Chernobyl is one of the best-known destinations in Ukraine, but for devastating reasons. Located in the northern part of the country, near the border with Belarus, Chernobyl is a grim reminder of the tragedy that fell upon this once thriving society. While several parts of Chernobyl remain contaminated and are off-limits, visitors can visit specific locations throughout the area, including Pripyat Ukraine, the nearest town to the site of the disaster. Chernobyl tours will take guests through the ruins, left just as they were on the day of the accident that caused this place to become a ghost town. Despite the fact that this is a somber and at times disturbing destination, Chernobyl offers a vivid and fascinating look at the history of the area and it’s worth taking the time to visit.
Once the administrative hub of Ukraine, Chernobyl underwent a series of changes from its first appearance as a hunting lodge in the late twelfth century. It eventually became part of independent Ukraine in 1991, but before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the destination became notoriously linked with the disaster and the dangers of nuclear reactors. On April 26, 1986, Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded in the middle of a power text, causing a number of hazardous radioactive substances to spread over great distances and ultimately affect thousands of people. The town was quickly evacuated but never torn down, and Pripyat Ukraine remains an abandoned relic of a once-normal society.
Chernobyl tours are about the only way for tourists to visit the ruins of this region, as the sites are off limits otherwise, and there are a number of these tours available from different areas, including Kiev and other cities in Ukraine and even as far as England. The town of Pripyat is part of an exclusion zone, and every visitor is required to obtain a day pass to enter. Booking a Chernobyl tour is the most convenient means of doing so and the wisest, as the entire area is still contaminated, though in small quantities, and many visitors will not be certain of which are the safest areas inside the zone, while tour guides can help navigate you through the least dangerous parts of the plant.
Some of the sites offered on these Chernobyl tours include deserted ships, Pripyat Ukraine, and several abandoned villages. The reactor that exploded contains a much higher concentration of radiation than anywhere else in the area, so of course, visiting the reactor itself remains off limits to visitors; however, it can be viewed from a strategic location as well as within the visitor’s center via model. Previously hosted on the tours was a vehicle scrap yard, but since lethal doses of radiation have been found in some of the vehicle carcasses, it has been restricted. Instead, visitors will have the opportunity to see an assortment of abandoned ships.
Pripyat is the Chernobyl ghost town, a thriving city turned to a skeleton in a matter of days; schools, cultural centers, playgrounds, and the unopened amusement park are all left standing as they were on the day of the explosion. Pripyat had around 50,000 people before the accident, and the city was still growing. In other parts of the exclusion zone is a selection of forgotten villages featuring farms and cottages that have been abandoned by their owners.
Whether you are planning a visit to learn about nuclear science or simply out of historical curiosity, Chernobyl offers a striking view at the history and culture of the area, as well as the possible consequences of using nuclear power.