Pripyat was home to about 50,000 people, most of them employees of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and their families. So when the destruction of Reactor No. 4 led to the worst nuclear power accident in the history of the world on April 26, 1986 – sending radioactive clouds as far away as Norway – the town of Pripyat cleared out, too, in a hurry. The deserted homes, schools, hospital, and (particularly creepy) theme park of Pripyat appear in the exact state of abandonment in which the townspeople quickly left them (1980s propaganda posters and all).
Getting there: Because radiation levels have dropped significantly since the disaster of 1986, touring Pripyat is now legal, though you will have to carry a radiation detector and certain official papers are required. The best way to navigate this process is with a tour group like SoloEast Travel, who offer full one- and two-day tours of the area starting at $149 per person.
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