The Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum in Kiev tells the story of the world’s worst nuclear accident.
In April 1986 the reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, around 65 miles north of Kiev, failed due to a combination of design flaws and operator errors.
The resulting explosion and fire sent huge quantities of radioactive material into the atmosphere. It spread over much of Europe, seriously contaminating large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Sweden, and Finland.
Exhibition rooms at the museum are filled with harrowing pictures, models, and displays. Some of the most interesting exhibits explore the role of the ‘liquidators’. These brave rescue workers attempted to secure and clean up the reactor and surrounding area after the disaster. Many were exposed to high doses of radiation and had their lives cut short.
There is little written information at the museum in English. To get the most out of your visit and understand the exhibits, the audio tour is absolutely essential (unless of course you can read and understand Ukrainian/Russian).
Entrance to the museum cost just 10 UAH. If you want to take photos add 30 UAH to the admission price. The audio guide costs an additional 50 UAH.
The Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, with last admission at 5 pm.
The museum is situated in a former fire station on Khoryva Lane in the Podil area of the city. It’s just a couple of hundred yards from Kontraktova Ploshcha Metro Station (Blue Line).
It’s not well signposted. Look for the tower of the building. The entrance is next to the military vehicles parked outside.
Visit Kiev Ukraine toured the Chernobyl Museum in January 2017. Information (prices, opening times etc.) are from the date of our visit.
Reviews and Additional Information
Now it costs 24 per adult
We tried to go in here, but the woman at the pay desk insisted it was 50 euros for two adults and a child. There was no prices on display – we thought it was excessive and walked away. Reading the prices above, it’s obvious that she was trying to rip us off – overcharging and charging in Euro’s.
Of all the museums I visited in Kiev I found the Chernobyl Museum the most interesting. This was despite the fact that there was very little information in English (mostly Ukrainian – or Russian?). There were lots of interesting things and frankly bizarre exhibits that kept my interest. Entrance was very cheap at only 10 UAH.
It was difficult to understand what the exhibits were about as I can’t speak the language. On reflection I should paid a little bit extra and taken the audio guide.
The english audio guide is around £1.60 so to travel to Kiev and go to the museum and not to take the optional Audio Guide is to me absolutely crazy, why would you do this other than to say a paltry amount of money
I watched a program on BBC the other night about Chernobyl called ‘Cooking in the Danger Zone’. Food writer Stefan Gates travelled to Chernobyl to explore food issues facing the people that live in the area.
I was really surprised that people live in the exclusion zone around the plant (illegally) and live off the food that is produced in the area (berries, mushrooms etc).
He visited a couple in their eighties who moved back to the area shortly after the disaster and have been living their ever since. They looked remarkably healthy for their age.
Stefan also visited the town of Prypiat, a nearby city abandoned after the disaster. It was a strange sight to say the least; an empty city that is gradually being taken over by nature (trees growing inside apartment buildings and wild boar roaming around deserted shops). The spookiest sight was the completed deserted funfair.
He then left Chernobyl and went to the city of Slavutych, built outside the exclusion zone specifically to accommodate those evacuated from Prypiat. He went mushroom picking with the mayor who assured him that everything in the area was safe to eat. Stefan took the mushrooms to be tested and was quite shocked to find that the mushrooms contained massive levels of radiation and was advised not to eat them under any circumstances.