The Pyongyang
Hotel | North
Korea Travel Guide

The Pyongyang Hotel

Pyongyang Hotel

Visiting Tips

Pyongyang Hotel: Introduction

The Pyongyang Hotel is located, as you might expect, in central Pyongyang.  But don’t be fooled by Google or Tripadvisor- it isn’t that hotel.
(That hotel being the massive triangular (and as yet unfinished) Ryugyong Hotel).    

The Pyongyang Hotel is a far more modest affair.  

It is owned and mostly frequented by Chongryong (ethnic Koreans who live in Japan but carry North Korean passports). But is also used by Korean guests, visiting Chinese businessmen, and- from time to time- other foreigners.  

It doesn’t purport to be the best or most luxurious hotel in the city, but with its friendly staff, unique clientele and central location is a good value option for those visiting the capital Pyongyang. 

.pyongyang hotel

Pyongyang Hotel: Location

The Pyongyang Hotel has a great location. It is situated right downtown with views of the Taedonggang river on one side and all the way down Yongggwang Street to Pyongyang Railway Station.  

Pyongyang’s Grand Theatre is opposite, and the Central Bank of Korea just over the road.

Pyongyang Hotel: Exterior

You could drive by the Pyongyang Hotel and not realise this unremarkable 5-floor building is a hotel.  

The top is adorned with propaganda singing the praises of the Supreme Leader, the lettering lit up at night in neon pink.

You can also see into the glass-windowed hotel bars of the Pyongyang Hotel, and the coffee shop on the top floor overlooking the river.

Pyongyang Hotel: Interior

The fairly modest foyer of the Pyongyang Hotel has a friendly coffee bar, well-stocked shop (everything from daily necessities to local cosmetics and a small clothing and bric-a-brac section), plus several adjoining restaurants.  

Standard rooms are basic but clean and comfortable (although the pillows are a little hard), and warm and cosy in winter. 

Superior rooms on the 2nd floor of the Pyongyang Hotel have a second living area with desk and sofas.  

Foreign rooms have access to Al Jazeera and other international TV channels.

pyongyang hotel

Pyongyang Hotel: Visiting Tips

  • 6th-floor coffee shop- arguably Pyongyang’s best (although allow time- they make each one with love and care).
  • Check with staff when the hot water is on, and make sure to ask for a room with a view across to the Grand Theatre. In the mornings, motivational drummers are out there in force from 7.30 am, inspiring commuters on their way to work.
  • Each floor has a bar staffed by ever-friendly staff- service with a smile from morning until the last punter leaves at night.
  • If you are lucky you may arrive whilst a group of Chongryong Koreans are in town from Japan and have the chance to witness them practising traditional Korean dancing and other arts in the lobby area.
  • The ground floor coffee shop waffles are great, and they do take-out if you are in a rush.
  • The hotel feels a little like a rabbit warren, with facilities hidden away down Shining-Esque corridors.  Look out for the karaoke room on the 2nd floor, the well-stocked bookshop, and the sauna and hairdressers on the ground floor.
  • The Arirang restaurant next door does excellent galbi and bibimbap, and the 6th-floor restaurant and coffee shop has views across the river. 

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Zoe Stephens

Zoe is the marketing manager and a tour leader at Koryo Tours.

Her love of meeting new people and exploring new cultures has led her to study several languages including German, Japanese, and Chinese. Having lived in several different countries across 4 continents, she often writes about languages and culture in her blogs and is very active on social media. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was 'stuck' in Tonga for 1.5 years after a weekend away. Ask her for some stories! 

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