The tour is priced at just 1899EUR (starting in Dandong) or 1999EUR (starting in Bejing) and includes train travel, 4 star hotel, all meals, tours and Hungarian speaking* local guides within North-Korea.
*you have to ask for it before your booking via email!
Private tours 2019 and 2020
(available on any date). Each tour includes the return sleeper train from Beijing to the NK border. Itineraries are customiseable but the most popular options are 2 nights (Visit Pyongyang). 3 nights (Pyongyang and the DMZ). 4 nights (PY, DMZ and Mt Myohyang). 7 nights adds on 3 days on the beaches at Wonsan and visiting Kumgang national park. 10 nights adds on the West coast at Nampo, Sincheon and Sariwon.
(Price per person)
|Nights in NK:||2||3||4||7||10|
|6+||Contact for a quote via email|
All the above prices are starting and ending the tour in Beijing. To start and end in Dandong, please reduce the price by 90 EUR.
Balance payment must be paid in Euros in cash on arrival.
Private tours can be customised and we also have experience arranging Sabbath/Shabbat compliant tours as well as tours for clients with disabilities. We can also arrange North Korean guides fluent in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Hungarian, Japanese and Chinese.
If you wish to add more days to the tour, the cost is between 125 EUR and 255 EUR extra per day (dependent on size of group). If you wish to visit different regions to those on the standard tour then the price will vary slightly, please contact us for further details.
Please add 52 EUR per night for single room supplement. If you are travelling alone and would like to avoid this supplement, we can usually allocate somebody else for you to share with.
For details of the 7 day tour please click here. The longer tours can be tailored to your request. You can also leave a day earlier from North Korea if you are short of time, for a reduced rate. Please email for details.
The authorities insist on US citizens flying into the country rather than travelling by train. Flight prices fluctuate, but it is currently an extra 330 EUR for the return flight from Shenyang.
How to secure your place.
A deposit of £200 is required upon booking to secure your place.
Depart Beijing Railway station at 17:25 onboard the train to Dandong. Relax in the restaurant car before returning to your cabins to sleep overnight.
Arrive in Dandong at 7:15. We have a couple of hours break to get breakfast before returning to the train station for the 10:00 train to Pyongyang. The train departs and we cross the Yalu river on the Sino-Korea Friendship bridge over to Sinuiju. The train stops at North Korean customs where we will remain for around 2 hours before continuing the journey to Pyongyang. View the Korean countryside and workers in the fields through the train windows throughout your journey to the capital. Packed lunch provided on the train. The journey is a great chance to mix with locals on the train and also stand on the bustling platforms while the train stops at each town along the way. We reach Pyongyang in time for dinner at the Yanggakdo hotel. Evening spent at leisure around the hotel grounds. Check out the hotel's microbrewery or head up to the revolving bar on the top floor with incredible vistas of Pyongyang. There's also the chance to go bowling, play pool or perform on karaoke!
After breakfast we are driven to Mount Myohang to explore one of the most beautiful areas in the Korean peninsula. On arrival we visit the International Friendship Exhibition Hall, a huge complex consisting of over 100,000 gifts given by various world leaders and figures to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il. Including the extravagant sight of two trains given to Kim Il Sung by Chairman Mao and Joseph Stalin! After visiting the exhibit highlights we are taken onto the balcony of the exhibition hall to view the breathtaking scenery of the area. We leave the exhibition hall and drive to nearby Pohyon Temple. The temple dates from the 11th Century and the founding of the Koryo Dynasty. It is one of the few remaining Buddhist temples in North Korea. The local guide will give you a tour of the site and introduce you the the temple's monks. After lunch in Myohang-ch'on we return to Pyongyang and visit the Arch of Triumph and Mangyongdae Native House. Afterwards we will visit the Youth palace to watch a special performance by local children. We will go for a traditional Korean meal before; depending on the time of year we will either return to the hotel to spend the night at leisure.
After breakfast we head to Panmunjom, the 'truce village' that straddles the North/South Korean border and visit the Armistice Hall, where the truce was signed at the end of the Korean war. We are given talks by North Korean military personnel explaining the history of the site before heading over to visit the DMZ or Military Demarcation line; an area that Bill Clinton described as 'one of the most dangerous places in the world'. If there are no tourists on the Southern side then we will have the chance to go inside the blue buildings which straddle the border. Once inside you can walk freely across the North and South border. Afterwards we drive to Kaesong to visit the Koryo History Museum and the Tomb of King Wang Gwon. Afterwards we will go for lunch before returning to Pyongyang in the afternoon to view the Tower of Juche Idea, take a trip on the Pyongyang Metro and visit the Mansudae Monument and view the newly constructed giant bronze statue of Kim Jong Il now stood next to his father. We will then visit one of the best restaurants in Pyongyang, the Duck BBQ before returning to the hotel where you will have the chance to shop at the export store. Buy anything from books, CDs and DVDs to stamps, pin badges and propaganda artwork. Depending on what activities are available at the time of the tour, we also offer the option of spending the evening outside the hotel, visiting either the funfair, orchestra, circus or bar.
Today is a national holiday celebrating the former birthday of Kim Il Sung. We spend the day around the capital, soaking up the atmosphere and visiting various sites from the Grand People’s Study House , Korean War Museum and Mangyongdae Native House, to the Arch of Triumph, Kim Il Sung square to Monument of the Party Foundation and more. Int he early evening we join in with the celebrations, which are likely to include a Mass Dance being held in one of the squares where you will be able to interact and even dance with locals! Sometimes fireworks take place later as we walk along the banks of the Taedong river before going for dinner at a Pyongyang restaurant.
Today we begin our three day trip out to the East Coast. After breakfast we will drive to Wonsan visiting the Tomb of King Tongmyong along the way. We will stop for lunch in Wonsan before visiting the city and its beaches where local holiday makers will be enjoying their time off. You will be more than welcome to go for a swim yourself so just remember to bring your swimming gear!
Overnight in Wonsan.
After breakfast we will begin our exploration of Mt. Kumgang the second highest mountain in all of North Korea. We will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the 1.683m peak as well as to visit the scenic waterfalls throughout the park. Please bring your hiking shoes/boots or at a minimum trainers with good grip, if you would like to go up the trails.
Overnight in Kumgang National Park.
8. After breakfast we will have more time to explore the park before we make our way back to Pyongyang for some time in the capital. Overnight in Pyongyang.
9. After breakfast we’ll visit Mt. Ryongak close to Pyongyang and then walk along Youth Street in the city. Next a visit to the Kwangbok Supermarket, a great chance to mingle with locals and use the local currency. After lunch we’ll then head west out of the city to the Chongsan Co-operative farm.
Overnight in the Spa Hotel with an opportuntiy to use the local spring spa.
10. In the morning we visit the vast West Sea Dam, one of North Korea's largest ever construction projects. Next we head on to the town of Sinchon visting the sombre US war atrocities museum. Finally a visit to the local folk park before driving on to Sariwon Migok Farm.
11. Today we’ll head on to Haeju and go for a walk and picnic at Mt. Suyang and Sokdamgugok (The nine valleys scenic area). In the afternoon we head back to Pyongyang (3 hour drive) and enjoy a farewell dinner before overnighting at Yanggakdo Hotel.
12. After breakfast we will return to the train station for our journey back to Sinuiju and out of North Korea. Lunch is provided on the train. Arrive back in Dandong at 16.30 before departing to Beijing at 18:30.
13. Arrive in Beijing at 8:30
What does the price include?
For those starting the tour in Dandong, the price includes all meals, tours, transport and accommodation within North Korea as well as $50,000 medical insurance for within DPRK. Travel from Dandong to North Korea and back is also included. Accommodation is a twin room in the 4 star Yanggakdo hotel.
For those taking the Beijing option, all the above is included as well as return sleeper train from Beijing (six berth cabin). Bullet train option is available!
What does the price not include?
International flights to China, North Korean visa, Chinese double entry visa and travel insurance are not included.
Tips (budget 2-5 Euros per day) are also optional extras as well as money for alcoholic drinks and souvenirs.
Rooms are allocated on a twin basis but if you prefer to have a single room there is a supplement of 52 Euros per night to pay on arrival into Pyongyang.
Can I take photographs?
Control over photography is a lot more relaxed than in recent years. Photographs and video can be taken at all tourist sites and all over Pyongyang. It is not allowed on the train or anywhere around military personnel (except the DMZ).
When do I get my visa?
We can have your visa sent to your nearest North Korean Embassy or we can have it issued for you in Dandong ready for collection at the start of the tour. Our staff will have it ready waiting for you in Dandong. The visa issued in Dandong costs €50 and is issued as a separate piece of paper that is taken away at the end of your visit and there is no stamp left in your passport. For UK citizens who prefer a visa sticker inside their passport, we can arrange these for issue in London for £20. Please note the visas in London will only be issued 4-10 days before the tour so this is only an option if you are planning to leave the UK a 2-3 days before the tour.
Can I fly instead of taking the train?
We can arrange return flights from Shenyang to Pyongyang for 335 EUR (or 240 EUR if more than 10 people in the group flying).
For those looking to take the train in and fly out, we can arrange flights to Beijing for approximately 225 EUR (or lower if the group size is over 10) one way or from 335 EUR for return flights. These flights are with Air Koryo. Air China flight prices are also available on request.
Please note these prices include a deduction from the price of the train tickets that you would no longer need to if taking the flight option. These are also average prices and subject to local currency fluctuations (RMB). Exact price will be given on day of booking.
For those flying from Beijing, we require you to arrive in Beijing the day before your flight so we can deliver your visa and flight tickets to your hotel.
Do I need a visa for China?
Most nationalities require a visa for China. You will require a double entry visa to facilitate your first entry on arrival and then your second entry upon departure from North Korea. We will provide you with the invitation required to obtain this visa.
For those flying in and out of North Korea, there is now the option of a 72 hour visa free period in Beijing. To make use of this you are required to show proof of your onward flight ticket and North Korean visa at Chinese immigration. We can send you copies of these by email in advance and you can pick up the physical copies on arrival (or we can arrange them in advance to be picked up from your nearest Embassy). If you are going to use copies of the visa and flight ticket that we send to you then you MUST check with your airline in advance to check that they will accept copies at check in. It is unlikely they will refuse boarding but it is better to let them know in advance to avoid any issues on the day. Please note that the 72 hour visa is only valid for international flights heading direct into Beijing..
Is North Korea safe?
North Korea is considered one of the safest tourist destinations in the world. Our customers have never had any problems with either crime, or the authorities. The only way you are likely to put yourself in any kind of trouble is by disobeying the guides orders, breaking the law or constantly criticising the North Korean leaders or government. We urge you to respect your guides views and wishes otherwise constant disrespect and criticism is likely to lead to deportation or in extreme circumstances, jail.
We also advise anyone with a missionary background or links with the Korean War to stay away due to arrests made during 2013.
Americans need to exercise a little more caution than other nationalities but as long as you use common sense you encounter no problems.
Do I have any freedom in North Korea?
Your government guides will be with you at all times of day and you are unable to venture off on your own. When back at your hotel you are free to spend time as you wish around the hotel and its grounds.
What is the Mass Games?
The Mass Games or 'Arirang' is one of the greatest spectacles in the world. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest event of its kind on earth. There is a cast of more than 100,000 people including dancers, martial arts experts, a military tattoo acrobats and most awe inspiring of all the backdrop; an awe inspiring constantly changing human mosaic that displays panoramas, political slogans and cartoons.
When does the Mass Games take place?
The Mass Games usually takes place from early August until the end of September. They have not taken place since 2013 and we do not know when (if ever) they will launch again.
Can I take my phone?
As of 2013, mobile phones are allowed into North Korea. However, your sim card will not work with the local Koryolink network. International phonecalls can be made from the hotel for approximately 2 Euros per minute.
What are the moral implications of visiting North Korea?
Some believe it is wrong to visit North Korea as your money is going direct to their government rather than into the hands of locals. However, others believe visiting the country can help benefit the people you meet by making them aware of the outside world. There isn't really a clear right or wrong answer to whether you should visit or not so we advise you to research the topic yourself and make your own decision.
How do I get to Dandong?
If you take our Beijing extension, you will travel from Beijing to Dandong on return sleeper trains. You will sleep in the 2nd class hard sleeper carriages (6 berths per cabin). For an additional 35 EUR we can upgrade you to a soft sleeper (4 berths per cabin - subject to availability). The train departs Beijing at 17.30 and arrives at 7.17 the following morning.
If you prefer to make your own way to Dandong, there are a few other options other than the overnight train from Dandong:
-Take a bullet train from Beijing to Shenyang (around 5 hours) and then take a bus or taxi to Dandong (3 hours).
- Fly from Beijing to Dandong. There is one early afternoon flight per day and it will cost around 120 EUR.
- If you are travelling from South Korea you can take a direct overnight ferry from Incheon, prices start around 140 EUR.
What else is there to do around Dandong?
Dandong is in North Eastern China, a seldom visited area on the tourist map of China. However, it works as a great start off point to a visit to North Korea, getting an early flavour of North Korea through the many Koreans living here and through viewing the contrast between Chinese and Korean life on either side of the river.
The region also has a wealth of great sites to visit. A few of them are listed below (for more info please contact us):
Tiger Mountain Great Wall, Yalu river, Benxi Water Caves, Changbaishan National Nature Reserve, Jingpohu National Forest Park, Qianshan National Park, Wudalianchi National Forest Park.
What are the trains like?
The overnight trains between Beijing and Dandong take around 13 hours and have a restaurant carriage and 3 separate classes: seating only, hard sleepers (6 berths per cabin) and soft sleepers (4 berths per cabin).
The trains between Dandong to Pyongyang take around 6 hours and have a restaurant carriage and sleeping and seating compartments.
Where can we stay in Dandong?
For luxury you can stay at the 5 star Crowne Plaza. Prices are reasonable but please be aware it is located quite far out of the centre of Dandong. For views, we recommend the 4 star Zhonglian Hotel which faces the Broken Bridge and over into North Korea. For convenience and price we recommend the 3 star Rui Xie Dan Tie hotel by the train station.
What currency can I use in North Korea?
Foreigners are not allowed to use the local currency (Won). You can use Euros, Dollars or RMB. Euros offer the best rate. ATM's are not available in North Korea and generally it is difficult to exchange other currencies.
What souvenirs can I buy in North Korea?
The souvenir shops offer everything from t shirts (10 Euros), North Korean stamp sets (5-10 Euros), CDs (5 Euros) and DVDs (7 Euros) to books (5 Euros+), traditional and propaganda artwork (10 Euros+), locally made beer (1-2 Euros) and much more.
Is there a dress code?
For tours which include a visit to the Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you must bring formal dress. For men, shoes, trousers, collared shirt and preferably tie are required. For women, shoes and smart dress or trousers and shirt are required. At all other times there are no restrictions on clothing.