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City of Pripyat – Model Soviet City

Pripyat Today

Pripyat is main destination of the majority of visitors who come to Chernobyl and all the tours – group and private, one day and multiday – visit the ghost town of Pripyat. Chernobyl and Pripyat in Ukraine are usually confused: the power plant was named after the first one; however, the second one was the closest settlement, and meaning of Pripyat is related to the river which is located close to.  

Prypiat Heraldic Sixteen-Story Building

Construction of the town started almost together with the construction of the power plant. 4th of February 1970 is considered to be birthday of this place.

It was indented to have the city not only for the workers of the power plant, but also to create powerful transport know there. Later, Pripyat had bus station with 14 directions, river port and train station Yaniv.

In 1979, Pripyat received status of city. In 1985, 47,000 people of more than 25 different nationalities lived there. Among them, there were 15,400 kids. The city was young not only because it had only 16 years when the accident happened, but also because the average age of its inhabitants was only 27 years. Before the 1986, it had 5 schools, 15 kindergartens, 8 colleges, 25 shops, 10 sport halls, 2 stadiums, amusement park with iconic Ferris wheel and many other facilities to guarantee people’s comfort.


Chernobyl Accident and Pripyat

It is known that there are workers living in Chernobyl town. So, many visitors wonder: do people live in Pripyat? As long as this city was closest to the power plant, its inhabitants were the first ones to be evacuated. The population left the city on 27th of April. Authorities told that the evacuation would be temporary: just for three day.

However, no one was allowed to return there not only after three days, but neither after thirty years.

When it became clear that the city would remain uninhabitable forever, people were allowed to come there and pick up some of their belongings. They couldn’t take anything massive like furniture, carpets, pianos, fur coats and so on. Electronic equipment was forbidden to take because it could absorb particles. Later, special squads had to check every flat and to empty it: the majority of the stuff was buried under the ground close to the city. Today, apartments are deserted and owned by no one.

Visiting Pripyat City

Each visitor is able to explore this place. However, the locations seen during the tour depend on the time spent in the zone. You can come there just for an hour and visit the most iconic places, but also can easily spend a couple of days.

Pripyat Phone Booth-2

Definitely, each tour includes the main square of the city. There you will see Pripyat hotel “Polissya”, city hall, The White House, palace of culture “Energetic” and a supermarket.

Hotel Polissya- 5
Hotel Polissya- 4

After this, you’ll go to the amusement park. Rusty Ferris wheel and bumpy cars have been waiting for the official opening since the day of the accident: the ceremony was planned for the 1st of May 1986. As the stadium is located right behind the park, you are able to visit it as well. If the time allows it, you can also see one of Pripyat kindergartens and the river port with its beautiful riverside café. 

Pripyat Ferris Wheel-5

Private and multiple day tours allow exploring much more. Various locations might be added to the ones mentioned above: post office, hospitals (both central and kid’s one), any of secondary schools, Jupiter factory, cinema “Prometheus” and music school and others. Anyways, no matter which type of tour you choose, you will be impressed by post-apocalyptic landscape and the story of the city and its inhabitants.

Animals in Chernobyl (2)

You can see Pripyat with your own eyes with our exclusive Chernobyl tours.

FAQ about Pripyat

What is Pripyat?

Pripyat is an abandoned city in Northern Ukraine, close to the border with Belarus. It was founded to house the workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Why is Pripyat abandoned?

Pripyat was evacuated on April 27, 1986, a day after the Chernobyl disaster. Due to the high levels of radiation, the city has been left uninhabited.

How many people lived in Pripyat before the disaster?

Before the disaster, Pripyat had a population of around 47,000. Most of them were workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and their families.

What happened to the residents of Pripyat?

The residents of Pripyat were evacuated and resettled in different parts of the Soviet Union. Many of them faced health problems due to radiation exposure.

Was Pripyat immediately evacuated after the Chernobyl disaster?

No, the evacuation of Pripyat did not start until about 36 hours after the accident. The delay led to higher levels of radiation exposure among the population.

Can I see wildlife in Pripyat?

Yes, despite the radiation, wildlife has been thriving in Pripyat and the surrounding areas. You can see animals like deer, wolves, foxes, and even rare Przewalski’s horses.

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