Horror movie buffs and anyone looking for a more macabre getaway have a new destination for their bucket lists. Travel + Leisure reports that of all the places in the world, Chernobyl has become a major destination for anyone looking to experience a one-of-a-kind getaway.
No, Chernobyl isn't a new escape room attraction or something at a Banksy-designed theme park. Tourists are actually booking tours to the site of the 1989 nuclear reactor explosion. Billing itself as the epicenter for "dark tourism," Chernobyl tours are hoping to lure in travelers drawn to sites with dark histories and an air of death and desolation.
Situated in present-day Ukraine (the OG Chernobyl was part of the Soviet Union, aka USSR), local tour companies are offering day trips into the nuclear site now that radiation levels have dropped to safe levels. T+L adds that it's not safe to live within 18 miles of the city and that the trips are short, because while radiation is, in fact, lower, it's not 100% safe to linger for long periods of time.
Tours start in Kiev and it's a trip that'll encompass an entire day, even though only a short time will be spent among the rubble. Trips include tours of Chernobyl the city, but not the actual power plant, though T+L notes that the site — and Reactor No. 4, where it all went down — is clearly visible during the journey into the nuclear wasteland.
But don't expect zombies to come popping out, either. While radiation has kept human life away from the power plant and the nearby city of Prypyat, a now-abandoned ghost town that had a population of 50,000 people before the incident. Generally, tours include a stop there and to a visitors' center and museum that give a more detailed look at what happened during and after the catastrophe. At $89, it may be a bit pricier than a local docent-led cemetery tour, but imagine the Instas you'll be able to snap.