FAQ | Is the
Ryugyong Hotel
still empty?

FAQ | Answering one of the most commonly asked questions that we receive on social media

On social media, one question we are asked very regularly is, “Is the Ryugyong Hotel still empty?

The Ryugyong, before the exterior was finished in 2011.

See some more photos here.

Unfortunately, yes, it still is.

Although the hotel is an iconic feature of the Pyongyang skyline, the building still isn’t entirely finished — making it, at 330m, the tallest unfinished building in the world.

The construction for the hotel began in 1987 but was stopped 15 years later when funding ran out. The main structure had been completed by then, but the exterior and windows of the building weren’t added until 2011.

The History of the Ryugyong Hotel

The exterior of the Ryugyong under construction, around 2011.
Inside the Ryugyong in 2012

In 2012, two of our staff were taken to the top of the Ryugyong Hotel and became the first (and only!) foreigners allowed to take photos from the viewing platform at the top of the building.

We wrote a blog about the experience, which you can find here.

The view from the top of the Ryugyong Hotel in 2012.

The view was incredible, but the inside of the building still had substantial work to be done.

However, after some observed signs of ongoing activity in recent months, there has been speculation that construction at the hotel has been started again. Although we may not be able to confirm when it will open, we’re very much looking forward to the day when the hotel is finished and we can stay there on our tours!

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