Kyonghunggwan Beer Bar
Kyonghunggwan Beer Bar is Pyongyang’s largest bar, a very proletarian place stretching around 80m from end to end, with dozens of tables usually packed full of local folks drinking their way through the 7 beers on offer (all Taedonggang Beer varieties) as well as a range of snacks.
No music, no seats, no live Premier League, just beer, and people drinking beer.
Kyonghunggwan is sometimes Romanised as ‘Gyonghung’ or ‘Gyonghungwan’.
Kyonghunggwan is Pyongyang’s best beer bar. A fun and lively place with a good range of beer at a low price. Perfect for mixing with people and having a sip, even if you don’t like or drink beer it is worth going here for the experience.
Kyonghunggwan Beer Bar is located on Kyonghung Street (easy to remember!), just across the road from Hwanggumbol Station on the Pyongyang Metro.
It is also about 50m south of the Moran Beer Bar. All in the western part of the city centre of Pyongyang.
Stepping outside the bar gives one a view of the top third of the Ryugyong Hotel rising over the apartment buildings on the street opposite.
Kyonghunggwan Bar is not always open to tourists. In fact, these days, it is more often not permitted than it is allowed.
Until 2014 is was always off-limits but then there was an opening, as a result of hard work from Koryo Tours. Sadly this would not last long and the bar management decided to make it a Korean-only place again.
These days it is open on special request, so if you absolutely must visit the Kyonghunggwan Bar then plan ahead!
A good alternative is the Mansugyo Beer Bar, a similar vibe and the same list of drinks, but a bit smaller and often not as busy.
Locals line up at Kyonghunggwan Bar, even with its huge capacity it is usually full and operates a lining up system.
A very popular place indeed!
Waitresses push trolleys laden with full beer glasses around to keep up with the huge demand. As the beer here is good quality as well as being very cheap it does tend to get sucked down very quickly!
Kyonghunggwan is also one of those bars that accept beer vouchers.
The men of Pyongyang are given 2 litres-worth of tokens every month, and these can be exchanged for beer in places such as this. After the vouchers have run out then cash is needed. For foreigners, the price of a beer is around $0.50 per pint.
Many bars which serve draught Taedonggang beer only ever have a couple of different types available at any one time, but Kyonghunggwan Beer Bar usually has the full range, another good reason to make a visit here.
As many visitors have noted it is often hard to get up close to locals people enjoying themselves, apart from on public holidays, but this beer bar is an exception. Probably due to the effects of the beer as a social lubricant many people here are quite vocally welcoming, and this can lead to some great shared experiences! Don’t overdo it though, the staff here regularly have to escort folks out who may have saved up too many beer vouchers and spent them all at once!
Kyonghunggwan Beer Bar is one of the few places in the DPRK which is actually no-smoking. Those wanting a cigarette need to go outside to the smoking area, which is always very busy as well.
You cannot take beer out from the bar though.