ISOLDE opens its doors to over 1500 visitors each year, introducing the general public to the variety of research done with radioactive isotopes at CERN. A typical visit consists of an introductory presentation in the visitors’ area in building 508 and, when possible, a tour of the ISOLDE facility itself along the pre-arranged visit path.

Virtual visits are available. For more details please see

Safety rules

  • Visits can take place Monday to Friday between 8:00 – 17:00 (last start 16:00), visits in the weekend are not allowed.
  • The maximal group size is 24 people
  • Considering the potential hazards in the ISOLDE hall, special safety procedures need to be followed. Amongst others, these include:
    • Visitors need to be at least 16 years old
    • Pregnant women are not allowed to enter the experimental area. 
    • People with implants sensitive to magnetic field should contact us beforehand.
    • Closed, flat or block-heeled shoes are required. Sandals, high heels etc. are not allowed.
  • The detailed safety rules found at the end of this document, need to be distributed by the organizer to all visitors before the visit.
  • For the safety of the visitors, the Isolde visits’ coordinator reserves the right to limit the visit to the visitors’ area at short notice.

General information

  • A typical visit takes 1 to 1.5h
  • Visits need to be requested at least 1 week before the visits takes place.
  • The tours are given in English, other languages are often difficult to accommodate.
  • People with reduced mobility might have difficulties to visit ISOLDE since several stairs need to be taken and no elevators are available. Please discuss mobility needs with the visits’ coordinator well in advance so that we can accommodate your visit as much as possible.
  • Everyone must be registered as a visitor at CERN before access to any CERN site is possible. Visitors must wear their visitor badge at all times during the visit.
  • In case the group is on-site already, the guide(s) will wait for the group at the meeting place at b. 508.

Meeting place

Group visits (schools, universities, organizations, …)

  • The organizer must have a CERN account. External groups which don’t have a CERN contact person can mail
  • The organizer can submit a request for an ISOLDE private visit on, specifying he/she wants to visit “ISOLDE only”.  Approval of this request happens at the discretion of the ISOLDE visits coordinator. A visit request is only approved after receiving a confirmation mail.
    • The availability for ISOLDE visits can be checked on the outreach calendar (
    • To keep a manageable workload for the ISOLDE guides, the number of visits to ISOLDE per week is limited. A free spot in the calendar is therefore no guarantee for an approved visit.
  • Please contact the visits’ coordinator directly if this visit is part of a larger visit to CERN, providing him/her with the visit ID and details

Individual visits (<6 people)

  • In mutual agreement with an official ISOLDE guide, an individual private visit can be organized.
    • The guide needs to request the visit following the same procedure as described above, at least 1 week beforehand
    • The guide should check that there is no conflict with other visits, see for availabilities.