How to Visit North Korea

One of the questions I get asked quite a lot is: Have you been to North Korea? The answer is, of course, yes, as I have been to every country and it’s not that difficult to visit. You don’t even need to visit an embassy to get your North Korean visa. All you need is a double entry Chinese or Russian visa and the tour operator will take care of the rest. Please note this may not apply to all nationalities at the moment, but you will obviously find out if you mention your nationality to your tour operator of choice.

I can highly recommend a private tour as you will have many of the sights all for yourself, but it is the most expensive option. I used Koryo Tours for my visit to North Korea and below are some of my photos.

The Stupid Option: DMZ, South Korea

Some travellers (including some that have visited and are trying to visit every country in the world) have travelled to the South Korean side of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, spend some seconds in a room that is technically North Korea and have said they have been to North Korea. I call it a stupid option as you don’t experience anything, but it is an option.

Ultra Budget Option: Day trip

You can take the train from China and spend a day at the border town of Sinuiju on a group tour. You, of course, need to book through a tour operator. Young Pioneer Tours have prices as low as RMB 1.390 / USD 211. I guess this would pretty much be like visiting a town in England without going to London. Koryo Tours also has the day trip, but at a higher price.

Group Tour Option: Ultra Budget Tours

Have a proper experience of North Korea on Young Pioneer Tours for just 445 Euros. Or you can pay more for longer trips in group tours with Young Pioneer Tours or Koryo Tours. Koryo Tours is excellent but more expensive than Young Pioneer Tours.

The Best Option: Private Tour with Koryo Tours

I did a private tour of North Korea, and it was the most interesting travel experience of my life. North Korea is much more than impressive buildings. The countryside is stunning and having many sights to yourself is truly wonderful. You can do everything at your pace and fully explore the sights instead of constantly depending on travellers. I loved the experience and can highly recommend it. Just note it’s the most expensive option. If your budget can allow it, I believe it will be well worth it.