January 29, 2022


The Trip Encyclopedia

10 Must-Do Things In Chernobyl

I bet you will read this in one breath and you will feel that it is really worth it to visit Chernobyl.


Chernobyl is a Ukrainian town where the most large-scale nuclear disaster took place in 1986.


The civilians were sleeping when the fourth reactor unit of The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant exploded. The radiation clouds spread over the territory of the USSR and neighboring countries. About 8.4 million people were exposed to radiation, and 400 thousand people were evacuated from the nearest 30-kilometer zone called the Exclusion Zone. It’s still not suitable for a permanent living but you should visit this place at least once to see the effect of the unique disaster and to honor the memory of those who abandoned it.


Check the list of 10 things you have to do to feel the real ambiance of the historic city.


1. To see “the died” town

Кирилл Пурин, via Wikimedia Commons


Pripyat is the most affected town near The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Hundreds of abandoned ghost houses stay empty and unusable. They are ruined, covered with the trees on the roofs and emit radiation. You can get into any of them for the non-imperceptible emotions.


2. To visit an amusement park where no child rode

Jorge Franganillo, via Wikimedia Commons


Sounds like a horror? Yeah, it looks like that. The park planned to be opened on the 1st of May in 1986 but the disaster got ahead. The Ferris wheel is one of the unofficial memorials of the tragedy.


3. To feed the huge catfishes in the cooler pond

Vic Harkness, via Wikimedia Commons


In the cooler pond near the station, each can swallow a loaf of bread! The catfishes are about 4 m long. Have you ever seen such fishes?


4. To estimate the scales of the unique constructions: “The Russian Woodpecker” and The NSC

Corsairoz, via Wikimedia Commons


Duga-1, known in the west as Steel Yard, is a type of radar system with the ability to detect targets at very long ranges beyond the radar horizon. It was built by the Soviets for detecting launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, aimed northward and covered the United States and Europe. It was known by the operators as “The Russian Woodpecker” because of the repetitive pulses.


Ukrainian Duga is the only similar construction saved till date.


The New Safe Confinement (NSC) is a unique structure built to confine the remains of the fourth reactor unit. It encloses the temporary Shelter Structure (sarcophagus) that was built around the reactor immediately after the disaster. This is the only arch construction with such scales – there is enough space for the Statue of Liberty in it, – and the only huge moving arch in the world.


5. To play the piano part from a horror

Michal Bělka, via Wikimedia Commons


Pianos are like a visiting card to the past times in Chernobyl. The most impressing atmosphere is in the Music School in Pripyat. Uhh….it looks and sounds terrifying.


6. To visit a military technics cemetery

AndriiDydiuk, via Wikimedia Commons


The radioactive waste disposal place “Buryakovka” is located 50 km from the CNPP. This object is secured, entry is illegal, but the forbidden fruit is sweet to most of us. Take the pliers and follow the map. Photos there will be really cool.


7.  Jupiter Factory

Photo by Gytizzz on Foter.com


The secret object of enormous size, where the latest space technologies of that time were created and military development was carried out. It amazes the imagination. Basements look like secret alien laboratories with all the remnants of equipment.


You feel like a locked in a cage experimental there. It seems that there are no chances to get out of this trap.


8. To meet real wild representatives of the Ukrainian fauna

Vic Harkness, via Wikimedia Commons


People didn’t invade the nature in the Chernobyl area for more than 30 years (what actually is not peculiar to them). It became real heaven to the wild animals. You can meet hares, raccoons, lynxes, hedgehogs, squirrels, deer, roe deer and even Przewalski’s horses just walking through the Exclusion Zone. They feel really confident there and are not afraid to meet people. There is no similar “nature reserve” in Ukraine.


9. To talk to the indigenous people

Wikimedia Commons


Yes, it’s not a mistake. There are near 160 people who never left or came back in a few years after the bang. They are pretty alive, do all the things by their hands like in a far village and keep positive. Some of the locals occupied random empty houses.


But… there are no youth or children in the area. It’s really interesting to ask them how it goes.


10. To have lunch in a canteen number 19

David Holt, via Wikimedia Commons


A local eatery for the station stuff with an origin “soviet” chic is supposed to be a great finish of your unusual trip. Standard lunch consists of “the fist”, “the second”, a salad, a dessert, and a drink according to the traditional recipe. And it’s umm…delicious!