North Korea Classic Itinerary
10 Days / 9 Nights
Get a first-hand experience of North Korea’s ancient past and modern revolutionary history, its unique architecture and socialist art, its traditional customs and modern culture, and much more.
New locations and activities become available each year, and our private tours team will be able to advise on the latest options that best fit your particular interests.
With over 40 full days of possible sightseeing, and hundreds of sights — ranging from grand monuments and
exhibitions of an industrial power to secluded landscapes and pristine natural beauty — there is much to see
and do away from the usual routes.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience North Korea with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Beijing (-/-/-)
After landing at the Beijing Capital International Airport, you will be transferred to your hotel. After some rest, in the afternoon your driver will be waiting for you to take you to the mandatory pre-tour briefing (1-1 ½ hour) and visa hand over at 16:00. This briefing with one of our staff covers travel etiquette, guidelines, practicalities, and safety for travel in the DPRK. After the briefing you are free for the rest of the day. Overnight in Beijing.
Day 2. Beijing to Pyongyang (B/-/D)
Transfer to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2 to arrive at check in 3 hours before departure. Check-in at Air Koryo counter. Air Koryo flight from Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 2 to Pyongyang.
Arrival in Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (FNJ) in the mid-afternoon. DPRK immigration and customs, meet your Korean guide and driver, transfer to the city.
Visit the 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. Proceed to the Sungin and Sungnyong Temples - Small donation (1-2 EUR) suggested.
Finish the day at the Mansudae Grand Monument - Enormous bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking downtown Pyongyang. 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).
A bow and presentation of flowers is customary here (5 EUR; paid on the spot).
Day 3. Pyongyang (B/L/D)
Today after breakfast visit the 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.
Later we will ride on the 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.
View the Arch of Triumph, a massive archway commemorating the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule, made for the 70th anniversary of President Kim Il Sung's birth in 1982.
We’ll take a stroll in Pyongyang’s central park, Moranbong Park, popular with locals for picnics, dances, and sports, especially on national holidays. 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’.
Lunch at Okryugwan – Pyongyang’s most famous restaurant and specializing in traditional foods.
After lunch head to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and USS Pueblo. 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.
Visit the Party Foundation Monument, an iconic structure featuring the hammer, sickle, writing brush which represent the workers, farmers, and intellectuals that make up the Worker’s Party of Korea. The Tower of the Juche Idea is an 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).
To wind down the day we will visit a local Beer Bar where you can try the North Korean beer -0.5-1 EUR per glass.
In the evening walk on Future Scientist Street, a newly developed area in Pyongyang to house scientific institutions of the Kim Chaek University of Technology and their employees. The six-lane street, located between Pyongyang Railway station and the Taedong river, is lined by high rise apartments. The area was formally opened in November 2015.
Day 4. Pyongyang - Nampo (B/L/D)
We will start the day at the 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. Open Thursday and Sunday mornings only. Typically closed early May – early July each year for maintenance.
Visit the Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery – a 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 (2 EUR) and bow are customary here.
Continue to Kim Il Sung Square - Pyongyang’s central square lined with government ministries, museums, and The Grand People’s Study House.
Browse the titles in the Foreign Languages Bookshop, a store selling Korean publications translated into English, German, French, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. Also you can pick up DVDs, postcards, and small works of art here.
Next stop will be Manggyondae Native House, the birthplace and childhood home of President Kim Il Sung. A traditional Korean house in a beautiful natural surrounding.
In the Kwangbok Department Store you will have an 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.
Tour the Schoolchildren’s Palace, a public facility where children can engage in extra-curricular activities, such as learning music, foreign languages, computing skills and sports. It is the largest of the palaces in North Korea dedicated to children's after-school activities. The Mangyongdae Children's Palace has 120 rooms, a swimming pool, a gymnasium and a 2,000 seat theatre. After your tour of the building you will be presented with a performance by local children.
In the evening we will drive to Nampo along the ‘Youth Hero Highway’, the port city of Pyongyang on the Taedong River estuary. A 1.5 hours’ drive.
Day 5. Nampo - Mt. Ryonggak - Mt. Myohyang (B/L/D)
This morning we will start our tour at the 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.
Walk around Nampo City Square, then you will be taken to visit the Tae’an Glass Factory.
We will have a BBQ lunch at Mt. Ryonggak in a woodland setting just outside of the city.
In the afternoon visit the Science and Technology Complex, then continue to Mt. Myohyang, the ‘mountain of mysterious fragrance’. A 2.5 hour to 3 hour drive.
Day 6. International Friendship Exhibition - Pyongsong (B/L/D)
This morning, visit the 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, basketball signed by Michael Jordan from the US State Department, and vodka given by Dennis Rodman. The visit takes most of the morning.
Continue to the Pohyon Buddhist Temple, a peaceful temple dating back to 1042 with a 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. Visit the Ryongmun Caves before driving to Pyongsong (2 hours).
Day 7. Pyongsong - Kaesong (B/L/D)
Today we will start the day in Pyongsong City Square, then we will visit a local elementary school, and a factory, then continue to the Konji-Ri Revolutionary Site, Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army during the Korean War.
In the afternoon visit Munsu Water Park (in the summer) – Entry and swimming fees (approximately 10 EUR paid on the spot). In the evening drive to Kaesong at the South Korean border (3 hours).
Day 8. Kaesong - Pyongyang (B/L/D)
Start the day with 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, then visit the Panmunjom Truce 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.
In the afternoon visit 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.
Visit the Stamp Shop, selling stamps, postcards, local ginseng, souvenirs, art, and more! One of the best postcard collections in the country and friendly staff.
Have a traditional Korean royal lunch, a meal made of 12 dishes served in brass bowls fit for the kings. The more dishes, the more distinguished the guest! Traditional Korean 'sweet meat soup' is an option here (5 EUR).
In the afternoon light hiking to Pakyon Waterfall and Gwanum Temple, then return to Pyongyang via the Arch of Reunification.
Day 9. Pyongyang - Beijing (B/-/-)
Depart Pyongyang on Air Koryo Flight to Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 2, arrival at or before 11:00.
Or - Depart Pyongyang by train to Beijing Railway Station; scheduled arrival +1 day 08:30.
Day 10. Beijing - Departure (B/-/-)
You will be transferred to Beijing Capital International Airport approximately three hours before your flight departure. Board your flight to your onward destination.
We ask for understanding if your itinerary is altered in DPRK.
While our partners strive to keep it fundamentally the same, in some rare instances this is not possible.
10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS FROM £ request a quote
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
Tailored itinerary based on your requests and interests.
Round trip transportation as specified in itinerary from Beijing to Pyongyang.
Accommodations on a twin sharing basis at 3 star hotels or equivalent.
Single supplement (see below) available on request.
Two local Korean guides.
Private transport and driver.
Entry fees and meals (unless otherwise specified).
DPRK visa and pre-departure processing in Beijing.
Pre-tour notes, travel handbook, and briefing in Beijing.
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Beijing. Request a quote from us.
Anything not specifically mentioned above.
Monuments entrance fees while sightseeing in Beijing.
Optional tours, camera fees.
Tips to the guide and driver, porters and waiters.
Visa fee for China.
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Peak season surcharges
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At Seven Senses Tours, the sky’s the limit in terms of creating your next unforgettable experience. Our knowledgeable and experienced travel consultants are waiting to plan every last detail of your upcoming trip, so all that’s left for you is to enjoy it.
We work Monday to Friday: 10am-6pm and we aim to respond to your query within one business day.
Air China also operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday flights during high-season (March 27-September 18, 2017). Air China flights operate from Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) Terminal 3. The ticket cost is an additional 150 EUR each way. Air China flights are occasionally subject to last-minute cancellation, which may affect your tour or incur additional expenditures. Return by sleeper train is possible on Saturdays, Mondays, Wednesday, or Thursdays year-round. On Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays this requires transferring trains at the DPRK-China border at Dandong. We do not recommend train transfers on or around Chinese Spring Festival (Lunar New Year-dates variable) and China National Day (October 1st) each year as ticket availability may be limited. We typically arrange soft-sleeper tickets for our travellers as a service, but occasionally only hard-sleeper tickets are available.
Train arrival to Beijing Railway Station is scheduled for 08:30am +1 day. Delays are rare but possible. For train return, please subtract 50 EUR per person from the above prices. For same day onward travel from Beijing Capital Airport, we recommend booking flights after 14:00 to allow enough time for transfer and check-in.
For all tours there is a mandatory pre-tour briefing held at 16:00 on the day of your arrival in Beijing. This briefing covers guidelines, etiquette, and safety for travel in the DPRK and is designed to help ensure you get the most out of your trip. In North Korea our private tours are accompanied by two Korean professional tour guides who will meet you after your arrival in Pyongyang. English is the default language of our tours but German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Hungarian, Polish, Vietnamese, Italian, or Bulgarian are available. Please let us know if you would like to request guides for a specific language.
Accommodation & Meals:
Our Classic Tours typically stay at the Yanggakdo Hotel or Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang. These hotels have comprehensive facilities including 24-hour hot water/electricity, restaurants, bars, and leisure facilities.
Travelers may require a Chinese visa for the trip.
Single room supplement (40 EUR per night; 50 EUR per night during peak weekends).
For individual travellers (groups of one), the single supplement is already factored into the tour cost.
Sometimes special events or shows are available on tour – for example Pyongyang Circus (EUR 20), lift up the Juche Tower (5 EUR), Kaeson Funfair (2-3 EUR). These tickets need to be paid for in cash on the spot during the tour.
Flowers bouquet to lay at Mansudae Grand Monument (approx. 5 EUR).
Spending money for souvenirs, snacks and drinks.
Meals will have a complimentary drink, generally beer or water, but you will have to
pay for extra drinks above those provided.
End of tour tip for guides and driver:
1 pax – 45- 60 EUR per day
2 pax – 30-40 EUR per traveller per day
3 pax – 25- 35 EUR per traveller per day
4 pax – 20-25 EUR per traveller per day
5+ pax – 15-20 EUR per traveller per day
10+ pax – 10- 15 EUR per traveller per day
Medical Insurance Coverage:
We require all travellers to provide proof of valid insurance covering medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation from the DPRK. Temporary insurance can be purchased through a provider or through Seven Senses Tours with AXA Insurance (enquire for rates).
Journalists, Photographers, and Active Military:
The laws of DPRK prohibit journalists, photographers, and videographers from conducting professional or semi-professional activities while travelling on tourist visas. This includes but is not limited to work on current or future publications, projects, media, etc. Journalists and photographers posing as tourists without prior notification are subject to relevant laws of the DPRK.
Seven Senses Tours reserves the right to withdraw service and cancel a tour at any time. In this eventuality a full refund of any monies paid by the customer will be made (minus transaction fees). If Seven Senses Tours cannot arrange visas or the tour is cancelled by our partners in the DPRK a full refund will be made. Instances of visa denial are exceptionally rare and we expect to be able to secure a visa for all applications that we make. We realize that in many instances, cancelling a trip is due to circumstances beyond your control.
If you do cancel but are able to make another trip at a later date we will do our best to offer you a discount.
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