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Flights to Chernobyl

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Find out how to visit Chernobyl and what the closest airport is to Chernobyl and the surrounding exclusion zone.

Chernobyl power plant

What is Chernobyl?

Chernobyl is a world-famous site in Ukraine where a nuclear power plant once operated. Located in the then USSR, Chernobyl encountered a huge disaster when one of the reactors exploded in 1986. This caused a catastrophic event where huge amounts of radiation was released from the reactors into the atmosphere and surrounding areas. This meant that a 10km radius was set up around the nuclear power plant, with people having to be evacuated. This exclusion zone was later expanded to a 30km radius.

Aerial view of the aftermath of Chernobyl

Why visit Chernobyl?

The disaster recently became the subject of an HBO mini-series, which saw a boost to tourism in the area.

There are many different things which bring tourists to the area. Some are fascinated by the abandoned city, with traces of human life being overrun by nature and the forest regrowing. Others are interested in the culture which was frozen in time 30 years ago, providing a glimpse into the soviet era and of a culture that no longer exists.

When visiting Chernobyl, you will be able to see the town of Pripyat and also the main power plant. However, stick to the safe zones, as advised by your tour guide.

Radiation meter in Chernobyl

Is Chernobyl safe?

Although Chernobyl’s exclusion zone still exists for good reason due to the harmful levels of radiation, tourists visiting for a few days bare little risk of radiation damage. In fact, the levels of radiation that you will encounter are often compared to the same low levels that you may be exposed to when going on a transatlantic flight. Some areas, such as the main power plant centre are off-limits to the public and visitors, because this is deemed to be unsafe levels or radiation. However, if you visit with a guide then you are able to keep to the safe areas. Upon exiting the exclusion zone, the levels of radiation on you will be measured to ensure that you are safe to exit.

Chernobyl map

Where is Chernobyl located?

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is located near the now abandoned city of Pripyat in northern Ukraine. The site is actually located 14.5km NW of the city of Chernobyl, and about 110km north of Kiev.

The location of Chernobyl in relation to wider Europe can be seen in the map here.

Old defunct ferris wheel in Chernobyl

How do I get to Chernobyl?

Which is the closest airport to Chernobyl?

If you are flying to Chernobyl, the best airport to fly to will be Boryspil International Airport (KBP). This is an international airport located in Boryspil, just outside Kyiv, Ukraine.

How do I get from the airport to Chernobyl?

The drive to Chornobyl from Kyiv will take around 2 hours, however the easiest way to get into Chernobyl’s exclusion zone is with a tour guide. There are a few companies that offer day trips from Kiev, so the best thing to do is to stay in Kiev and just get one of these tours into Chernobyl. The only other way to enter the exclusion zone other than with a tour guide is if an application is made and accepted to the zone administration department.

Best Airlines to fly to Chernobyl (flying into Boryspil Airport)

Ukraine International Airlines

The national airline of Ukraine has it’s hub at this airport, and flies from destinations and major cities around the world, including many in Europe.

Windrose Airlines

Although this Ukrainian airline only permanently flies to this airport from Bucharest and Dnipropetrovsk, the charter airline often flies seasonally from other destinations in Europe and elsewhere in the region.


This low-cost Ukrainian airline flies a variety of flights to Kiev. With scheduled services from destinations such as Barcelone, Larava and Nice, but also seasonal flights, charter flights and seasonal charter flights from further afield.


This Irish low cost airline flies to many European destinations including Manchester, Stockholm, Warsaw, Berlin and Athens.

Air Astana

This airline is based in the Republic of Kazakhstan and flies from this airport to Almaty and Nur-Sultan

Many, many other airlines

Use the search bar above to discover all of the routes and airlines you can fly to this airport, to be able to visit the famous site of the Chernobyl disaster.

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