North Korea

Specialist Tours
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Koryo Tours specialise in taking you out of the usual and into rather unusual travel destinations, and we’ve been experts in it for over 25 years.

If you’re after something extra special, though, Koryo Tours also offer specialist North Korea tours. These tours are designed to be more in-depth, more informative, and unique. All whilst upholding a high level of professionalism and expertise that sets Koryo Tours aside from the rest, and ensures the highest level of security (and fun!) during your time in North Korea!

Specialist North Korea tours we offer include;

Expert Tour Leader Tours:

• Tours run by resident expert tour leaders, including founder Nick Bonner. These Specialist North Korea tour gives you a unique insight into North Korea, hearing it directly how it is from the people who know it best.

Specialist Activities Tours:

• From studying in North Korea for a month, to taking the railway across the North Korean countryside - we have experience in planning a wide range of specialist activities all over the country.

Special Interest Tours:

• Koryo Tours can also create tour packages to adapt to those with special interests, including film tours, architecture tours, or our Photography Tours. (link to photography when its up).

Have a special interest or want to plan something different in North Korea? With over 25 years experience working in North Korea, Koryo Tours are the right people to come to if you have something different in mind. As one of the first tour companies to begin leading tours to North Korea, we have

Whether you’re a foodie who wants to eat their way through Pyongyang, or a football fanatic after seeing a game (or joining in on one!), if you have an idea for something you’d like to do, let us know!

Contact us for private tours or check out our selection of specialist group tours below.

June 2020 — 1 tour

June 8 - June 11/12 2020

North Korea vs Turkmenistan Football Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel

Be there as our two favourite travel destinations face
off in a FIFA world cup qualifier! Tour will be led by
Simon Cockerell

From 899 EUR per person

Please apply by 9th May, 2020.

Tour Closed Tour Details

North Korea vs Turkmenistan Football Tour

3 nights in North Korea +
Beijing-Pyongyang travel

Be there as our two favourite travel
destinations face off in a FIFA world
cup qualifier! Tour will be led by Simon

From 899 EUR per person

  • Overall

    Join us in Pyongyang to see North Korea's & Turkmenistan's national teams take each other on to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup! It's a rare chance to attend an International Football Match in Pyongyang and join the locals as they cheer on the local heroes versus our favourite Central Asian 'stan!

    Watch a football match in North Korea, held in the centrally located Kim Il Sung Stadium, as well as exploring North Korea's capital city Pyongyang.

    This tour of Pyongyang includes the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, Kwangbok Supermarket and Pyongyang Metro. We’ll then head to Kaesong in the south where we’ll visit the DMZ that divides the Korean peninsula. 3 nights int he DPRK not long enough for you?

    We can offer bespoke extensions to the tour if you like! Contact us for details.

    Scroll down for an overview of the tour highlights, the itinerary, transport choices, DPRK tourist visa information, and tour add-ons.


    Koryo Tours International Tours

    Mongolia | Turkmenistan | Kazakhstan | Bhutan | Russia | Tajikistan 



    • North Korea vs. Turkmenistan 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification match in Pyongyang
    • Pyongyang highlights — Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum; Pyongyang Metro, and more!
    • Historic city of Kaesong, the Panmunjom Truce Village, and the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
  • Itinerary

    Briefing Day
    1. June 7 | Sunday

      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.


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


      • 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. June 8 | Monday

      Arrival Day in Pyongyang


      • 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.


      • 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!
      • Sungni (Victory) Street | Walk 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. June 9 | Tuesday (MATCH DAY!)

      Pyongyang City Tour and 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier match - North Korea vs. Turkmenistan! Our favourite travel destinations play each other in Kim Il Sung Stadium


      • 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.
      • 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 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 highlight of the trip.
      • 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 stone hammer, sickle, writing brush representing the workers, farmers, and intellectuals which make up the Worker's Party of Korea.
      • Kwangbok Department Store | Opportunity to use Korean currency and shop with the citizens of Pyongyang! We'll have lunch in the food court with locals before we hit cash registers for some retail therapy.





      • Pyongyang Metro Tour | One of the deepest metro systems in the world with artwork reflecting the name of each station. Ride six stations on the Chollima Line.
      • Arch of Triumph | A 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.
      • Kim Il Sung Stadium 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying match - North Korea vs. Turkmenistan!* Join 50,000 locals as they cheer on the DPRK National Team in this amazing sporting event. Ticket price to be confirmed, but expected to be 20-50 EUR per person paid on the spot. 
      • Post-game drinks at a local bar (0.50-1 EUR per glass) for some pub-based post-game analysis

      Overnight: Yanggakdo International Hotel, Pyongyang.

    4. June 10 | Wednesday

      Historic Kaesong and the DMZ


      • Kaesong | Drive 160 km south the 'Reunification Highway' to the historic capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918-1392) and today located near the Korean Demilitarised Zone. 3 Hour drive.
      • Panmunjom Armistice Village and DMZ | The site of the signing of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and the 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).


      • Sariwon Folk Village | We'll drive around two hours to  a recently built mock-up of a traditional Korean walled city which includes a history museum, food street and pavilions. Make sure to try the homemade makkolli here!
      • Pyongyang Continue driving to the capital.
      • 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.

    5. June 11 | Thursday

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


      • 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.


      • Train departure by train to Beijing at 10:25 with transfer in Dandong. The scheduled arrival is to Beijing Station on Friday, October 18 at 08:30. 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Transport | Return by plane not train (High-season)

      This tour enters the DPRK by plane. But the default setting upon your return is the 24-hour international train from Pyongyang to Beijing. For an extra 225 EUR you can opt for the plane back instead. The flight takes around 90 minutes.

  • What is / is not 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


    • North Korean visa fee 60 EUR
    • Optional Air Koryo flights (one-way: 265 EUR; round-trip: 435 EUR)
    • 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)
    • Ticket for the match itself - usually 20-50 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

    As with any events inside the DPRK there is always a chance that some change may be made at the last minute and venue, date, etc will be altered. this is highly unlikely as it is a FIFA World Cup match and doesn't have the sensitivities of Oct 2019's DPRK vs ROK match (played in an empty stadium!) so we don't expect any changes but will do our best to accommodate any unexpected occurrences. Unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds if the match gets moved from Pyongyang close to the date of the tour. Please feel free to familiarize yourself with our terms & conditions, if you are concerned. Groups will be in the experienced hands of two or three local Korean guides and an experienced Koryo Tours tour leader.

    Our GM Simon Cockerell 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 May, 2020.

Next tour departure dates

North Korea vs Turkmenistan Football Tour

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[email protected] | + 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),
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