Hostel Opens On-Site at Chernobyl: From Wasteland to Tourist Attraction

Chernobyl // Photo by fotokon/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A former dormitory has been renovated on-site at Chernobyl, the Ukrainian power plant considered to have caused the worst nuclear incident in history.

On April 26, 1986, a meltdown happened in the plant’s Reactor 4, making a 30-square-kilometer area around the site uninhabitable and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.

More than 30 years later, the site is a widely visited tourist attraction for people all around the world – including those from the United States, Japan, Ireland, Belgium and beyond. 

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The four-story hostel is built within the exclusion zone of the site and is able to host 42 guests. Travelers are welcome to a short-term stay accompanied with a plasma TV, a shower unit, a toilet, modern furniture and free Wi-Fi. Once renovations are finished, the hostel will be able to welcome 102 people in single and double rooms. A one-night stay costs just under 198 Ukrainian Hryvnia, equivalent to $7.60 per person. 

Both the Ukrainian agency in charge of the exclusion zone and locals agree that opening the hostel will be of benefit to tourists who come to visit the zone, noting prior lacking of accommodation and hoping to improve the quality of visitors’ experiences.

Despite the possibility of exposure to radiation, an administrator at the hostel said that the hostel has been in high-demand since its recent opening. There almost aren’t any vacant rooms left, she said in a written release, as travelers have rushed to book rooms to witness the scale of the radioactive wasteland.

“They [the tourists] want to understand what Chernobyl is,” she said.

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