1. How should I tell my partner that I am going to Chernobyl?
Good luck with that :-) Actually, the best way is to tell her or him that you both are going to Chernobyl. Such a trip is just for adventurous couples, so if she/he does not feel to be adventurous enough, you will forgive her/him by letting you go to Chernobyl. Promise you will not drink a lot of vodka and that you love her/him.
2. How do you get to Chernobyl?
It is easy. In order to book a trip to Chernobyl with CHERNOBYLwel.come you must first come to Kiev. From there, everything will be arranged by a CHERNOBYLwel.come delegate, whom you will meet at 7:30AM on the first day of your excursion at the Kiev central railway station - Polzunova 1 str.. The journey to the Chernobyl exclusion zone takes a maximum of 2 hours from Kiev. Transportation is conducted on a comfortable Mercedes Sprinter with AC and TV on board. The majority of places will be visited on foot.
3. How is the tour to Chernobyl organized?
The Chernobyl expedition starts usually at 7:30 AM in Kiev (DAY 1), group tours meeting point is in front of the KFC restaurant at the Central railway station in Kiev. For a private tour, you might wish an earlier or later pick up time, and we will pick you up at your address in Kiev (hotel). You are watching a documentary on your way to Chernobyl, also most of the journey there is a WiFi available (some territories, including Chernobyl zone are not covered with a good mobile interent signal, however). The CHERNOBYLwel.come bus arrives to the Chernobyl exclusion zone around 10 AM. After passing the checkpoint “Dytiatky” the group will start the excursion. More day tours check into the hotel. There will be two breaks during the Chernobyl expedition –lunch and dinner (only more than 1-day tours). There will be also a chance to stop at the local grocery shop to buy some snacks, drinks or souvenirs. After the tour, the bus will return to Kiev between 6 and 8 PM (20:00) local time. During a two-day tour the night is spent at the hotel in Chernobyl (Slavutych) with a cultural program – talking with local guides and experts about the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Pripyat city, accident, evacuation and the future of the whole Chernobyl exclusion zone. More day tours starts with a traditional Ukrainian breakfast at the hotel their follow up program. Chernobyl Power Plant and Pripyat tour have a scheduled power plant excursion on the Monday morning. After a late lunch, the group will visit the last places and people (Chernobyl babushkas). The Chernobyl tour with CHERNOBYLwel.come ends between 6 and 8 PM at the Kiev central railway station.
4. In what languages is the tour to Chernobyl conducted?
The basic language of the Chernobyl tour is English, but there is a possibility to have it in: German, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Czech, Slovak and Polish. Please note that there might be a surcharge for a translator in tour dates that were not planned (as we will be out of capacities in the particular language). We will try to make your Chernobyl experience the most valuable, thus making it your mother tongue is a pleasure for us.
5. I would like to visit Chernobyl zone for more than 2 days, do you offer also several-day tours?
We can offer you a several day tour on a private tour. If you are looking for a group tour or a several-day photo workshop, we recommend you will find it on chernobylphoto.com.
6. Where can I get some more information about Chernobyl, accident etc.?
7. Where can I buy souvenirs?
You can buy souvenirs either in the zone - there is a vending machine with Chernobyl T-shirts, a radioPROactive stand at Dytiatky checkpoint or you can buy them online in our eshop. Please note, the souvenir offer in Chernobyl is very limited.
chernowear.com offers variety of T-shirts, hoodies, but also survival gadgets that you may find useful. All in great quality, Chernobyl style, and for an affordable price. Plus, you help Chernobyl babushkas, as 5% of the price goes directly to provide them medication, groceries or needed supplies (e.g. for winter). Thank you!
8. Based on what facts should I decide about my Chernobyl tour provider?
Most of the Chernobyl tour offers you will find on the market are offers from tour agencies who sell tour of few official tour operators. For your own good, service and safety we recommend you buy your trip directly by a tour operator. CHERNOBYLwel.come is an official tour operator, also a member of Chernobyl Tour Operator Association.
People who were travelling several times to Chernobyl zone (with different tour operators) said they were paying attention especially: if the price for the tour is final (some operators might charge you extra for dining, obligatory insurance etc.), when the group is starting and ending the tour (the longer time, the better), if the tour operator sticks to the program that it is selling on the website, how knowledgeable is the guide (or delegate), what is the chance a tour can be cancelled (some operators cancel when not enough people, CHERNOBYLwel.come allways provides the tour, there is no minimum number of persons on our tours).
9. When is the best season to visit Chernobyl?
It depends on your preferences – the Chernobyl exclusion zone has its magic in every season. In spring everything is blooming, there are no leaves on the trees that would cover the buildings in Pripyat and thus it is very good for photographing. During the summer the Chernobyl exclusion zone is green (and also crowded by tourists at some places) - Pripyat is a city “in the jungle” and this is the best way that you can see how nature overtook the human structures. In autumn, the Chernobyl zone is rather bleak, with falling leaves surrounding the facades of Pripyat houses. And during the winter you can see in the best light how abandoned the cities and villages in the Chernobyl zone are, as well as seeing many of the Chernobyl zone’s “wild” inhabitants – wolves and boars.
10. How much in advance do I need to book a Chernobyl tour?
We advise you to book your tour 4-6 weeks in advance as many of them are likely to be booked out, especially in high season: March-October.
Normally we need at least 10 days to process your data and get you a permit from the Chernobyl zone administration. Sometimes, especially on private tours, administration is able to make it much faster. If you need to book a tour for any day close to tomorrow, please call us.
11. Can you organise tours to Chernobyl for the next day?
There is always a chance to obtain permits for you very quickly, however we cannot guarantee it. For availability please write ASAP to firstname.lastname@example.org (16 hours a day customer care) or call the customer care line directly on +421 902 654 876
12. Can I visit Chernobyl power plant on my tour?
Yes, and it is a great choice. The 3 hour excursion is very informative and in depth, as it is the only power plant of this type in the world that is been now decommissioned. You can conduct this excursion on a Chernobyl Power Plant and Pripyat tour where you can visit it with a group. On a Chernobyl private tour you can visit it for a 149 EUR (189 USD or 139 GBP)/person extra (2 people minimum).
1. Is visiting Chernobyl dangerous?
Yes, as much as visiting any other place in the world. The level of radiation is high only in some places of Chernobyl zone. Those places are avoided during the Chernobyl tour, or the group stays near these places only for a brief amount of time. During a one day spent in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the body receives a dose of gamma radiation comparable to 0,0005 dose by X-ray scan or to 3-5 hours spent in an airplane. In numbers, you will receive 3-5 microsieverts of gamma radiation – an absolutely non harmful dose of radiation. For comparison, most of the nuclear power plants around the world have a safety limit for their employees set at 50-100 microsieverts per day. During a one-day retro tour you will get even less: 4-6 microsieverts of gamma radiation. Most probably you will get more radiation during your flight to Kiev. In order to be sure you come back home safe and sound, we ensure a dosimetric control for you at least twice a day, you will get a free respirator and a Geiger-Muller counter will be borrowed to you anytime at no cost.
2. Can I visit Chernobyl power plant on my tour?
Yes, and it is a great choice. The 3 hour excursion is very informative and in depth, as it is the only power plant of this type in the world that is been now decommissioned. You can conduct this excursion on a Chernobyl Power Plant and Pripyat tour you can visit it with a group. On a Chernobyl private tour you can visit it for a 149 EUR extra (2 people minimum). Also, there are 2 types of extended program available for a private tour. They are restricted by number and date, please CONTACT US for more details.
3. Do I need a gas mask or a respirator for the Chernobyl tour?
No, you do not need to take a gas mask or respirator for visiting Chernobyl, Pripyat and surrounding areas. You will get a respirator from CHERNOBYLwel.come for free at the entrance to Chernobyl exclusion zone.
4. How do I know I did not get a dangerous dose of radiation during the trip?
This scenario is highly improbable. The guides of CHERNOBYLwel.come are specially trained to lead you just along safe roads and paths. During the visit to the Chernobyl exclusion zone you will go through a dosimetric control several (at least 2) times a day – at the checkpoints to the safety zones, as well as at the entry to the canteen or power plant. On top of that your group will be equipped with Geiger-Müller counters (you can borrow it for free) which measures the radiation level constantly. On top of that, you will get a respirator fo free. The radioactive isotopes and radiation sources are sinking 1 cm/year into the soil, most of the most radioactive particles had have already their halflife and they turned into more stable and less radioactive, or even stable, isotopes. Comparing the radiation level at the time of the Chernobyl accident to the radiation level in the Chernobyl exclusion zone today, it is much, much lower. Most of the places visited in the Chernobyl zone by the CHERNOBYLwel.come expedition contain radiation levels lower than natural, every day radiation – i.e. lower than in your living room. Since 2008, when CHERNOBYLwel.come started to organize Chernobyl tours, there has been only one case that a visitor had his shoes contaminated and they could not be washed. So he left them in Chernobyl and went back to Kiev barefoot. Of course our first stop was a shoestore.
1. How much does a tour to Chernobyl cost?
You can choose from 4 types of tours, all prices are final, you will not pay any extra surcharges or services, there are no cancellation fees (up to 10 days before your tour date), pay only the deposit in advance with a 100% money back guarantee.
On booking you pay only 20% reservation fee (permits to Chernobyl exclusion zone are paid up front and when issued, they cannot be refunded), the rest of the sum can be paid in cash at the bus, or you can pay the whole sum when booking (PayPal, Credit/Debit card, Bitcoins) and save 1% of your total price.
2. How can I pay for the trip to Chernobyl?
The price for the Chernobyl visit is paid either in full when booking (PayPal, Credit/Debit card, Bitcoins) or in cash at the CHERNOBYLwel.come bus. If taking the cash option, there is a 20% reservation fee paid up front online, which is used to cover the official Chernobyl zone entry permits. No cancellation fees apply if you cancel your tour 10 days prior to the tour date. If you cancel later than this, a 20% cancellation fee applies because your permits will already have been issued (the Chernobyl zone administration never refunds). The sum is paid either in EUR, USD or GBP.
3. How is the 100 % money back guarantee working?
In case you are not satisfied with our services or services of our subcontractors or partners, you are allowed to cancel the tour with a 100% cash back of your price for the tour. This applies when you are travelling with CHERNOBYLwel.come for a one-day tour, reported your non-satisfaction until 14:00 local time (GWT+2 hours) and for more than a one-day tour, reported your non-satisfaction on the DAY 1 of the tour until 18:00 local time (GWT+2 hours). In this case you will be immediately refunded and taken to the bus station of Chernobyl city or to the checkpoint Dytiatky. There will be our customer service in touch with you in order to find out what went wrong so we can learn our lesson.
4. Why should I go for a 2-day trip when a 1-day trips cost less?
If you are interested in seeing just the main tourist points in Chernobyl and Pripyat, it is okay for you to go for a one-day Retro Chernobyl tour. We at CHERNOBYLwel.come were able to squeeze the best places in Chernobyl zone in an extended one-day program. Clients sometimes tell us that we do not sell tours, we sell experience instead. And a real experience takes time and a night spend in Chernobyl zone is something that you will never forget. During our two-day tours we manage to show you places that remain hidden for the majority of tourists, meet local people and dive deeper into the Chernobyl atmosphere. Many of our customers join us for a two-day tour after visiting Chernobyl for just one day. If your schedule allows you, we recommend choose a two-day tour. This all at 100% money back guarantee. Feel free to join some of CHERNOBYLwel.come tours.
5. Why are prices for some last minute tours higher than you advertise those tours booked in advance?
The price increase is due to the fact that your paperwork process needs to be done extremely quickly and there is a much higher demand. Processing permits, insurance, meals, transportation, possibly accommodation etc. is very costly. That is one of the reasons we recommend booking trips in advance, besides the fact some dates might be already completely booked out.
1. What is the maximum number of people on each Chernobyl tour?
The maximum number of people on the Chernobyl excursions tour with CHERNOBYLwel.come is 15 (Most of the time there are not more than 10 people on the group). This is the number that still guarantees the highest quality and smoothness of the whole Chernobyl tour. On top of that, with this number of adventurers in one group you can be sure you will never have unwanted people in your unique Chernobyl photos.
2. Can I take photos in Chernobyl?
Yes, during the trip to Chernobyl you are allowed to take pictures and videos of everything. There is a photo and camera restriction only in the campus of Chernobyl nuclear power plant and at the checkpoints with guards. You are allowed to take pictures and shoot video in front of the reactor number 4 (sarcophagus) of Chernobyl nuclear power plant from a safe distance. You can also take your tripods with you to the Chernobyl zone. It is possible to fly a drone in the Zone (except for restricted locations), however for a special fee. Contact our Customer Care department for more info.
3. What is the age limit to join the Chernobyl tour?
In order to be permitted to enter the Chernobyl exclusion zone one needs to be at least 18. This restriction is due to the fact that the human body is still growing below this age and it is much more vulnerable.
4. Can I get to Chernobyl by my own car or motorbike?
The Chernobyl exclusion zone is running under special management, most of the time it allows to travel on your own car (bus), but not motorbike. If you plan the visit on your car, please contact us.
5. What can and cannot be taken to Chernobyl for the Chernobyl visit?
Every visitor has to have a valid passport at all times – this is obligatory. Visitors have to wear pants (not shorts), long-sleeve shirts/jackets and closed shoes (not sandals or flip flops). CHERNOBYLwel.come recommends that you take old clothes that can be easily washed or even thrown away. It is forbidden to take to/from the Chernobyl exclusion zone any weapons, animals, plants, drugs, etc. Tourists are also not allowed to take artifacts that they have found in the Chernobyl zone out of the zone. Download a list of what is recommended to take with you to Chernobyl HERE.
6. Will we really be able to see all of the places mentioned at CHERNOBYLwel.com during the trip to Chernobyl?
Due to the special management in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, as well as the ongoing liquidation in some places, CHERNOBYLwel.come cannot guarantee the program and places visited during the Chernobyl tour. CHERNOBYLwel.come can definitely guarantee that adventurers on the Chernobyl trip will see the majority of the places listed, as well as many places not listed on the website. Private tours to Chernobyl can have some extra places added in their program upon request. You can place a private tour inquiry here.
7. Can we enter buildings in Pripyat?
Since April 1, 2012 it is officially forbidden (due to safety reasons) to enter buildings in Pripyat. Despite this fact, CHERNOBYLwel.come assures you that you will have almost the same experience as the former Pripyat tour. Adding some unique buildings and places (outside the borders of Pripyat) into the program is a full replacement of the buildings in Pripyat that are out of reach for the moment. These places will give you goose bumps.
8. Is there anything I am not allowed to do during the Chernobyl tour?
After entering the Chernobyl exclusion zone, you will be instructed as to what is and what is not allowed to do in Chernobyl during your visit. You will have to stick to these instructions and to the directions of your guide (envoy officer). During the stay in Chernobyl you are, for example, not allowed to smoke, eat and drink in the open spaces. You are also not allowed to sit on the ground, as well as put your belongings – mostly cameras and camcorders – on the ground. You are not allowed to eat any berries, drink water from open sources such as wells etc. (tap water or bottled water is OK), or touch vegetation and objects on the ground. Download a list of rules in Chernobyl HERE.
1. How is the hotel in Chernobyl – is there warm water for showering, for example?
The hotel in Chernobyl is equivalent of a European ** hotel. Every room is equipped with heating, refrigerator, TV and shower with warm water and toilet. There are clean towels, shampoo and soap prepared for you. Although it is not a "Hotel Intercontinental", it is a nice reminder of how soviet style hotels looked like. The hotel room can accommodate up to 3 people, If you would like to have a single room just for you, please contact us in advance.
2. Do I need a visa to visit the Ukraine?
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Vatican City, United Kingdom, United States & Uzbekistan. If you are a citizen from a country not listed in this list, you will not have a problem obtaining a touristic visa. The invitation is automatically issued by any of the Kiev hotels by booking. In other cases, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you with your visa invitation.
3. CAN YOU ADVISE ME ON SOME GOOD HOTEL IN KIEV?
Since the CHERNOBYLwel.come tours to Chernobyl start and finish at the Kiev central railway station, we suggest you book some accommodations near the railway station "Vokzalna".
From here you also have a direct connection to the main Borispol airport via SkyBus. Adventurers who are travelling with CHERNOBYLwel.come to Chernobyl are referred to Hotel Ibis as the best choice. CHERNOBYLwel.come custmers enjoy a 22% discount in both hotels if they use "CHERNOBYLwelcome" promo code. If you like, we can organize a transport for you from any of the Kiev airports and – do not hesitate to CONTACT US.