When you join one of our trips, we want you to have peace of mind. In response to COVID-19, we’ve:
Join a group of curious solo travelers on this 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.
We have two options for you:
(1) Shared room: You’ll be matched with another traveler of the same gender. The cost of the trip based on double occupancy is $2,625.
(2) Private room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $390. When booking, please select the single room package option.
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.
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.
We design all Atlas Obscura trips for independent travelers, but these trips are ideal for solo travelers who want to meet other solo travelers. If you’re looking for an opportunity to travel with people who share your sense of curiosity, you’ll come away from these adventures with new travel buddies and lasting connections.
All departures have the same itinerary, regardless of the composition of the group. On regular departures, travelers have the option to join with a travel companion. Many of our travelers choose to join our trips without a companion, so some of our regular departures end up organically with solo-only groups. On solo-only departures, we guarantee you'll only be with other solo travelers.
We guarantee travelers on solo-only trips that all participants join solo. If you wish to travel with a companion, we invite you to join one of our regular departures. Departures of both regular and solo-only trips happen around the same time of year so that you can select the option that matches your travel preference.
Note: The majority of our travelers join trips solo, so you're likely to meet other independent travelers on our regular departures, too.
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 is really thorough, and last year alone it safely catered to 120,000+ 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.