Many visitors to Ukraine will be fascinated to discover more about the famous nuclear disaster that occurred in 1986 just 100km away from Kiev. The Chernobyl Museum is a natural place to start. Although there is limited information in English, hundreds of photos chronicling the explosion and the aftermath tell a lot of the story, without the need for words. Meanwhile, exhibits of the extensive protective clothing required for fighting the fire, as well as animals mutated by subsequent radiation poisoning, reinforce the horror. A number of artistic tributes to the victims are particularly evocative too. If that leaves you wanting to find out more, then check out Chernobyl Tours.
Elaine H Stewart from United States Reply
I rate it a 5-star and say it is a must see. It was fantastic. I do have a question. There is a picture there of an older lady with a young child sitting on her lap and she's also holding a bible. All the lines are actually words with varying sizes of letters. It is an amazing work of art. Are there copies available for purchase. Also, there is a poem there by a poet by the name of Laura. Is it possible to buy a copy of it? I just fell in love with the entire museum. I hope I will someday get to visit it again.
kevin from United Kingdom Reply
While i was in Kiev my guide took me to The Chernobyl Museum,Its a must for everyone to see you have a walker talker as i call them which tells you the story as you walk around which to me was very good the first part i did enjoy. Its when you get into the other part and you see all thoses children on the wall young and sweet and to think they died just so the people of Ukraine could turn a light on so sad.If anything that will bring a lump to your throat when you see thoses children on the wall and they look so happy with all of them smiling. There is a book there which you can sign its a pity not many people do sign it or even write something about the Museum. One thing is for sure they need a lot more signs there to tell you where the Museum is as my guide had to ask 2 people there where it was and she lives there. But if anyone reads this please go there just for the sake of thoses poor familys that lost everything even their lives.
J_or_n from Netherlands Reply
The Chernobyl Museum, located in Kiev, contains a small but impressive collection of art, photos, poems and models. The first thing that caught my eyes when I visited it some years ago were photos of the collapsed Twin Towers in New York that were hanging on the wall, while a Geiger Muller Counter was exposed in the hall. The route to the first floor is flanked by plates with the names of Ukrainian villages, located in the vicinity of Chernobyl. One of the exhibitions is devoted to Pripyat, a town of nearly 50,000 residents that was built in 1970 to host the employees of the Chernobyl power plants. In 1986, 36 hours after the disaster, the entire population was evacuated. They never returned. A model of the surroundings of the power plant, innumerable photographs and other documentary material are exposed the museum, as well as a replica of the town of Slavutich, built after the disaster according to ancient Ukrainian tradition for the families of the rescuers. In a separate room there is a chronologic view of the events at Chernobyl in words and pictures, while the middle of the floor is reserved for a 1:1 scale model of nuclear fuel rods. While descending the stairs to the exit, the name signs of the villages are now provided with a red diagonal stripe.
Gary W. Phillips from United States Reply
I toured the Museum in 2005.I was brought to tears by the human life destroyed.How the russians sent in several waves of first responders only to have them all die. I saw the names of over 200 villages and cities were the inhabitents were killed quickly or worse died over months.The Museum is wonderful, Horrible very educational place. I highly reccommend.No I insist you see this museum.It reminds us all. We must be right 100% of the time and our governments will never tell us the truth of the danger we face.There is another Museum in Kiev for Chernobyl. It has babies and animals in jars showing the horrible mutations that resulted.Children being born today are still effected by the radiation.Many have cancer. This museum is a Must see.
Kara from Poland Reply
Hard to find as mentioned below, but well worth it once you do find it. The subject is incredibly sad and fascinating, and the museum presents all sides of it in an interesting way.
John from Finland Reply
I was on a tour to Chernobly with my hostel in Kiev and after that I was at this Chernobyl Museum you get a lot of info and you don't realy need to go to the real thing as this Museum is very good.
Sam from United States Reply
I was really glad that we visited the Chernobyl museum while traveling through Kiev in 2009. It was both incredibly informative and deeply touching. As many of the others who have written reviews complained about the lack of English material, I thought that this suggestion might be helpful; You can take an audio tour in English. It just costs an extra 2 or 3 dollars and you get a walky-talky like device with headphones that thoroughly explains everything in each station. You simply key in which station you have come to, and it begins giving you the "tour" of that station, including explanation of signs, documents, and personal letters written in Russian or Ukrainian. Doing this will completely solve the language problem and makes the museum well worth visiting!
Tip Ruhlin from United States Reply
I agree with what previous reviewers have said about language problems and the obscurity of the museum. Fortunately, I had the good luck to go there with a bilingual guide who not only took us through the museum, but brought along a first responder to tell us about his experiences. 75% of his coworkers are dead and he has health problems. In the museum is a tapestry of an old woman and the child. If you look closely, you will see that the wrinkles on her face are words (in English) woven into the fabric. The more you understand about the disaster the better you can understand its consequences. For one, it was a very big nail in the coffin of the Soviet Communist regime. Also, if you are managing a complex system and safety is not your first priority, someone will die. This is a lesson that NASA has to relearn every 20 years or so.
Melissa from Canada Reply
An interesting museum, but it seemed to be more of a tribute to Chernobyl victims rather than a museum about the disaster itself. Almost everything is in Russian or Ukrainian (no English) so if you don't know either language it may not be worth your while to visit.
Mike from United States Reply
The Chernobyl Museum can be hard to find so I will start with directions to get there through the Metro. The museum is only about two blocks from the Kontraktova Ploscha Metro stop. When you get out of the Metro take a left and walk towards the street. This is less than half a block, then a left. This is the street that has the museum. The museum is about two or three blocks down on your left. You will see some military equipment like jeeps and such in front of the museum. There aren't any big signs or anything and don't bother asking anyone on the streets. We were literally about a block away from the museum and asked someone on the street and they had no idea what we were talking about. They do have English speakings guided tours, but the information is rather limited. I would suggest watching Discovery Channel's Disaster at Chernobyl (you can watch it on YouTube) before you go if you want some better information about how the accident happened.
Big D from United Kingdom Reply
interesting museum. Staff didn't speak much English, and the whole experience was typical East bloc dusty old museum, but the photos were a real insight for someone, like me, who didn't know much about the Chornobyl disaster before they visited