How to visit Chernobyl legally and safely: simple rules for tourists

If you’ve watched the HBO series “Chernobyl”, then the thought of visiting these places must have settled in your head. Because watching the series and personally exploring what is left of abandoned cities is a fully different experience. If you are a fan of extreme sports and a light atmosphere of danger, you definitely need to visit Chernobyl and Pripyat.

It is absolutely legal and safe to come here as part of a tourist route. It is up to you to choose the format of excursion: visit to Chernobyl as part of a group or individually. In the meantime, let’s start with acquaintance with Chernobyl and everything connected with this place.

How to visit Chernobyl legally and safely: simple rules for tourists

Interesting facts about the Chernobyl disaster

  • Due to a man-made accident, the surrounding area was covered with 450 times more radioactive substances than in Japanese Hiroshima as a result of a nuclear bombardment.
  • Today a visit to Chernobyl and Pripyat is safe. For a day or two of such a trip, the radioactive radiation will be equal to the scanty doses that you receive during a two-hour flight from Paris to Madrid.
  • Officially, 31 people died from acute radiation sickness for the first time after the explosion. The real consequences of the impact of radioactive exposure on the health of residents of all countries, where the cloud of radionuclides has suffered, is difficult to assess.
  • A visit to Pripyat and Chernobyl is regulated at the state level. It is impossible to enter the zone without official permission, as it is surrounded by military units. The entry to a 30-kilometer location is strictly regulated: your passport will be checked at checkpoints, and before entry, official data about all tourists are transferred to a special authority. In addition, every day from 8 pm there is a curfew – you will no longer be able to walk the streets.
  • Plutonium-239 is the last radioactive element in a contaminated location, which will decay after 24 thousand and 500 years.

You can visit Chernobyl safely: rules for tourists

To make a visit to Chernobyl safe, you must strictly follow all the rules and prohibitions. You will enter an abandoned five-story building, where the old Soviet furniture still stands, children’s toys are scattered on the floor left in a hurry, and portraits of the owners hang on the walls… To touch history and take some small thing as a souvenir is a too dangerous temptation that can cost you dearly. In the literal and figurative sense of the word.

All guides from Trips to Chernobyl organize the visit to Pripyat and Chernobyl in accordance with the current legislation of Ukraine. Tourists are instructed, and the guides carefully monitor compliance with the rules during the trip. Here are just the basic rules for visiting the zone – the guide will tell you about all other prohibitions and permits immediately before leaving.

  • To visit the Chernobyl exclusion zone you should know that it is a restricted area. Before entering, the tour operator submits the data of all tourists from the group, issues passes for them, which then need to be shown to the military.
  • A visit to Chernobyl exclusive zone is possible only after reaching the age of 18. No medical certificates are required to enter the area.
  • If you are taking video, photographic equipment or drones with you for shooting, you must inform the administration representative at the checkpoint about this.
  • It is prohibited to take any objects out of the territory – it is a criminal offense for which a suspended sentence or imprisonment can be given. Removal of any item from here is considered the movement of radioactive waste.
  • All tourists on Chernobyl visit must wear closed shoes and clothing.
  • During the trip, you cannot pick and eat berries, vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, as well as sit on the ground/asphalt or have a lunch snack in the fresh air.
  • After the excursion to the checkpoint, each person is subjected to double dosimetric control, if nothing ‘emits’, you calmly leave. If ‘emit’, for example, shoes, then they are washed, and you just as safely leave the territory of the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

All guides from ‘Trips to Chernobyl’ undergo special training and have the license. They thoroughly know how to behave in the Zone – all routes are thought out to the smallest detail. You will receive a lot of new knowledge, but at the same time, you will not put yourself in danger. Therefore, choosing a reliable tour operator is half of a successful visit to the area.

Chernobyl is not an amusement park, you need to go here to understand the scale of the tragedy that happened in April 1986. They say that you never come back from Chernobyl the same person you were. You have a great opportunity to test this statement on your own experience.