This Ukraine itinerary includes some of the most renowned attractions of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv with the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with its 3 sub-zone, the residence of the former Ukrainian President Yanukovych and the Duga (Rainbow), the Soviet over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system. Stay in a hotel in Kyiv and make day trips to the places included in it. Have a walk through some of the famous old and artistic neighborhoods. One day is dedicated to the Chernobyl/Pripyat region. You’d need to book a tour since the area is not allowed for independent travelers. Usually, all the tours include the abandoned villages within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the area immediately adjacent to Reactor 4, the next approximately 10 km (6 mi) radius from the reactor, and the remaining 30 km zone. Along the way, you will learn a lot about the Chernobyl accident from the local guides, who will take you around the area. Lastly, you will pay tribute to the fallen “liquidators” in front of their monument in Chernobyl. Part of this day trip is a stop at the Duga (Rainbow), a Soviet over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system. Spend one day ambling the Mezhyhirya Residence of the former Ukrainian President Yanukovych – a luxurious mansion with a magnificent park. Have a panoramic tour on the Dnipro River within the city or to the so-called “Kyiv Sea” or enjoy the river beaches, popular with locals (yes, one can bathe in the river).
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
The Ukrainian capital Kyiv is the starting point of this itinerary. Stay in a hotel/hostel or Airbnb in Kyiv and make day trips to the places.
Flights/Transfers ->Please search for available flights/airfares here or drop me a line, and I will get back to you with at least 2 free itineraries/airfare quotes. If you’d need a transfer to your hotel, please check up this service.
Accommodation -> I stayed at Amarant hotel, a 3 star very comfortable hotel, only 1 metro station far from the city center. You can also choose а hotel from this list, Airbnb’s rentals in the city center or hostels, and budget options.
Wake up early this morning and head to Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, which can be reached by subway and a short walk. More than 50 million people from all over the world have visited this most revered Orthodox monastery in Eastern Europe (UNESCO). The complex includes 16 churches, two underground cave systems, where you can see relics of nearly 120 saints, a central cathedral, a seminary, and a bell tower. Access to the Lower Lavra (cave churches) is free.
In the afternoon walk around the center of Kyiv and visit some of the most famous churches – “St. Sophia” (the oldest cathedral in the city), “St. Andrew”, “St. Michael”, “St. Vladimir” from 19 century and others. Walk in the magnificent parks in the downtown with panoramic terraces above the river. Of course, the famous Maidan shouldn’t be missed.
Tip -> Dine at a restaurant serving Ukrainian food like Kanapa; main course – 89–139 UAH; Address: 19 Andriyivskiy Uzviz.
Please, note that you can not visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone on your own. You can book a one day trip from here or from here. You will get detailed instructions about the tour from the chosen tour operator.
After about 3 hours of drive, the first stop will be at the Dytyatky checkpoint, where you enter the 30 km Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. You will have a short halt at the abandoned village of Kopachi, buried in the ground with only the kindergarten visible.
On the way to Pripyat, you will spend a few hours at Soviet over-the-horizon radar (OTH) system Duga (Rainbow). It is a remnant of the “Cold War” used as part of the Soviet missile defense early-warning radar network. The system operated from July 1976 to December 1989.
Then you will enter the 10 km zone around the Plant, stopping at least at two places with clear visibility to the Sarcophagus and the so-called New Safe Confinement (NSC) – a construction worth about $ 2.2 billion, which now covers the 4th reactor (the unfortunate one). You will get as close as 200-300 meters from the main entrance of the Plant. You will also see the unfinished 5 or 6 reactors nearby. You will have lunch in the Headquarters’ canteen, where usually the workers and power engineers who work today in the area eat.
The next stop would be the open-air museum of remote-controlled machines used in the first days and months of clearing the wreckage of the damaged reactor. You will have the chance to pay tribute to the fallen “liquidators” in front of their monument in the city of Chernobyl.
Please note that upon entry and exit, participants undergo a radioactivity test. A dosimeter can be rented as well. And yes, you can take pictures with no restrictions.
You will be in Kyiv at about 21.00 PM. That would be a long day. You can also book a two-day excursion, with an overnight in Chernobyl.
The Mezhyhirya Residence is an estate in Ukraine where Viktor Yanukovych lived when he was Prime Minister and then President of Ukraine and is now a museum displaying Yanukovych’s luxurious lifestyle.
The residence is really huge. It has a magnificent mansion with a vast park (40 hectares). There is a yacht pier, an equestrian club, a shooting range, a tennis court, other recreational facilities, and hunting grounds. The estate also has an automobile museum displaying some of Yanukovich’s former exotic cars, a golf course, an ostrich farm, a dog kennel, numerous fountains and man-made lakes, a helicopter pad, and a small church. In size and splendor, the place resembles the magnificent Western European castles and gardens.
You can spend here the whole day, especially if the weather is beautiful. You can reach the residence by public transport, but it is a hassle since you’d need to change the metro with a local bus running not so regular.
Alternatively, you can book this day tour.
If you are not much interested in this place, you can spend a few hours only there and then go back to the city. An option for the afternoon would be a boat tour to the Kyiv Cistern, or Kyiv Sea, as known locally. It is a large water reservoir located on the Dnipro River, covering a total area of 922 square kilometers. There is a boat service directly to the Mezhyhirya Residence in the summertime, but it operates during the weekends only. You can check at the River Station Kyiv for the schedule and prices.
Walk today through the old and artistic neighborhoods in the central part of the city. Your stroll could start from the deepest metro station in the world, Arsenalska, passing through the Bessarabian market, the strange building with the statues, the artistic street with the theaters, the Presidency, the Maidan, the Opera, finally reaching the remains of the old city fortress wall from the 11th century. There are plenty of other options in this magnificent city, and you can check some of them here and here.
The city won’t be the same without its city beaches on the Dnipro River. Hydropark is one of the most popular.
When would be the best time to travel? Year-round, but in summer it is more pleasant;
How long is it? 5 nights/6 days.
For what type of tourism can I use this itinerary: Sightseeing, Culture & Food, Long weekend, Urban;
Means of transportation: Public transport; Guided tour -> Please, note that you can not visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone on your own. You can book a one day trip from here or from here.
Can I combine it with another itinerary or program? You can mix it with any tour or route in Ukraine.
Visa requirements: Ukraine does not require a visa for most visitors entering the country. You also can check here, whether you’d need a visa and if yes also get assistance in getting one.
CHERNOBYL EXCLUSION ZONE GALLERY
HOW CAN I USE THIS ITINERARY/PROGRAM
You can use this itinerary and all the information provided without any restrictions, free of charge! Please feel free to use the links to the travel service providers to book hotels, transportation, activities, experiences or other services. We get a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps us a lot. Please have a look at the section “Self-organising and self-booking & reservation” at the end of this article to see all the services, which you can use to organise your trip. It might be also helpful to have a look at our Travel Services section of the website.
Please note that the itineraries/programs published on this website are for personal use only and you are not allowed to resell or copy them without permission!
The preparation of a guided tour program/offer is free of charge. You’ll receive a package price from us upfront. It will include the services of a professionally qualified tour guide; pick up and drop off from your hotel/accommodation; transportation by A/C vehicle, fuel and parking expenses; accommodation, transfers from/to airport and all other additional services you might need. Please contact us for more detailed information.
You will receive a Final Trip Plan of this tour in both web and pdf formats. Please have a look at sample web version with pictures, maps and video here. Please download a sample version of a Final Trip Plan in pdf format here.
You can use the Final Trip Plan to make the needed reservations and bookings by yourself.
The Final Trip Plan of the trip will contain: a web version of the tour; a pdf version of the tour (see the sample above), a short description (Resume); Basic information about the trip (duration, places to be visited, tour mileage, the period of travel; a trip budget with detailed expenses table (downloadable pdf file); Google map with the itinerary and bookmarks for places, hotels and restaurants; a link to a Google Earth interactive map with features like “Street view”, 3D etc.; A link to a Google KML file, which can be uploaded to a cell phone and used during the trip; a full program day by day with activities and places to be visited, recommendations for accommodation and excellent restaurants with links for bookings and reservations.
Additionally to the Final Trip Plan, we make all the bookings and reservations on your behalf. We manage this through our licensed travel agency “Thousand Voyages” Ltd, registered in EU (Bulgaria) (the company registration license and basic information).
Transportation and logistics: We coordinate, book and manage all the transit elements of your trip-planes, trains, rent-a-cars, busses, everything to and from your destination, and between various places during your trip.
Accommodation: We coordinate, book and manage all of your selected accommodations. We recommend the best selections at every destination along your trip, including hotels, Airbnb, bed and breakfasts, that fit your tastes, budget and are available during your travel dates. You will get the names of the properties in the Final Trip Plan, with links to the websites or booking forms. Sometimes the chosen by us accommodation is not on booking dot com or any other platform, especially those in the remote areas. In this case, we provide the name of the owner and a telephone number.
A few years ago, I decided to register a travel agency and started to organise and lead tours to off-the-beaten-path places. We usually have one or two small groups (max 7/8 participants) per year travelling on this or similar itinerary/program. If you are interested in joining a group, please drop a line. We will provide more information, like the dates, the program in English and everything needed.
Secure Payments upon delivery of services: We offer two options: 1) PayPal – You will obtain a PayPal invoice with the total amount to be paid. You can pay using your credit card or PayPal account; 2) A Revolut Business Account (in Euro) (UK) for a bank transfer.
Money-Back Guarantee: In the unlikely event that you are not fully satisfied with our services, we offer a 100% money back return policy.
Discounts: We offer a 20 % discount voucher for the tracing service;
INTERESTING BOOKS ABOUT CHERNOBYL DISASTER AND UKRAINE
Free delivery worldwide (with no minimum spend) from Book Depository, a leading international book retailer. Please click on the title of the book to read the full description and to buy it.
Chernobyl Prayer: Voices from Chernobyl. ‘Essential and heartbreaking reading. There’s a reason Ms. Alexievich won a Nobel Prize’ – Craig Mazin, creator of the HBO / Sky TV series Chernobyl