Join us on a unique exploration that blends Soviet history with contemporary politics, breathtaking Orthodox monasteries with memorials to tragedy. We’ll visit everything from awe-inspiring UNESCO sites to hidden passages beneath the streets of the Ukrainian capital—as well as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the ghost town of Pripyat—as we dive headfirst into centuries of Ukrainian history. We’ll have a whole team of experienced guides at the ready as we delve into one of Europe’s most fascinating—and drastically underrated—capitals. Along the way, we’ll also find plenty of time to enjoy fantastic food and drink, good company, mischief, and mystery. Our time in Ukraine will be breathtaking, surprising, and occasionally challenging, but always memorable.
The total cost of this trip is $2,935. For those traveling by themselves, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, at an additional cost of $450. Please contact us to request a single room.
Some elements of this tour will be physically demanding. Our two-day exploration of Chernobyl involves no more than walking—but there will be a lot of that, and over rough ground, so be sure to bring proper walking boots or other outdoor footwear. Long sleeves and full-length pants are also required inside the Zone.
The urban exploration tour, on Day 4, will be particularly challenging. Expect to get wet as you climb up and down ladders and crawl through tight spaces beneath the streets of Kyiv. You’ll need to be in good physical shape for this section of the tour, and it’s absolutely not for the claustrophobic—but if that doesn’t appeal, just let us know and we’ll book you for the street art tour alternative.
Kiev Boryspil International Airport (KBP) is your best option when it comes to booking flights into Ukraine. You should aim to arrive in Kyiv on Day 1 by 4 p.m., and depart anytime on Day 7. Traveling to and from your hotel in the city center is easiest by taxi, which should cost no more than $25 each way. Uber is very popular in Kyev, too. If you decide to extend your stay, your guides will be only too happy to suggest additional activities for you.
Chernobyl is very much safe to visit. The outer area, the 30km Zone, acts as more of a buffer space between the contaminated land and the rest of Ukraine. This area is more or less fine—people live there full-time, they grow crops, raise livestock, and so on. Radiation levels in the 30km Zone are lower than the standard background radiation in a typical developed city. The largest dose of radiation our travelers usually get is from their trans-Atlantic flights. Most important, as always, is following the site’s regulations. Chernobyl’s security team are really thorough, and last year alone they safely catered to 60,000 visitors.
The Chernobyl tourism industry has received a lot of media attention in recent years, and not all of it has been positive. On this trip, we'll explore parts of the 1,000-square-mile Exclusion Zone that most tourists never get to see. We’ll talk about the effects of tourism in the Zone, both the positive and the negative. But rather than joining the crowds at the more populated tourism hotspots, we will spend our time eating, drinking and talking with local people, many of whom would otherwise see little financial benefit from the increasingly corporate Chernobyl tourism industry.