North Korea (DPRK)

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Why should you choose Koryo Tours?

Choosing to travel to unusual destinations such as North Korea is a big decision, and choosing the right people to take you is an incredibly important part of that. Learn about how we facilitate tourism responsibly in some of the most interesting and unique destinations on our planet, and at the same time ensure you get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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A tour to North Korea (DPRK) is the ultimate in adventure travel. Join Koryo Tours as we explore Pyongyang and some of North Korea's most remote locations for an experience you'll never forget, all in the safe hands of North Korea tour experts.

Our North Korea tours are designed with the purpose of making sure you see and do as much as possible on tour in North Korea (DPRK). Touring this country is the opportunity of a lifetime for many, and we use our 28 years of North Korea experience to ensure you get the most out of your time there.
We have classic, speciality, and budget North Korea tours scheduled throughout the year. Get in touch for help on deciding which North Korea tour is best for you. Our experts are happy to answer all your questions.

Unsure if a North Korea group tour is for you?
Read Why Choose a Koryo Tours Group Tour or contact us.
Alternatively, head to our North Korea Private Tours and get in touch for a bespoke North Korea tour itinerary.

North Korea Country Profile
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NOTICE: The North Korea border is currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please check COVID-19 & North Korea for updated information.

N0 Tours to North Korea (DPRK) will be taking place until the border is open again - the tours below are planned departure dates but until the country is open to tourists again all tours will remain suspended

Use the search function below to find tours. Please note that our tours for May Day start in April and tours for China National Day (1 October) start in September.

September 2022 — 1 tour

September 23 - October 2/3 2022

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

10 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

Travel along the DMZ from East to West, and experience
dynamic Seoul. The tour will be accompanied by North
Korea experts.

From 2,595 USD per person

Please apply by 4th September, 2022.

CLOSED Tour Details

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

10 nights along the
DMZ in South Korea

Travel along the DMZ from East to West,
and experience dynamic Seoul. The tour
will be accompanied by North Korea
experts.

From 2,595 USD per person

  • Overall

    Whilst we cannot travel to DPRK in these unique times we are happy to be able to promote a tour to Korea led by Greg Váczi. Greg (who ran twenty-six of our groups to North Korea before the pandemic) is currently studying Korean language full time in Seoul since November 2020. We strongly recommend him, and his tour will of course appeal to all who want to travel to DPRK at the moment but because of the closure of the country to tourism cannot visit. In the future we hope Greg will be leading tours to DPRK but for the moment this is your best opportunity to visit Korea.

    Highlights

    • See close-up a handful of North Korean villages from some of the best look-out points in South Korea
    • Visit key museums and political sites in Seoul
    • Tour Yeonpyeong Island, an island bombarded by North Korean artillery in 2010 that’s adjacent to the controversial Northern Limit Line
    • Scour local beaches for trash washed in from North Korea to see what’s on the shelves of North Korean shops these days
    • Guest experts will join for multi-day portions of the tour, including Andrei Lankov
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. September 23 | Friday

      Arrival Day in Seoul

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Seoul.

      PM

      • From 14:00 | Check-in at hotel in Seoul.
         
      • Welcome dinner and orientation | Today we start the tour with a group dinner of some excellent raengmyon (cold noodles) that tastes as delicious as if it was made in Pyongyag's most famous restaurant, Okryugwan. Coordination and briefing session, before the adventure ahead!

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (x/x/D)

    2. September 24 | Saturday

      Sokcho, Gangwon Province

      AM

      • Drive to Sokcho on the East Coast of Korea | We will drive approximately 200 km east across the Korean Peninsula. A drive that takes approximately the same time in the ROK and the DPRK; delayed by heavy highway traffic in the South while by road conditions in the North. (Ca. 3-4 hrs drive).
      • Tongil (Unification) Park | The site where the North Korean Sang-O-class submarine that was captured during the 1996 Gangneung submarine infiltration incident is displayed (a kind of a counter-part of the North Korean trophy USS Pueblo displayed at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang). The park also hosts a South Korean warship, military planes, and a security exhibition hall. The vessels can be visited from the inside as well.

      PM

      • Free time for lunch and drive to Ramada Plaza Hotel Sokcho | Free time for lunch and check-in at the hotel before we continue our security themed-tour on the East coast of Korea.
      • Beach walk to see electric fences and protection against North Korean infiltration | Since the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War North Korean military attempted to infiltrate South Korea. Many of these attempts happened via sea and in Gangwon Province. As a result, the Korean coast is heavily fortified – we will look at these electric fences and other means of protection.
      • Dinner, lecture, and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Ramada Plaza Hotel Sokcho (B/x/D)

    3. September 25 | Sunday

      Goseong, Gangwon Province

      AM

      • Drive north to Goseong | We will drive North along the coast to Goseong County which is located north of the 38th parallel and became a part of South Korea only after the 1953 Armistice. Goseong County, like the Korean Peninsula and Gangwon (Kangwon) Province, is divided and it stretches north of the DMZ where it is spelled as Kosong County (the only province and county that is shared between the ROK and the DPRK). (Ca. 1-hr drive).
         
      • Gift shop at the high-security border entrance | We will stop at the entrance of the Tongil Security Park to get our permit to cross the Civilian Limit Line allowing you time to check out the gift shop selling DMZ-themed bric-a-bracs.
         
      • Tongil (Unification) Viewpoint over North Korea | Built in 1983 by a military unit Tongil Observatory is located within the Civilian Limit Line just a few kilometers away from the Military Demarcation Line overlooking the Kumgangsan area of North Korea. Kumgangsan (also known as the Diamond Mountain) is one of the five celebrated mountains of Korea and served as an inspiration for Korean artists for centuries. It has also gained national significance during the Sunshine Policy era when between 1998 and 2008 South Korean tourists were allowed to visit the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region developed by Hyundai. It also hosted numerous family reunion events. On our drive from the high-security border entrance to the observatory, you can have a glimpse of the former customs house that processed inter-Korean border crossings.
         
      • Free time for lunch at Tongil Observatory | An hour-long break to grab lunch and discover Tongil Security Park on your own.

      PM

      • DMZ Museum | Located within the Civilian Limit Line in Tongil Security Park the DMZ Museum tells the story of the past, present, and future of the Demilitarized Zone in four exhibition rooms.
         
      • Kim Il Sung Summer House | Would be a Revolutionary Site in North Korea and is also known as the Castle of Hwajinpo, the villa was built in 1938 by a German architect for the Sherwood Hall family who were missionaries in Korea; the matriarch of the family, Rosetta Sherwood Hall is the founder of the Pyongyang School for the Deaf and Blind. Kim Il Sung used the villa as a summer resort with his family between 1948 and 1950. The house was damaged during the Korean War and restored in 2005 to its state when the Kim family used it.
         
      • Beach treasure hunt for North Korean debris washed ashore | Being just a few kilometres away from the North Korean coast the sea washes off debris from North Korea sometimes as far away as Wonsan some 100 plus kilometres North of the DMZ. We will go for a ‘treasure hunt’ to see what’s on the shelves of North Korean shops these days. Be sure to pack Nick Bonner’s Made in North Korea to use it a guide to identify the goods or see how everyday design changed over the years.
         
      • Check-in at Geumgangsan Condo Hotel | A hotel with stunning views of the East Sea and that resembles the atmosphere of the hotels found in North Korea. Please note that availability is subject to local conditions. We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Geumgangsan Condo Hotel (B/x/D)

    4. September 26 | Monday

      Return to Seoul

      AM

      • Baeksom Sea Observatory | From the observatory, located on a structure mounted above the sea, you can see North Korea's Haegeum River, Geumgu Island, and Geojin Port.
      • Wanggok Folk Village | A traditional Korean hanok village located in a stunning valley taking the visitors back to a time when Korea was still one nation (or a unified one again). Designated as Important Folklore Cultural Heritage No. 235.
      • Free time for lunch.

      PM

      • Drive back to Seoul | Drive West across the Korean Peninsula back to Seoul arriving in the early evening hours. 3-4 hrs drive.
         
      • Dinner, lecture and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (B/x/D)

    5. September 27 | Tuesday

      Seoul

      AM

      • War Memorial of Korea | Visit the counterpart of the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum in Pyongyang and see things from a different perspective. The War Memorial of Korea features both indoor and outdoor exhibition halls containing approx. 33,000 artefacts.
         
      • Bukchon Hanok Village | A chance to be immersed in traditional Korean culture as you explore the streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, home to hundreds of traditional houses, or hanoks.

      PM

      • Seodaemun Independence Park and Prison | An area dedicated to independence fighters during the Japanese colonial period. The site was used by Japanese imperialists as a prison for independence activists.
         
      • Namsan and Seoul N Tower | One of the biggest landmarks in Seoul and a must-visit! With a great view of the surrounding Namsan mountains, it’s a great way to unwind. There are restaurants, an art gallery, and lots in the surrounding area to keep you busy!
         
      • Dinner, lecture and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

        Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (B/L/x)

    6. September 28 | Wednesday

      Seoul

      AM

      • Gyeongbokbung | The Gyeongbokbung, or Gyeongbok Palace was built in 1395. Gyeongbokbung acted as the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897) and, as the largest palace, is often argued to be the most beautiful.
         
      • Gwanghwamun Square | Also known as Gwanghwamun Plaza, is a large public open space featuring fountains and statues of historical significance, also housing the royal administrative buildings known as the ‘ Street of Six Ministries’.
         
      • National Museum of Contemporary Korean History | Learn about the tumultuous 1960s when South Korea was under a military dictatorship. It's also the time of the 'Miracle on the Han River' when the country transformed from a developing country to one of the most developed economies.

      PM

      • Afternoon off at own leisure.

      OR

      • Baegak Mountain Trail of Seoul City Wall | Join your tour leader for a ca. 5 km-long hike on Hanyangdoseong (Seoul City Wall) on the highest of the four inner mountains of Seoul behind the Blue House. Originally built in 1396 during the Joseon Dynasty, this section of the City Wall was closed to the public for 40 years after a unit of North Korean Special Forces infiltrated the Blue House in 1968. Along the walk you can still see a pine tree with bullet holes ('1.21 Incident Pine Tree') as a memento of the fierce battle between South Korean and North Korean forces. Difficulty of the hike: moderate to challenging due to the long, steep steps at the beginning of the hike.  

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (B/L/x)

    7. September 29 | Thursday

      Cheorwon DMZ Tour

      **Today's itinerary might be replaced with a tour to Panmunjom/Joint Security Area should tours to the area resume.

      AM

      • Drive to Cheorwon Area | A scenic drive to about 100 km north of Seoul. Ca. 2 hrs. drive.
         
      • Memorial Tower of Baengmagoji Battlefield and Memorial Museum | The site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War that took place on October 6-15, 1952 between the UN Forces and the Chinese Volunteer Army. The hill that changed hands 24 times during the 10 days-long fierce battle was completely reshaped as a result, looking like a White Horse (Baengma) lying down. Today, there is a memorial monument and exhibition hall on site.
         
      • Lunch Goseokjeong National Tourist Area | A scenic spot in Cheorwon that is the starting point for the DMZ tours in this area also know as the Iron Triangle Battlefield.

      PM

      • Second Infiltration Tunnel | The Second Tunnel of Aggression is one of four known tunnels built by North Korea running from north to south. Visitors can take a tour of this tunnel.
         
      • Cheorwon Peace Observatory | Approachable by the Cheorwon Peace Monorail this observatory offers views of North Korea (Seonjeon town), the DMZ, and Cheorwon Plain. The observatory also houses an exhibition hall.
         
      • Woljeong-ri Station | The last railway station on the Southern side of DMZ on the now defunct Gyeongwon (Seoul-Wonsan) Line. There is also a wreck of a North Korean train that was bombed by the UN forces during the Korean War. The former railway station at Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary site in North Korea was on the same railway line.
         
      • Cheorwon Workers' Party of Korea Headquarters | A tree-storey building that housed the WPK in the area was built in 1946 in socialist realist style, and was destroyed during the Korean War.
         
      • Drive back to Seoul | Another ca. 100 kms back to Seoul, arriving at the hotel in the evening.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (B/L/x)

    8. September 30 | Friday

      Yeonpyeongdo, Yellow (West) Sea

      AM

      • Early morning drive to Incheon to catch our ferry to Yeonpyeongdo.
         
      • Ferry to Yeonpyeongdo | An approximately 2 hours long ferry ride on the Yellow (West) Sea from the Incheon Coastal Ferry Terminal on-board Korea Express Ferry’s Flying Café. Scheduled departure is at 09:00.
         
      • Free time for lunch.

      PM

      • Border and beach tour of Yeonpyeongdo | During the afternoon we'll tour the full circumference of the island, stopping off at all the main vista points, beaches and cultural sights. There'll also be chances to scour for more DPRK trash and tune into its radio channels.
         
      • Dinner, lecture and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Minbak (guesthouse) | Minbaks offer basic-level accommodation, similar to a youth hostel; there are no hotels on Yeonpyeong-do. (B/x/D)

    9. October 1 | Saturday

      Ganghwado, Incheon

      AM

      • Ferry back to Incheon | Our 2-hours long ferry ride bound back to Incheon departs at 11:30. Since our accommodation does not provide breakfast you will have free time to grab a bite and do some more exploration on the island on your own before departure.
         
      • Lunch in Incheon | Incheon is where Korea’s only China Town is situated and the perfect site for some Korean Chinese cuisine.

      PM

      • Aegibong Peace Ecopark | Located on Hill 154, overlooking the Hangang Eastuary, that was a battle site during the Korean War Aegibong Peace Ecopark now advocates peace on the Korean Peninsula. The area was desingnated as North-South free-zone after the Korean with an accesses for both Southern and Northern fishing vessels; however, to avoid any conflicts it is off-limits for boats with the result that the parks has it’s own special ecosystem. The first observatory was built in 1978 and after a massive reconstruction the park was reopened in 2021. The exhibition focuses on the unique ecosystem of the area and also offers a virtual reality experience to ‘visit’ the Koryo Palace in Kaesong (albeit being south of the 38th parallel, now North Korea). Up on the hill is the lookout with views of North Korea.
         
      • Yeonmijeong Pavilion | Believed to be first built during the Koryo Dynasty Yeonmijeong Pavilion witnessed many conquests and wars of the Korean Peninsula. Both North Korea and Gimpo as well as Paju cities can be seen from here.
         
      • Manghyangdae | A solemn place overlooking overlooking North Korea where North Korean refugees perform annual ancestral rights.
         
      • Dinner, lecture and discussion | We will gather for dinner followed by a lecture and discussion with a North Korea expert.

      Overnight: Hotel Everrich, Ganghwado (x/L/D)

    10. October 2 | Sunday

      Ganghwado, Odusan Peace Observatory, Imjingak, and return to Seoul

      AM

      • Ganghwado Observatory | Early morning we'll drive to another great spot for observing North Korea.
         
      • Daeryong Market | Originally founded by North Korean refugees from adjacent Yeonbaek County in North Korea recreating their hometown’s marker, this old day’s market witnessed bloom and decline. Now a popular tourist destination, Daeryong Market has a 1960s-70s retro feel.
         
      • Beach visit leaflet launch sites | Launching anti-DPRK propaganda messages, rice aid and sometimes even dollar bills was a common occurence from parts of the Ganghwado area — a controversial issue domestically and a source of conflict in inter-Korean relations. The controversy has gained a new impetus in 2020 when the South Korean government banned such activities. We will visit the (physical) starting point of this controversy.

      PM

      • Odusan Peace Observatory | Located where the Han and Imjin Rivers become one just before reaching the West (Yellow) Sea and a few kilometres away from a premium outlet, Odusan Peace Observatory is one of the most visited viewpoints over North Korea. The Observatory also hosts an exhibition about inter-Korean co-operation and unification.
         
      • Imjingak Resort | Located on the banks of the Imjin river – which separates the two Koreas – visitors to the resort can tour an array of fascinating Korean War-related locations: The remains of the last train to cross the border at the start of the War, a gondola that takes visitors across the river, and a newly opened museum in a former U.S. Army bowling alley.
         
      • Drive back to Seoul | Drive back to central Seoul arriving at place in the early evening hours. 1–1.5 hrs drive.
         
      • Farewell dinner.

      Overnight: ibis Ambassador Insadong, Seoul (B/x/D)

    11. October 3 | Monday

      Departure day from Seoul

      Our trip ends this morning. Catch an international flight from Seoul's Incheon Airport or continue to explore Seoul and South Korea independently. For tips in South Korea please contact your tour manager Gergő "Greg" Váczi.

      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Upgrade to your own room in South Korea (ROK)

      The default rooming option for this tour is shared hotel room or minbak - Korean-style guest house - (one night). Each hotel room on tour has two separate beds. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra $40 USD per night.

  • What is / is not included?

    INCLUDED

    • Two meals a day unless otherwise stated
    • Accommodation in hotel, and in minbak (Korean-style guest house) on Yeonpyeongdo
    • Entry fees
    • Transporation while on tour
    • Ferry Incheon-Yeonpyeongdo-Incheon
    • Local Korean guides and a driver
    • A Koryo Tours tour leader
    • Guest speakers

    NOT INCLUDED

    • Optional single supplement: USD 40 per night
    • Flights to/from South Korea
    • Optional airport transfers: USD per transfer
    • K-ETA or visa fee
    • Travel insurance
    • Spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of a local Korean guide and a Koryo Tours tour leader. Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ from what is advertised above. Given that many sites on tour are places of national security concerns, last-minute cancellations are also possible. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed.

    We will ensure to make the most of your days in Korea to guarantee the experience of a lifetime. After the tour, we will send out a list of all participants' emails so you can keep in touch, swap photos etc. If you do not wish to be on this list then please let us know.

    COVID-19 preventive measures and entry to Korea

    • Participants must be vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • While on tour all participants must observe the COVID-19 preventive measures (wearing masks etc.) set forth by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
    • Please note that those nationals who do not require a visa for South Korea need to complete electronic travel authorization (K-ETA) at least 72 hours prior to entry to Korea. For details, and full list of all 102 eligible countries (as of May 1, 2022) please refer to the K-ETA website.
    • From April 1, 2022, those who have completed vaccination (vaccines approved by WHO; and at least 14 days elapsed after the 2nd shot for a two-dose vaccine - valid up to 180 days - or with booster shots) overseas and register their vaccination history through the Quarantine COVID19 Defence (Q-Code) system before traveling to Korea will be eligible for quarantine exemption.
    • From May 23 a supervised negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) perforemed within 24 hours prior to the departure date is also accepted in lieu of a negative PCR test conducted within 48 hours before departure date.

Please apply by 4th September, 2022.

Next tour departure dates

Greg Váczi's DMZ Adventure

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[email protected] | + 86 10 6416 7544
Room A409, Jucai Building. No. 76 Caoyuan Hutong.
Dongcheng District, Beijing, 100027, PR China

中国北京市东城区草园胡同76号聚才大厦A 座409 室,
邮编:100027
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