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London to Poland and Ukraine by Train + Chernobyl Extension

France, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, United Kingdom - Trip code RLKC Discovery
Days 12
Deposit From AU$416
Was From AU$4380
Now from AU$4160
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

This rail trip begins fittingly in Berlin, setting the scene where west meets east. Journeying across Eastern Europe, discover picture-postcard medieval market squares; contrast Jewish history and culture in war-torn Poland with the socialist utopian 'town' of Nowa Huta; and take an old Soviet-style night train into Lviv, Ukraine.

  • Krakow - Make a sombre visit to Auschwitz, and try traditional Jewish food in Kazimierz, the Jewish Quarter
  • Lviv - Get a taste of this elegant city's food scene at a rural cheese-farm, creating your own cheese in a masterclass
  • Poznan - Visit the colourful and quirky medieval market square at the birthplace of the Polish nation
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 11

    Lunch: 2

    Dinner: 2

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader

    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport

    Bus

    Train

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    Accommodation

    9 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights simple hotel

    1 nights simple overnight train

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    Trip pace:

    Moderate

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    Group Size:

    12 - 18

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Trip starts at London St. Pancras Station; Eurostar to Berlin via Brussels and Koln

Our trip begins this morning at London's St Pancras Station, the home of the Eurostar. Here you'll meet a representative from Explore to assist you with check-in and answer any last minute questions, before you board your (unaccompanied) Eurostar train to Brussels.

We meet our Tour Leader off the train at Brussels Midi/Zuid Station, and locate our onward train to Koln, which takes just under 2 hours. We have a connecting journey in Koln to Berlin, flying through the German countryside and saying 'Guten Abend' to Berlin after arriving around 8pm this evening.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Free morning in Berlin with option to visit Berlin Wall Memorial; afternoon train from Berlin to Poznan, Poland

We've left this morning free for you to explore Berlin on your own time. Those of you who haven't visited this captivating city before may wish to visit the key sights of the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, all located conveniently within walking distance of each other, and of our hotel. Or if you're more of an art and architecture fan, visit the UNESCO Heritage Site of Museum Island. This collection of museums dates from the Age of Enlightenment, and is just about the best preserved 'historic' area of the city. Tickets are available to purchase online or on site.

Alternatively, the excellent Berlin Wall Memorial is a fascinating and sobering 1.4 kilometre walk that ends at Bernauer Strasse U-Bahn. Walking along the former border strip, the memorial really conveys how impressive the fortifications were between East and West Germany, and the trials of communities on both sides of the wall. If you have time, head to the East Side Gallery first - an S-bahn journey away from the hotel, this open air art gallery is the longest continuous stretch of the Berlin Wall in existence.

In the afternoon we'll meet back at the hotel to pick up our bags, and return to Hauptbahnhof where we catch our three-hour train across the Polish border to Poznan.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Walking tour of Poznan, the birthplace of Poland; sample their famous specialty - the St. Martin's Croissant

The under-the-radar town of Poznan is the perfect place to start our time in Poland. It contains everything that makes Polish cities so fascinating - history, architecture, good food - but with some interesting quirks. Our orientation tour this morning will introduce us to several places of importance, including Ostrow Tumski - Cathedral Island - which is widely held to be 'the birthplace of Poland'. Here, we'll find Poland's oldest cathedral, where the first king of Poland was baptised, causing the nation to be formally recognised as such by the Pope.

The orientation tour will end at Poznan's Old Market Square. Lining one side of the square is a collection of colourful and intensely photogenic townhouses that were, once upon a time, home to traders. The narrow halls upstairs would have been dwellings, while the merchants traded their wares - everything from fish to candles - in the doorways below. Just beside these houses is the Town Hall from which, every day at noon, two mechanical goats emerge from a door above the clock tower, and proceed to butt heads. This bizarre tradition dates back to the 1500s, and no doubt our Tour Leader will share the accompanying legend with us during our tour.

After lunch, we're free to stroll around Poznan at our leisure. You may wish to visit Cytadela Park and the Armory Museum for an introduction to Poland's long wartime history. Or visit one of the town's museums. One of the most visited is the Croissant 'Museum' (more of a live baking show with English tours at 2pm) - in celebration of one of Poland's few DOP (legally protected) foods! In contrast to the French croissants, the St. Martin's is folded 81 times, enveloping poppy seeds, raisins and almonds within the layers. Glazed with sugar and nuts these enormous pastries are delicious. If you just wish to taste the croissant, there are several designated bakeries in the city which are licenced for its sale - enjoy it with a cup of black coffee.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 4 - Train to Krakow; Visit the socialist-realist 'utopia' of Nowa Huta

We'll take an early train out of Poznan this morning, trundling across Poland on a five hour journey to Krakow, calling at Wroclaw and Katowice. Krakow, Poland's capital until 1596, is still the country's most charming city, a picture-postcard city of narrow medieval streets, grand buildings and al-fresco cafes just begging to be explored.

This afternoon we take a tour of Nowa Huta, a town designed in 1949 as the 'ideal' Communist city, in total contrast to 'bourgeois' Krakow. Originally built as a separate town, it's now been swallowed up by the city itself - yet has a completely unique character. Created as a workers paradise, the urban project was a hefty piece of Communist propaganda, with underground bunkers, wide roads that could withstand the spread of fire, and an enormous steelworks that would provide jobs for the entire population. Classic Polish milk bars still exist, with locals eating pickled cucumbers with vodka and other such Eastern European delicacies! We'll explore with a local tour guide, who will bring this seemingly ordinary district of Krakow to life.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Visit the haunting site of Auschwitz; tour the Kazimierz District and try traditional Jewish food

This morning we'll take take a trip to Oswiecim, the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp; an eerie and haunting place that drives home the terrible atrocities which took place here during World War II.

In the afternoon we visit the UNESCO listed Jewish Podgorze District, the location of the Jewish Ghetto in World War II and the setting for the film 'Schindler's List'. Along the way we will grab a 'zapiekanka', an open faced toasted baguette sandwich, which is a popular local fast food option. Whilst in this area you'll have the opportunity to visit the Old Synagogue, Schindler's Factory and the Museum of Jewish Life, which provide fascinating insights into the life of Krakow Jews and the war years.

In the evening we spend our final night in Poland enjoying a traditional Jewish dinner accompanied by Klezmer music with its expressive melodies, said to be reminiscent of the human voice. Following dinner, if you wish, your Leader will point you towards to a few local bars and pubs to give you the chance to try the typical Polish beers and the extensive local vodka varieties.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6 - Free day in Krakow; optional trip to the Wieliczka Salt Mines; overnight train to Lviv, Ukraine

Today we have a free day in Krakow. As we haven't spent a lot of time in the city centre, you may wish to visit fabulous Rynek Glowny, Europe's largest medieval square. The square is still now very much at the heart of Krakow local life. Quirky town houses and historic buildings adorn the square with the most famous being the Sukiennice, a vast cloth hall where goods would have been sold in medieval times, which is still in use now as a covered market. Inside you'll find vendors peddling a multitude of local wares from wooden toys to beautiful amber jewellery.

Alternatively, there is the option to visit the Wieliczska Salt Mines. At up to 300 metres underground, the incredible mines are home to a 400 year old chapel, a subterranean salt lake and chambers large enough to take the Eiffel Tower! The mines are reached by local train, about a 20 minute journey each way.

We'll meet back up as a group in the early evening, before setting off for our overnight train from Krakow to Lviv, departing around 9pm.

The sleeper train into the Ukraine is a collection of old 'Soviet' style carriages, set out in 3-4 person berths. Linen is included, and each cabin has a washbasin, with toilets located along the carriage.

Accommodation:

Grade: Simple Overnight Train

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Wake up in Ukraine; walking tour of youthful and elegant Lviv

We cross the border into Ukraine in the early hours of the morning, and border guards will board the train to check and stamp passports. After the formalities, we'll get a couple of hours additional sleep before alighting in Lviv just after 6am. In fact, our bodies will be telling us it's just after 5am due to the time difference - and we'll have to remember this when setting our wake-up alarms!

We'll go straight to the hotel on arrival, where we have early check-in arranged to freshen up and eat breakfast.

In the late morning, we'll take a guided walking tour through the stunning old quarter of the city. As a small university city with some ornate architecture, Lviv has an elegant air of cool. It's known for its coffee culture, cobblestoned streets and European-flair, which contrasts massively with the Soviet-style brutalism we'll see in Kyiv. The walking tour will visit the highlights, including the Old Rus Quarter and the pink and yellow buildings on the Rynok Square.

In the afternoon, we're at our leisure to relax and enjoy one of the many coffee shops. Lviv is well known for both its beer and chocolate, so you may choose to visit the Brewery Museum or join a chocolate making masterclass with a professional chocolatier.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Discover rural Ukraine at an award-winning cheese farm; train to Kiev

Lviv is getting quite a reputation for home-grown produce on Ukraine's 'craft' food scene. This morning we'll take a journey to the rural outskirts of Lviv, to the Garbuzo Vyjraj cheese farm. This cheese farm is one of the many that have sprung up in Ukraine around the last decade, inspiring cheese and wine festivals in both Lviv and Kiev, as well as an annual cheese awards! We'll learn from the masters how cheese is matured and ripened, and use this knowledge to make our own cheese, from the pasteurization stage to the finished product. The farm owners will also take us through a tasting of their range of cheeses, along with some locally-made bread and salad.

Returning to Lviv by vehicle, we go directly to the train station where we catch our final train to Kiev, arriving at approximately 11pm.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 9 - Kyiv walking tour, Chernobyl Museum and the Lavra Reserve

It's all change today as we say goodbye to some of our rail companions, who are leaving the tour in Kyiv, along with our Tour Leader. All those extending to Chernobyl will be joining together with other travellers, who arrived yesterday for their short break in Chernobyl.

We have a busy day ahead, as we aim to explore a selection of Kyivs many historic sights and to get a feel for this great city. We'll start with a guided walking tour of Kyiv, which is situated on the banks of the River Dnipro. This ancient city has been inhabited for almost 2000 years and it was once the capital of the Kyivan Rus State, from which all later Russian states were descended. Although Ukrainian nationalism is stronger than ever, you will still hear Russian spoken here today. During our tour we'll see the onion domed exterior of Santa Sophia Cathedral, the Golden Gate which was once the main entrance to the city, Saint Andrews Baroque church and Mother Motherland, a 100 metre high statue to honour the heroes of the Soviet Union. We also visit the Chernobyl Museum. Exhibits are designed to teach us of the scope of the nuclear disaster and to ensure that the lessons learnt from this terrible accident aren't forgotten.

This afternoon we take the metro to Arsenalna, which is the deepest station in the world. We continue by metro to the Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve and visit the remarkable 'Monastery of the Caves' founded in AD 1051, where the labyrinths provide all the natural conditions needed for mummification. We have a guided tour of the caves and have time in either the Museum of Miniatures or the Museum Of Historical Treasures and the Holy Trinity Church.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 10 - Guided tour in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

This morning we set off on our exciting explorations to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which is about two hours' drive from the city and close to the Belarusian border. Back on the 26th April 1986 the Number 4 nuclear reactor at Chernobyl exploded with catastrophic consequences. Since then an Exclusion Zone has been in place around the plant and nature has reclaimed the towns and vehicles left within this. The accident was the result of a flawed Soviet reactor, operated by inadequately trained staff that had been ordered to carry out a poorly planned test.

There were four reactors and a further two being constructed when Reactor 4 exploded twice, killing two workers and releasing at least 5% of its radioactive core into the atmosphere. A further 28 fire fighters died of radiation poisoning following the accident. At the time this was the largest uncontrolled radioactive release recorded.

The city of Pripyat was built three kilometres from the site to house the plant's workers and their families and, at the time, it had 49,000 inhabitants. Within a 30 kilometre radius of the power plant, there was a population of up to 135,000 people. All were evacuated after the accident and most of these towns and villages including Pripyat are now ghost towns.

Surprisingly after the accident the other reactors at Chernobyl were restarted. Their safety was improved but due to energy shortages the last reactor wasn't turned off until December 2000. In 2011 Chernobyl was declared safe enough to be recognised as a tourist attraction.

Reactor 4 was enclosed in a large concrete shelter which was erected quickly after the incident and contained around 200 tonnes of highly radioactive material. The old shelter only had a shelf life of 30 years and at the end of 2016 a huge 'New Safe Confinement' structure was built on the site and moved into place over the old shelter. It is the world's largest movable structure and inside a team of robotic cranes is taking the old shelter and radioactive core apart in an effort to make the area safe again.

On our first day of discovery with a local guide we will explore Pripyat including the fairground, hospital, hotel, bus station, fire station, football stadium, sports centre, elementary school, kindergarten, police station, Palace of Culture, church and the 'bridge of death'. We'll also see the Red Forest and the structure around Reactor 4. The attractions seen in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone may vary depending on local conditions and restrictions, but we'll see the most possible during our two days spent here.

This evening we will have the unique experience of staying within the Exclusion Zone in a small hotel within the town of Chernobyl. The bedrooms are simply decorated and there are two bathrooms shared between every five bedrooms. There is a restaurant and bar where we will enjoy a traditional Ukrainian meal this evening.

Please note that it is essential that you provide us with the correct passport information at the time of booking and that you check this is accurate on your booking confirmation/the online customer information gateway, as this will be required in order to request the permissions needed to enter the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Corrections and amendments may incur additional charges at your own expense or result in you being denied entrance to the Exclusion Zone. If you intend to renew your passport please let us know at the point of booking and ensure that you have your new passport no later than 10 weeks prior to travel. In order to be permitted to enter the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and to travel on this holiday you must be at least 18 years old.

Accommodation:

Grade: Simple Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 11 - Further explorations of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Today we will most likely see Pripyat's swimming pool, grammar school and music school and visit the secret Soviet Duga Radar Facility. The radar military base was named Chernobyl 2 and didn't appear on any civilian maps and the trees were strategically planted to block the view from the neighbouring towns. There are two radars here that were constructed as part of a Soviet early missile detection system. The bigger of the two is almost 500 metres long and around 150 metres high. Also on the site are an abandoned fire station, small power plant, hospital and apartment buildings where the military personnel stationed here and their families would have lived.

We will also hopefully get the chance today to speak with people still living within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, who are known as self-settlers. A year after the accident over one thousand people returned to their homes and despite efforts from the authorities they kept returning until eventually being allowed to stay and they have been living off grid ever since. Many of the people who choose to return were retired at the time and since it has been over 30 years since the disaster many of these people have sadly now passed away, so many of the towns and villages in the Exclusion Zone now only have one or two people living there. We should be able to meet with a couple of the self-settlers to hear their stories of what their lives were like before, during and after the explosion.

Late this afternoon we drive back to Kyiv for our final free evening in the city.

Accommodation:

Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 12 - Trip ends in Kyiv

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kyiv.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kyiv at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kyiv Boryspil International Airport (KBP).

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information

France

Climate

Across France, from April - August, weather conditions are generally warm and pleasant with moderate rainfall; Autumn temperatures are a bit lower and the winter months (though colder) remain mild. The summer months on the Mediterranean Coast in the south tend to be warmer than the rest of France and have less rainfall, and also more mild winters; freezing conditions are nearly unheard of. The mountainous areas of the Alps, Juros and Pyrenees can be quite different. During summer the morning and evening temperatures are considerably cooler and it becomes much colder in winter with heavy snowfall. Western France, along the English Channel, there can be very strong winds and frequent rain during the winter months Nov - Apr. Wine harvesting takes place in late August/early September.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Catholic

Language

French

Germany

Climate

Germany has a variable climate with frequent changes of weather from day to day. Expect a contrast of warm summer days with the possibility of showers at any time.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Christian

Language

German

Poland

Climate

Poland has a temperate, changeable climate. September and October are cooler and gradually become damper until late November when temperatures fall below freezing with snowfall, particularly in mountainous areas. Cold temperatures last through to March, but are tolerable. Snow can lie for up to three months in the mountains.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Roman Catholic

Language

Polish

Ukraine

Climate

Ukraine has a temperate continental climate. Summers in are generally hot, sunny and less humid than in Central Europe, with temperatures normally between 18 to 25°C. In fact, the early autumn period is often compared with an Indian summer, dry and sunny. Winters are cold and snowy with temperatures averaging between -8 to -12°C. The wettest area in Ukraine is the Carpathian Mountains where it can rain at any time of year.

Time difference to GMT

+2

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Orthodox Christian

Language

Ukrainian

United Kingdom

Climate

The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT

0

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Christian

Language

English

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your holiday. Whilst the trip price you pay before you travel includes a great selection of highlights, we have also built in free time to allow you the flexibility to choose from a carefully selected range of additional excursions and activities or take time to relax, the choice is yours. At certain destinations along the way there may be several options to choose from and it may not be possible to fit all the activities in; your Explore Leader will be able to give advice on which are the most suitable for you.

Poznan:
Poznan Cathedral - 3.50 PLN
Croissant Museum - 18 PLN
Armament Museum (in Citadel Park) - 10 PLN

Krakow:
Old Jewish Synagogue - 10 PLN
Schindler's Factory - 24 PLN
Museum of Jewish Life - 16 PLN
Wieliczka Salt Mines - 7 PLN by public transport (unguided)

Lviv:
Brewery visit, 100 UAH
Chocolate Master Class operates on day 7 for about one and a half hours and includes a local guide, 420 UAH per person (minimum five people). This needs to be pre-booked at the start of your trip with your Leader.

Clothing

Select your clothing carefully. Remember, you are expected to carry your own luggage so packing light is essential. In summer, most locations will be hot, while trains will have differing levels of air-conditioning (from high to non-existent!), so light layers are encouraged.

Waterproofs are recommended throughout the year.

Footwear

Comfortable shoes are recommended for travelling and walking around the cities.

Luggage: On tour

As you'll be taking care of your own luggage, including stowing it on the trains, it's absolutely essential that you bring a small suitcase. If you're travelling in a pair, bringing one small suitcase each is much easier than bringing one large one between you. A suitable suitcase size is approximately 61 centimetres (24 inches) in height. Suitcases with wheels are very handy for ease of transportation. Although our ideal size given might seem small, it should help reduce the chance of overpacking and will greatly improve your enjoyment of the tour!

Equipment

We advise you bring a water bottle for day to day use. We have a partnership with Water-to-Go, who have developed a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants. This allows you to drink from any tap, including on trains, or even streams and lakes. You can purchase your own Explore branded bottle with the discount code EXPLORE15.

Sunscreen and a sun hat are advised. We also recommend taking a power bank with you, particularly for your overnight train journey, where the carriages have limited plug points.

Tipping

Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline

France

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£11
Dinner price
£16.00 - 18.00
Beer price
£4
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pounds Sterling and US Dollars can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change. Please change currency into Euros prior to arriving in France.
Where To Exchange
Bureau de Change can only be found in major cities and large airports. Many French banks no longer exchange Foreign currency.
ATM Availability
In cities and most major towns
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants (make sure you have informed your credit card company that you are travelling abroad as some companies will reject payments)
Travellers Cheques
Travellers Cheques are no longer commonly accepted and can only be changed in larger airports with a Bureau de Change.

Germany

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£18
Beer price
£3
Water price
£1.3
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Euro
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP and USD are readily exchanged.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports.
ATM Availability
ATMs are readily available throughout Germany.
Credit Card Acceptance
Most major credit cards are accepted, but ask first.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at banks and exchange shops.

Poland

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£8
Dinner price
£18.00 - 22.00
Beer price
£1.50 - 3.00
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Polish Zloty2
Recommended Currency For Exchange
British Pounds Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are all accepted at exchange offices and banks2
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival
ATM Availability
Available in all major cities
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are widely accepted in all major cities
Travellers Cheques
Easily exchanged

Ukraine

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£5.5
Dinner price
£10-15
Beer price
£1.3
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Hryvnia
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Pound Sterling, US Dollars (USD) and Euro cash can all be exchanged for the local currency. You can only leave Ukraine with a maximum of USD 10,000. Anything over this amount will be confiscated. If you are taking Pound Sterling, please note that currency exchange offices in Ukraine will only accept the new plastic notes. Banks will still accept the paper notes but typically provide a lower exchange rate.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns and cities - your Explore Leader will advise you on arrival. Only exchange money at reputable places like banks, ATM's and official Forex Offices.
ATM Availability
Major towns and cities have ATM's for cash withdrawal.
Credit Card Acceptance
In the main towns and cities credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, hotels and larger shops.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers cheques are very difficult to change in the Ukraine.

United Kingdom

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£10
Dinner price
£18
Beer price
£4
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Pounds Sterling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry a combination of UK Sterling cash, ATM and credit cards.
Where To Exchange
Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATM's are widely available in main towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at most banks and post offices.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Train

Accommodation notes

Throughout this trip we use a range of comfortable accommodation, well located for access to train stations and for exploration of these diverse cities.

It's worth noting that there may be a maximum of 10-15 minutes' walk from train stations to accommodation, for which you will be required to carry (or pull!) your own luggage. For distances above this, we will take taxis or public transport. If you don't fancy walking at all, that's no problem - taxis are easily available from train station entrances and you can meet the group at the hotel.

On Day 6 we'll take an overnight train from Krakow to Lviv. We will book 3 or 4-berth cabins which feature bunk-beds in a compartment with lockable door and wash basin. Toilets are usually located further along the carriage. All bedding and towels are provided and luggage can be stored underneath the beds or in an overhead rack. We will do our best to room groups together, although this cannot be guaranteed, and you may be sharing with non-Explore travellers in the same cabin. These overnight trains don't always include a food bar, so purchasing snacks beforehand is recommended.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Belgium, Germany, Poland: Visas not required by citizens of the UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canada.

Ukraine: UK, Canadian and US citizens do not require a visa. Australian and New Zealand citizens do need a visa to enter Ukraine. In addition you will be required to carry a photocopy of your passport with you at all times in Ukraine for ID purposes.

In addition to the above visa information, it is essential that you provide Explore with the correct passport information at the time of booking, as this will be required in order to pre-book any applicable train tickets and Chernobyl Exclusion Zone permissions. Corrections and amendments will incur additional charges, so please double check that the information we have for you is up to date and correct, this includes your passport number, full name as per passport (including middle names), date of birth and place of birth; if customers renew or reissue their passports from the details initially given to Explore, train tickets must be cancelled and purchased again, which involves extra costs and may result in customers being in differing train carriages to the rest of the group. If you intend to renew your passport please let Explore know at the point of booking and please ensure that you have the new passport no later than 10 weeks prior to travel.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

France

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory. Tetanus recommended. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Germany

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Tickborne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Poland

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Tickborne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Ukraine

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against hepatitis A and diphtheria. Check that your polio and tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date before travel. The UK Foreign Office currently recommends that you should consider whether to immunise against tickborne encephalitis and rabies. Consult your travel clinic for further advice. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

United Kingdom

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Additional Information

Dates, prices and booking

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
Mon 2 May 2022 - Fri 13 May 2022
RLKC_2022 Reactor Visit 1 space available
AU$4650
was AU$4900 Save AU$250
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$920
RLKC_2022 Reactor Visit 1 space available

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Thu 9 Jun 2022 - Mon 20 Jun 2022
RLKC_2022
AU$4160
was AU$4380 Save AU$220
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$800
RLKC_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Thu 18 Aug 2022 - Mon 29 Aug 2022
RLKC_2022
AU$4160
was AU$4380 Save AU$220
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$770
RLKC_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Thu 15 Sep 2022 - Mon 26 Sep 2022
RLKC_2022
AU$4160
was AU$4380 Save AU$220
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$800
RLKC_2022

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Mon 1 May 2023 - Fri 12 May 2023
RLKC_2023 Reactor Visit
AU$4990
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$950
RLKC_2023 Reactor Visit

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Mon 22 May 2023 - Fri 2 Jun 2023
RLKC_2023
AU$4690
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$950
RLKC_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Thu 27 Jul 2023 - Mon 7 Aug 2023
RLKC_2023
AU$4580
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$820
RLKC_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Thu 14 Sep 2023 - Mon 25 Sep 2023
RLKC_2023
AU$4580
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$880
RLKC_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 
Mon 16 Oct 2023 - Fri 27 Oct 2023
RLKC_2023
AU$4580
was Save
SINGLE ROOM OPTION
i
+AU$880
RLKC_2023

Add a flight with Explore

  • Full Explore refunds in the event of FCDO cancellations or major disruption at your UK departure airport
  • Carbon neutral flights – Gold Standard offsetting included
  • Rearranged flights and transfers in the event of delays, missed connections, or cancellations (including accommodation overseas)
  • ATOL protected
  • No surcharge guarantee
 

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