DPRK (North Korea)

Group Tours

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! Get in touch for help on deciding which North Korea tour is best for you. Our experts are happy to answer all your questions.

The majority of our North Korea tours are designed for first-time visitors 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 25 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.

Unsure if a group tour is for you? See our Why Choose a Koryo Tours Group Tour? FAQ or contact us.

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.

November 2019

November 12 - November 16/17 2019

Koryo North Korea Budget Tour (November)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Our last budget tour of the year!
Round-trip by train or upgrade to
flight.

From 775 EUR per person

Please apply by 28th October, 2019.

Koryo North Korea Budget Tour (November)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Our last budget tour of
the year! Round-trip by
train or upgrade to flight.

From 775 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Budget North Korea tours are basic introductory tours for the frugal traveller in search of adventure. This no-frills alternative to our more advanced tours offers a great way to see a tightly edited package of the country’s most interesting sights, including a city tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the DMZ, where North and South Korea continue their decades-old face-off. You’ll also visit the lively town of Pyongsong, where you can even jump in on an English Language class at Kim Jong Suk Middle School!

    Whilst spending your time exploring Pyongyang, you will be staying at the Sosan Hotel, a newly renovated hotel in the sports village area in Pyongyang.

    Our Koryo Budget North Korea Tours may be short, but they are action-packed and will only leave you wanting more!

    November too cold? We have a range of other budget tours throughout the year!

    Scroll down for an overview of our last Budget North Korea tour of the year’s highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Ride on the Pyongyang Metro, visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Panmunjom/DMZ – the border with South Korea
    • Pyongsong – a satellite city of Pyongyang and one of the sci-tech center's of the DPRK
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. November 11 // Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 // Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 // Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:00 // Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.


      Overnight // Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. November 12 // Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street // An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight // The Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang. A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sport shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

    3. November 13 // Wednesday

      Kaesong City and DMZ Tour 

      AM
      • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill // Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kwangbok Department Store // Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

      Overnight // Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. November 14 // Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun // Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph // A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Mangyongdae Native House // Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • Maeri Shooting Range // Shoot at targets with low calibre sports pistols and rifles in the facility that trained Olympic medalists. Pay by the bullet (0.50 -1 EUR) depending on the type of gun and target.
      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

      Overnight //
      Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists, an excellent bar with one of the best bartenders in the DPRK makes this hotel one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. Billiards, karaoke, haircut, and outdoor eateries in summer.
    5. November 15 // Friday

      Pyongsong and Pyongyang City Tours

      AM

      • Pyongsong City Square // Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.

      • Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School // One of the DPRK’s top middle schools for gifted students, tourists are encouraged to help teach an English class!

      • Paeksong Provisions Factory // A factory producing a range of foods and drinks: biscuits, cakes, soju, candy, and snacks. Here you can have a taste of the products and tour the production facilities.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1-hour drive.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A bar serving seven type of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best lace to drink pints with local people.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an air gun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.

      Overnight // Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. November 16 // Saturday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday, November 17 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

      This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Our Koryo Budget Tours are capped at 25 people per group.

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 28th October, 2019.

December 2019

December 28 - January 2/3 2020

North Korea New Year's Eve Tour: Bring in 2020 in Pyongyang with Koryo Tours!

5 nights in North Korea for New
Year's Eve + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Start off 2020 with the big celebrations in
Pyongyang! Round-trip by train or upgrade
to flight.

From 1,199 EUR per person

Please apply by 13th December, 2019.

North Korea New Year's Eve Tour: Bring in 2020 in Pyongyang with Koryo Tours!

5 nights in North Korea for New
Year's Eve + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Start off 2020 with the big
celebrations in Pyongyang! Round-trip
by train or upgrade to flight.

From 1,199 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Visit North Korea for New Year's Eve 2019 and bring in 2020 with Koryo Tours in style. Our annual New Year's Eve Tour counts down the clock with the locals in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square for celebrations that only get better every year. Last year saw a massive firework display over the Tower of the Juche Idea , dancing, and drone display in the sky. All topped off with a concert by some of North Korea's North Korea's most famous musicians.

    Watched closely by North Koreans and analysts alike, be one of the first to hear the New Year's Address for 2020. This is given by the North Korean leader on New Year's Day and outlines the country's policy and initiatives for the coming year, providing insight into where the country is going.

    We'll also visit the highlights of Pyongyang such as the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, mausoleum of the DPRK leaders, and the Pyongyang Metro . This tour also includes a DMZ tour at Panmunjom and a night spent in historic Kaesong.

    In the midst of winter, the tour will escape the city and head into the countryside as we jaunt down to Nampo. Here we can see the colossal West Sea Barrage at the mouth of the frozen Taedong River, and enjoy a short stop in the traditional town of Sariwon.

    Take an optional ride on a Soviet-made Mi-17 helicopter (180 EUR per person) and see Pyongyang from the skies.

    On a budget? See the highlights of Pyongyang and experience the New Year's Eve celebrations on our shorter North Korea New Year's Eve Budget Tour.

    Scroll down for an overview of the New Year's Eve Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, North Kroea tourist visa information, and extra add-ons. Please note we recommend departure by train at the end of this tour as the Air Koryo flight on 2 January has yet to be confirmed.

    Highlights

    • Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square with fireworks, dancing, and more!
    • See Pyongyang's highlights and tour the capital on the first day of 2020
    • Take a DMZ tour at Panmunjom in historic Kaesong near the demarcation line with South Korea
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. December 27 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. December 28 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. December 29 | Sunday

      Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Lunch at Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.

      PM

      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ via Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification an iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone. We'll also stop by the Sariwon Folk Street, a historic recreation of a traditional Korean street and a good rest stop to break up the drive.

      Overnight | Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. A basic hotel similar to those found in the DPRK’s smaller cities. Recommended in winter. Friendly staff and within walking distance of Sonjuk Bridge.

    4. December 30 | Monday

      Kaesong and DMZ Tour at Panmunjom

      • Sonjuk Bridge | Historic stone bridge and the assassination of Koryo minister Jong Mong Ju in the 14th century.
      • Walk in Kaesong Old City | A stroll through Kaesong old city among traditional Korean houses dating back a few centuries.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours.
      • Optional Screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying, a North Korean romantic comedy co-produced by Koryo Tours, at the Yanggakdo International Cinema. The ticket is approximately 10 EUR (subject to change).
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. December 31 | Tuesday

      New Year's Eve

      AM

      • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo (45 minutes to 1-hour drive), the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.
      • Chongsam-ri Co-operative Farm | The DPRK’s most famous and iconic model farm. Visited hundreds of times by Kim Il Sung (there is a bronze statue of him and various farm workers here), the place where the ‘Chongsam-ri Method’ was developed (they will explain on-site). See how the farming system works, visit a farmhouse and the local shop & kindergarten, see the fields and greenhouses.
      • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats. Breathtaking winter scenery.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang via the riverside road.
      PM
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
      • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 | Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
      • Dinner on Pyongyang’s Rainbow Boat on the Taedong River where we'll have our New Year’s Eve Party with a great view on Kim Il Sung Square and the fireworks display!
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    6. January 1 | Wednesday

      New Year's Day

      AM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.

      PM

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Munsu Water Park | We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR)
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    7. January 2 | Thursday


      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please indicated your preferred exit method upon booking. For this tour, we highly recommend train departure or at least leaving your schedule flexible for train departure to Beijing. In 2019, Air Koryo did not operated a flight on January 2.


      AM
      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35. Please note that Thursday flights in January are subject to cancellation.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, January 3 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (New Year's 2019)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR. Please note that the Air Koryo flight on 2 January at the end of the tour has yet to be confirmed. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours Tour Leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional flights between Beijing and Pyongyang (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Skiing extension (from 430 EUR)
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    The New Year's Eve Tour will accompanied by two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 13th December, 2019.

December 31 - January 2/3 2020

North Korea New Year's Eve Budget Tour

2 nights in North Korea for New
Year's Eve + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Visit North Korea for New Year's Eve to bring
in 2020! Round-trip by train or upgrade to
flight.

From 499 EUR per person

Please apply by 13th December, 2019.

North Korea New Year's Eve Budget Tour

2 nights in North Korea for New
Year's Eve + Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Visit North Korea for New Year's
Eve to bring in 2020! Round-trip
by train or upgrade to flight.

From 499 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Visit North Korea with Koryo Tours for New Year's Eve 2019 and bring in 2020 in Pyongyang. Our New Year's Eve Budget Tour gets you to Pyongyang in time for the incredible New Year's Eve celebrations, which include a massive firework display over the Taedong River - and much more! Last year's celebrations saw a drone display in the sky and a music concert by some of North Korea's best musicians, including world-famous Moranbong Band.

    New Year's Day is an important day in the DPRK, on which the North Korean leader gives a New Year's Address outlining the country's policy and initiatives for the coming year. Watched closely by North Korean and outside analysts alike, the New Year's Address provides insight into where the country is going. Be the first to see the reactions and heard the word on the street.

    We'll also visit the highlights of Pyongyang such as the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Juche Tower , and the Pyongyang Metro .

    Want to include a trip to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) and spend a night in the historic city of Kaesong? Check out our longer North Korea New Year's Eve Tour.

    Scroll down for an overview of the New Year's Eve Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Pyongyang, capital of North Korea, with the locals!
    • See Pyongyang's highlights and tour the capital on the first day of 2020
    • Take a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the world's deepest metro system
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. December 30 | Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. December 31 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang and New Year's Eve

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Dinner on Pyongyang’s Rainbow Boat on the Taedong River where we'll have our New Year’s Eve Party with a great view on Kim Il Sung Square and the fireworks display!

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. January 1 | Wednesday

      New Year's Day

      AM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.

      PM

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Munsu Water Park | We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR)
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
    4. January 2 | Thursday


      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please indicate your preferred exit method upon booking. For this tour, we highly recommend train departure or at least leaving your schedule flexible for train departure to Beijing. In 2019, Air Koryo did not operate a flight on January 2.


      AM
      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35. Please note that Thursday flights in January are subject to cancellation.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, January 3 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (New Year's 2019)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR. Please note that the Air Koryo flight on 2 January at the end of the tour has yet to be confirmed. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours Tour Leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional flights between Beijing and Pyongyang (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Skiing extension (from 430 EUR)
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    The New Year's Eve Tour will accompanied by two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 13th December, 2019.

January 2020

January 7 - January 11/12 2020

North Korea Winter Budget Tour

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Our first tour of 2020! Visit Korea in the quiet of winter as
the country looks forward to the year ahead. Round-trip by train
or upgrade to flight.

From 699 EUR per person

Please apply by 20th December, 2019.

North Korea Winter Budget Tour

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Our first tour of 2020! Visit Korea in the
quiet of winter as the country looks forward
to the year ahead. Round-trip by train or
upgrade to flight.

From 699 EUR per person

  • Overall

    A North Korea winter is chilly and quiet. Already among the least visited countries in the world, visit North Korea at a time when there are even fewer travellers around and enjoy the calm and quiet as you explore the DPRK.

    This North Korea tour package includes a city tour of Pyongyang and a DMZ tour at Panmunjom, you’ll also visit the lively town of Pyongsong, where we will stop by a local school and see the Korean War headquarters of the Korean People's Army.

    The clear skies, snow-covered streets, and Koreans fully kitted out for a North Korea winter wrapped up in hats and scarves make for great pictures! Plus, you’ll be amongst the first to hear about the latest economic and political developments that DPRK has in store for the year ahead in the New Year’s Address nationwide speech.

    Our North Korea Winter budget tour is perfect for those seeking adventure travel on a budget, or those wanting a short break away. Tick North Korea off your bucket list and get a key insight into this little-explored country. Prepare yourself for a truly action-packed itinerary and a comprehensive introduction to North Korean history and society today!

    See below for an overview of tour highlights, the tour itinerary, transport options, visa information, and extras.

    Highlights

    • See Pyongyang highlights, including the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the Mansudae Grand Monument, the Pyongyang Metro, the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo
    • Cross into South Korea at the Panmunjom Truce Village in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
    • Get out of the capital, to the provincial city of Pyongsong, a centre of trade and the new economy
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. January 6 | Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. January 7 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight | The Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang. A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

    3. January 8 | Wednesday

      Pyongsong and Pyongyang. January 8 is the birthday of leader Kim Jong Un, however, this day is not an official North Korean holiday. 

      AM
      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

      • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.

      • Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School | One of the DPRK’s top middle schools for gifted students.

      • Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site | Wartime headquarters of the Korean People's Army and now a historic museum.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1-hour drive
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Grand People's Study House |  A giant building in Neo-traditional style overlooking Kim Il Sung Square, which serves as  North Korea's national library.
      • Optional Screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying, a North Korean romantic comedy co-produced by Koryo Tours, at the Yanggakdo International Cinema. The ticket is approximately 10 EUR (subject to change).

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. January 9 | Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here (we hope you won't be wearing these anyways in the middle of the North Korean winter!)

      PM

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
      • On the way, we'll stop by the Arch of Reunification, a large stone arch over the highway dedicated to Korean reunification.
      Overnight | Janamsan Hotel, Kaesong. One of our favourite hotels in the DPRK. Friendly staff, great food, and 1970's socialist design. A cosy place to stay in winter!
    5. January 10 | Friday

      Kaesong and DMZ Tour at Panmunjom

      • Sonjuk Bridge |  Historic stone bridge and the assassination of Koryo minister Jong Mong Ju in the 14th century.
      • Walk in Kaesong Old City A stroll through Kaesong old city among traditional Korean houses dating back a few centuries.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours via Sariwon Folk Street, a historic recreation of a traditional Korean street and a good rest stop to break up the drive.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre, for some bowling fun, and a bulgogi BBQ restaurant farewell dinner.

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. January 11 | Saturday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday, January 12 at 08:30. For this tour, the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train travel Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang by hard sleeper class with transfer in Dandong. Flight upgrades available!
      All meals on the tour apart from meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation in North Korea
      Two local English-speaking Korean guides and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in North Korea
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person) or film screening (approx. 10 EUR)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Our Koryo Budget Tours are capped at 25 people per group.

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 20th December, 2019.

February 2020

February 15 - February 18/19 2020

Kim Jong Il Birthday Long Weekend Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop in the DPRK over
one of the biggest North Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 749 EUR per person

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Long Weekend Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop
in the DPRK over one of the biggest North
Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 749 EUR per person

  • Overall

    General Kim Jong Il, President Kim Il Sung’s son and father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was born on 16th February. This date is known as the Day of the Shining Star. It is saved in the DPRK calendar as a day of celebrations, and one of the most important North Korean holidays.

    Locals have time off work, and there are many special events that go on in the city, that foreigners are also welcome to attend.

    During this North Korea holiday time, we expect mass dances , a special performance at the Pyongyang Circus, and a chance to visit the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition. Plus, there may be a chance to view the epic North Korea fireworks from the infamous Kim Il Sung Square filled with locals also gathering to watch the fireworks after a day of celebrations with the family.

    Aside from all of the special events, this action-packed itinerary also includes a city tour of all of the not-to-miss sites of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kwangbok Department Store.

    It is also possible to add a 2-night skiing extension to this tour. Try out the slopes of North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners: Masik Pass.

    If you’d like a more in-depth insight into Pyongyang and North Korea, join us on our longer Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour.

    Scroll down for an overview of General Kim Jong Il’s Birthday in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured US spy ship USS Pueblo
    • Shop with locals at Kwangbok Supermarket
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 14 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 15 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:55. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 16 | Sunday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM
      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo |  We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.

      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!

      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    4. February 17 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM
      • Drive 3 hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone, with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall - Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 3-hour drive.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang


    5. February 18 | Tuesday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:30 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday February 19 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

February 15 - February 20/21 2020

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop in the DPRK over
one of the biggest North Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 949 EUR per person

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

Kim Jong Il Birthday Short Tour

5 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop
in the DPRK over one of the biggest North
Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 949 EUR per person

  • Overall

    The Day of the Shining Star is one of the most important dates in the DPRK calendar. It falls on the 16th February and marks the birthdate of General Kim Jong Il – son of DPRK Leader Kim Il Sung and father to current leader and Marshall Kim Jong Un.

    It’s a national holiday for the Korean people, so locals spend their day off in Pyongyang joining in celebrations and having fun on their day off – and we’ll make sure to join in with them too!

    North Korean holiday celebrations vary annually, but we expect mass dances , a special performance at the Pyongyang Circus, and a chance to visit the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition. Plus, there may be a chance to view the epic North Korea fireworks from the infamous Kim Il Sung Square filled with locals also gathering to watch the fireworks after a day of celebrations with the family.

    Aside from all of the special events, this action-packed itinerary also includes a city tour of all of the not-to-miss sites of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kwangbok Department Store.

    As well as this, this 5 night tour takes you out of Pyongyang and to the beautiful Mt. Myohyang, home to the famous International Friendship Exhibition where Dennis Rodman infamously gifted a basketball.

    It is also possible to add a 2-night skiing extension to this tour. Try out the slopes of North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners: Masik Pass.

    If Can only spare a long weekend? Join us on our 3-night Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour and still get the chance to join in all of the celebration fun!

    Scroll down for an overview of General Kim Jong Il’s Birthday in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Visit Kumsusan Palace of the Sun (mausoleum of the leaders), Pyongyang Metro, and other Pyongyang highlights
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and captured US spy ship USS Pueblo
    • Ride through Pyongyang on a tram
    • See historic Kaesong, Panmunjom, and the Korean Demilitarised Zone up close
    • Visit the International Friendship Exhibition displaying all manner of foreign gifts to the DPRK's leaders
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 14 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 15 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:55. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 16 | Sunday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM
      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo |  We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.

      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!

      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    4. February 17 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ
      • Drive 3 hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone, with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall - Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 3-hour drive.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. February 18 | Tuesday

      Mt. Myohyang

      AM

      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.
      • International Friendship Exhibition | A semi-subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning. Presentable dress required.

      PM

      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 CE with stone pagoda and repository of print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasions during the Koryo Dynasty.
      • Manpok Valley Hike | Various options for hikes of a range of distances/difficulties. Passing waterfalls, hermitages, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas, and viewing points.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang (2.5-3 hours).
      • Evening walk on Ryomyong Street | Pyongyang's newest, environmentally-friendly street opened in 2017 housing apartment blocks and service facilities.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    6. February 19 | Wednesday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • A ride through Pyongyang from Mangyongdae Tram Depot to Pyongyang Station on one of city’s municipal trams made in former Czechoslovakia.
      • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
      • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean style and great views of the city.

      PM

      • Three Revolutions Exhibition | Exhibitions halls showing the nation’s achievements of the Technological, Cultural, and Ideological revolutions. Somewhat akin to an expo centre – large exhibition halls also used for the biannual Pyongyang International Trade Fair.
      • War Heroes’ Cemetery | Cemetery dedicated to heroes of the Korean War. Opened in 2013 and centred around a monument of a rifle and red flag.
      • Changgwangwon Health Complex | Huge health and leisure facility with Olympic-sized pool, barber shops, beauty salons, massage, and saunas. Leave feeling ten years younger, locals say! Tickets for activities (ca. 10 EUR) purchased on the spot. One of our favorites!
      • Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang's Pizza Restaurant (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.
      • Evening walk on Future Scientists Street a newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    7. February 20 | Thursday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 at 10:15 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday February 21 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Hit the slopes at Masik Pass Ski Resort

      The DPRK’s ski season — yes, it has a ski season! — usually runs from December to March. Add on two extra nights to your winter tour and you'll have the rare chance to try out the nine main runs at Masikryong — the DPRK’s only ski resort. This place has been widely reported on, yet is not often visited. Sign up to this ski option, and be one of the first to experience it.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

February 15 - February 22/23 2020

The Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop in the DPRK over
one of the biggest North Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 1,349 EUR per person

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

The Kim Jong Il Birthday Tour

7 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel
time

Join in the celebrations for a quick stop
in the DPRK over one of the biggest North
Korea holidays – Kim Jong Il’s Birthday
on February 16th.

From 1,349 EUR per person

  • Overall

    General Kim Jong Il, President Kim Il Sung’s son and father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was born on 16th February. This date is known as the Day of the Shining Star. It is saved in the DPRK calendar as a day of celebrations, and one of the most important North Korea holidays.

    Locals have time off work, and there are many special events that go on in the city, that foreigners are also welcome to attend.

    During this North Korea holiday time, we expect mass dances , a special performance at the Pyongyang Circus, and a chance to visit the Kimjongilia Flower Exhibition. Plus, there may be a chance to view the epic North Korea fireworks from the infamous Kim Il Sung Square filled with locals also gathering to watch the fireworks after a day of celebrations with the family.

    Aside from all of the special events, this action-packed itinerary also includes a city tour of all of the not-to-miss sites of Pyongyang, including the Juche Tower and Kwangbok Department Store.

    With over a week in the country we’ll be spending time out of Pyongyang and off the beaten path as we test our skills out at the slopes of North Korea’s only ski resort open to foreigners: Masik Pass. Or alternatively, take a hike around the beautiful area of Mt. Kumgang – otherwise known as the Diamond Mountains.

    This tour offers a great opportunity to head out of the hustle and bustle of Pyongyang and enjoy some of North Korea’s rarely explored countryside.

    If time isn’t on your side, take a look at our 5 night . or 3 night Kim Jong Il Birthday tours also available.

    Scroll down for an overview of General Kim Jong Il’s Birthday in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Day of the Shining Star - Celebrations on General Kim Jong Il's Birthday
    • Pyongyang city highlights
    • Hike in Mt. Kumgang or ski at Masik Pass Ski Resort
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. February 14 | Friday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with the DPRK. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near out office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.
    2. February 15 | Saturday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to the Dandong-Pyongyang local train. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:55. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
      • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. February 16 | Sunday

      DPRK Holiday - Birthday of General Kim Jong Il

      AM
      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo |  We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
      PM
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dresscode (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.

      • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we also expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!

      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    4. February 17 | Monday

      Kaesong and the DMZ
      • Drive 3 hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone, with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall - Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
      PM
      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 3-hour drive.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    5. February 18 | Tuesday

      Mt. Myohyang

      AM

      • Drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.
      • International Friendship Exhibition | A semi-subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning. Presentable dress required.

      PM

      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 CE with stone pagoda and repository of print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasions during the Koryo Dynasty.
      • Manpok Valley Hike | Various options for hikes of a range of distances/difficulties. Passing waterfalls, hermitages, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas, and viewing points.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang (2.5-3 hours).
      • Evening walk on Ryomyong Street | Pyongyang's newest, environmentally-friendly street opened in 2017 housing apartment blocks and service facilities.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang

    6. February 19 | Wednesday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • A ride through Pyongyang from Mangyongdae Tram Depot to Pyongyang Station on one of city’s municipal trams made in former Czechoslovakia.
      • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
      • Grand People’s Study House | National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean style and great views of the city.

      PM

      • Drive east across the width of the peninsula to Masik Pass Ski Resort the DPRK’s largest ski resort opened in 2013. A 4-hour drive with a rest stop at Sinpyong Lake.

      Overnight | Masik Ryong Hotel

    7. February 20 | Thursday

      Skiing at Masik Pasik Ski Resort OR day-trip to Mt. Kumgang | For today's activities you have two choices: all-day skiing at North Korea's largest Ski Resort or a day-trip for hiking in the Diamond Mountains that has attracted generations of travelers from across Korea and China, artists and poets, domestic and foreign tourists. Located not far from the DMZ, the region has been a centre of inter-Korean co-operation (and controversy).

      • Skiing | Masik Pass features nine main runs, two beginner slopes, and a lodge with full amenities. Equipment rental and ski pass paid on the spot (approximately 65 EUR for 4-hrs or 100 EUR for 8-hrs). Snowmobile, inter-tubing, and ice-skating also available.
      OR
      • Hiking in Mt. Kumgang | Drive 3 hours south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legend. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. Spend the rest of the day hiking – a series of peaks and canyons rising above Korea’s eastern seaboard and regarded since time immemorial as one of the most scenic regions in East Asia. Drive back to Masik Pass Ski Resort in the late afternoon.
      • Reassemble for dinner at Wonsan Tourist Restaurant for some of the best seafood in the DPRK.
      Overnight | Masik Ryong Hotel
    8. February 21 | Friday

      Skiing at Masik Pasik Ski Resort OR Wonsan City Tour | For today's activities you have two choices: half-day skiing or city tour in Wonsan, a major port city on Korea’s East Sea. One of the DPRK’s two ‘Hero Cities’ for the strategic role the city and its populace played on the frontlines in the Korean War. Now the focus of investment projects in the DPRK.

      AM

      • Skiing
      OR
      • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here.
      • Former Wonsan Railway Station Revolutionary Site | Preserved Japanese colonial era train station, waiting room, guesthouse, and the train which future President Kim Il Sung rode to Pyongyang during the liberation of the country in 1945.
      • Kangwon Province Art Gallery | Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists, where you can purchase paintings.
      • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee). Local fishermen flock to this area, chat with them along the way. Also good for romantic evening walks.
      PM
      • Drive back west to Pyongyang. Approx. 4 hrs drive with a rest stop.
      • Farewell dinner at South Pyongyang's Duck Barbecue Restaurant.
      • Future Scientists' Street // Walk in the newly built residential district for scientists and academics to view its unique modern architecture.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
    9. February 22 | Saturday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:30 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday February 23 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
      End of Tour
  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
      Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
      All meals on the tour except for meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 25th January, 2020.

March 2020

March 17 - March 21/22 2020

Koryo North Korea Budget Tour (March)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

See Korea as it awakens from
the cold of winter and welcomes
spring.

From 775 EUR per person

Please apply by 25th February, 2020.

Koryo North Korea Budget Tour (March)

4 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

See Korea as it awakens
from the cold of winter
and welcomes spring.

From 775 EUR per person

  • Overall

    March is an important time of year in Korea as the country emerges from the cold winter North Korea climate and into a much warmer, welcoming one. Although still a quiet time for tourism, North Koreans are getting busy in the countryside agricultural work begins in anticipation for the coming spring harvest.

    On this tour, we take you to see the main sites of the capital city Pyongyang, including; a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and a walk down one of Pyongyang’s newest streets.

    We will also head out of Pyongyang to go to Pyongysong, the centre of scientific research. and the North-South Korea border DMZ. Here you can be one of the first foreigners to enjoy the recent freedom of being able to step over the demarcation line into the South.

    This North Korea budget tour helps you get the most for your money on your trip to North Korea. Great for first-timers, or those with little time (or money!), we take you to see the main sites in and outside of Pyongyang.

    Be warned, there will be little time to for rest on this action-packed itinerary - not that you’ll want to, though!

    For an idea of the itinerary of our longer tours take a look here.

    Scroll down for an overview of the Koryo North Korea Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun: grand mausoleum of the DPRK leadership
    • Pyongyang Metro: deepest metro system in the world
    • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum: world-class museum of the Korean War and site of the captured USS Pueblo
    • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides
    • Pyongsong: Provincial seat of South Pyong'an province and centre of specialist education
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. March 16 | Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. March 17 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight | The Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang. A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

    3. March 18 | Wednesday

      Kaesong City and DMZ Tour

      AM
      • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

    4. March 19 | Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
      Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists, an excellent bar with one of the best bartenders in the DPRK makes this hotel one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. Billiards, karaoke, haircut, and outdoor eateries in summer.
    5. March 20 | Friday

      Pyongsong and Pyongyang City Tours

      AM

      • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.

      • Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School | One of the DPRK’s top middle schools for gifted students, tourists are encouraged to help teach an English class!

      • Paeksong Provisions Factory | A factory producing a range of foods and drinks: biscuits, cakes, soju, candy, and snacks. Here you can have a taste of the products and tour the production facilities.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1-hour drive.
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an air gun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. March 21 | Saturday

      Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

      AM

      • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

      OR

      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday March 22 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

      End of Tour

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

    • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

      If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

      See more
    • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

      Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

      See more
    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

      This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang – Beijing
      All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; return: 299EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
  • Notes

    Our Koryo Budget Tours are capped at 25 people per group.

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 25th February, 2020.

March 17 - March 27/28 2020

North Korea Budget Tour + Vladivostok with unique train across the DPRK!

Epic local train journey from Pyongyang
to the extreme North - and on to Vladivostok

See Korea as it awakens from the cold of
winter and Ride the rails of North Korea
with the locals

From 1,799 EUR per person

Please apply by 9th February, 2020.

North Korea Budget Tour + Vladivostok with unique train across the DPRK!

Epic local train journey from Pyongyang
to the extreme North - and on to Vladivostok

See Korea as it awakens from
the cold of winter and Ride
the rails of North Korea with
the locals

From 1,799 EUR per person

  • Overall

    A unique tour package from Koryo Tours - the only experts in DPRK travel!
    After a comprehensive introductory tour to the frequently visited parts of North Korea, we take you on a local train from Pyongyang across to the DPRK's East Coast and then onwards up to the extreme North of the country; the Rason Special Economic Zone. See how locals travel by train, mingle with fellow-passengers, and get amazing access to parts of the country that only a few tourists have ever seen.

    On this tour, we take you to see the main sites of the capital city Pyongyang, including; a ride on the Pyongyang Metro, Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and a walk down one of Pyongyang’s newest streets.

    We will also head out of Pyongyang to go to Pyongysong, the centre of scientific research. and the North-South Korea border DMZ. Here you can be one of the first foreigners to enjoy the recent freedom of being able to step over the demarcation line into the South.

    We will explore Rason and then cross into Russia by rail and make our way to Vladivostok: capital of the Russian Far East and closed to all foreigners during the USSR years.

    We show you around the highlights of this diverse and wonderful remote city including some amazing abandoned underground bases and military sites - far beyond the 'usual' tourist experience in both North Korea and Russia.

    Another specially curated trip from Koryo Tours!
    For our standard North Korea Budget Tour (March) click here..

    Be warned, there will be little time to for rest on this action-packed itinerary - not that you’ll want to, though!

    For an idea of the itinerary of our longer tours take a look here.

    Scroll down for an overview of the Koryo North Korea Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • Highlights of Pyongyang, Kaesong and the DMZ
    • Pyongsong: Provincial seat of South Pyong'an province and centre of specialist education
    • TRAIN TRIP - travelling across the country through unseen areas and off-limits cities and town on a train with local people - as far as the train can go!
    • Rason - free trade zone in the remote north. Little-visited and very different to the rest of North Korea
    • Cross into Russia & visit Vladivostok - a tiny and little-used border crossing across a rail bridge. The one land link between the two countries
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. March 16 | Monday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. March 17 | Tuesday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:55. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
      • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

      Overnight | The Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang. A sports-themed hotel located in West Pyongyang’s Sports Village. Sports shop, bookstore, numerous bars, spa and small gym. Renovated in 2015.

    3. March 18 | Wednesday

      Kaesong City and DMZ Tour

      AM
      • Drive 160 km south on the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. 2.5-hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

      PM

      • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5 hours.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Shop with the citizens of Pyongyang and exchange for Korean currency! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang

    4. March 19 | Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.

      PM

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 60-m archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule and larger than its counterpart in Paris.
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
      • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
      Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists, an excellent bar with one of the best bartenders in the DPRK makes this hotel one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. Billiards, karaoke, haircut, and outdoor eateries in summer.
    5. March 20 | Friday

      Pyongsong and Pyongyang City Tours

      AM

      • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.

      • Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School | One of the DPRK’s top middle schools for gifted students, tourists are encouraged to help teach an English class!

      • Paeksong Provisions Factory | A factory producing a range of foods and drinks: biscuits, cakes, soju, candy, and snacks. Here you can have a taste of the products and tour the production facilities.

      PM

      • Drive back to Pyongyang. 45 minute - 1-hour drive.
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an air gun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell group dinner at the Golden Lanes Bowling Centre's bulgogi BBQ restaurant.

      Overnight | Sosan Hotel, Pyongyang.

    6. March 21 | Saturday

      Riding the Local Train!

      AM

      • Train departure from Pyongyang Station at 07:50. Say goodbye to Pyongyang and off we go!
      • Most of the morning is spent travelling through relatively flat land. The fist main stop is the city of Pyongsong, then the train sets off on a zigzagging path across the spine of the country heading for the East Coast.

      PM

      • Through the afternoon we will go through valleys, over bridges and through tunnels, stopping at remote and unheard-of stations. Amazing views throughout!
      • Into the evening the coast approaches. The tunnels become fewer as the mountains give way to a narrow strip of plains, and the city of Hamhung is reached. This is a major city and here the train will pause for a while before switching from an easterly course to a northerly one.
      • It will be dark by now, time for bed. Each person will have a comfortable bunk for the night and the train is slow and smooth. The Korean countryside is very dark so not much to see out of the windows until dawn.
      Overnight | On the train. Comfortable soft sleeper beds with fresh bedding for each person.
    7. March 22 | Sunday

      Aboard the Train - Arrival in Rason

      AM

      • When we wake up we will be heading up the coast. Seaside views and fishing villages to the right, fields leading to hills to the left. The train doesn’t totally follow the coast though as it passes on the inland side of the Chilbosan Mountain range.
      • We will pass Orang Airport and the town of Kyongsong shortly before arriving in the major city of Chongjin. Another moderately long stop here before heading eve further north. Our destination approaches but still some sights to be seen and stops to make.
      • Although the Rason zone is part of the DPRK it is administered in a different way, so there is a kind of internal customs to pass. The guards will board the train and check tickets and passports. They may be surprised to see foreigners on this train, but be friendly and they will be too!

      PM

      • Arrival at Rajin station after the train journey from Pyongyang – get off the train and meet local guides.
      • General intro to Rason area | Drive through Rajin city and check into the centrally located Namsan Hotel.
      • After freshening up (you’ve spent more than a day on the train after all!), visit the Statues of the DPRK’s Leaders situated on a hill behind the hotel and offering a great view over the city and bay.
      • Have a walk through the Hae’an Park at the seaside. In good weather locals will gather here.
      • Czech Beer Bar | Opened with foreign investment. Slake your thirst with a range of made-on-site brews before dinner and overnight in this part of the DPRK
      Overnight | Namsan Hotel, Rajin. Centrally located and locally famous. Right in the heart of Rajin city.
    8. March 23 | Monday

      Rason - Special Economic Zone

      AM

      • Drive from Rajin to the nationally-famous Pipha Island Area, a scenic spot known to all North Koreans for its beauty.
      • Salmon and trout farm | This is a seafood producing area after all – learn how they operate such places here.
      • Emperor Hotel | Built with investment from Hong Kong this houses the first casino in the DPRK. Chinese tourists flock here for gambling and you can have a flutter yourself too, or enjoy a coffee and a look around this unexpected place!
      • Pipha Island itself | A narrow road links it to the mainland. From here you can take an optional boat ride to see some seals who populate some rocks nearby, relax at the waterfront, or try some local seafood

      PM

      • After returning to Rajin city the next stop is the Foreign Language School | Here local children learn English, Chinese, and other languages. Step in and help out with some lessons!
      • Rajin Port | Here you will see what kind of industry is going on; fishing, shipping goods in and out, and look out for some very non-Korean people; one of the three piers is operated by Russians who live on site!
      • Golden Triangle Bank | Here we will learn about the different economic system of Rason, change money into local won (yes, it is legal, not to be taken out of the country though, you are supposed to spend it), and see actual banking going on, the only place you get to witness this in the DPRK!
      • Rajin City Market | The only local market open to tourists in the whole country. Spread out through several buildings find consumer goods, stationary, food, drinks, building material, bicycles, and everything else a person in Rason would need. You can buy things too if you like – spend local money or RMB. Worth it just for the people-watching opportunity as it can get very busy here indeed!
      • In the evening spend some leisure time getting a massage if you like as one of Rajin’s many health centres, or visit a park, or local bar near the hotel before dinner.
      Overnight: Namsan Hotel, Rajin
    9. March 24 | Tuesday

      Rason to Vladivostok - 2 different worlds!

      AM

      • Drive to the nearby city of Sonbong, the smaller of the sister cities in this zone
      • Stop for photos in the centre of town – here there is a theatre, some monuments and mosaics, and an immortality tower too.
      • Sonbong Revolutionary Site | Associated with the end of Japanese rule over Korea. The guides will explain the whole story.
      • Drive on to Tumangang Town, right up on the Russian and Chinese borders, enjoy a packed lunch in this area.

      PM

      • Visit the Russia-DPRK Friendship house which exhibits photos of visits by key figures from the neighbouring countries.
      • 3 Countries Border Viewpoint | A picturesque pavilion offering views into China and Russia. From here you can see how the river divides the nations and also hear about a historical naval battle that a famed Korean admiral directed from this very hilltop.
      • If you do not wish to join the Russia part of this tour then at this point you will wave an emotional goodbye to those heading into the land of the Bear. You'll then be transferred to Wonjong Bridge which crosses from the DPRK to PRC. Pass through customs, immigration, cross the bridge and your tour ends as you enter China. We can help arrange onward travel from here of course, just drop us a line to ask about it!
      • Tumangang Station | Here we board the train that takes us on the short journey across the bridge into the Russian Federation – a 30 minute stopping-and-starting trip between two very difference cultures. On arrival we pass through Russian customs, meet our local Russian guide and have a long evening drive (with rest stops) to Vladivostok, arriving late evening.
      Overnight: Vladivostok
    10. March 25 | Wednesday

      Vladivostok - Intro to the 'Ruler of the East'

      AM
      • A leisurely start this morning after a long international journey yesterday.
      • We start our city tour on foot by heading for the Eagle’s Nest | A hilltop viewpoint looking over the city and Golden Horn bay – great for orientation and to get a sense of where you are.
      • Ride a Funicular Railway down to the city streets, see how the 19th Century meets the 20th and 21st as we then walk into the heart of the city for lunch at a local café.
      PM
      • Heroes Square | The centre of the city dominated by a statues depicting soviet fighters victorious in the long civil war which followed the October Revolution in 1917. Vladivostok was one of the last places ‘liberated’ in this war.
      • C-56 Hero Submarine | Step inside a WWII-era submarine for a history lesson of what it was like to spend time in such a cramped machine, plus the background to the Russian/Soviet/Russian Pacific fleet, Headquartered in Vladivostok.
      • Pacific Fleet Shop | Get yourself kitted out in a stylish striped sailor’s shirt here if you like!
      • Visit the final stop on the mighty Trans-Siberian Railway. The marker positioned at the 9288th km of the route. A basic history of how the rails stretched from Europe to here will be explained, as well as what Ho Chi Minh was doing on this platform so many times in the 1920s.
      • Free time in the evening to explore – Russian cities are no longer simply full of vodka & violence, but have a thriving cocktail scene, interesting promenade areas, shops, and entertainment options. See what you can experience!
      Overnight: Vladivostok
    11. March 26 | Thursday

      Underground & Abandoned Vladivostok

      AM

      • This morning we head underground to an abandoned formerly top-secret NKVD base and bomb shelter | Vladivostok is full of tunnels and secret areas and this is one of the very best. A guided trip through history and engineering, all taking place in tunnels under the city. Wear something warm and prepare to learn a lot about the psychology of living in such a society and preparing for action at all times
      • When we emerge like moles back into the light we will make a stop at the post office (send cards if you like) and a statue of an unusual American lady who lived here pre-revolution, before lunch in the city.

      PM

      • This afternoon we cross one of the brand new bridges built in Vladivostok for the 2012 APEC summit to Russkiy Island. Much key infrastructure has been moved to this island in the last few years as it was previously only accessible by boat – now the bridge has made it much easier to access
      • On Russkiy Island (it is big, bigger than the rest of the city) we will first visit the famous Voroshilov Battery | Credited with saving the city from Japanese invasion (it’s a long story, hear it all on the trip), as well as a new nearby tank and military equipment park (yes you can fire an AK-47 here).
      • We’ll see other former military sites on the island this afternoon as well as a look at some of the new constructions put here for the summit and see how island life is changed since connection to the rest of the city.
      • Finally we return to the main part of Vladivostok for a bit of free time before a final farewell dinner. Our guide and tour leader can recommend shops, bars, and so on of course so make the most of the evening in this amazing remote city!
      Overnight: Vladivostok
    12. March 27 | Friday

      Final Day
      • Our tour sadly ends today and we all bid each other a fond da sveedanya! How you depart is up to you – there are trains, planes, buses, and boats. Koryo Tours can assist in planning onward travel to China, if you are staying in Russia we can make the Letter of Invitation for the visa last longer to cover onward travel which we can also advise on – drop us a line with how you plan to finish this trip and we’ll help you out!

  • Extras

    • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (One Korea Tour)

      This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. Flight to Pyongyang is also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to the flight to Pyongyang.

    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

      Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

      See more
    • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

      This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

      See more
    • Hotel booking in Beijing

      Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

      See more
    • Insurance for up to six nights

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Train Beijing – Pyongyang
      Train Pyongyang – Rason
      Train Rason – Khasan (Russia)
      Transfer Khasan – Vladivostok
      All meals on the tour apart from those taken during free time in Russia
      Hotel accommodation and Overnight train accomodation
      A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides, and a driver per group in the DPRK. One guide in Russia.
      All transportation between sites visited in the DPRK and Russia
      LOI visa support for Russian Visa
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang (199 EUR)
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
      Onward travel from Vladivostok in Russia - we can advise and assist with options though
  • Notes

    Our Koryo Budget Tours are capped at 25 people per group.

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 9th February, 2020.

April 2020

April 12 - April 16 2020

Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour from Shanghai

3.5 nights in North Korea + flights
from Shanghai to Pyongyang and
back

Direct from Shanghai! Travel to North Korea
for one of the biggest holidays in the DPRK
calendar!

From 1,450 EUR per person

Please apply by 3rd March, 2020.

Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour from Shanghai

3.5 nights in North Korea + flights
from Shanghai to Pyongyang and
back

Direct from Shanghai! Travel
to North Korea for one of the
biggest holidays in the DPRK
calendar!

From 1,450 EUR per person

  • Overall

    An amazing chance to get to see the highlights of North Korea on this major national holiday and do it with a return flight from Shanghai - This adventurous tour package will take you to Pyongyang , Kaesong and the DMZ and much more besides – do as much as possible in the time allowed, you won’t regret it!

    Tick off must-see sites such as the Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and the Mansudae Grand Monument statue of the Great Leaders, as well as the massive Mausoleum of the DPRK’s first two leaders, and a trip to the historic city of Kaesong and the tragic DMZ

    More importantly, joining us on this tour means you’ll get to join the local North Koreans in celebrating one of the most important dates in the Korean calendar; Kim Il Sung’s Birthday. Officially known as the ‘Day of the Sun’. Expect mass dances and even the possibility of a firework display over the Taedonggang river.

    Scroll down for an overview of the full Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour from Shanghai highlights, tour itinerary, prices, all the various options for you to join this remarkable adventure!

    Highlights

    • The Day of the Sun, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung: join in the celebrations on the biggest national holiday of the year.
    • Historic Kaesong and the DMZ - tragically cutting Korea into two parts
    • Highlights of Pyongyang including monuments, museums, parks, mixing with locals, and more!
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 12 | Sunday

      Briefing Day

      PM

      Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Shanghai Pudong Airport for a pre-tour briefing and check-in (Air Koryo check-in desk in Terminal 1 @ 21:00) for your late night flight to Pyongyang. This briefing will last approximately one hour and is designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travellers.
    2. April 13 | Monday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang and city tour

      AM

      Early morning arrival at Sunan Airport, Pyongyang, and transfer to hotel for check in, rest and breakfast
      • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
      • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
      PM
      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
      • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride on both the Hyoksin and Chollima lines.
      • Relaxing time before dinner in the hotel
      Overnight: 

      Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang
      | Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses and beer brewed on-site.




    3. April 14 | Tuesday

      Kaesong and the DMZ

      AM.

      • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
      • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
      • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in/ the country and friendly staff.
      • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal consisting of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet-meat soup' is also an option here (+5 EUR).
      PM
      • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
      • Drive back to Pyongyang via Monument to the Three-Charters of the Reunification | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to a joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
      • Duck Barbecue Restaurant | South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant.
      Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.







    4. April 15 | Wednesday

      The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2020, is the 108th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

      AM

      • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 mile) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
      PM
      • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll and have picnic lunch in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
      • Artistic Performance | Expect to see a performance on the day, while the type of performance is to be confirmed we have been able to see circus, musical and other performances on this day, typically 20-50 EUR per person depending on nature of performance.
      • Mass Dance | Large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
      • Fireworks over the Taedong River | watch with thousands of locals in Kim Il Sung Square as this holiday comes to an end. Wonderful mingling opportunities in a festive atmosphere
      Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.

    5. April 16 | Thursday

      Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, mausoleum of the DPRK leaders, and departure

      AM

      • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.
      • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.
      • Check out and lunch at hotel
      PM
      • Mangyongdae Native House | Birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in what is today a quiet suburban park.
      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
      • Party Foundation Monument | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle & writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
      • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix (2.5 EUR per person per game). Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range (approximately 6 EUR per 20 round cartridge) and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
      • Farewell dinner at a local restaurant
      Departure

      After our farewell dinner, we'll head to Pyongyang airport for our flight back to Shanghai Pudong Airport with a scheduled departure at 10:10 pm and arrival in Shanghai at 11:30 pm (subject to change).

      End of Tour.

  • Extras

    • Upgrade to your own room

      All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

      See more
    • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

      We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

  • What is / is not included?

    • Included
      Flight Shanghai – Pyongyang - Shanghai
      All meals on the tour
      Hotel accommodation
      Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
      A Koryo Tours tour leader
      All transportation in the DPRK
    • Not included
      DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
      Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
      Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
      Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
      Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
      Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
      Spending money for souvenirs
  • Notes

    Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

Please apply by 3rd March, 2020.

April 13 - April 21/22 2020

The Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour

8 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national
holidays as well as seeing areas of North Korea rarely visited
by foreigners.

From 1,349 EUR per person

Please apply by 22nd March, 2020.

The Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour

8 nights in North Korea + travel
time between Beijing and Pyongyang

Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s
biggest national holidays as well as seeing
areas of North Korea rarely visited by
foreigners.

From 1,349 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Just like every country, North Korea has much more to offer than just its capital. This week Korea tour package will take you to cities outside of Pyongyang that see even fewer visitors and get yourself even further off the beaten track, whilst you’re at it!

    Tick off must-see sites such as the Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square, and the Mansudae Grand Monument statue of the Great Leaders, as well as the lesser visited areas of; Wonsan, Kaesong, Hamhung, DMZ, and Pujon.

    Visit North Korea's second-largest city, Hamhung, where you can explore a local cooperative farm. Sample the delights of the seafood in Wonsan, stay in traditional accommodation in Kaesong, and enjoy a scenic drive through the Pujon highlands.

    One of our most comprehensive week tours!

    More importantly, joining us on this tour means you’ll get to join the local North Koreans in celebrating one of the most important dates in the Korean calendar; Kim Il Sung’s Birthday. Officially known as the ‘Day of the Sun’. Expect mass dances and even the possibility of a firework display over the Taedonggang river.

    Only got a few days to spare? Strapped for cash? See our Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour!

    Scroll down for an overview of the full Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

    Highlights

    • The Day of the Sun, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung: join in the celebrations on the biggest national holiday of the year.
    • Pujon highlands scenic drive
    • Hamhung - the DPRK's second-largest city
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. April 12 | Sunday

      *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

      For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

      AM

      • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
      • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

      PM

      • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
      • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

      Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

    2. April 13 | Monday

      Arrival day in Pyongyang

      AM

      • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
      • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

      PM

      • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
      • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
      • Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Railway Station via the Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
      • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

    3. April 14 | Tuesday

      Myohyangsan & the International Friendship Exhibition 

      AM
      • Drive 2 ½ hour drive north passing rivers valleys and hills to Mt. Myohyang, the mountain of mysterious fragrance.
      • International Friendship Exhibition | A subterranean exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by foreign states, leaders, and organizations. The exhibition is a fascinating look into material culture in the second half of the 20th century. Highlights include a plane given by the Soviet Union, a basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning. Presentable dress required.

      PM

      • Pohyon Buddhist Temple | A peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with stone pagoda and repository of a print blocks and historic text of the Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures first produced to invoke divine assistance from foreign invasion during the Koryo Dynasty.

      • Manpok Valley Walk | A gentle stroll passing waterfalls, interesting rocks, lovely wooded areas and viewing points.

      • Return to Pyongyang (2 ½ hours)

      • Ryomyong Street Walk in the newly built district in central Pyongyang.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel
    4. April 15 | Wednesday

      The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2020, is the 108th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

      AM

      • Mangyondae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in beautiful natural surroundings.

      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride on both the Hyoksin and Chollima Lines.

      • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Here we will also see the Chollima, or ‘thousand ri [400 mile] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950’s following the Korean War.

      • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.

      PM

      • Moranbong Park – We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.

      • Mass Dance | Choreographed dance displays take place throughout Pyongyang on major holidays. We'll get the chance to watch (and maybe join) one of these beautiful performances.
      • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organisations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.

      • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

      Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel

    5. April 16 | Thursday

      Pyongyang City Tour

      AM

      • Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. We will need to dress formally for our visit: shirt, dress pants, and tie for men and covered shoulders, legs, and feet for women. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. Please note that this is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

      • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guides. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.

      • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okgyuwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.

      PM

      • East Pyongyang | A walk to East Pyongyang from the Okryugwan Restaurant.

      • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.

      • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush  which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.

      • Drive 2 ½ hours drive south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.

        Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel - Traditional style hotel where guest sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the center and Ri dynasty furniture. Basic bathroom facilities. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply – please bring a torch.

      • April 17 | Friday

        Kaesong & DMZ

        AM

        • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.

        • Panmunjom Truce Village | Located in the middle of the 4 km wide Demilitarised Zone, Panmunjom is the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice at the end of the Korean War. This is the only location where visitors can directly view soldiers from both sides and the demarcation line dividing Korea. On some days it is possible to enter the hut straddling both Koreas and there cross temporarily into the south.

        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | A former Confucian education school, now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from the time. One of Kaesong’s many UNESCO World Heritage Site.
        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

        PM

        • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.

        • Return to Pyongyang.

        • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel
      • April 18 | Saturday

        Hamhung

        AM

        • Drive south 2 ½ hours to Hamhung with a stop at the Masik Ski Resort for lunch.

        PM

        • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products.

        • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years – some not appropriate for the youth!

        • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square – Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square. 

        Overnight | Sinhungsan Hotel, Hamhung

      • April 19 | Sunday

        Hungnam & Pujon Highlands

        AM

        • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate!

        • Today we’ll drive north of Hamhung into the Pujon Highlands, traditionally considered one of the ‘Eight Great Sights of Korea’. This semi-alpine region’s beautiful and rugged scenery was the location of some of the most brutal fighting during the Korean War.

        • Pujon Stone River | A multi-kilometre river of boulders running down the side a mountain and the Okryonsan Revolutionary Site – a base for anti-Japanese guerillas during the colonial period. This region was the sight of some of the most brutal fighting of the Korean War in the middle of the unusually cold winter of 1950. Notice how the local architecture differs from the lowlands beneath.

        PM

        • Pujon Revolutionary Site | Commemorating the revolutionary acitivies of Kim Jong Suk, the wife of the President Kim Il Sung, during the anti-Japanese Revolutionary Struggle.
        • Drive back to Hamhung.
        Overnight | Sinhungsan Hotel, Hamhung
      • April 20 | Monday

        Wonsan

        AM

        • South Hamgyong History Museum | A museum focussing on South Hamgyong Province located in Hamhung, the provincial capital.
        • Tonghung Revolutionary Site | Hillside park with statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking Hamhung city centre and the Songchon River. A presentation of flowers is customary.

        • Drive to Wonsan (2 ½ hours)

        PM

        • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here.  

        • Return to Pyongyang (4 hours)

        • Farewell dinner

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel

      • April 21 | Tuesday

        Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

        AM

        • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:30.

        OR

        • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, April 22 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

        End of Tour

    6. Extras

      • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

        This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

      • Upgrade to your own room

        All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

        See more
      • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

        If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

        See more
      • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

        Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

        See more
      • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

        Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

        See more
      • New for 2018: Take a cooking class in Pyongyang!

        This is a unique opportunity to cook with chefs of the Culinary Association of the DPRK, who will teach you how to cook Korean classics like Pyongyang cold noodles (raengmyon), kimchi, green bean pancakes, and other local delicacies. This optional cooking class costs 75 EUR for two hours, and will be followed by a dinner of your own making. Please do note that by participating in this cooking course, you might miss out on some evening activities and a dinner in Pyongyang.

        See more
      • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

        We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

      • Hotel booking in Beijing

        Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

        See more
    7. What is / is not included?

      • Included
        Train Beijing – Pyongyang - Beijing
        All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
        Hotel accommodation
        Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
        A Koryo Tours tour leader
        All transportation in the DPRK
      • Not included
        DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
        Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
        Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
        Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
        Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
        Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
        Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
        Spending money for souvenirs
        SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
    8. Notes

      Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

      Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

    Please apply by 22nd March, 2020.

    April 13 - April 17/18 2020

    Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour

    4 nights in North Korea + travel
    time between Beijing and Pyongyang

    Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national
    holidays for mass dances and other festivities with
    the locals!

    From 999 EUR per person

    Please apply by 22nd March, 2020.

    Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour

    4 nights in North Korea + travel
    time between Beijing and Pyongyang

    Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s
    biggest national holidays for mass
    dances and other festivities with the
    locals!

    From 999 EUR per person

    • Overall

      Be in Pyongyang for one of North Korea’s biggest national holidays, President Kim Il Sung’s Birthday. Join in the celebrations in Pyongyang including mass dances and other festivities.

      Travel to Pyongyang, Kaesong, the DMZ, and the beautiful Mt. Myohyang in the North Korean countryside.

      Expect big celebrations on this trip to North Korea. April 15th, known as 'The Day of the Sun', is one of the biggest, if not the biggest holiday in North Korea. 2020 marks the 108th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1912. Festivities expected include mass dances, Kimilsungia flower exhibition and the possibility of viewing a North Korea firework display with local North Koreans in Kim Il Sung Square.

      This tour takes you to see the best of what Pyongyang has to offer over a couple of days touring the city, as well as a trip to the historic town of Kaesong, the North-South Korea DMZ border, and Mt. Myohyang.

      Mt. Myhohyang is famously home to the North Korea Friendship Exhibition, or International Friendship Exhibition. This is where international gifts given to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are housed - including the basketball from Dennis Rodman! In this area, you can enjoy a hike and enjoy life outside the big city.

      Travel with Koryo Tours, professionals in North Korea travel for over 25 years, and rest assured you’re in safe hands during your trip to North Korea. Learn more about our team .

      Scroll down for an overview of the Kim Il Sung Birthday Short Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

      Highlights

      • The Day of the Sun national holiday, the birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung birthday celebrations
      • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone
    • Itinerary

      Briefing Day
      1. April 12 | Sunday

        *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

        For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

        AM

        • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
        • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

        PM

        • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
        • 17:27 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

        Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

      2. April 13 | Monday

        Arrival day in Pyongyang

        AM

        • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
        • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

        PM

        • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 12:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
        • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
        • Walk from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Railway Station via the Pyongyang Grand Theatre.
        • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station at 18:45.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

      3. April 14 | Tuesday

        Kaesong & DMZ

        AM
        • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.
        • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
        • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
        • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

        PM

        • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
        • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo | We’ll tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captures equipment from the US military, including the spyship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and a highlight of the trip.

        • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

      4. April 15 | Wednesday

        The Day of the Sun, one of the DPRK’s largest holidays. April 15, 2020, is the 108th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birthday.

        AM
        • Mangyondae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.

        • Kimilsungia and Kimjongillia Flower Exhibition | Exhibit of the two flowers named after the DPRK’s leaders and held on the occasion of their respective birthday anniversaries in February and April. See organizations and groups from across society compete to put on the best floral display.
        • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
        • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. We’ll ride six stations on the Chollima Line.

        • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.

        • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments- modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.

        PM

        • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
        • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!

        • Mass Dance | Choreographed dance displays take place throughout Pyongyang on major holidays. We'll get the chance to watch (and maybe join) one of these beautiful performances.

        • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.

        • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.

        • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.

        Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

      5. April 16 | Thursday

        Kumsusan Palace of the Sun & Nampo

        AM

        • Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. We will need to dress formally for our visit: shirt, dress pants, and tie for men and covered shoulders, legs, and feet for women. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. Please note that this is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.

        • National Gift Preservation Palace | An exhibition hall displaying gifts of all kinds given to the DPRK leaders by Koreans in China, Japan and overseas.

        • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo (45 minutes to 2 ½ hour drive), the port city of Pyongyang at the mouth of the Taedong River on the West Sea.

        PM

        • Lunch at Hanggu Hotel | Enjoy lunch at one of Nampo's local hotels with an excellent banquet hall and seafood restaurant.
        • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.

        • Chongsam-ri Cooperative Farm | Learn about rural life at this cooperative farm in the countryside outside the city of Nampo.
        • Return to Pyongyang (45 minutes to 2 ½ hour drive).

        • Kaeson Funfair | We’ll take on the rides of Pyongyang’s newest funfair with the locals: pirate ship, vominator, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Tickets purchased on the spot (1 EUR entry, 2-7 EUR for rides).

        • Duck Barbeque Restaurant | South Pyongyang’s famous grilled duck restaurant that has seen many a teary-eyed farewell. 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel

        • April 17 | Friday

          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

          AM

          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 09:00 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.

          OR

          • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, April 18 at 08:38. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

          End of Tour

      6. Extras

        • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

          This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

          If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

          See more
        • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

          Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

          See more
        • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

          Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

          See more
        • Insurance for up to six nights

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
      7. What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Train Pyongyang – Beijing – Pyongyang
          All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
          Koryo Tours tour leader
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
          SINUIJU EXTENSION: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
      8. Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 22nd March, 2020.

      April 27 - May 7/8 2020

      The May Day and East Coast Tour

      10 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      Join in the May Day festivities in Pyongyang, see historic
      Kaesong and the DMZ, Nampo, Pyongsong, Korea's East
      Coast.

      From 1,599 EUR per person

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      The May Day and East Coast Tour

      10 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      Join in the May Day festivities in
      Pyongyang, see historic Kaesong and
      the DMZ, Nampo, Pyongsong, Korea's
      East Coast.

      From 1,599 EUR per person

      • Overall

        May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports.

        On this tour, we’ll even get the exclusive chance to compete in a friendly volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! A great chance to get involved in Korean culture with the locals.

        The May Day and East Coast Tour is our ultimate May Day celebration tour. Not only will you be in Pyongyang for the May Day celebrations, but we’ll have an extensive tour throughout North Korea, visiting areas only few ever get to go to in this already off the beaten path country. This includes;

        A day trip to the DMZ North-South Korean border and historic city of Kaesong.

        A night at the exclusive hot springs spa hotel in Nampo where you can enjoy Korea’s petrol clam BBQ.

        A day trip to the city of Pyongsong, a centre of scientific and commercial development, for a look at the country’s economic heartland.

        A trip to the seaside to port city Wonsan and chemical-industrial centre of Hamhung.

        Enjoy the beautiful seaside scenery as we drive through untouched, rural land to the East coast, whilst stopping on the way to visit the tombs of ancient Korean kings and the massive Hungnam Fertiliser Plant.

        If a trip to the seaside isn’t your thing, join the May Day celebrations on our May Day full tour.

        Scroll down for an overview of the May Day and East Coast tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
        • Highlights of Pyongyang and Kaesong, including the DMZ.
        • Plus Hamhung and Wonsan on North Korea's scenic east coast!
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. April 26 | Sunday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          AM

          • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

          PM

          • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.   

          Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

        2. April 27 | Monday

          Arrival day in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration. 
          • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 12:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
          • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
          • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods. 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

        3. April 28 | Tuesday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

          AM

          • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
          • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

          PM

          • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
          • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive. 
          • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
          • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
          • Tomb of King Kongmin  | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

          Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with a stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.

        4. April 29 | Wednesday

          Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

          AM

          • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM

          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore. 
          • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
          • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does! 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        5. April 30 | Thursday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

          AM

          • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

          • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
          • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

          • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles

          PM

          • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
          • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
          • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
          • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
          • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
        6. May 1 | Friday

          May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off. 
          • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

          PM

          • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
          • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

          • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

          • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

          Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

        7. May 2 | Saturday

          Pyongsong and Pyonyang 

          AM

          • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
          • Doksung Primary School | Visit a local primary school. Drop by an English lesson, dance class, and small musical performance. 
          • Kon-ji Ri Revolutionary Site | Historic location of the Korean People's Army headquarters during the Korean War.

          PM

          • Pyongyang Feature Film Studio | See the home of 'Cholliwood', the DPRK's domestic film industry. Visits sets of traditional Korea, colonial Korea, China, Europe, and more!
          • Kwangbok Supermarket | Local supermarket selling all kinds of domestically and foreign produced household goods, clothes, foods. Exchange for local currency here! Please note that local currency, the Korean Won, can only be exchanged for and spent at this location. 
          • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive. 


          Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong!

        8. May 3 | Sunday

          Nampo

          AM

          • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
          • Chollima Steelworks | A major heavy industry site of the DPRK, known to Koreans as the birthplace of the Chollima Movement and famous for making ‘Juche Steel’. Please note that this location is key industrial site and visits may depend on on-site activities/conditions. If unavailable, an alternative location will be arranged.   

          PM

          • Return to Pyongyang along the old riverside road. 45 minute to 1 hour drive.
          • Science and Technology Complex | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike.
          • Monument to the Sinking of the General Sherman | Monument dedicated to the sinking of the SS General Sherman in 1866, which marked one of the first encounters between the United States and Korea.

          • Pizza Restaurant  | Farewell dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each, to be paid on the spot. 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        9. May 4 | Monday

          Hamhung

          AM

          • Depart Pyongyang for Hamhung, the DPRK's second largest city and major industrial centre on the East Coast. The drive will take most of the day with stops along the way. 
          • Tomb of King Tongmyong | Largest of the UNESCO listed Koguryo Tombs spread through the area, this is the beautiful tomb complex of the founder of the Koguryo Dynasty two thousand years ago. Statues, a Buddhist Monastery, and lovely wall paintings make this a fascinating visit for history buffs.
          • Ulim Waterfall | Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Hamhung, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath. (re)Discovered by the Korean People’s Army in 1995 while building roads in the area. 

          PM

          • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products. 

          Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Hamhung. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke. Bring a torch!

        10. May 5 | Tuesday

          Hamhung to Wonsan

          AM

          • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate! A bust of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai stands at this complex to note the contributions China made to the development of the plant. A museum is also on site, this is where Kim Il Sung uttered his famous phrase Fertiliser is rice. And rice, itself, is Communism’, therefore… 
          • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years – some not appropriate for the youth! 
          • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square. 
          • Tonghung Revolutionary Site | Hillside park with statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking Hamhung city centre and the Songchon River.

          PM

          • Drive to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea. A 3-hour drive.
          • Wonsan Agricultural University | The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by German monks living in the area in the early 20th century. 
          • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee). Local fishermen flock to this area, chat with them along the way. Also good for romantic evening walks.

          Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan. Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool.

        11. May 6 | Wednesday

          Wonsan to Pyongyang

          AM

          • Wonsan City Centre and Docks | Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here.
          • Kangwon Province Art Gallery | Small art exhibition selling artwork by local artists, where you can purchase paintings. 
          • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, birdhouse, gymnasium, and more!

          PM

          • Drive back to Pyongyang with a rest stop at Masik Ski Resort. A 4-hour drive. 
          • Farewell dinner in Pyongyang.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        12. May 7 | Thursday

          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

          AM

          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 251 at 08:50 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:30.

          OR

          • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday May 8 at 08:40. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
          End of Tour
      • Extras

        • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

          This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

        • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

          If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

          See more
        • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

          Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

          See more
        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Insurance (10 to 13 night)

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
          Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
          All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
          For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
          Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      April 27 - May 4/5 2020

      May Day Tour: International Workers Day in North Korea

      7 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      May Day, or International Workers Day in North Korea is a day for holiday celebrations.
      Join in the festivities in Pyongyang, and travel further afield to the DMZ
      and Pyongsong.

      From 1,349 EUR per person

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      May Day Tour: International Workers Day in North Korea

      7 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      May Day, or International Workers Day in North Korea
      is a day for holiday celebrations. Join in the festivities
      in Pyongyang, and travel further afield to the DMZ
      and Pyongsong.

      From 1,349 EUR per person

      • Overall

        May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports. Join in the celebrations as you experience North Korean culture like a local.

        In addition to the highlights of the North Korean capital Pyongyang and historic Kaesong on the Demilitarised Zone (the North/South border), we’ll have time for walks in the city, dining at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant, shopping at the Kwangbok supermarket, a picnic lunch, and a volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team!

        On this May Day tour, we’ll also get the chance to chill out and spend the night at the exclusive hot springs hotel in Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang, and take a day trip to Pyongsong, a centre of scientific and commercial development. Here we’ll have a look at the country’s economic heartland. Despite their proximity to the capital, both cities have their own distinct atmosphere and offer insights into life, society, and economy of today’s North Korea.

        Check out our May Day Short tour option if you can’t get those days off work.

        Scroll down for an overview of the May Day: International Worker's Day in North Korea tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
        • Highlights of Pyongyang and Kaesong, including the DMZ.
        • Visit the industrial Nampo and innovative Pyongsong.
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. April 26 | Sunday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          AM

          • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

          PM

          • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.   

          Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

        2. April 27 | Monday

          Arrival day in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration. 
          • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 12:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
          • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
          • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods. 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

        3. April 28 | Tuesday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

          AM

          • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
          • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

          PM

          • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
          • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive. 
          • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
          • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
          • Tomb of King Kongmin  | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

          Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with a stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.

        4. April 29 | Wednesday

          Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

          AM

          • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM

          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore. 
          • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
          • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does! 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        5. April 30 | Thursday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

          AM

          • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

          • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
          • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

          • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles

          PM

          • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
          • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
          • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
          • Pizza Restaurant  | Dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each, to be paid on the spot.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
        6. May 1 | Friday

          May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off. 
          • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

          PM

          • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
          • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

          • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

          • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

          Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

        7. May 2 | Saturday

          Pyongsong and Pyonyang 

          AM

          • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership and flanked by the provincial revolutionary museum. Presentation of flowers customary.
          • Doksung Primary School | Visit a local primary school. Drop by an English lesson, dance class, and small musical performance. 
          • Kon-ji Ri Revolutionary Site | Historic location of the Korean People's Army headquarters during the Korean War.

          PM

          • Pyongyang Feature Film Studio | See the home of 'Cholliwood', the DPRK's domestic film industry. Visits sets of traditional Korea, colonial Korea, China, Europe, and more!
          • Kwangbok Supermarket | Local supermarket selling all kinds of domestically and foreign produced household goods, clothes, foods. Exchange for local currency here! Please note that local currency, the Korean Won, can only be exchanged for and spent at this location. 
          • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive. 


          Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong!

        8. May 3 | Sunday

          Nampo

          AM

          • West Sea Barrage | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship locks and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
          • Chollima Steelworks | A major heavy industry site of the DPRK, known to Koreans as the birthplace of the Chollima Movement and famous for making ‘Juche Steel’. Please note that this location is key industrial site and visits may depend on on-site activities/conditions. If unavailable, an alternative location will be arranged.  

          PM

          • Return to Pyongyang along the old riverside road. 45 minute to 1 hour drive.
          • Science and Technology Complex | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike.
          • Monument to the Sinking of the General Sherman | Monument dedicated to the sinking of the SS General Sherman in 1866, which marked one of the first encounters between the United States and Korea.

          • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work.
          • Golden Lane Bowling Centre Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        9. May 4 | Monday

          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

          AM

          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.

          OR

          • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Tuesday, May 5 at 08:40. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
          End of Tour
      • Extras

        • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

          This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

        • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

          If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

          See more
        • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

          Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

          See more
        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
        • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
          Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
          All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
          For groups of 10 or more, a Koryo Tours tour leader
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
          Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      April 27 - May 2/3 2020

      The May Day Short Tour

      5 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      Join in the May Day celebration with locals in Pyongyang and escape the city
      on a trip to the historic Kaesong and the DMZ during one of our favourite
      times of year to visit Korea.

      From 1,049 EUR per person

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      The May Day Short Tour

      5 nights in North
      Korea for May Day

      Join in the May Day celebration with locals in Pyongyang
      and escape the city on a trip to the historic Kaesong
      and the DMZ during one of our favourite times of year
      to visit Korea.

      From 1,049 EUR per person

      • Overall

        May Day is one of the best times to visit North Korea during the calendar year for the fine weather and festivities. Also known as International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, the May Day celebration is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports - and you can join in too! In Pyongyang, there is an annual festival held at Mt. Taesong with musical performances and traditional folk games.

        Spring is in the air and May Day offers a good chance to meet the locals and learn about everyday leisure in North Korea.

        In addition to the highlights of the North Korean capital Pyongyang and taking a day trip out to visit historic Kaesong and the DMZ, we’ll have time for walks in the city, dining at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant, shopping at the local Kwangbok supermarket, a picnic lunch. Plus, a volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! See if you can beat them!

        Scroll down for an overview of the May Day Short Tour highlights, tour itinerary,transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • May Day celebrations and festivities: picnics, music, dancing, and fun!
        • Highlights of Pyongyang and Kaesong, including the DMZ.
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. April 26 | Sunday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          AM

          • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

          PM

          • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.   

          Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

        2. April 27 | Monday

          Arrival day in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration. 
          • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 12:00. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
          • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
          • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighborhoods. 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

        3. April 28 | Tuesday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Highlights

          AM

          • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
          • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

          PM

          • Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument | Iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to joint meeting between Koreas, north and south. Also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
          • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive. 
          • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
          • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
          • Tomb of King Kongmin  | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

          Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with a stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture.

        4. April 29 | Wednesday

          Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

          AM

          • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM

          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore. 
          • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
          • Duck BBQ Restaurant | Famous restaurant in south Pyongyang specializing in duck meat barbecue on a grill. Southcentral does it like nobody does! 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        5. April 30 | Thursday

          Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

          AM

          • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location in the country. Visitations are by special request only and formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. The Palace closes for maintenance between late April / early May to July. The exact dates will be confirmed closer to the tour. Should the Palace not be accessible to the group, this visit will be substituted with an alternative location.

          • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of the DPRK leadership overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here. Visitations are by special request only and decent dress is required. No shorts or flip-flop sandals allowed here.
          • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

          • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles

          PM

          • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
          • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
          • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students.
          • Mansugyo Beer Bar | A new standing bar serving seven types of local beer (0.50 -1 EUR per beer). Popular with locals after work
          • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games (2.5 EUR per person per game).
          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
        6. May 1 | Friday

          May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off. 
          • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

          PM

          • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
          • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

          • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

          • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

          Overnight | Jangsusan Hotel, Pyongsong. The only hotel in Pyongsong open for tourists and one of the most fun in the whole country! Basic facilities with fairly reliable electricity and hot water. One of the best bartenders in the country mans the bar. Billiards, karaoke, hairdresser, and outdoor eateries in summer.

        7. May 2 | Saturday

          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

          AM

          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:25 with a scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.

          OR

          • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday, May 3 at 08:40. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

          End of Tour

      • Extras

        • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (High-season)

          This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 265 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 435 EUR. We recommend flight entry with a train return for the best overall experience on your trip.

        • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

          If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

          See more
        • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

          Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

          See more
        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
        • Insurance for up to six nights

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
          Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
          All meals on the tour except for the final pizza dinner and meals on the train
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          North Korean (DPRK) visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; return: 435 EUR)
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
          Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      May 2020

      May 1 - May 3 2020

      2.5 Night May Day Tour from Shanghai

      2.5 nights in North Korea.
      Roundtrip flight from Shanghai.

      A quick weekender from Shanghai
      to see North Korea over May
      Day!

      From 1,049 EUR per person

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      2.5 Night May Day Tour from Shanghai

      2.5 nights in North Korea.
      Roundtrip flight from Shanghai.

      A quick weekender from
      Shanghai to see North
      Korea over May Day!

      From 1,049 EUR per person

      • Overall

        Looking for a short break to spend your holidays in May? Visit North Korea from Shanghai for the May Day Holiday, one of our favorite times to visit the country.

        Also known as International Workers’ Day or Labour Day, May Day is a day off and locals take to the outdoors for picnics, dancing, and sports. In Pyongyang, there is an annual festival with musical performances and traditional folk games. Spring is in the air and May Day offers a good chance to meet the locals and learn about everyday leisure in North Korea.

        We'll take a day trip to visit historic Kaesong and the DMZ, the North-South Korean border.

        Plus, we’ll have an exclusive chance to have a friendly (but competitive!) volleyball game against a Korean company team. Volleyball is one of the most popular sports in North Korea and almost every company, school, office, section, or unit has a team! Enjoy taking part in this important part of Korean culture with the locals by spending your holidays in May in North Korea!

        Fancy heading out of town and exploring more of North Korea? Head to the seaside for our May Day and East Coast Tour (departing from Beijing).

        Scroll down for the Shanghai May Day tour highlights, full tour itinerary, add-ons, and notes on the tour.

        Highlights

        • Celebrations for International Worker's Day (May Day)
        • Visit North Korea over a long weekend from Shanghai!
        • See Pyongyang and the DMZ on a short but comprehensive trip.
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. April 30 | Thursday

          Briefing Day

          PM

          Meet your Koryo Tours tour guide and fellow travellers at Shanghai Pudong Airport for a pre-tour briefing and check-in (Air Koryo check-in desk in Terminal 1 @ approximately 21:00) for your late night flight to Pyongyang. This briefing will last approximately one hour and is designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travellers.
        2. May 1 | Friday

          May Day, or International Workers' Day, in Pyongyang

          AM

          Early morning arrival at Sunan Airport, Pyongyang, and transfer to hotel for sleep and breakfast

          AM

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Mt. Taesong Folk Festival  | Each year on May Day, there is a festival featuring music performances and folk games. A great time to have fun with the locals on their day off.
          • Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery | Hilltop cemetery with dozens of bronze busts of those who took part in the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. A presentation of flowers is customary here. At the top of the hill are the graves of Kim Jong Suk (wife of Kim Il Sung) and Kim Chaek (his right-hand man). Time permitting. Please note this location was undergoing renovation in 2017 and may not be available in 2018.

          PM

          • Moranbong Park | We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports. The park is filled with historic pavilions, walls, and monuments - modern and ancient, a few of which are among the traditional ‘Eight Great Sights of Pyongyang’.
          • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 miles) horse’ - a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
          • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy and located on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).

          • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

        3. May 2 | Saturday

          Pyongyang City Tour

          Pyongyang City Tour and Volleyball Match!

          AM

          • Manggyongdae Native House | Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a park-like setting.
          • Mansudae Art Studio | The DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, where the majority of sculptures, mosaics, and paintings around the country are made. Visit workshops to see artists at work and an exhibition where pieces are sold.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip

          PM

          • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums. Once used for the Arirang Mass Games and now major sports events. No May Day tour is complete without the May Day Stadium.
          • Volleyball game against a local company team | Most work units whether it be a factory, a farm, or white-collar office has its own volleyball team.
          • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agriculture and industry. A 1-hour drive.   
          • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
          • Continue to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. A 1.5-hour drive.
          • Tomb of King Kongmin | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site..

          Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply. Please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the centre and Ri dynasty furniture
        4. May 3 | Sunday

          Historic Kaesong and the DMZ Tour

          AM

          • Old City Walk and South Gate  | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM

          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ  | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. A 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Janam Hill | Statues of the DPRK leadership on a hill overlooking Kaesong city and historic pavilion used for archery demonstrations in days of yore. 
          • Drive back to Pyongyang. 2.5-hour drive.
          Departure

          After our farewell dinner, we'll head to Pyongyang airport for our flight back to Shanghai Pudong Airport with a scheduled departure at 10:10 pm and arrival in Shanghai at 11:30 pm (subject to change).

          End of Tour.
      • Extras

        • Insurance for up to six nights

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Return flight | Shanghai (Pudong) — Pyongyang — Shanghai (Pudong)
          All meals on the tour
          Hotel accommodation in the DPRK
          A Koryo Tours tour leader, two local Korean guides and a driver (per group)
          All transportation in DPRK
        • Not included
          DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx. 30 EUR total)
          The lift up the Juche Tower (optional activity at EUR 5)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, a visit to the funfair
          Meals will have a complimentary beer (and water), but you will have to pay for extra drinks above those provided. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand
          Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 15th April, 2020.

      May 23 - May 30/31 2020

      Leica North Korea Photography Tour

      A special on-tour Leica
      photographic workshop

      Visit North Korea with Jeroen Hanselaer, a Leica-approved
      instructor, on this special 7-night tour

      From 3,449 EUR per person

      Please apply by 6th May, 2020.

      Leica North Korea Photography Tour

      A special on-tour Leica
      photographic workshop

      Visit North Korea with Jeroen
      Hanselaer, a Leica-approved instructor,
      on this special 7-night tour

      From 3,449 EUR per person

      • Overall

        This North Korea photography tour is designed to give photographers the best chance to snap the best North Korea photos to show off.

        With special permissions from North Korea, Koryo Tours brings you this exclusive, one-of-a-kind tour of the DPRK. This photography tour gives us special access to certain sites, extra time at monuments, and a specifically designed itinerary to capture the best North Korea photos, making sure we’re catching the sunset from high up whilst it’s hitting Pyongyang, and visiting rural locations whilst the Koreans are hard at work. All this, whilst being accompanied by a professional Leica approved photography instructor.

        As well as allowing you to get the best pictures of North Korea, we will also spend our days visiting all of the main sites and learning about this unique country whilst accompanied by our North Korean and Western guides.

        During the day, you will have Jeroen Hanselaer, our Leica approved instructor, to guide you and help you to get the best shots. Unlike many other tours, a lot of the time on this tour will be spent walking and not in a bus, ensuring you get the best photographs whilst exploring Pyongyang on foot. Evenings will be spent with relaxed photography consultations run by Jeroen with special access to slide-show equipment. Each participant of the tour is invited to show the best snaps of the day, and our professional photography instructor Jeroen will give tailored advice on how you can improve your photography skills throughout the tour.

        We will also have access to Leica cameras during our time on the tour, so it is a great opportunity for you to have a go yourself on the Leica equipment.

        Whether your interest lies in industrial, landscapes, architecture, everyday life, or portraits, this tour caters for all. The dystopian-style architecture in Pyongyang is surreal and unique and our centrally located hotel will allow you to capture the best that the city has to offer. Trips outside of the city to co-operative farms, factories, and the North Korean countryside offer a completely different insight into this mysterious country.

        This tour is capped at 13 people maximum, in a group tour with other budding photographers. This allows more freedom when taking pictures and a better chance to get the perfect photos of North Korea.

        Dates don't suit? Get in touch with us to arrange a private tour to fit your budget and schedule.

        Scroll down for an overview of the Koryo North Korea Budget Tour highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • Joined on tour by a Leica Photographic instructor as well as one of our experienced western tour leaders
        • Extended visits to allow time for photography
        • Full metro tour
        • Walking tours of Pyongyang
        • Extended visits to cooperative farms
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. May 22 | Friday

          Briefing Day

          AM

          • The recommended latest arrival in Beijing.

          PM

          • Our group assembles for a mandatory pre-tour group briefing in Beijing in the afternoon - This briefing will last approximately one hour and is designed so that you will get the most out of your tour. It will cover travel etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in the DPRK. Have your last minute questions answered and meet your fellow travelers and photography enthusiasts! Please be punctual - you can come early, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art.
          • The photographic workshop begins - We will have a workshop from Jeroen Hansler, our Leica approved instructor and brand ambassador, followed by a review of a selection of your photographs so you can make sure to get the best North Korean photos from the very beginning of the tour! 

          Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour. Contact us for recommendations near our office

        2. May 23 | Saturday

          Arrival day in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS152 at 1:05 pm.  A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch.
          • Arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) expected at 4:05 pm. DPRK immigration and customs meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.

          • Arch of Triumph  | Our first stop as we head into the photogenic city of Pyongyang, this massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. Larger than its counterpart in Paris. From here we gain views over the surrounding park, Kim Il Sung Stadium and other areas of the city. From atop this great vantage point, we can set up cameras as we wait for the changing light offered at sunset.
          • Screening of Comrade Kim Goes Flying, a DPRK film about a young rural coal miner, Kim Yong Mi, who dreams of becoming a trapeze artist at the Pyongyang Circus. Her plans are complicated by the arrogant trapeze star Pak Jang Phil who believes miners belong underground and not in the air. North Korea’s movie about a young woman achieving her dreams. Produced and directed by a British, Belgian, and Korean team. The film is 78 minutes long and will be shown at the Pyongyang International House of Cinema, a short distance from our hotel. Comrade Kim Goes Flying

          Overnight |  Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city, perfect for those North Korean photos! Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, and beer brewed on-site. This hotel offers great vantage points overlooking the city. From most rooms, you will be able to capture pictures from the morning sunrise transition and the old and new apartment blocks that surround us.

        3. May 24  | Sunday

          Pyongyang city tour

          AM

          • Early morning walking to Kim Il Sung Square via Pyongyang railway station | This morning we depart our hotel early before breakfast walking via Pyongyang railway station to Kim Il Sung Square. This early morning walk offers us views through downtown Pyongyang and capture the lives of the locals on their day off, whilst also giving us an opportunity to photograph some of the older building synonymous with any visit. We will stop for breakfast at the Viennese coffee shop, where we will have time to set up cameras for more pictures of the center of the city.
          • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Arabic. No visit to Pyongyang is complete without a visit to this famous bookshop. Situated at a road crossing patrolled by the infamous Pyongyang traffic police, it is also great to capture the perfect picture of these iconic workers. We continue our walk crossing to the Mansudae Fountain Park from where we can continue to picture everyday life as well as some examples of Korean sculpture.
          • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic center of Pyongyang popular with local citizens after school and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient and modern architecture from different eras.
          • As we approach lunchtime, we further our expedition through the streets of Pyongyang past some of the cities newer apartments, to our destination, the Okryugwan cold noodle restaurant. This restaurant located on the banks of the Taedong river not only offers visitors great views but delivers us the best cold noodles in the city. Often busy with locals, we may have a little wait before trying Pyongyang’s signature dish.

          PM

          • After our hearty lunch, we board our bus and drive to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo. Here we have an extended visit taking time to photograph the military hardware, large statues, and the famous USS Pueblo. For our visit, we will be accompanied by a local Museum guide dressed in military clothing. She will be happy to allow time for some portraiture.
          •  Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012, it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artifacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and for many a highlight of the trip.When we leave the Museum we drive to Pyongyang central tram terminus from where we take a ride on one of the cities older Trams which will offer great photographic options as we pick our way through the streets at a local level. 

          • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, the ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarised Zone.

          Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style accommodation where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean style. Housed in beautiful courtyards of Kaesong’s old city, structures date back to the Ri Dynasty. Basic bathroom facilities. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electricity supply – please bring a torch.

        4. May 25 | Monday

          Visit DMZ and Kaesong

          AM

          • After a morning photographing the beautiful hotel area we drive to visit the Panmunjom Truce Village and DMZ. In this area, photography is limited. Although, if the rules are followed there is still a great opportunity to get some great shots. Traveling in a small group also means a better chance of getting a photograph with a Korean military officer - the only place in North Korea this is possible.
          • Panmunjom Truce Village and DMZ | Located in the middle of the 4 km wide Demilitarised Zone, Panmunjom is the site of the signing of the 1953 armistice at the end of the Korean War. This is the only location where visitors can directly view soldiers from both sides and the demarcation line dividing Korea. On some days, it is possible to enter the hut straddling both Koreas and there cross temporarily into the south. After our visit to this strange and unusual area, we continue with a visit to Kaesong Koryo Museum. This interesting area is great for photographing ancient architecture. If we're lucky, we may get the chance to catch some local couples having their wedding photos taken.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site perfect for North Korea photos.
          • Before lunch, we take another walk to build an appetite taking a look at some of Kaesong's older buildings.
          • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | An incredibly photogenic meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. Perfect for avid instagrammers, and tastes great too! The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest!

          PM

          • Once lunch has finished, we start our drive returning to Pyongyang. On the way, we of course have some more photographic opportunities.
          • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.

          • Gwanum Temple and Taehungsan Fortress | Located behind Pakyon Waterfalls this complex of mostly ruined buildings dates from more than a thousand years ago. Most of the temple remains intact since its last renovation in the 17th century
          • Return to Pyongyang via the Three-Charters of National Reunification Monument, the iconic arch over the Pyongyang-Kaesong Highway dedicated to a joint meeting between Koreas, north, and south. This monument is also known as the ‘Arch of Reunification’.
          • Workshop after dinner. We gather together to view our photos from the days excitement and listen to instruction for the coming days.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        5. May 26 | Tuesday

          Industry and Iconic Culture

          AM

          • Pyongyang Textile Factory and Dormitory. 

          • Pyongyang Metro Tour (two-line ride) | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station, you’ll find it hard to put your cameras down. Ride both lines and stop off at smaller stations rarely visited by tourists. We visit all we can, making the most of our time here and getting some rare North Korea pictures.

          PM
          • May Day Stadium this afternoon we tour the grounds and facilities of the world’s largest stadiums. With a capacity of 150,000 and renovated in September 2014, it is used for all of the DPRK’s major sporting events and in 2018 hosted the return of the Mass Games. Its grand architectural style lends itself to great photography.
          • Pyongyang International Football Academy only a short leap from the Mayday stadium, this is a Premier football school for young and promising athletes. We tour the facilities and learn about the history of football in the DPRK. It has multiple training pitches where you can see yourself against some students here.
          • This evening it's off to a different setting for dinner as we enjoy an exclusive meal on the Rainbow boat on the Taedong River. From here, we can also get some great night time city-scape shots.  

          • Workshop after dinner - We gather together to view our photos from the days excitement and listen to instruction for the coming days.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

        6. May 27 | Wednesday

          Hamhung

          AM

          • Today it's off early as we start our drive to Hamhung. Hamhung together with its southern neighbor Hungnam make up the DPRK’s second largest urban area by population. They are a major center of chemical industry, producing fertilizers and Vinalon, or ‘Juche Fiber’.The twin cities were rebuilt after the Korean War with the assistance of East German architects and planners. This 6-hour drive will be broken with visits along the beautiful mountain road, perfect for photos of North Korea countryside.

          • Upon reaching Hamhung we make our visit to Hungnam Fertiliser Factory. This is a massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilizers. We will have a tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant, where you will also be able to take photos. A perfect location for some industrial photography and if we're lucky some welcome portraiture photographs.
          • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. This traditional style building is a peaceful place to brush up on history and catch some of those photos of traditional style buildings.
          • After dinner, electricity permitting, it’s time to review those photos again!

          Overnight | Majon Guesthouse, Hamhung. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke. Bring a torch!

        7. May 28 | Thursday

          Wonsan

          AM

          • Today we head off for our adventure onwards to the coastal city of Wonsan which is home to the famous hot spring spa where we will spend the night to relax and recharge.
          • Wonsan is a crucial city on the east coast of the country. The least heavily industrial, but a key port and a city where the national government focuses efforts on leisure facilities and promoting the favorable location of the city between sea and mountains. On our journey, there are some stops to be made.
          • Tongbong Co-operative Farm is located on the outskirts of Hamhung offering visitors the chance to view some of the farm machinery, a local home, and even a local farm shop where visitors can buy some homemade products. From here, we can take photos of daily life and work on some portrait photos.
          PM
          • Wonsan Agricultural University The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Catholic monks living in the area in the early 20th century. Great not only for the architectural style, but it can offer some candid shots of its students.
          • Next stop, Wonsan City Centre and Docks Central square and ship terminal in downtown Wonsan. The Mangyongbong-92 ferry/cargo ship which one shuttled Koreans living in Japan back and forth across the East Sea of Korea is moored here.
          • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbor. Local fishermen flock to this area, feel free to chat with them along the way, and get some shots of the locals. We time our visit so as to stroll out at sunset, to catch our best chance of pictures as the sun lights this attractive sea resort.

          Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel Waterfront, Wonsan. Hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna.

        8. May 29 | Friday

          Wonsan and Pyongyang

          AM

          • Chonsam-ri Co-operative Farm Learn about rural life at this farm specialising in rice and persimmons. Visit the cultural centre, farm house, and fish pond giving us another chance to photograph farming in North Korea.
          • The pace of the tour slows a little as we visit Sokwang Temple to view the remains of a Buddhist temple established dating back to the late-14th century and associated with the dream that predicted the fall of the Koryo Dynasty. A historic and haunting place set in a serene mountain valley with stream.
          • Return to Wonsan for lunch

          PM

          • Afternoon drive back to Pyongyang via Masikrong
          • Visit Masik Pass Ski Resort in the winter its DPRK’s largest ski resort. Opened in 2013, Masik Pass is also good for hiking in spring, summer, and autumn. We stop here for coffee on the way back to Pyongyang from Wonsan. 

          • Tower of Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city. Lift ticket paid on the spot (€).
          • Farewell dinner at Duck BBQ restaurant 

          Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang. 

        9. May 30 | Saturday

          Train Return to Beijing

          It’s a relaxed start for us as we depart the captivating capital of Pyongyang for our return journey to Beijing. We travel via the train using soft-sleeper carriages (4 bunks per compartment with their own doors). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong.

          As we travel you will still have time for a little more scenic countryside photography.

          Overnight | On-train

        10. May 31 | Sunday

          Arrival into Beijing.

          • We should arrive into Beijing station at 08.34 AM and from there you are free to head to your accommodation or begin your journey home.

          For those who wish to, there will be a final tour debrief and photo session at the Koryo office, we will have the opportunity to review a final selection of photos and ask any last minute questions.

      • Extras

        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Flight to Beijing – Pyongyang
          Train Return Pyongyang – Beijing (soft Sleeper)
          All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train.
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
          A Koryo Tours tour leader
          Leica Photographic instructor
          All transportation in the DPRK
          The shared use of three Leica cameras
          Evening instruction and talks
        • Not included
          DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example, Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 6th May, 2020.

      June 2020

      June 25 - June 29 2020

      North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend Budget Tour

      4 nights in the DPRK +
      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
      time

      This long weekend Dragon Boat Festival tour is packed with outdoor and indoor activities,
      including an exclusive cycling tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the Munsu Water Park to
      relax with the local Koreans.

      From 1,099 EUR per person

      Please apply by 4th June, 2020.

      North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend Budget Tour

      4 nights in the DPRK +
      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
      time

      This long weekend Dragon Boat Festival tour is packed with
      outdoor and indoor activities, including an exclusive cycling
      tour of Pyongyang and a visit to the Munsu Water Park to relax
      with the local Koreans.

      From 1,099 EUR per person

      • Overall

        This tour is designed for those who are looking for an active weekend in North Korea during the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival long weekend.
        Looking for a quick escape out of China? Put that zongzi down and look no further.

        This action-packed long weekend getaway is an introduction to North Korea through outdoor and indoor activities. Early risers can have a morning run on Pyongyang's Sports Street and be overtaken by DPR Korea athletes during their morning training. We'll hang out with the locals in Moranbong Park - a popular place for a picnic, drinking sessions, and dancing - on their day off. Plus, get the rare chance to tour the highlights of Pyongyang by bike before finishing off at Munsu Water Park to relax with the locals.

        The Dragon Boat Festival Tour will also get you to the DMZ, the most heavily fortified border on earth, and a viewpoint of the Concrete Wall, an anti-tank barrier built in the 1970s by the south across the entire DMZ. The 45-minute scenic drive from Kaesong will also give you a rare insight into rural North Korea.

        Why not escape China at one of its busiest times for Chinese National Day too?

        Scroll down for an overview of the North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Tour highlights, tour itinerary, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • Pyongyang City Cycling: explore the capital’s impressively wide streets and marvel at its Soviet-style architecture and iconic monuments from a completely different angle.
        • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides.
        • Munsu Water Park with local North Koreans
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. June 25 // Thursday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          AM

          • 09:00 // Our group assembles for a pre-tour group briefing at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing.
          • 11:00 // Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
          • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang. The two rivers hotel (so named as it sits on a hill overlooking the point where the Potong river and Taedong Rivers meet). The hotel offers great views over different parts of the city (depending on which side of the building you stay on) from the open balconies, and also from the ‘swivelling’ restaurant. The underground karaoke room here is excellent and the bar in the lobby is also great.
        2. June 26 // Friday

          Kaesong and the MDZ

          AM

          • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM
          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5-hour drive.
          • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
          • Korean BBQ dinner in the Bowling Alley's bulgogi restaurant.
          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        3. June 27 // Saturday

          Pyongyang City Tour

          AM

          • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
          • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens afterschool and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.

          • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri [400 miles] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

          PM

          • Kwangbok Department Store // Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
          • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
          • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
          • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A beer bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
          • Kaeson Funfair // Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot.
          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        4. June 28 // Sunday

          Pyongyang City Tour and City Cycling

          AM

          • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
          • Mangyondae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
          • City Cycling // Tour Pyongyang on a bike (please note that bicycles are limited to 20 spots) starting from Kwangbok Department Store through downtown Pyongyang to Munsu Water park stopping at:
            • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!

            • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.

            • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
          • Moranbong Park // Picnic lunch and a walk through Pyongyang’s central park through historic monuments, ancient and modern architecture.

          PM

          • Taekwondo Class | A 60 minute introductory class at the Taekwondo Areana on Sports Street to taekwondo the national martial art which all children learn to a certain degree in school.
          • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee 10 EUR with suit rental).
          • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 // Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
          Overnight: Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        5. June 29 // Monday

          Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight

          AM
          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 09:00 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 10:00.
          End of Tour
      • Extras

        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Insurance for up to six nights

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Flight Beijing – Pyongyang – Beijing
          All meals on the tour
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, a driver, and a Koryo Tours tour leader
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 4th June, 2020.

      June 25 - July 4 2020

      North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend + Northeast Adventure Extension

      8 nights in the DPRK +
      North Korea-China travel
      time

      This tour is packed with outdoor and indoor
      activities, and a look into the rarely explored
      Northeast.

      From 1,899 EUR per person

      Please apply by 4th June, 2020.

      North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Weekend + Northeast Adventure Extension

      8 nights in the DPRK +
      North Korea-China travel
      time

      This tour is packed with outdoor
      and indoor activities, and a look
      into the rarely explored Northeast.

      From 1,899 EUR per person

      • Overall

        This tour is designed for those who are looking for an active weekend in North Korea during the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival long weekend and many more.

        The North Korea Dragon Boat Festival tour is an action-packed introduction to the DPRK through outdoor and indoor activities. Early risers can have a morning run on Pyongyang's Sports Street and be overtaken by DPR Korea athletes during their morning training. We'll hang out with the locals in Moranbong Park - a popular place for picnic, drinking sessions, and dancing - on their day off. Plus, get the rare chance to tour the highlights of Pyongyang by bike before finishing off at Munsu Water Park to relax with the locals.

        As well as visiting the DMZ and Kaesong, this Dragon Boat Festival tour takes you to one of the least explored areas of North Korea - the Northeast. Experience an AirKoryo internal flight as we travel North to enjoy a local health spa, and experience a home-stay in North Korea. You can't get much more off the beaten path than this!

        Why not escape China at one of its busiest times for Chinese National Day too?

        Scroll down for an overview of the North Korea Dragon Boat Festival Tour highlights, tour itinerary, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • Pyongyang City Cycling: explore the capital’s impressively wide streets and marvel at its Soviet-style architecture and iconic monuments from a completely different angle.
        • Internal Flight to Chongjin
        • Panmunjom and the Demilitarized Zone: signing hall of the 1953 armistice and Joint Security Area, patrolled by soldiers from both sides.
        • Home stay in the Northeast
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. June 25 // Thursday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing // We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          AM

          • 09:00 // Our group assembles for a pre-tour group briefing at the Koryo Tours office in Beijing.
          • 11:00 // Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:00. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 17:00. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
          • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang. The two rivers hotel (so named as it sits on a hill overlooking the point where the Potong river and Taedong Rivers meet). The hotel offers great views over different parts of the city (depending on which side of the building you stay on) from the open balconies, and also from the ‘swivelling’ restaurant. The underground karaoke room here is excellent and the bar in the lobby is also great.
        2. June 26 // Friday

          Kaesong and the MDZ

          AM

          • Drive 2 ½ hours south along the ‘Reunification Highway’ to Kaesong, ancient capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) located near today’s Korean Demilitarized Zone.
          • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ // The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
          • Kaesong Koryo Museum // Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
          • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall // Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
          • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) // A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

          PM
          • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ // View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through scenic countryside.
          • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 2.5-hour drive.
          • Golden Lanes Bowling Centre // Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix. Also has billiards and arcade games. Non-bowlers can head next door to the Kumrung Leisure Centre for an airgun shooting range and some of the best coffee in Pyongyang.
          • Korean BBQ dinner in the Bowling Alley's bulgogi restaurant.
          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        3. June 27 // Saturday

          Pyongyang City Tour

          AM

          • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
          • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum // Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and it exhibits the Korean War from the DPRK perspective with artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
          • Mansudae Fountain Park // The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens afterschool and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.

          • Mansudae Grand Monument // Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri [400 miles] horse’ – a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop // Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.

          PM

          • Kwangbok Department Store // Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
          • Grand People’s Study House // National library and public correspondence university with Neo-traditional Korean and great views of the city.
          • Pyongyang Metro Tour // One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
          • Arch of Triumph // Massive archway made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982 and commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Larger than its counterpart in Paris.
          • Mansugyo Beer Bar // A beer bar serving seven types of beer. Popular with locals after work and on weekends. Best place to drink pints with local people.
          • Kaeson Funfair // Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot.
          Overnight // Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        4. June 28 // Sunday

          Pyongyang City Tour and City Cycling

          AM

          • Optional morning run for the early risers on Sports Street past stadiums and halls whose architecture reflects the sports played within.
          • Mangyondae Native House // Birthplace of and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
          • City Cycling // Tour Pyongyang on a bike (please note that bicycles are limited to 20 spots) starting from Kwangbok Department Store through downtown Pyongyang to Munsu Water park stopping at:
            • Kim Il Sung Square // Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museum and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!

            • Tower of the Juche Idea // Iconic tower dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy on the Taedong River. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.

            • Monument to the Party Foundation // Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
          • Moranbong Park // Picnic lunch and a walk through Pyongyang’s central park through historic monuments, ancient and modern architecture.

          PM

          • Taekwondo Class | A 60 minute introductory class at the Taekwondo Areana on Sports Street to taekwondo the national martial art which all children learn to a certain degree in school.
          • Munsu Water Park // We’ll take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee 10 EUR with suit rental).
          • Taedonggang Bar No. 3 // Upscale bar across the street from the Tower of the Juche Idea. There are a variety of beers on tap produced at Pyongyang’s Taedonggang Brewery outside of town (2-2.5 EUR per glass).
          Overnight: Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        5. June 29 // Monday

          Pyongyang

          AM
          • Conversational Korean Languages Class | Two 90 minutes long introductory Korean classes held by a local teacher at Pyongyang Tourism College. This lightning course will prepare you to be able to communicate on a basic level with your host family in Mt. Chilbo.
          PM
          • Walking tour in Pyongyang | City tour in Pyongyang on foot discovering the historical past of the city.
          • Korean Revolution Museum | Situated since 1972 in the building behind the giant statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansu Hill this museum is fronted by a giant mosaic of Lake Chon and the peak of Mt. Paekdu which forms the backdrop to the Mansudae Grand Monument complex. We will visit the rooms on the Anti-Japanese Revolutionary Struggle to give some historical context to our visit to North Hamgyong Province.
          Overnight: Ryanggang Hotel, Pyongyang
        6. June 30 // Tuesday

          Domestic flight to North Hamgyong Province and Mt. Chilbo

          AM
          • Flight departure from Pyongyang on domestic Air Koryo Flight JS4101 at 10:00 with scheduled arrival at Orang Airport (RGO) at 11:00.
          PM
          • Upon arrival at Mount Chilbo, we will start our tour of the mountain range. The ‘Seven Treasures’ mountain is one of the DPRK’s most remote and scenic areas with a vast array of strangely shaped peaks and unique geologic formations. This primordial landscape is home to many colourful (and suggestive) legends and offers a contrast to the densely populated cities and agricultural areas seen in much the rest of the country.
          • Local games and picnic at homestay village | The only place in the DPRK where foreigners can stay with local families. Brush up on your Korean (or body-language) as for an evening spent with the family. It is also possible to play volleyball against or wrestle the village team.

          Overnight | Homestay Village, Mount Chilbo. The only place in the DPRK where foreigners can stay with local families in either a Korean-style or European-style home. Each home has a bedroom and washroom for guests.

        7. July 1 // Wednesday

          Mount Chilbo to Chongjin

          AM
          • We’ll leave Mount Chilbo by way of the scenic coastal road (weather permitting) that leads to Kyongsong and Chongjin.
          PM
          • Kyongsong | Once one of the primary cities in Hamgyong Province, from which ‘Kyong’ derives, now eclipsed by neighbor Chongjin. Kyongsong is renowned for its hot spas which provide needed relaxation after days on the road and outdoor activities at Mt. Chilbo.
          • Kyongsong Revolutionary Site | Japanese colonial-era house once used by the DPRK leadership and telling of their exploits in the region.
          • Health Spa | There are many of these in Kyongsong, some belong to the military, some to the Party, some are open to the public. Here you can use the saunas and bathing facilities. The water coming up from the ground in a kind of panacea and historical records show it has long been considered good for recovering health and especially fertility (ca. 50 RMB admission fee).
          • Chongjin Orphanage Kindergarten | Where parentless children are cared for and raised.
          Overnight | Gomalsan Guesthouse, Chongjin. Limited facilities but this is more than made up for by the exclusivity of the place and the views of the city from the rooms.
        8. July 2 // Thursday

          Chongjin and drive to Hoeryong

          AM
          • Gomalsan Revolutionary Site | Birds eye view of Chongjin and memorial site honoring the Soviet troops who helped liberating this area.
          • Chongjin Revolutionary Museum | Museum depicting the revolutionary struggles of the region.
          • Chongjin Central Square | Central Square of Chongjin city with statues of the DPRK leadership.
          • North Hamgyong Province E-Library | A library, study, and computer centre for the province, located just off Chongjin Central Square.
          • Chongjin Trolley Bus |  We’ll take a ride down Chongjin’s main drag on one of the city’s trolleybuses.
          PM
          • Mushroom Factory | See how a North Korean factory works, and learn about the production process of different mushrooms. You can even taste the products if you're lucky.
          • Kim Ki Sung Middle School  | Local school named after the brother of Kim Jong Suk in Hoeryong City. Tour the facilities, drop in on classrooms to help practice English, or play football in the schoolyard.
          • Hoeryong Schoolchildren's Palace | Center of extracurricular activities in the arts, music, and sports for local children.
          Overnight | Hoeryong Hotel, Hoeryong. A basic hotel featuring large rooms with air conditioning but no hot water, separate sauna/shower block, small shop and bar, and large banquet hall.
        9. July 3 // Friday

          Hoeryong, Wangjaesan, and cross over to China

          AM
          • Central Square and Statue of Mother Kim Jong Suk | Bronze statue of ‘The Mother of Korea’ in central Hoeryong. A presentation of flowers (2-4 EUR) is customary here.
          • Native House of Kim Jong Suk | Traditional Korean home of Kim Jong Suk set among a peaceful apricot orchard.
          • Hoeryong Revolutionary Museum  | Museum depicting the revolutionary struggles of the region. Particularly interesting for its giant mural depicting the ‘Three Generals of Mt. Paekdu’ during the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle. The painting was made by artists from the Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang and smaller replicas of it can be found throughout the country.
          PM
          • Wangjaesan Grand Monument | Large tower and socialist realist sculpture group set atop a prominent mountain and dedicated to the anti-Japanese guerilla struggle. One of three grand monuments in the DPRK: the others are at Mansudae in Pyongyang and Samjiyon near Mt. Paekdu. Rarely visited by foreigners as only practicable for those crossing the border at Tumen-Namyang.
          • Wangjaesan Revolutionary History Museum | Next to the Grand Monument this museum tells the tale of revolutionary activity in this area. Some great examples of the famous ‘slogan trees’ can be found here.
          • Crossing over to China | Next up is our final drive in the DPRK - we head south along the Tumen River to Tumen River Bridge in Namyang, the frontier between the DPRK and the PRC. We pass through customs here on the Korean side, take a short ride or walk across the bridge and then we are back in China, just like that!
          • Train back to Beijing | We catch a high-speed train from Tumen North at 19:00 to Changchun where we transfer to a sleeper train to Beijing. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Saturday, July 4 at 08:36. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).
          End of Tour
      • Extras

        • Upgrade to your own room

          All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

          See more
        • Insurance for up to six nights

          We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • Hotel booking in Beijing

          Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

          See more
      • What is / is not included?

        • Included
          Flight Beijing – Pyongyang
          Train Tumen – Changchun – Beijing
          Domestic flight to Orang
          All meals on the tour
          Hotel accommodation
          Two local Korean guides, a driver, and a Koryo Tours tour leader
          All transportation in the DPRK
        • Not included
          DPRK visa fee 50 EUR
          Optional single room supplement of 40 EUR per night
          Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
          Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
          Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
          Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
          Spending money for souvenirs
      • Notes

        Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and a Koryo Tours tour leader.

        Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

      Please apply by 4th June, 2020.

      July 2020

      July 4 - July 11/12 2020

      The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

      7 nights in North Korea +
      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
      time

      Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial centre of Hamhung to
      the hiking trails of Mt. Kumgang. A summer adventure in North Korea! This tour will also include
      Pyongyang, Kaesong & DMZ.

      From 1,249 EUR per person

      Please apply by 25th June, 2020.

      The Summer Holiday Tour in North Korea

      7 nights in North Korea +
      Beijing-Pyongyang travel
      time

      Discover North Korea’s rarely visited East coast from the industrial
      centre of Hamhung to the hiking trails of Mt. Kumgang. A summer
      adventure in North Korea! This tour will also include Pyongyang,
      Kaesong & DMZ.

      From 1,249 EUR per person

      • Overall

        Sun, sea, and sand… Yes, that’s right!

        North Korea may not be known as a summer get-away, or indeed known for its beaches, but we think a summer package holiday in North Korea is far too underrated, and one of the best holiday destinations to give you one of the most unforgettable trips of a lifetime.

        Plus, you won’t have to worry about tourists crowding the beaches!

        Our Summer Holiday Tour is an annual favourite which gives you the highlights of North Korea - and more. This includes exploring the capital Pyongyang and historic Kaesong on the Korean Demilitarised Zone on the North-South Korea border, while also taking time to see the country's rarely visited east coast.

        On the east coast, you will see the port city of Wonsan and the industrial centre of Hamhung, while having the chance to explore the hiking trails in Mt Kumgang. The weather is beautiful at this time of year – warm during the day but not too hot, making it one of the best holiday destinations this summer!

        Don’t forget to pack your bikini/swimming trunks!

        Scroll down for an overview of our Summer Holiday tour package highlights, tour itinerary, transport options, DPRK tourist visa information, and extra add-ons.

        Highlights

        • The stunning mountain scenery of Mt Kumgang
        • Beaches of Korea's eastern coast
        • The port city of Wonsan and industrial city of Hamhung
      • Itinerary

        Briefing Day
        1. 3 July | Friday

          *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

          For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

          AM

          • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
          • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

          PM

          • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
          • 17:00|  Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

          Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

        2. 4 July | Saturday

          Arrival day in Pyongyang

          AM

          • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
          • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

          PM

          • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS 152 at 13:05. A 1.5 hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
          • Flight arrival to Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:05. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides, and transfer to the city.
          • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule.  Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.
          • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
          • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
          • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
          • Walk on Future Scientists' Street | An evening stroll through one of Pyongyang's newest neighbourhoods.

          Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

        3. 5 July | Sunday

          Drive to Hamhung

          AM
          • Drive east across the width of the peninsula before heading north to Hamhung, the second largest city of the DPRK and major centre of industry. A 6 to 7-hour drive.
          • Tomb of King Tongmyong | Largest of the UNESCO listed Koguryo Tombs spread through the area, this is the beautiful tomb complex of the founder of the Koguryo Dynasty two thousand years ago. Statues, a Buddhist Monastery, and lovely wall paintings make this a fascinating visit for history buffs
          • Stop by Sinpyong Lake Beach Guesthouse to stretch your legs at this lakeside teahouse beneath rocky crags.

          • Ulim Waterfall for a picnic lunch | Hidden amongst the mountains on the road to Wonsan, ‘Echo’ Waterfall is a scenic stopover to enjoy lunch, stretch your legs, or go for a dip in the pool beneath.
          PM
          • Tongbong Co-operative Farm | Local farm in the outskirts of Hamhung. View the machinery barn, a local home, and the farm shop to buy some locally made products.
          • Home of Ri Song Gye | Home of the first king of the Ri Dynasty (1392-1910) who extinguished the Koryo Dynasty, only to be then ousted by his own son. A traditional hall and pavilion and associated naughty stories of the former king’s retirement years -some not appropriate for the youth!


          Overnight | Majon Beach Guesthouse, Hamghung. A beachside holiday compound with basic but comfortable chalets. Rooms have heated floors but no running water. Bring a torch! There is a main building with restaurant, bar, billiards, table-tennis, bookshop, and Korean karaoke.
        4. 6 July | Monday

          Hamhung and Wonsan

          AM

          • Hungnam Fertiliser Factory | Massive chemical-industrial plant producing various kinds of fertilisers. Tour of the plant control room, production facilities, and packing plant - just don’t light up next to the Ammonium Nitrate!
          • Hamhung Grand Theatre and Central Square | Exterior view of the DPRK’s largest theatre on the city’s central square.

          • Drive south to Wonsan, a major port city on the East Sea of Korea. A 2.5 -3-hour drive.

          PM

            • Wonsan Agricultural University | The DPRK’s premier agricultural university set among beautiful hillside scenery. Tour the grounds and the neo-Romanesque teaching hall, originally built by Germans living in the area in the early 20th century.
            • Songdowon International Schoolchildren’s Camp | A classic socialist summer camp where Korean and international children can spend two weeks learning socialist values and teamwork. Tour the recently renovated dormitories, aquarium, birdhouse, gymnasium, and more!
            • Jangdok Island and Lighthouse | Take a stroll on the breakwater to a small island in the middle of Wonsan harbour (1 EUR/USD entry fee).

            Overnight | Dongmyong Hotel, Wonsan. Waterfront hotel with stunning seaside views of Wonsan Harbor. Limited hours of hot water, bar, billiards, ping-pong, barber shop, beauty salon, dry-sauna, and indoor seawater swimming pool. 

          • 7 July | Tuesday

            Mt. Kumgang, the 'Diamond Mountain'

            AM
            • Drive south along the East Sea coast to the scenic Mt. Kumgang, the ‘Diamond Mountain’ noted in East Asian history and famous in Korean legends. Home of some of Korea’s most spectacular natural landscapes and best hiking. A 2.5 - 3-hour drive.
            • Samil Lagoon A charming green-water coastal lagoon lined by pine forests. Named for the ‘three-day’ stay (sam-il) of a king in days-gone-by to take in the full beauty of the area. PM
            • Hiking at Kuryong Waterfall | A 8 km (round-trip) hike to a scenic ‘Nine-Dragons’ waterfall through forests, along mountain streams and by emerald pools.
            • Kumgangsan Hot Spa | Relax in the facilities of Kumgangsan's hot spa or treat yourself to a massage (approx 10-15 USD).
            Overnight | Kumgangsan Hotel, Mt. Kumgang. A very comfortable, clean and well equipped. Bar, billiards, massage and a great terrace with barbecue options.
          • 8 July |  Wednesday

            Drive back to Pyongyang with stops along the way. Please note that 8 July marks the anniversary of the passing of President Kim Il Sung in 1994. Additionally, restaurants may not serve alcohol at meals on this day

            AM
            • Drive back up the coast to Wonsan with a rest stop at Lake Sinjung and lunch in Wonsan.
            PM
            • Drive back to Pyongyang (approx 4 hours drive) with a stop at Masik Pass Ski Resort, the DPRK’s largest ski resort. Opened in 2013, Masik Pass features nine main runs, two beginner slopes, and a lodge with full amenities.
            • Walk in the city centre.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
          • 9 July | Thursday 

            Pyongyang City Tour

            AM

            • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | Tour this world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip.
            • Mansudae Fountain Park | The historic centre of Pyongyang popular with local citizens afterschool and on weekends. Flanked by examples of ancient, socialist, and modern architecture.
            • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 miles) horse’ -a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
            • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower overlooking the Taedong River and dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for great views of the city (elevator ticket is 5 EUR).
            • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea.
            PM
            • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line
            • Kwangbok Department Store | Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stand on the first floor for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
            • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Kaesong, historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. A 2.5-hour drive
            • Tomb of King Kongmin | Tomb of the 31st king of the Koryo Dynasty, a talented statesman and prolific painter, and his Mongolian wife. Set the end of a picturesque valley. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kayagum Performance | Traditional Korean stringed instrument performance at the Minsok Folk Hotel. Tip recommended (1-3 EUR per person on group tours) for this beautiful demonstration of Korean music.

            Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guest sleep on heated floors, Korean-style. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electric supply - please bring a torch. Beautiful setting in Kaesong old city with stream running through the center and Ri dynasty furniture.

          • 10 July | Friday

            Kaesong City and DMZ Tour

            AM

            • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
            • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
            • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in/ the country and friendly staff.
            • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.

            PM

            • Drive to Sariwon, the provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and a centre of agro-industry on the Chaeryong Plains with a stop at the Dinosaur FootprintA 1-hour drive. 
            • Sariwon Traditional Folk Street | We'll take a break from the drive to stop by this traditionally themed street for a quick overview of Korean history and culture. Sometimes it is possible to drop by a small makkolli (Korean rice wine) shop on the street, where bowl of makkolli costs about 1 EUR.
            • Continue back to Sariwon with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. 1.5-hour drive.
            • Ri In Mo Monument | Bronze statue of Ri In Mo, a long-term unconverted prisoner who spent decades in captivity in the south after being captured during the Korean War, located on modernist Tongil Street. Ri In Mo is known in the DPRK as ‘the incarnation of faith and will’

            Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.


          • 11 July | Saturday

            Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

            AM

            • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS 151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

            OR

            • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Sunday, 12 July at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

            End of Tour

        5. Extras

          • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

            This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

          • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

            If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

            See more
          • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

            Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

            See more
          • Upgrade to your own room

            All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

            See more
          • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

            We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

          • Hotel booking in Beijing

            Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

            See more
        6. What is / is not included?

          • Included
            Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
            Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
            All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
            Hotel accommodation
            Koryo Tours tour leader
            Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
            All transportation in North Korea
          • Not included
            North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
            Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
            Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
            Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
            Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
            Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
            Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
            Spending money for souvenirs
            Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
        7. Notes

          Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

          Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the North Korea regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

        Please apply by 25th June, 2020.

        July 23 - July 30 2020

        The Victory Day Tour

        7 nights in North Korea + travel
        time between Beijing and Pyongyang

        Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays that
        will see mass dances and other festivities! Pyongyang - Kaesong - the
        DMZ - Nampo - Pyongsong.

        From 1,249 EUR per person

        Please apply by 1st July, 2020.

        The Victory Day Tour

        7 nights in North Korea + travel
        time between Beijing and Pyongyang

        Experience one of North Korea’s most important
        national holidays that will see mass dances and
        other festivities! Pyongyang - Kaesong - the DMZ
        - Nampo - Pyongsong.

        From 1,249 EUR per person

        • Overall

          July 27th 1953 was the day the Korean War armistice was signed. This occasion is celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’ and is a major annual holiday. This year will mark the 66th anniversary and we will make sure that you’re in Pyongyang on the day to join in the celebrations with the locals picnicking in Moran Park, and attending whatever dances or events are planned on this day.

          Aside from joining in the celebrations with the locals, we won’t be missing out on seeing the main sites of the capital city, Pyongyang. This includes the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, the Juche Tower, the Party Foundation Monument, and Kim Il Sung Square. Plus much more!

          This comprehensive group tour to North Korea will also get you down to the DMZ (the North-South Korea border), and the little-explored town of Nampo on the West Coast. Here you will stay in the famous hot spa resort and enjoy BBQ petrol clams! (Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like - a must-try!)

          Don't have so much time to spare? Take a look at the Victory Day Short Tour which takes you to all of the must-see sights in Pyongyang, as well as going to Kaesong and the DMZ.

          Highlights

          • Victory Day celebrations on July 27th, the 67th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice
          • Experience heavy industry of Nampo and the healing waters of Dragon River Hot Spa
          • Panmunjom Truce Village and the DMZ in historic Kaesong, capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty
        • Itinerary

          Briefing Day
          1. July 22 | Wednesday

            Briefing Day

            *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

            For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

            AM

            • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
            • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

            PM

            • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
            • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

            Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

          2. July 23 | Thursday

            Arrival Day in Pyongyang

            AM

            • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
            • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

            PM

            • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 14:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
            • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 16:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
            • War Heroes’ Cemetery | Cemetery dedicated to heroes of the Korean War. Opened in 2013 and centred around a monument of a rifle and red flag.
            • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
            • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
            • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

          3. July 24 | Friday

            Pyongyang and Pyongsong, satellite city of Pyongyang


            AM

            • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | A world-class museum led by a local museum guides. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip. Unmissable.
            • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
            • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership. A presentation of flowers is customary. Heritage Site.

            PM

            • Pyongsong Primary School | A local primary school with tour of classrooms, demonstration rooms, dance and music halls, and gymnasium. See the school’s award-winning dance troupe and take on the schoolchildren in ping-pong, a sport this school specialises in teaching.
            • Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site | Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army during the Korean War in the hills north of Pyongyang. Preserved traditional homes which served as army offices during the war, bunkers, as well as burnt trees and bomb casing from American aerial attacks set among a bucolic landscape. The on-site museum compliments the War Museum in Pyongyang.
            • Return to Pyongyang.
            • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
          4. July 25 | Saturday

            Victory Day, the 66th anniversary of Korean War Armistice Agreement.

            AM

            • Mansudae Fountain Park | Centrally-located pleasant park popular with local citizens afterschool, on weekends. Flanked by examples of representative architecture from different eras.
            • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 miles) horse’ - a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
            • Foreign Languages Bookshop | Buy Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
            • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
            • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.

            PM

            • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
            • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
            • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
            • Kaeson Funfair | Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot (€-€€). Open April-October.

            Overnight |Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          5. July 26 | Sunday

            Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, mausoleum of the DPRK leaders, and Sariwon-Kaesong

            AM

            • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.
            • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and centre of ago-industry. A 1-hour drive.

            PM

            • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
            • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.
            • Kayagum Performance | Traditional Korean stringed instrument performance at the Minsok Folk Hotel. Tip recommended (1-3 EUR per person on group tours) for this beautiful demonstration of Korean music.
            Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean style. Housed in beautiful courtyards of Kaesong’s old city, structures date back to the Ri Dynasty. Basic bathroom facilities. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electricity supply – please bring a torch.
          6. July 27 | Monday

            Kaesong and DMZ Tour
            • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
            • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
            • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
            • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

            PM

            • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through the countryside.
            • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
            • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games. (€ per activity). Excellent for people-watching on weekends and holidays.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
          7. July 28 | Tuesday

            Pyongyang and Nampo

            AM
            • May Day Stadium | Tour the grounds and facilities of one of the world’s largest stadiums.
            • Pyongyang International Football Academy | Premier football school for young and promising athletes. Tour the facilities and learn about the history of football in the DPRK. Has multiple training pitches where you can test yourself against some students here
            • Okryugwan | A meal at Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant. Housed in a huge traditional building on the banks of the Taedong River. Okryugwan specialises in Pyongyang Cold Noodles.
            PM
            • Munsu Water Park | Take a break at this outdoor and indoor water park with water slides, lap pools, and hot tubs. Bar, coffee shop, and shops for non-swimmers (Entry fee 2 EUR; swimming fee- 10 EUR with suit rental; tennis- 5 EUR).
            • Schoolchildren’s Palace | Tour of one of Pyongyang’s centres of extracurricular excellence with study rooms for fine arts, dance, sports, and music, then watch a spectacular performance put on by the students. A vast and iconic building shaped like a mother’s embrace.
            • Drive west along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’ to Nampo, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.

            Overnight | Ryonggang Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo. Compound with holiday houses and a main building for dinner and entertainment. Bring a torch! Spa bath in every room with mineral water from the Sindok Spring- the most famous mineral spa in the DPRK. Billiards, karaoke, and ping pong.

          8. July 29 | Wednesday

            Nampo on the Taedong River

            AM
            • West Sea Barrage  | An 8 km concrete, steel, and earthen barrage constructed between the Taedong River estuary and the West Sea for land reclamation, irrigation, flood prevention, and power generation. It also acts as a ship's lock and fish ladder. One of the DPRK’s greatest engineering feats.
            • Chollima Steelworks | A major heavy industry site of the DPRK, known to Koreans as the birthplace of the Chollima Movement and famous for making ‘Juche Steel’. Please note that this location is a key industrial site and visits may depend on on-site activities/conditions. If unavailable, an alternative location will be arranged.  
            PM

            • Pyongyang Catfish Factory | A full-scale facility where you can learn about the fascinating science of catfish production.
            • Science and Technology Centre | Newly built atom-shaped educational facility, library, computer lab, and exhibition of the latest developments in science and technology for students of all ages, educators, and researchers alike.
            • Monument to the Sinking of the SS General Sherman - General Sherman was an American merchant ship which sailed up the Taedong River in the 19th century and was sunk by local militia - and walk on Mirae Future Scientist Street.
            • Pizza Restaurant | Dinner at one of Pyongyang’s Italian eateries (there are three). Pizzas range between 5-12 EUR each.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang.
          9. July 30 | Thursday

            Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

            AM

            • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS251 at 10:35 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 11:35.

            OR

            • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, July 31 at 08:30. For this tour, the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

            End of Tour

        • Extras

          • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

            If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

            See more
          • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

            Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

            See more
          • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

            This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

          • Upgrade to your own room

            All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

            See more
          • Helicopter flight over Pyongyang

            Why not take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the DPRK's capital? Grab this rare opportunity to tour the skies above the city in a 40-minute helicopter trip aboard an Air Koryo Mi-17 chopper. The flight offers an unrivalled view from above, and great opportunities for photos and video from a completely different angle.

            See more
          • Insurance (7 to 9 nights)

            We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

        • What is / is not included?

          • Included
            Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
            Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
            All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing and pizza restaurant (see itinerary)
            Hotel accommodation
            Koryo Tours tour leader
            Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
            All transportation in North Korea
          • Not included
            North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
            Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
            Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
            Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
            Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
            Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
            Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
            Spending money for souvenirs
            Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
        • Notes

          Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

          Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

        Please apply by 1st July, 2020.

        July 25 - July 30 2020

        The Victory Day Short Tour

        5 nights in North Korea + travel
        time between Beijing and Pyongyang

        Experience one of North Korea’s most important national holidays that will see
        mass dances and other festivities! This tour will also travel to Kaesong and
        the DMZ and Pyongsong.

        From 975 EUR per person

        Please apply by 9th July, 2020.

        The Victory Day Short Tour

        5 nights in North Korea + travel
        time between Beijing and Pyongyang

        Experience one of North Korea’s most important national
        holidays that will see mass dances and other festivities!
        This tour will also travel to Kaesong and the DMZ and
        Pyongsong.

        From 975 EUR per person

        • Overall

          Travel to North Korea for Victory Day will give you a deep insight into the country and the culture. Not only will you get to enjoy all the must-see sights of the capital Pyongyang, but you’ll also be there for North Korea’s Victory Day celebrations.

          July 27th 1953 was the day the Korean War armistice was signed. This occasion is celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’ and is a major annual holiday. This year will mark the 67th anniversary and we will make sure that you’re in Pyongyang on the day for one of the most unique holidays and join in the celebrations with the locals, who are all in high spirits. This includes picnicking in Moran Park, attending (and taking part in) mass dances, and enjoying any other events planned on this day.

          As well as a city tour of Pyongyang including the Juche Tower, Kim Il Sung Square and the local Kwangbok supermarket, you will also have the opportunity to visit the DMZ North-South Korea border and stay in traditional Korean accommodation.

          There's much more to North Korea travel than Pyongyang and the DMZ.
          If you have a couple of days more to spare, why not check out our Victory Day Long Tour which takes you to Nampo on the West Coast of North Korea.

          Highlights

          • Victory Day celebrations on July 27th, the 66th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice
          • The Pyongyang Metro; Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and other Pyongyang highlights
          • Panmunjom Truce Village and the DMZ in historic Kaesong, capital of the medieval Koryo Dynasty
        • Itinerary

          Briefing Day
          1. July 24 | Friday

            Briefing Day

            *Pre-Tour Briefing | We require all travellers to attend a pre-tour briefing that covers regulations, etiquette, safety, and practicalities for travel in North Korea. The briefing lasts approximately one hour followed by a question and answer session. Please be punctual for the briefing. You can come early, meet your fellow travellers, pay any outstanding tour fees and browse our collection of Korean art. A proper briefing is an essential part of travel to North Korea.

            For this tour, we will hold two briefings. One in the morning for those departing by train this afternoon and the other in the afternoon for those departing by flight the next day.

            AM

            • Recommended latest arrival in Beijing.
            • 10:00 | Briefing for those departing by train.

            PM

            • 16:00 | Briefing for those departing by flight.  
            • 17:00 | Train travellers depart Beijing Station by domestic sleeper train to Dandong, the Chinese city on the border with North Korea. Please arrange independent travel to the train station and arrive at least an hour and a half early for the train departure.

            Overnight | Hotel in Beijing not included in the tour for those taking the flight the next day. Contact us for recommendations near our office! Those travelling by train will spend the night on the train.

          2. July 25 | Saturday

            Arrival Day in Pyongyang

            AM

            • Train transfer at Dandong Station from overnight sleeper train to Dandong-Pyongyang local. Our local representative in Dandong will assist with the transfer. Train crosses the China-North Korea border followed by North Korean customs and immigration.
            • Free bus from the Koryo Tours office to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 for those taking the flight. Exact time TBC at the pre-tour briefing. Alternatively, meet the group at the Air Koryo check-in counter.

            PM

            • Flight departure from Beijing on Air Koryo flight JS252 at 13:05. A 1.5-hour flight with basic lunch (no vegetarian option).
            • Flight arrival into Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport (FNJ) at 15:35. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guides and transfer to the city.
            • War Heroes’ Cemetery | Cemetery dedicated to heroes of the Korean War. Opened in 2013 and centred around a monument of a rifle and red flag.
            • Train arrival to Pyongyang Railway Station.
            • Kim Il Sung Square | Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums and The Grand People’s Study House, Korea’s national library. See the centre of it all!
            • Walk on post-war Pyongyang's oldest street Victory (Sungni) Street from Kim Il Sung Square to Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang. Home away from home for most (but not all!) foreign visitors to Pyongyang, this 47-story hotel is located on an island in the middle of the Taedong River and offers great views of the city. Comfortable rooms and comprehensive leisure facilities: swimming pool, spa, billiards, bowling, gift shops, tea houses, beer brewed on-site, and a Chinese-run casino.

          3. July 26 | Sunday

            Pyongyang and Pyongsong, satellite city of Pyongyang


            AM

            • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun | Mausoleum of the DPRK leadership where President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il lie in state and the most solemn location on the itinerary. Please note formal dress is required. Men require collared shirt with tie, dark non-jean pants, and dark shoes. Women require covered shoulders, knee-length dress or pants, and closed toed shoes. The visit will take most of the morning and visitors are asked to bow a number of times inside. This is a state-administered site and visits are subject to local conditions. Cancellations are rare but possible.
            • Drive north to Pyongsong, a satellite city of Pyongyang and centre of scientific research.  A 45 minute to 1-hour drive.
            • Pyongsong City Square | Central square of Pyongsong City with statues of the DPRK leadership. A presentation of flowers is customary. Heritage Site.

            PM

            • Pyongsong Primary School | A local primary school with tour of classrooms, demonstration rooms, dance and music halls, and gymnasium. See the school’s award-winning dance troupe and take on the schoolchildren in ping-pong, a sport this school specialises in teaching.
            • Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site | Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army during the Korean War in the hills north of Pyongyang. Preserved traditional homes which served as army offices during the war, bunkers, as well as burnt trees and bomb casing from American aerial attacks set among a bucolic landscape. The on-site museum compliments the War Museum in Pyongyang.
            • Return to Pyongyang.
            • Kwangbok Department Store | Exchange for Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! Try the snack stands for some of Pyongyang’s best local eats.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
          4. July 27 | Monday

            Victory Day, the 66th anniversary of Korean War Armistice Agreement.

            AM

            • Mansudae Fountain Park | Centrally-located pleasant park popular with local citizens afterschool, on weekends. Flanked by examples of representative architecture from different eras.
            • Mansudae Grand Monument | Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. A presentation of flowers and bow by the group is customary here (5 EUR). Please note this is a government-administered sight and visits are subject to cancellation. Visits are optional and require a certain dress code (close-toed shoes and covered legs and shoulders). Here we will also see the Chollima Monument, or ‘thousand ri (400 km or 250 miles) horse’ - a symbol of speed- commemorating the quick rebuilding of the country in the 1950s following the Korean War.
            •  Foreign Languages Bookshop | Buy Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art.
            • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with stunning artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
            • Arch of Triumph | Massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule. Made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung in 1982.

            PM

            • Tower of the Juche Idea | Iconic tower on the Taedong River dedicated to the DPRK’s guiding philosophy. Take the elevator to the top for 5 EUR for great views of the city.
            • Monument to the Party Foundation | Iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which make up the emblem of the Worker’s Party of Korea and represent workers, farmers, and intellectuals.
            • Mass Dance | As it's a national holiday, we expect to see large student organised dances held around Pyongyang on major holidays (weather dependent). Join in the fun!
            • Kaeson Funfair | Take on the rides of Pyongyang’s small but excellently located central funfair with the locals: pirate ship, ‘vominator’, rollercoaster, bumper cars, arcades, and more. Entry and ride tickets purchased on the spot (€-€€). Open April-October.

            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

          5. July 28 | Tuesday

            Sariwon-Kaesong

            AM

            • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum | A world-class museum led by a local museum guide. Renovated in 2012 and its exhibits of Korean War from the DPRK perspective containing artefacts, documents, photos, and lifelike dioramas. The exterior grounds house the War Victory Monument and displays of Korean People’s Army Hero Equipment and captured equipment from the US military, including the spy ship USS Pueblo. Central to the understanding of the country today and highlight of the trip. Unmissable.
            • Drive south along the 'Reunification Highway' to Sariwon, provincial seat of North Hwanghae Province and centre of ago-industry. A 1-hour drive.

            PM

            • Sariwon Folk Village and City View | Mock-up of a traditional Korean town which includes a history museum, food street, and pavilions. There is a small tavern selling Makkoli, traditional rice wine. Climb a nearby hill for a view of Sariwon City and the surrounding plains.
            • Pakyon Waterfall | Light walking in relaxing wooded area to a scenic waterfall. There are hiking trails of various lengths. Local people commonly visit here for picnics and sometimes bathing/swimming.
            • Kayagum Performance | Traditional Korean stringed instrument performance at the Minsok Folk Hotel. Tip recommended (1-3 EUR per person on group tours) for this beautiful demonstration of Korean music.
            Overnight | Minsok Folk Hotel, Kaesong. Traditional style hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in Korean style. Housed in beautiful courtyards of Kaesong’s old city, structures date back to the Ri Dynasty. Basic bathroom facilities. Hot water not guaranteed and erratic electricity supply – please bring a torch.
          6. July 29 | Wednesday

            Kaesong and DMZ Tour
            • Old City Walk and South Gate | A morning stroll through Kaesong’s historic district lined with homes dating back to the late Ri Dynasty to the city’s historic South Gate.
            • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and demarcation line between north and south. On some days it is possible to visit the hut straddling the line, where negotiations between both sides once took place. Here we will be accompanied by military guides from the Korean People's Army.
            • Kaesong Koryo Museum | Once the Songgyung Academy, a Confucian school, and now a museum on the Koryo Dynasty exhibiting historical objects, statues, pagodas, and porcelain from that era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
            • Kaesong Korean Stamp Exhibition Hall | Store selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
            • Traditional Royal Korean Lunch (pangsanggi) | A meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings of old. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).

            PM

            • Concrete Wall and view of DMZ | View of a complex fortification system erected on the southern boundary of the DMZ accompanied by a military guide. The wall is seen as evidence of intent to permanently divide the nation. 45 minute drive each way from Kaesong through the countryside.
            • Drive back to Pyongyang with a stop at the Monument to the Three Charters of Reunification, a large stone archway over the highway memorializing joint agreements between north and south. A 2.5-hour drive.
            • Golden Lane Bowling Centre | Where Pyongyang locals go for their ten-pin fix, billiards and 90’s arcade games. (€ per activity). Excellent for people-watching on weekends and holidays.
            Overnight | Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.
          7. July 30 | Tuesday

            Departure Day from Pyongyang and Return to Beijing by flight or train. Please confirm your preferred transport method upon booking*

            AM

            • Flight departure from Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight JS151 at 08:50 with scheduled arrival at Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 at 09:50.

            OR

            • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:10 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Wednesday, July 31 at 08:30. For this tour the default option is hard sleeper (six beds per berth).

            End of Tour

        • Extras

          • Transport | Train and Flights to North Korea (Standard)

            This tour travels between Beijing-Pyongyang by train each way in a hard-sleeper carriage (6 bunks per compartment). The train journey takes 24 hours with a transfer at the city of Dandong. One-way or round-trip flights are also available. The flight takes around 90 minutes. For an extra 199 EUR you can upgrade to a one-way flight. A round-trip ticket costs an additional 299 EUR.

          • Visit the DPRK border town of Sinuiju

            If you're heading back to Beijing by train this option lets you get off for an overnight in Dongrim before the next day's tour of Sinuiju — the border city with China. Spend an extra 24 hours in the DPRK seeing the sites of North Pyongan province. You will then continue on through to Beijing.

            See more
          • Visit Dandong — the Chinese gateway to the DPRK

            Instead of immediately returning to Beijing when your tour ends you can take some extra time to visit this fascinating border city, which directly faces the DPRK town of Sinuiju, but lies on the Chinese side of the Yalu River. We offer both one-night and two-night fully guided extensions that take in all the sights of Dandong, with a special North Korea theme.

            See more
          • Upgrade to your own room

            All hotel rooms on our all-inclusive group tours feature twin beds, and will be shared. If you'd like a room to yourself then you can upgrade for an extra 40 EUR per night.

            See more
          • Insurance for up to six nights

            We're unable to take you on one of our tours if you do not have medical insurance that covers the destination in question. Issues of isolation and infrastructure where we go mean it would be irresponsible of us to do so. We can provide this if you do not have it — or you can use your own.

          • Hotel booking in Beijing

            Koryo Tours is able to arrange hotel bookings in Beijing at the following hotels on behalf of people travelling with us. We have four hotels on offer with different levels of comfort and all located a short walk from our office. Select which hotel you are interested in and your Tour Manager will confirm the dates and cost for you. We will make the booking and add the cost to your tour invoice.

            See more
        • What is / is not included?

          • Included
            Train Beijing – Pyongyang with transfer at Dandong
            Train Pyongyang – Beijing with transfer at Dandong
            All meals on the tour apart from the meals on the train back to Beijing
            Hotel accommodation
            Koryo Tours tour leader
            Two local Korean guides, and a driver per group
            All transportation in North Korea
          • Not included
            North Korean visa fee 50 EUR
            Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 199 EUR; round-trip: 299EUR)
            Optional single room supplement (40 EUR per night)
            Tips for the local Korean guides and driver (approx 10-15 EUR per day)
            Optional activities such as the lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR) or a visit to the funfair (approx. 2 EUR entrance fee per person)
            Entry tickets for special events if applicable – for example Pyongyang Circus (approx. 20 EUR per person)
            Meals include a complimentary beer and water, but you will need to purchase extra drinks if needed
            Spending money for souvenirs
            Sinuiju Extension: RMB 50 for the bus across the bridge to Dandong to be paid on the spot to the local guides
        • Notes

          Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

          Please note that when on tour your day-to-day itinerary may differ slightly to what is advertised above. Your tour leader will ensure, however, that everything available at the time is covered, and replacement options are provided where needed. We will also add in extras when there is time (such as a visit to a local bar or amusement park). We visit the DPRK regularly so know all the best places to go, and how to make the most of your days there 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.

        Please apply by 9th July, 2020.

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        info@koryogroup.com | + 86 10 6416 7544
        27 Bei Sanlitun Nan (East Courtyard).
        Chaoyang District. Beijing 100027. P.R China

        中国北京市朝阳区北三里屯南 27 号 (东侧院),
        邮编:100027
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