Can you just visit Chernobyl?
No. The Chernobyl region can only be visited with an officially recognized guide. This guide will pick you up in Kiev and he will drive to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. This is an area of 30 km around the nuclear reactor. It is not possible to enter the area on your own.
When is the best time to plan your visit to Chernobyl?
Chernobyl can be visited all year round. The region has a continental climate, which means there can be very hot summers (35 degrees) and very cold winters (zero degrees). For the most pleasant temperature, it is best to travel in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). During this time it is often between 10 and 25 degrees.
Do I need insurance for my trip to Chernobyl?
Chernobyl is located in Ukraine. Everyone must take out travel and health insurance before leaving for Ukraine. Whether Ukraine is covered by your policy differs per insurance policy. In most cases this will not be a problem. If not, we recommend that you check with one of the following international insurance companies: Global Underwriters or IATI Travel Insurance. They have different packages and you can put together exactly what works best for you.
Do I need a visa for Chernobyl?
Most nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Ukraine. You will receive a stamp in your passport upon entering and leaving Ukraine.
What is the time zone in Chernobyl?
Ukraine uses the time zone UCT +2.
Ukraine has no difference between summer and winter time.
How can I pay and how much will I spend in Chernobyl?
The official currency in Ukraine is the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH). Every major city has ATMs and exchange offices where you can exchange euros to the local currency. For the most recent exchange rate, visit www.xchange.com.
Of course it depends mainly on yourself how much you actually spend, but as guidance we would suggest approximately € 20 to € 30 per day, which should be enough. Drinks are generally around € 1, a meal costs between € 5 – € 15. Tipping local guides is always encouraged. They don’t earn much in this part of the world and it often makes a big difference to them. Of course this is according to your own preference.
Do I have to arrange my international flight to Ukraine myself?
We are always available to advise you when booking a flight. However, most customers prefer to book the flight themselves. Often this is cheaper in terms of price and you can pick your own preferences.
What is the voltage and which plug should I use in Ukraine?
The complete electricity system in Ukraine is 220 Volt / 50 Hz. For this, you can use the European plug, with two round pins.
Is there internet access and can I make calls in Chernobyl?
Internet is available at the accommodations. Usually the connection is steady and of reasonable quality. In general, there is also mobile coverage everywhere during your visit to Chernobyl. You can also choose to buy a local SIM card. Your local guide in Kiev can you help you with this.
What are the local customs for Chernobyl?
During your visit to Chernobyl, you will be briefed by the officially recognized guide to the region. During the briefing, he or she will tell you what to expect during the tour.
A few rules to keep in mind:
– Always have your passport with you.
– Wear closed shoes.
– Walk only in the areas where you are allowed to walk.
– Don’t take anything from the ground home.
– If you want to use a drone, we need to know in advance.
– There are possibilities to visit additional places, such as Reactor 2 and 4 (with the control room), the car cemetery and the unfinished cooling tower. This is at an additional cost. Ask us about the possibilities for this.
– Since the Chernobyl series, the Ukrainian government knows that there is a lot of money to be made with Chernobyl. Rules therefore change regularly, sometimes they are also adjusted last-minute in order to bring in some extra.
Is it safe in Chernobyl?
In most places the radiation has dropped so you can move safely there. But that doesn’t mean you have access to all places. Certain places (such as the Red Forest) are still not accessible to visitors, due to the increased radiation.
Can I take pictures in Chernobyl?
In general, you can take photos freely during your visit to Chernobyl. A few years ago they were much stricter, but nowadays it is no longer a problem. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
– Always ask permission before taking a photo of a person.
– Do not take photos of military, military vehicles, military installations or government buildings.
– If you want to use a drone, we have to ask permission in advance. Sometimes there is an extra charge.
Food and drinks in Chernobyl
During your visit to Chernobyl you will get food from the area outside the nuclear zone. Ukrainian cuisine mainly consists of lots of meat, vegetables, fruit and spices. Important products grown in the country are potatoes, lettuce, grapes and mushrooms. These products are often extensively used during the creation of your Ukrainian supper. Often the meals will be very large, as they find it very important in the cities to receive their guests well. It is not possible to drink water from the tap in Ukraine. This is due to a bad filter system. Ukrainians also drink a lot of alcohol. Especially vodka, beer and brandy are often drunk with meals.
What should I wear in Chernobyl?
During your tour in Chernobyl you can dress just like at home (in all reasonableness of course). However, it is mandatory to put on closed shoes, this is because of the contaminated soil. If you want to do laundry, it is best to do so before or after the Chernobyl tour.
Health and hygiene
Chernobyl itself no longer has any hospitals. If you have any problems you will have to return to Kiev. Healthcare in Ukraine is less developed than in Western Europe. Also in terms of hygiene, the standard is lower than in the Western world. Make sure you have enough disinfection gel, sunscreen and insect repellent.
We advise you always to the last (health) risk programs for the region where you’re going to visit. Check with your own government for the latest info about your destination.