When you think of tourism, your first thoughts are sandy shores, blue skies and a jug of sangria. What you don’t picture is derelict buildings, abandoned streets, oh, or nuclear hazard warnings. Despite being home to the world’s worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl has seen a 40 percent rise in tourism in recent weeks and it’s definitely not because of the local cuisine.
Thanks to the HBO miniseries, Chernobyl, fans have been booking flights to Ukraine in hope of being the first of their pals to post a selfie in front of the nuclear power plant. So for those daring enough to explore the forbidden land, we’ve created a hazardous guide on what to do while you explore the ghost city.
If it’s a five star luxed out stay you’re after, then staying in Chernobyl isn’t going to be easy. In true Soviet style, Hotel Desiatka accommodates your basic needs and, well let’s be honest, not much else. But who really needs anything other than a bed and a bathroom, right? The hotel is set in the heart of Chernobyl town, in the former building of ‘ChernobylInterInform’. Let’s just hope we don’t find anything radiating under the bed…
Fulfil your dark tourism desires by visiting the lost city of Pripyat and uncover the hidden secrets that left the area deserted. With Chernobyl Welcome, you’ll have the chance to firsthand see the results of the catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred back in April 1986. Stroll inside the abandoned labs, deserted farms and homes that were left uninhabited after the evacuation. You’ll also get the chance to explore the secret military radar Duga and Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
If you’re lucky, you might even meet some of the Chernobyl babushkas who returned home to the Chernobyl exclusion zone shortly after the evacuation despite the radiation warnings.
While you might not be living in luxury at Hotel Pripyat, you can guarantee you’ll have somewhere to rest your head after a long day exploring. If you’re looking to sleep in style, opt for their ‘lux’ room where you’ll find the only differing feature is a TV. On occasion, it’s likely you won’t have access to running hot water so maybe shower before you set off on your travels. But at least you’ll be able to listen to the radio, which broadcasts past achievements of regional farming in the Ivankov district, yippee…
Ride around in an armoured patrol vehicle and follow in the footsteps of HBO’s Chernobyl series visiting the abandoned locations in person. From the basement of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, where the liquidation headquarters was located in the first days after the horrific explosion, to the medical unit in Pripyat, where the first victims were treated. Not to put haunt you but locked in the basement, you can still find the victims radioactive clothing.
See what’s left of the ghost city from above with Chernobyl Photo’s helicopter tour. Although on the pricier side, for two days, you’ll be able to explore the lost city on foot and sky-high giving you the chance to capture the last Soviet radar standing on Earth in all its glory. While up in the air, you’ll fly over forbidden areas like the Buryakovka or Roscoha machinery – rows upon rows of discarded machinery which helped after the nuclear disaster…
Fancy a staying in the world’s most extreme hotel, follow me…