Tour of Pripyat and Chernobyl, September 2019

Part one of a two-part series featuring images from my guided day trip to Pripyat and Chernobyl, Ukraine, in September 2019. You can find part two here.


Sign at the entrance to Pripyat and view down one of the main streets, Druzhby Narodiv (“Friendship of the People”).sign at entrance to pripyat city

Pripyat Hospital, Medical-Sanitary Center Number 126pripyat hospital from the outside

Hospital main entrance and waiting room.abandoned hospital waiting roomabandoned hospital front desk chernobyl

The basement of the hospital still contains the boots, helmets, and gloves worn by the firefighters first on the scene after the explosion. Dumped in the basement as the firefighters arrived at the hospital, they have been protected from the elements ever since, and are highly radioactive.

I went upstairs instead.abandoned hospital in pripyat upstairs of pripyat medical centre graffiti in chernobyl hospital abandoned hospital abandoned hospital room chernobyl ukraine

Pripyat Cafe
Popular with the city’s young population (apparently the average age in Pripyat was mid-20s) who would sit and drink on the back terrace overlooking the lake. Most of the beautiful stained glass windows are still mainly intact.pripyat cafe stained glass windows of kafe prypiat

Soviet soda vending machine.soda machine behind pripyat cafe

Before and after of the covered walkway adjacent to the cafe.kafe before and after

Pripyat Music School
The mural above the door is made of glass mosaic tiles.  pripyat music school stage of music school with grand piano pripyat school of music red chair in blue room in chernobyl

Prometheus Cinema
The mosaic on the side was created by the same artist as the one on the music school, across the street.prometheus cinema movie theatre

City Administration
After the disaster, the building continued to be used as a headquarters for decontamination and radioactive waste management. It was abandoned in administrative buildings

Hotel Polissya
abandoned hotel polissya

Palace of Culture”Energetik”
Soviet Palaces of Culture were large recreation centres, where people gathered (apparently quite literally) under the banner of political propaganda. This one housed a movie theatre, concert hall, boxing/wrestling ring, swimming pool, disco, library, gym, music rooms, a shop with tools, and a shooting range.palace of culture energetik

Poked my head in the window, came face to face with these two, and did the biggest double take of all time – the guy on the right is the spitting image of my dad.
soviet political materials

Lenin Squaremain square of pripyat ukrainegraffiti in chernobyl

Voshod (“Sunrise”) Supermarket
Upstairs you could buy furniture and other non-food items. Pripyat had quite a high standard of living, a model city for a modern Soviet Union. As a result, supposedly this was one of the few places in the USSR that sold Chanel No. 5. 
pripyat supermarket abandoned supermarket