Chernobyl & Transnistria Tour
What's It All About?
This is a tour in a land that we know and love, the nuclear wasteland of Chernobyl and unrecognized country of Transnistria!
Our Chernobyl & Transnistria tour kicks off in Bucharest and finishes in Kiev with much to see and do in between. We can help and advise travel arrangements to and from these two cities. We have split the tour into two groups with the option of doing either one part or combining the two. Group one begin in Bucharest will continue to Chisinau, then onto Tiraspol, Capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria. If you want off the beaten track, this is it. Group two will be visiting Pripyat (Chernobyl) and Kiev as well as sampling the night time delights on a bar crawl. Our contacts in Pripyat mean, we can usually sneak in some secret sites that we are not allowed to blog about!
Friday 19th of July
- Own arrival at any time into Bucharest and check into our hostel.
- Pre-tour meeting at the hostel at 6pm.
- Dinner at Care Cu Bare.
- Drinks and a pub-crawl in Bucharest’s old town.
Saturday 20th of July
- A day tour of Ceausescu’s Bucharest! We will do a local walking tour, seeing all the must-see sites from “revolutionary” times such as Parliament Palace (the big palace), Revolutionary Square, and the old centre.
- Free afternoon in Bucharest.
- 19.00 train to Chisinau.
Sunday 21st of July
- Early morning arrival in Chisinau and transfer to our central hotel.
- Check-in and catch up on some much-needed rest
- City walking tour of Chisinau.
- World War II Memorial and Military Museum.
- Central open-air market, a great place for kitsch souvenirs.
- Government buildings and parliament.
- History Museum.
- Dinner and drinks downtown
- Overnight in Chisinau.
Monday 22nd July
- Morning and afternoon trip to Cricova Winery to see the wine making process and to of course sample some of Eastern Europe’s best wine! This is one of the best wine cellars you are ever likely to see.
- Traditional Moldovan Dinner at La Plicente.
- Overnight in Chisinau Hotel.
Tuesday 23rd of July
- Breakfast in the hotel
- Late morning departure for the 3-4 hour train ride to the breakaway republic of Transnistria.
- We arrive in Bendery center. We see one of the largest outdoor markets in all of Transnistria.
- We leave the market and continue walking down the main street until we reach the big white church in the center, well renovated and a favorite place for couples to get married.
- We continue walking down the main street until we arrive at Lenin Park. We view the main fountain and the bust of Lenin.
- We continue to walk down the main street until we reach the train station, renovated and well maintained. It seems like a ghost town because only a few trains stop here, and there are almost no passengers.
- Beside the train station is an old Soviet train from WWII with the hammer and sickle on the front. Inside is a museum of the civil war between Moldova and Transnistria.
- When finished with the museum tour, we walk back past the park until we arrive at the city hall. The city hall has been left exactly as it was during the civil war and still filled with bullet holes.
- Lunch in the town.
- We continue our walk to the river. There are statues and old amusement rides including bumper cars here. A scene right out of the 1950’s, but the rides are still operating. We walk down to the river for a swim and lay out in the sun with locals! Beach towels and swimmers essential!
- Continue onto Tiraspol
- On arrival in Tiraspol, we register with immigration at the train station before transferring to the local version of the Soviet Intourist Hotel.
- We go for dinner locally, followed by drinks in the country’s only night club.
- Overnight in the Soviet Hotel.
Wednesday 24th of July
- City tour of Tiraspol.
- Pobedi Park. Here's your chance to enjoy the rides at the 50’s style amusement park!
- Walk down October 25th street (the main drag) which has a large billboard of former President Smirnoff standing with the Presidents of two other Soviet breakaway Republics of South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
- Visit Russian Orthodox Church of Tiraspol. Newly renovated with golden domes.
- Visit the Eternal Flame Independence War Memorial.
- Visit Parliament which boasts the biggest statue of Lenin outside Russia.
- Leisurely walk to the river park. There is a walking bridge here for great panoramic photos of the river and downtown Tiraspol. There is also a beach here where we can stop for ice cream.
- Lunch at Andies Pizza.
- Pobedi Park. A great place for people-watching.
- Pobedi Park Disco.
- Overnight at Soviet hotel.
Thursday 25th of July
- We check out of our hotel and go to the train station for the ride to Odessa, Ukraine
- Arrival in Odessa, grab lunch and take in the city sights and beach.
- Board the Overnight train to Kiev.
Friday 26th July
- Arrival in Kiev and check into Kiev Central Station Hostel.
- City walking tour of Kiev followed by an optional trip to a shooting range where we are able to experience firing some high calibre Soviet-era guns (extra charge).
- We go for dinner and drinks at Ward No 6 (Palata No 6), Be sure to try the shot requiring you to wear a straitjacket and be set on fire… Overnight in Kiev.
Saturday 27th July
- End of Group 1 – Transnistria.
- Group 2 -Chernobyl
- Very early start for our trip to the Chernobyl exclusion zone. On the way there we stop for breakfast and watch a documentary on the disaster.
- On arrival, we go through the entry procedure and processing of our permits.
- Visit an outer village, the main square of the town of Chernobyl, “Fukushima” memorial, Statue to Lenin and the abandoned Synagogue.
- Lunch at the Workers Cafe.
- Visit the Dock, local shops, Monument to the Firefighters, hills of the buried village Kopachi, rustic kindergarten, the new sarcophagus, the Stone Road sign of Prypiat, Bridge of Death, Lenin Street, main square of Prypiat, supermarket, Amusement Park, School #3 (with gas masks), and swimming pool.
- We transfer to the Chernobyl Hotel for dinner, sampling of vodka, and stay overnight in the zone. Rooms are based on twin sharing.
Sunday 28th July
- Up early with breakfast in the hotel before we head back into the zone.
- Visit Duga 3, nicknamed the “Russian Woodpecker,” - a Soviet radar base used throughout the cold war.
- Visit the Cooling towers on the side of the unfinished reactors 5 and 6. Visit the Fish farm and “Red Forest”.
- Visit the Panel buildings with Soviet emblems.
- Visit the ruins of the School, hospital and morgue.
- Pripyat passenger boats on River Port, “Prometheus” cinema, music school and athletic stadium.
- Laboratory in the former kindergarten, greenhouses and bus station.
- We board our bus for the drive back to Kiev.
- Group 2 end tour in Kiev and depart via private arrangement.