Chernobyl & Kiev Long Weekend

4 days
$1,779 USD $1,599 USD
incl. taxes
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks, Private Group Adventures
Group size:

Comprehensive tour of Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and Nuclear Power Plant

On the night of 26th April 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant experienced the world's worst nuclear meltdown. More recently, following the runaway success of HBO’s miniseries, the tragic history of Chernobyl's nuclear disaster has been brought back to the spotlight. This comprehensive weekend-tour ventures deep into the heart of the abandoned Exclusion Zone, which seems to have remained frozen in time with eerily empty amusement parks, homes, hospitals and schools dotting the vast wasteland area. Our expert guide will lead us safely around the nuclear disaster site and the town of Pripyat, telling the story of how the disaster unfolded and the consequences it had on the people, villages and countries around. This is no ordinary tour however as, unlike many of the standard Chernobyl excursions available elsewhere, we include a permit to enter the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and visit some impressive buildings such as the imposing nuclear control room. We will be also spending the night within the Exclusion Zone – the restricted space, 19 miles in radius, which surrounds the blast area – and conclude this memorable, once-in-a-lifetime travel experience with a visit to Kiev’s city highlights.


  • Visit the ghost town of Pripyat and the disaster site Reactor No. 4 
  • Includes special permit to enter the Nuclear Power Plant
  • Spend one night within the abandoned Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone 
  • See Kiev's main heritage sites including UNESCO Lavra Monastery

Key information

  • 2 nights 3-star hotel (rooms en suite) and 1 night basic hotel with shared facilities
  • Sightseeing on foot
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • Travel by private bus and public transport
  • Countries visited: Ukraine

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • Special entrance permit to Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant
  • Transfer for group flights


What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
  • Tips for staff
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Kiev.

    This trip starts in Kiev, Ukraine's mighty and fast-evolving capital city. A sightseeing tour of Kiev will be offered on the last day of the trip before departure but those wishing to spend more time exploring this eclectic city and its many interesting heritage sites such as the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, may wish to extend the trip by a day or two. After check-in, we meet our local tour leader for a welcome briefing and group dinner. Overnight in Kiev.


    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Travel to Chernobyl; special tour inside Nuclear Power Station; explore the abandoned town of Pripyat and stay overnight within the Exclusion Zone.

    This morning we leave for Chernobyl and travel by comfortable private minibus for approximately 2 hours to Dytiatky, the main check point before entering official Exclusion Zone. After passing passport control and learning about some essential safety rules we start our comprehensive sightseeing tour by vehicle and on foot.

    On the way to the power plant we stop at  the almost fully buried Kopachi village, which was highly contaminated by the high-level of radioactive fallout after the nuclear blast and subsequently bulldozed. A macabre and desolated kindergarten and one other brick building are the only structures that remain standing. We continue towards the third stage of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, driving by the uncompleted reactors 5 and 6, the unfinished cooling towers, and reach the main disaster site, Reactor 4. It was right here that, on the on the fatal night of 26th April 1986, two large explosions took place following a failed safety test, releasing tons of radioactive substances into the air to an altitude of 1.5km. We will learn of the catastrophic consequences of the largest nuclear energy disaster in the history of mankind, while observing the mighty New Safe Confinement ('Arch') from a safe observation point at distance of 270 metres.

    Our tour continues with a special private visit inside the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station (Usually Unit 3). We will be provided with a special protective gown of an NPP employee, shoe covers and dosimeter and enjoy a 3-hour long tour of the still functional parts of the power plant. This once-in-a-lifetime experience includes a visit to the control room, where you have the chance to fill the shoes of those who once stood here during the tragic event. We also see the hydraulic pump system, the ‘golden corridor’, and finally the room enclosing the main circulation pumps. We may also meet and listen to fascinating explanations from the current employees of the Chernobyl NPP and enjoy lunch with the station workers at the main canteen (where ecological cleanliness of products is guaranteed). 

    Later, we continue our exploration of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with a visit to one its most mysterious sites. In 1975 the grand construction of Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant drew the attention of thousands but few would have known that a gigantic, top secret radar was also being erected a short distance away. This fascinating and complex defence system was built to protect Soviet citizens in case of nuclear war and the giant antennas, still visible today and known as Duga-1, were supposed to watch the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is a lot of speculation around the history and purpose of this site, and we will hear some of the theories during our visit.

    Tonight, we enjoy the unique opportunity of staying in a basic but comfortable hotel within the Exclusion Zone end conclude our busy day with a warm traditional Ukrainian meal in a cafe near our accommodation.

    Please note that the order of activities and choice of buildings visited within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone may vary depending on weather, time available and local restrictions.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Explore more of Pripyat, including its derelict fire station, cinema and Red Forest; evening transfer to Kiev.

    After breakfast we drive 20 minutes to Pripyat, the once lively town that was home to the Chernobyl workers and their families. Incredibly, the inhabitants were evacuated in just three hours on the day of the disaster. Over three decades later, this ghost town is now a freeze-frame of the Soviet Union in 1986. Communist propaganda still decorates the walls, personal belongings litter the streets and the abandoned buildings and toys are strewn around a schoolhouse where they were last dropped by children before escaping. All clocks are still frozen at 11:55, the moment the electricity was cut. We will walk by many derelict and desolated buildings, including a fish farm, the cinema, the music school and the athletic stadium, as well as some filming locations of the popular HBO TV series. After lunch we will also hopefully get the chance to meet one of the so-called self-settlers, the locals who went against the order issued by the governement and chose to return to their homes within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone soon after the tragic accident. This is a special opportunity to hear some interesting and touching stories of what life in Chernobyl was like before and after the explosion. In the afternoon, time permitting, we head to the Red Forest, the 10-square-kilometre area surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that take its name from the ginger-brown colour of the pine trees that died following the absorption of high levels of radiation. To date, it remains one of the most contaminated areas in the world, but we will approach it from a safe distance. There will also be time to pay a visit to the Monument to the Chernobyl Liquidators, dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of firefighters, engineers, military troops, police, miners, cleaners and medical personnel who took part in the liquidation of the consequences of the Chernobyl Disaster and prevented apocalyptic consequences for Europe, sacrificing their lives or health for the sake of saving others. A we leave the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and make our way back to Kiev (approx. 2 hours) by private transport. Overnight in Kiev.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 4

    Morning Kiev city tour including UNESCO Lavra Monastery; end Kiev.

    This morning we enjoy a walking tour of Kiev's main sights starting with the amazing view of two golden-domed monastery complexes while walking along Sophiiska and Mykhailivska Squares. We continue along Andrew Street and pass St Andrew Church before entering Arsenalna subway station, currently the deepest in the world at 105.5 metres. Travelling by metro, we head to the UNESCO Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Monastery, founded in AD 1051, and visit the stunning interior and complex of caves housing mummified nuns. The tour usually ends early afternoon so to those not travelling on the group flight, we suggest booking a flight that departs Kiev not earlier than 6 pm in order to enjoy the full sightseeing tour. Alternatively, you may choose to fly back the following day and enjoy more time in Kiev for further independent sightseeing. Please note that we will check-out from the hotel in the morning but we will be able to leave our luggage safely stored during the included sightseeing tour.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info



UK passport holders do not need visas for this trip. Other nationalities should check with the relevant embassies.

Eating and Drinking

Ukrainian cuisine stems from peasant dishes based on the plentiful grains and vegetables grown in the country. Staple crops include sugar beets, potatoes, grapes, cabbages, and mushrooms. These are often key ingredients in soups and salads. The most popular dish is 'borscht', a hearty soup made in a variety of ways. Other vegetable dishes include holubtsi (stuffed cabbage) and kartoplia solimkoi ("straw potatoes"). Kotlety Po-Kyivskomy (Chicken Kiev), a chicken breast stuffed with a buttery filling, is a well-known dish outside Ukraine, but tastes very different locally. During our stay in Chernobyl, we will consume simple but hearty meals. They are cooked from ecologically safe products, brought from outside the Zone. Vegetarians options are available on request.

Please note that during the stay in Chernobyl you are not allowed to smoke, eat and drink in the open spaces. You are not allowed to eat any berries or drink water from open sources such as wells.


Ukraine has a temperate continental climate. Summers are normally hot, sunny and sometimes humid, with temperatures ranging between 18 to 28°C. Winters are very cold and snowy with temperatures averaging  -5 to -15°C.  The Chernobyl exclusion zone has its magic in every season. In spring flowers are blooming and during the summer the Chernobyl exclusion zone gets green and it is amazing to watch nature overtaking the buildings. Autumn and winter give a very spooky atmosphere to the site but it is important to come well prepared for cold temperatures and sometimes snow.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is graded as Leisurely/Moderate (2) and visits as much as possible of Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone and Kiev. There is a lot to see in a short amount of time so the tour will be reasonably fast-paced but with enough breaks and leisure time built in the itinerary. Although this itinerary is mostly based on sightseeing, please be prepared for a considerable amount of walking. 

Chernobyl was the site of a terrible tragedy, and we aim to make sure that those who do want to visit and to learn about the area’s history and heritage are able to do so sensitively and respectfully. Enabling people to travel responsibly and learn about the places we take them – both the good and the bad - is at the core of our DNA as a company and important to all of us. We have chosen a trusted local partner to run the Chernobyl excursion, who will ensure the tour is conducted in an informed, meaningful and ethical manner. 

The two-day Chernobyl tour is operated by a government approved company and meets all the safety requirements set out by the National Tourist Board and State Agency of Ukraine. Radiation exposure is similar to that of a standard x-ray or a long-haul flight. Whilst on the tour, the guide will be carrying some professional monitoring equipment to guarantee a safe limit of radiation exposure. Personal radiation or dosimetry control shall also be performed at a checkpoint when leaving the exclusion zone to prevent carrying particles of contaminated material with you. Please note that while walking on the wasteland, you may come across uneven grounds, sometimes littered with broken glass or rubble so comfortable shoes with sturdy soles and ankle support are strongly recommended for your safety.

There are some strict health & safety rules in place regarding dress code, photography and eating within the site and these will be explained to you by the tour leader and guide locally. Please note that passport information must be provided at the time of booking in order to book and grant permission to enter the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. In order to be permitted to visit Chernobyl you must be at least 18 years old and are always required to carry your passport with you due to the numerous checkpoints found within the Exclusion Zone. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Standard hotels

In Kiev we spend 2 nights at the 4-star Hotel Ukraine. This comfortable hotel is located in the heart of Kiev's historic centre and offers air-conditioned rooms, some with wonderful city views and free Wi-Fi. A continental buffet is provided for breakfast. 

During our stay within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, we will spend 1 night in a simple Soviet-style hotel, usually Desyatka Hotel. This hotel offers private simply decorated rooms, but facilities and showers are usually shared, usually amongst 2 to 4 rooms. 

Single rooms are available for a supplement (limited availability).

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed November 2019

    An amazing visit to a special place.

    We had an long weekend in Ukraine visiting Pripyat and the Chernobyl nuclear facility. The excursion into the control room and wreckage of reactor #3 (#4 is the one that blew up) was very special and, frankly, I am amazed that we were allowed such extended access inside the plant. I'll post some pictures to give you a flavour of the trip. Wandering around the 'ghost town' of Pripyat was also something of an epic experience. As you spend the previous night nearby in Chernobyl, you're one of the first visitors to arrive and have a really atmospheric experience before the crowds arrive (And they do!). The huge radio antenna is also somewhat overwhelming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Wandering around inside the turbine halls of a nuclear power station. I still can't quite believe we were allowed in there!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had three leaders, one was the Exodus leader who was with us all the time and conducted the 'cultural tours' in Kiev. We had another who guided us around Chernobyl and Pripyat and a third who took us into the power station itself. They were all very knowledgeable and got us through all the red tape and checkpoints with much hassle.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to take some kind of 'overnight' bag for the trip to Chernobyl, the minibus isn't very big and luggage space is limited. (The trip notes didn't mention this but we were on the first Exodus trip there so I guess they'll get sorted). Food in Kiev is excellent and cheap. So is beer. Food in Chernobyl is a bit basic but fine, veggies and gluten-free diners had no problems. We flew on UIA, check in at Gatwick and getting through passport control in Kiev were nightmares. On the return journey, check in and passport control in Kiev was easy and quick - when you get back from Chernobyl, get the reception staff at the hotel to check you in online and print your boarding pass. Then you can just go to the self check-in at the airport.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The trip also includes a 'cultural tour' of Kiev and a big monastery. That isn't really our 'thing' - we normally book walking/trekking/active holidays and we soon got bored. We excused ourselves and had a look around Kiev on our own - the WW2 remembrance park (Right next to the monastery, under the big statue) is quite something and well worth a visit. This isn't a criticism of the trip, I realise many people will book it expecting a day like this, it's just not for us.

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