What are the differences between Chernobyl and Pripyat?

People who are not familiar with the history of Ukraine often confuse two different settlements located in the exclusion zone. We are talking about Chernobyl and Pripyat. So, what is the difference between them and what unites them? Contrary to popular belief, these are completely different cities, residents of many countries got to know about only after the terrible accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant that happened in 1986. The consequences of the disaster were terrible and led to the fact that a huge territory turned into an uninhabitable, abandoned area.

At the moment, no more than 1,500 people live in the Chernobyl area, these are working personnel serving the station and some city institutions. Trips to Chernobyl company organizes excursions of various durations to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ) for real stalkers and individual tourist groups. The routes run through the most significant historical monuments of the Chernobyl NPP and Pripyat. The area of ​​this city is significantly larger than Chernobyl, but a disaster that happened many years ago devastated it forever. According to statisticians, Pripyat in the next 20 thousand years will be unsuitable for human habitation.

what are the differences between Chernobyl and Pripyat

Unknown facts about Chernobyl

The first mentions of this city were found in medieval chronicles, in 1193. After World War II, Chernobyl was restored and assumed the unofficial status of a ship repair center on the basis of a wide river flowing nearby. The small population and the proximity of the water mass contributed to the beginning of the construction of the nuclear power plant named after Lenin.

Seven years later – after the memorable launch of the first reactor – almost 14,000 residents from all over the Soviet Union settled in the city. It was the successful transport interchange that helped Chernobyl grow into a center of regional significance. According to forecasts of the Department of Energy, the nuclear power plant could become the largest in the world. It was planned to build 12 reactors with a capacity of 1,000 MW each, but sad circumstances forever changed not only the city itself and the fate of its inhabitants, but also the entire history of mankind.

Pripyat – an abandoned legendary city

This rather large settlement was founded in 1970 on the basis of the construction of the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, located near the city. For high-quality service of a large-scale and technically complex structure, the presence of many specialists of various professions was necessary, for whom houses were built. The close proximity of the town-forming enterprise allowed Pripyat to receive a high-profile and honorable status of “atomic engineer”.

Let’s have a look at what influenced the rapid development:

  1. Transport interchange. The convenient location of the point between the water and railway provided easy access to the city.
  2. Financial aid. The state accelerated the construction of industrial enterprises, educational and entertainment centers, shops, cinemas in the city.
  3. Good prospects. The population growth was due to the high birth rate and the influx of newly arrived settlers who came from all over the country to work at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

At the time of the explosion, the average age of the population was 26 years. More than a thousand newborn babies were born here every year.


After the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, people had to be urgently evacuated. At the moment, the settlement is located in the center of the Chernobyl exclusion zone and has the status of an abandoned city in which people will not be able to live for many more centuries.

Our operators conduct regular tours and excursions around Pripyat and its environs. Every tourist who prefers an “exotic” journey through a deserted city full of extreme impressions to a quiet rest can order a trip along a safe route with a mandatory visit to the selected places.

Population statistics at the time of the accident

According to the latest census, 47.5 thousand people lived on the territory of Pripyat shortly before the explosion at the nuclear power plant. The government assumed that the number would very quickly increase to 80 thousand, thanks to which the settlement will continue to develop successfully. The main goal was to achieve the most comfortable living standards for people.

Now Pripyat is completely abandoned. Neither the station service workers nor the self-settlers live in empty houses. Most of the streets are overgrown with bushes and turned into a real “jungle”, among which you can often see wild animals.

Official excursions to the Chernobyl zone

Interested in getting new experiences, many tourists are in a desperate hurry to get to Pripyat and Chernobyl. Legal tours from Trips to Chernobyl across the territory of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant are available to every resident of Ukraine and for every guest of the capital. Departure from Kyiv is carried out in comfortable minibuses, in small groups of 5-10 people each. Tours are created so that you can visit as many interesting places as possible, photos from which will remind you of this amazing journey.

An individual excursion to the Chernobyl zone can be booked at a special rate. Experienced guides, and perfectly thought out routes will ensure you a safe path and complete immersion in the mysterious atmosphere of ghost towns.