HBO’s Chernobyl vs real life – what to expect. Tips for travellers

33 years have passed since the most awful technological disaster occurred at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. It’s only 134 km from the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv.

On April 26, 1986 a highly destructive steam explosion which was followed by an open-air reactor core fire occurred. The fire produced considerable radioactive updrafts which caused great air, water and terrain pollution. The total number of casualties still remains unknown.


The Chernobyl accident is considered the most disastrous nuclear power plant accident in history, both in terms of cost and casualties. Along with the Fukushima disaster in Japan, it is one of only two nuclear energy accidents classified as a “level 7 major accident”, the maximum classification on the International Nuclear Event Scale.

The entire nearby city of Pripyat was evacuated the next day after the explosion. Ten days after the accident, the evacuation area was expanded to 30 km. This area is known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, the dreadful place with is a live statement of a destructive influence a mankind can make.

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was totally shut down only in December 2000. In 2011, Chernobyl was officially declared a tourist attraction. And in 2016, the New Safe Confinement, aimed at confining the radioactive remains of reactor 4 for the next 100 years was completed. Today, trips to Chernobyl are completely safe as in areas open to the public the radiation does not exceed 2 µSv (for comparison, cabin crew receives an exposure dose of up to 9 µSv during transatlantic flights).

A new wave of interest to the Chernobyl disaster arose due to the mega popular HBO’s 5-part series starring Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, Emily Watson and others. It dramatizes the story of the 1986 nuclear accident and of the sacrifices made to save Europe from unimaginable disaster.


In the HBO’s series, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in Lithuania starred as an exact replica of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. You can see how the place where the disaster occurred in 1986 actually looks like. Choose an authorized tour from Wonders&Holidays DMC and get the time of your life and the strongest impressions ever.

Wonders&Holidays offers three different Chernobyl tours:

  • Special Chernobyl HBO tour is a unique chance to see all the places shown in HBO’s series and hear the stories of the Chernobyl disaster witnesses. You can stand in Legasov and Scherbyna’s shoes, see the fourth power unit and stay where the first liquidators of the Chernobyl catastrophe stood. Walk through the streets of the ghost town of Pripyat, the famous symbol of the abandonment, see its well-recognizable Ferris Wheel, which was supposed to put into operation on May 1, 1986; and abandoned buildings full of personal things and Soviet items.
  • Urgent one-day tour to Chernobyl. Last minute departure. is a unique journey you can make individually or as part of a group while staying in the Ukrainian capital. It includes visiting Pripyat, The New Safe Confinement, the “Chernobyl 2” secret military object and the “DUGA-1” giant radar which was to monitor the launch of American intercontinental ballistic missiles in the times of the USSR; the Chernobyl Biosphere Reserve with hundreds of animal and bird species which was established on the territory of the Exclusion Zone in 2017.
  • Weekend in Chernobyl is a two-day tour allowing to see all the interesting places and secret objects of the Chernobyl Zone, to learn the unknown facts about the Chernobyl Disaster, to meet the locals who witnessed the disaster and to observe the Exclusion Zone’s life today. On the first day, you’ll visit the city of Chernobyl (a museum, a church, a memorial and a bypass channel, where giant catfish live); the vantage point with a view of the disaster site and the New Safe Confinement; abandoned villages, the Red Forest and the ghost town of Pripyat. The second day will include visiting the secret places of Pripyat, meeting with the self-settlers (people who returned to the Zone despite the ban and live there), exhibition of machines that were used to liquidate the Chernobyl Disaster, Soviet top-secret military objects “Chernobyl 2” and DUGA-1 radar.


All tours are authorized and totally safe: you will travel along the tested routes, eat organic food and live in a new hotel.

Take a trip to the other side of the TV screen and be sure that this journey will strike you with the strongest impressions ever.

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