances. Inside buildings there are lot of broken glass, tiles, bricks. Adding frequent rains, it may turn to sticky mixture of mud, clay and plaster. Therefore, use only a comfortable closed shoes with strong soles. The best shoes for all parameters are military or hiking boots. It will be just fine, if the shoes are high enough that you can tuck into your trousers.

Remember that even during 1-day trip you will have to walk about 5 hours at a time. It makes sense to take a change of shoes. We remind you that the visitor that does not meet requirements on clothes and shoes may be denied for entry to the Zone at checkpoint.

It is a good idea to have at least basic means of personal protection against dust:  cheap cloth gloves, dust mask, protective gloves. Normally, there is no need to wear all of this, but sometimes that may be handy in case of contact with high-contaminated objects. Also we recommend to bring a pack of wet wipes to clean your hands.

Going to Ukraine

Yes!

We offer airport transfers, hotel booking and even sightseening in Kyiv upon individual request. Contact our customer support to discuss this along the tour plan.

All foreign nationals may enter Ukraine with their travel document (passport). Please, check if you need a visa before travel.

No! Your border control stamp in passport is a proof of your legal stay — no further actions needed.

Most foreign nationals are not required to have a visa to enter Ukraine, however, normally stay is limited to 90 days per every 180 days in a year. Please check visa information section at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for actual information.

Booking and payment

You can pay on arrival in EUR or UAH based on actual exchange rate. In high season we normally require a partial deposit.

You must specify the details of the document that certifies your identity in Ukraine, and to have this document with him on the trip.

For Ukraine nationals: internal passport only or temporary certificate of citizenship.
For foreign nationals: travel passport only. NO driver licenses, ID cards, etc. allowed.