Would you visit Chernobyl? Or does the radiation scare you…?
Well, I decided that it was on my to-do list. I booked a flight to Kyiv, which would be the first time I’d been to Ukraine, but certainly not the last. After sorted accommodation and figuring out transport from the airport to Kyiv city centre, I started looking for Chernobyl tours.
I found a tour, it had the best website out of the tours I found, the reviews on Trip Advisor seemed to be very good and it looked like the best option – it wasn’t the cheapest, but the professionalism of their online media made me choose them.
The itinerary was simple, get to the pick up point at about 6am (outside KFC) and jump on the bus. We’d be dropped off that evening in the same place.
The bus ride was about 2 hours until we got to the exclusion zone, but during the ride, they played some documentary about Chernobyl and the tour guide told us some stuff about the city and the disaster which was pretty interesting.
Now, the tour is heavily scripted, so you can only go to the places they take you, and there are guards around so you can’t really sneak off. There’s also a law meaning you can’t go into the buildings, which is annoying, but once you see the school, you’ll see it’s for your safety as the buildings are absolutely not safe.
There’s an eerie feel to the place, obviously, but it’s ruined by the amount of people there. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, each day. It’s rarely silent, because you can kinda hear the other tour groups in the distance, which is a shame, but it’s a tourist attraction, so that’s expected.
Overall, I was kind of impressed, but not really – the over tourism ruined the experience, along with the gift shops at the end of the tour.
I made a video for my YouTube channel which shows what it’s like to be on a group tour in 2019 in Chernobyl – go check it out.