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The ghost town of Pripyat
A town of 50,000 abandoned overnight inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone

The ghost town of Pripyat

The Ukrainian town of Pripyat, founded in 1970 was home to the workers and businesses that supported the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. At its peak in 1979, the city had 49,000 residents grocery stores, schools, a hospital, amusement park, and 160 high rise apartment blocks. The explosion of reactor unit 4 on April 26th, 1986 showered radioactive debris across the surrounding areas forcing Pripyat’s complete evacuation on April 27th.

Furniture and personal belongings have been removed from the dozens of the residential mid-rise apartments. What’s left is an abandoned town with a decaying shell of structures; there is no power, no running water, no cell service, and no human inhabitants.

Safety is a growing concern in the area as buildings have slowly begun to crumble, and collapse. Radiation is still present, and entering any premises is strictly prohibited; however, there are no doors or barriers to keep you out.

Pripyat’s tourism numbers have been steady for quite some while, however popular TV shows and features in popular games has made way for steadily increasing tourism demand over recent months and years. Touring Pripyat is considered a taboo form of dark tourism and is adjacent to the epicenter of one of the worst human-made catastrophes that killed many and impacted current and future generations with medical issues related to radiation exposure.

There are numerous guided tours companies available for one and two-day trips to the exclusion zone. Most tour operators depart centrally from Kiev and require all visitors to wear long sleeve shirt and pants (even in the summer) to minimize exposure to radiation.

Arriving at the exclusion zone greets you with a military checkpoint who verify passports and eligibility for entrance. When you arrive at Pripyat, you are standing in the middle of a once-bustling, vibrant city. The most prominent feature you’ll continuously see is the USSR hammer and sickle emblem on everything.

If you visit in the Spring/Summer, you’ll notice that nature is well in-progress to reclaim the land and return the abandoned town to a lush forest that used to be there. There are cracks in all the pavement, and it’s not uncommon to see trees growing through cracks in the concrete foundation of the buildings.

Interested in visiting The ghost town of Pripyat? Travel Blogger and author of DESTINATIONS UNKNOWN Sean Brown has compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help make your trip a breeze.

What is the closest airport to Pripyat?

Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP) is the closest major airport to Pryp'yat'.

What is the local currency at Pripyat?

Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) is the local currency, however most tour operations require payment in United States Dollar (USD), usually weeks to months ahead of your visit.

The ghost town of Pripyat

Pryp'yat' Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine

Latitude: 51.404503

Longitude: 30.054234


Official Website:


World traveler, travel blogger and sarcastic genius. Masters degree in blanket fort engineering and double minor in Netflix and nachos.