Visiting Chernobyl and Pripyat on a tour has become a popular and completely safe tourist activity in recent years. Here’s what it’s like to visit the sites of Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
The 1986 Chernobyl disaster was the worst nuclear power plant accident of all time, claiming numerous casualties and affecting hundreds of thousands of people. 30 years later, the site of the accident and the ghost town of Pripyat are popular tourist destinations in Ukraine for those who want to experience something different.
Chernobyl is one of the strangest tourist destinations in the world. Thus, it was very fitting that some of the members of our North Korean tour form last year decided to hold a reunion there. Here’s a summary of the day tour in words and pictures.
You also don’t need any special equipment to visit the tour. Shorts and sandals were prohibited and the instructions warned a lot of about the radiation, but otherwise you could wear all your normal clothes.
Many of the safety instructions even felt a bit overscaled. This might be done on purpose by the travel companies to make the trip sound more adventurous and extreme than it really is. Chernobyl is simply safe to visit.
Luckily, the second part of the tour was a lot more engaging as we visited the evacuated ghost town of Pripyat.
The best parts of visiting Chernonbyl and Pripyat were the times when we were given the chance to freely explore different spots in the city. We would visit one destination for 5-20 minutes before regrouping and moving to the next destination. These moments made the place feel like an urban explorer’s paradise.
This mixture of liberty and time restrictions is probably the main reason why some people take the tour more than once. While I climbed as high as I could, many of my friends decided to go to the opposite direction and explored the basement of the building.
So, did the Chernobyl tour live up to the expectations? Yes, it did. The day was very well organized and memorable.
However, those who seek something larger than life won’t find it while visiting Chernobyl. After all, The city of Pripyat was just a small Soviet city with nothing remarkable about. It was in no way different to thousands of other cities of the time and it’s only significant because of the way it was abandoned.
It’s completely safe to visit Chernobyl and Pripyat, and visiting Chernobyl is not as extreme as some might think.
Still, there’s nothing that beats the feel of intrigue you have when you get an open access to a huge, empty building with hundreds of rooms to explore. You never know what you’ll find behind the next door, the next corner, the next flight of stairs…