How to Visit Pripyat, Ukraine


If you haven’t heard about Pripyat, Ukraine yet, you might have already forgotten about the Chernobyl disaster. It occurred in April 1986. When a nuclear reactor power surged, it led to an explosion and dispersed huge quantities of radioactive elements in the atmosphere. Many people died during the incident, but hundreds more suffered over the years. Not only was the site inhabitable, but the entire town of Pripyat, Ukraine. It’s a small town that hosted the scientists who worked in Chernobyl, and their family members.

The impact of the disaster was felt for many years, and the government declared a Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. All the residents in the town were not allowed to return. Over time, the place was still deemed too risky to be inhabited due to the presence of radioactive isotopes. However, in recent years, the Ukrainian government already allowed a few visitors each year. While Pripyat is still unsafe as a residence, it’s somehow safe for tourists to visit for only a short time.

Prepare yourself for the trip

Prepare yourself for the trip

You need a tour guide to visit the place. You also need to secure a permission from the government. You can go there at any time during the year. However, it’s most manageable to visit during the fall or summer. If you want to see how eerie the place is, winter is the perfect time.

The site that you’re allowed to visit is around two hours north of Kiev, the country’s capital. You should get a flight to Kiev and meet your tour agency at a specified location. On your way to the exclusion zone, you will meet one checkpoint. All tourists who desire to enter the site should pass through this checkpoint. It’s another reason to be with an organized tour.

Enjoy the trip

The cost of entering the Exclusion Zone ranges from $99 to $300. It depends on your chosen tour package. The cheapest one allows you to stay there for one full day. You will then head back to Kiev. There are options that let you stay overnight, so you can cover more areas in the zone. The guided tour allows you to have a better experience while walking around. You will also receive an orientation at the start of the trip. Listen to the instructions and follow everything your guide tells you.

Why bother?

Some people might ask you why you want to visit this area when it’s still contaminated and scary. Not everyone has the chance to go there. It’s a unique opportunity that you shouldn’t let go. You will also see a historical site that changed the face of the world. It’s a tragic part of history, but it’s still worth revisiting. Once you leave the site, you will feel satisfied.

Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before heading there. While it’s already safe, you might still encounter a few problems. You should also be careful in finding the right tour agency. Stick with legit options and don’t get scammed. You may also ask someone who has been in the exclusion zone before.  

Photo Attribution:

1st and featured image from

2nd image from