Chernobyl & Transnistria Ultra Budget New Year Tour
Our range of Chernobyl & Transnistria tours have been a YPT favourite for a number of years. In order to make it easier on prospective travellers both economically and logistically, we bring you the Transnistria & Chernobyl Ultra Budget New Year Tour!
The tour kicks off in Kiev and finishes in Bucharest with much to see and do in between. We can help and advise travel arrangements to and from these two cities. We will be spending a day in Chernobyl and our contacts in Pripyat mean, we can usually sneak in some secret sites that we are not allowed to write about! This is an exclusive private tour that ensures we see all that we are not supposed to.
We will then continue on the night train to Odessa, then onto Tiraspol, Capital of the breakaway republic of Transnistria. If you do not know anything about the place, Google it. If you want off the beaten track, this is it. We will be spending our time here in a true Soviet time warp hotel. We then visit Moldova, the only ex-Soviet republic to vote the communists back in, before taking the overnight bus to Bucharest for a Ceausescu tour of one of our favourite cities. Bucharest is also a flight hub which will make it easier to arrange onward flights
Arrival at your own leisure to Kiev, check into our centrally located accommodation.
Free afternoon in Kiev with optional added trip to the shooting range or tank driving.
Group drinks and dinner at the legendary Hospital Bar, a Kiev favourite known as one of the top 25 places to drink in before you die. Here we’ll enjoy some medically themed, entertaining shots featuring a fair bit of fire and syringes full of vodka!
Overnight in hotel.
Sunday 29th December
Up nice and early to get on our comfortable AC minibus to the exclusion zone. On the way there, we stop for breakfast as well as watch a documentary on the disaster.
On arrival, we go through the entry procedure and processing of our permits.
Visit the Dock, local shops, Monument to the Firefighters, exposition of the remotely operated machines, hills of the buried village Kopachi, rustic kindergarten, panoramic angle of NPPA and existing sarcophagus, the construction site of the new sarcophagus, the Stone Road sign of Pripyat, Bridge of Death, Lenin Street, main square of Pripyat, supermarket, Amusement Park, School #3 (with gas masks), and swimming pool.
Visit Duga 3, nicknamed the “Russian Woodpecker,” a Soviet “over-the-horizon” radar at its base “Chernobyl 2.”
Visit Barrack Cooling towers on the side of the unfinished reactors 5 and 6. Visit the Fish farm and “Red Forest”.
Visit the Panel buildings with Soviet emblems, Palace of Culture and “Jupiter” factory.
Visit the ruins of the School #1, hospital and morgue.
Pripyat passenger boats on River Port, “Prometheus” cinema, music school and athletic stadium.
We board our bus for the drive back to Kiev.
Monday 30th December
We’ll arrive in the early morning, store our bags in the station and head out into Odessa for a tour of the city followed by some free time.
In the late afternoon, we’ll be met by our fixers from Transnistria to take the two-hour drive to the capital of Transnistria.
At the border, we register with immigration, YPT will deal with all formalities at the border and any questions the KGB might have, before transferring to the local version of the Soviet Inn tourist hotel. This is the quintessential Soviet experience in the region’s original tourist hotel.
After settling in, we’ll be heading out for an evening meal followed by drinks in one of the country’s only nightclubs.
Overnight in Tiraspol.
Tuesday 31st December
We get up early for breakfast near the hotel before beginning a city tour of Tiraspol.
We’ll first visit the cities flea market, a great place to pick up authentic Soviet antiques for rock bottom prices.
Pobedi Park with the chance to ride the 50′s style amusement park. Walk down October 25th Street (the main drag) which has a large billboard of former President Smirnoff (real name) standing with the Presidents of 2 other Soviet breakaway Republics of South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
October 25th St. to City Hall (government). It has a large bust of Lenin for great photos.
Russian Orthodox Church of Tiraspol. Newly renovated with golden domes. Guests can buy inexpensive Russian Icons here. We will go inside. Women must wear a scarf on their head and men must take their hats off.
Statue of Russian General Suvorov.
The Eternal Flame Independence War Memorial and Parliament, housing the biggest statue of Lenin outside Russia.
We then walk to the river park. There is a walking bridge here for great panoramic photos of the river and downtown Tiraspol.
Lunch at Andy’s Pizza, somewhat of a PMR icon of a restaurant.
Convenient store in the centre of town with $3 for a bottle of one of the most prized Cognacs in Europe (outside France of course). During Soviet times, this was the brandy.
We’ll then cross the river on a Soviet-era barge to explore the villages of Transnistria, boasting beautiful monasteries, friendly locals and imposing Soviet monuments.
Returning to the hotel, we’ll have some time to freshen up before heading out for the New Year celebrations. Russian’s take New Year seriously and the party is incredible!
Overnight in Tiraspol
Wednesday 1st January
We have a lie in after the new year celebrations before grabbing breakfast and heading to the town of Bender.
We arrive in Bendery center and enter one of the largest outdoor markets in all of Transnistria. Guests will be able to shop and buy anything they want at very, very low prices. Also, many opportunities for old world type photos.
We leave the market and continue walking down the main street until we reach the big white church in the center, well renovated and a favourite place for couples to get married.
We continue walking down the main street until we arrive at the old cinema house and Lenin Park. We view the main fountain and the bust of Lenin.
We continue to walk down the main street until we reach the train station, renovated and well maintained. It seems like a ghost town because only a few trains stop here, and there are almost no passengers.
Beside the train station is an old Soviet train from WII with the hammer and sickle on the front. Inside is a museum of the civil war between Moldova and Transnistria.
When finished with the museum tour, we walk back past the park until we arrive at the city hall. The city hall has been left exactly as it was during the civil war still filled with bullet holes. Great for photos.
Lunch in the town.
We continue our walk to the river. There are statues and old amusement rides such as bumper cars here. It looks right out of the 1950′s, but the rides are still operated and are very cheap.
We then board our bus for the short ride into Moldova.
Check into centrally located Cosmos Hostel in the capital of Chisinau before heading out for some traditional Moldovan food and drinks.
Overnight in Chisinau
Thursday 2nd January
City walking tour of Chisinau taking in the World War II Memorial and Military Museum. Central open-air market, great place for kitsch souvenirs. Government buildings and parliament. Main Square + Central Park.
Free time in Chisinau
We’ll board the Soviet era night train to Bucharest, at the border, you will see the train being lifted into the air as the wheels are changed due to different gauges of rail between the former USSR and Romania.
Overnight on the train.
Friday 3rd January
Arrival in Bucharest around 6:00 am
We will wish each other farewell as we have breakfast at the station
End of tour. YPT can help you organise further arrangements in Bucharest or international connections