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 – 19:00, 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.
  • 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 indicate in the “visits schedule and locations” section if this visit is part of a larger visit to CERN.

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.