Visited March 2017
“Enriching (pun intended)”
Visiting Chernobyl was part of the reason why I went to Ukraine/Kiev, and SoloEast did a terrific job in showing us around. You start your tour in Kiev with a bit of history about Kiev and Ukraine and on the 2 hr drive to the exclusion zone you’re shown a couple of videos and interviews with Gorbachev and the likes giving their account of what happens. Once in the exclusion zone, you drive through a couple of small towns where you get out and get to peak inside a couple of buildings like a daycare center or a former cultural center. They take you into the mandatory resettlement zone, all the way up to reactor number 4 before you get to spend a couple of hours in the ghost town of Pripyat. Nice add is that you spend lunch in a still operating hotel in the town of Chernobyl. It’s a must see!
You can take some snacks/drinks with you (leave them on the bus once in the exclusion zone) and DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT.
TripAdvisor member since 2012
from Ghent, Belgium
“Cheapest Charnobyl tour”
It was definitely the cheapest tour to Charnobyl I found and at the same time the quality of the tour was totally satifiying. We saw all the places we wanted to see. Our guide was a really funny guy, english speaking, with sufficient knowledge about the place. I can trully recommend this company.
TripAdvisor member since 2016
I wanna genuinely thank
I wanna genuinely thank you and my guide Constantine and driver Pasha for a life changing trip to the zone yesterday. I have always wanted to go to the zone but live far from Ukraine and had never had a chance, but after managing to get to Kiev and doing research I had ever faith that your company would give the best possible experience!
The guide was extremely knowledgeable and very funny which helped relieve any nerves and the bus was extremely comfortable. Thank you for this experience and you can bet I’ll be back, next time with friends!
Darryl Miles, Spain
“Positive Reaction to Reactor #4”
My husband and I went to Chernobyl on Thursday the 2nd of March with Kostya, his trainee Timor, and 3 other tourists. The weather was great, and with no leaves on the trees we could see a lot more than in summertime. Nature has truly taken back much of the terrain. Due to the small group size it was more like a private tour, Kostya did an excellent job explaining Soviet political mind-set of the time just before the disaster. The new Quonset style shelter is now in place over reactor #4 however, I think it’s a great visual on its own given its enormous size. Definitely gives some perspective on the size of what they had to cover up.
We highly recommend this tour, it was engaging and an important history lesson that everyone should learn.
I rented a radiation detector that initially seemed to be not worth the hassle, but later in the tour it turned out to be an interesting conversation piece as it would go off on its own after I had forgotten about it in my pocket.
The tour is a solid 10-11 hours, so ensure your camera battery is fully charged or you have extras handy.
TripAdvisor member since 2009
“Great experience and great guides – a must do if visiting Kiev”
We did the day trip to Chernobyl with Solo East travel and had a very interesting and great day. The day began at 8am and finished at 7pm. We made several stops in the exclusion zone and got plenty of time to take photos
TripAdvisor member since 2008
Visited February 2017:
“Unforgettable experience with superb staff – highly recommended!”
What a day! We did the 1 day tour which began around 8am and finished around 7:30pm. A long day, but it flew by.
The booking process was so simple and the company kept us all informed throughout the booking right up until the day we visited Chernobyl.
Nadia was amazing as were all the members of staff, driver, etc. So helpful, amusing, great sense of humour, organised, etc. Just fantastic.
We visited so many sites including the reactors, the sarcophagus, Pripyat etc. but two things were extra special for us.
We met a self settler and sat with him in one of the deserted homes which he chose to return to. I will never forget listening to him talking about his life in such a place.
We climbed to the very top of an abandoned tower block in Pripyat and stood on the roof so we could see how nature has taken over the town.
Everything else we saw blew my mind too of course, the fairground, the pool, the shops, school, etc., but the 2 events above were incredible.
I cannot thank SoloEast or Nadia enough – and I will never forget the experience.
TripAdvisor member since 2017
“Everything ran perfectly.”
We booked and paid on line and were given full details via email. We arrived at the easy to find rendezvous and the mini buses were new and clean. The two hour journey was made easier by an informative video which explained the horror that had taken place in 1986. We arrived and the English speaking guide too us on a tour of an abandoned village, the reactor and then the abandoned city. Lunch is average by Western standards but typical by Ukrainian ones. We saw everything we wanted to see, had plenty of opportunities to get out and explore and take snaps. Perfect for a one day trip, we felt very safe with Solo East and have no hesitation in recommending them.
TripAdvisor member since 2008
“Two day trip ”
I was visiting Budapest and had a few days to spend in Europe, so I decided to visit Chernobyl in conjunction with my birthday. Booked the two day tour and there was a total of four tourists, so it was more of a private tour.
There snow was on the ground and there were no leaves on the tree – we had a good view of the area and our photos looked great.
The basics – accommodation was better than expected, very clean with internet and hot showers. Food was ok,my belly was full. The lunch in the workers canteen is interesting, just expect typical Eastern European food. Food at the hotel wasn’t too bad. Our tour guide Igor (I think) was a good driver, thankfully, a welcome change from the dangerous local drivers.
On the two day tour you visit lots of deserted buildings, get shown around the area and get to spend a night at a “hotel” in the area. If you like to take photographs I would recommend the two day tour. I’m not sure of the exact differences of the tours because I wanted to do the two day tour, but at the very least it’s a great story to tell your friends that you stayed in the exclusion zone for the night!
Without giving too many details away, it was good to experience the area over two days as I had a greater understanding of communism and a snap shot into life 30 years ago. If you go on the two day tour you can give input into areas you want to visit and we visited a very old resident who was “invited” back to the area after the accident.
The area isn’t preserved in any form for tourism, as tourism is definitely not the focus of the area – it’s a working nuclear plant. You will visit lots of deserted buildings and you will be shown a few videos, and of course the guide will give you information. I kinda liked this aspect of the tour – felt very unique and less sanitised than my previous tours.
There is zero risk to your health, you get checked, but don’t tell your friends! You want to show them how bad you are to be near the biggest nuclear accident in history. My attitude probably shows why the Ukraine government hasn’t promoted tourism to the area 😉
If you have an interest in visiting the area I would go sooner rather than later. I can’t deny or confirm that we perhaps visited areas we weren’t supposed to, but I would bring a sturdy pair of shoes.
SoloEast were exactly how other reviews have described the company – fast to reply to emails and easy to pay for the tour. Everything ran smoothly.
On a side note we stayed in Independence Square on the anniversary of the troubles in 2014. We were not able to drive to our AirBnB accommodation and had to walk past a police/army check point. I was able to have a greater understanding of Ukrainian history.
Visited January 2017: