Forget what you think you know about North Korea – discover a country full of beautiful landscapes and incredible experiences.

Look beyond the traditional images of Communist propaganda and Soviet architecture for a mind- and eye-opening travel experience to North Korea. Be one of the few to discover the real life behind the tightly controlled borders of this isolated nation.

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North Korea tour reviews

Our North Korea trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

North Korea Highlights, September 2017


North Korea Highlights, September 2017

Bob Ross

Articles on North Korea

North Korea travel highlights

North Korea holiday information

At a glance

Best time to visit North Korea

Geography and environment

Culinary Delicacies of DPR Korea

Health and Safety

North Korea travel FAQs

The DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) visa fee is 50 Euros (This is included in the trip cost)

Please provide the following Documents to your booking agent no later than 60 days prior to departure. Please note any forms listed below will be given to you by your booking agent for you to complete and return.

• Colour passport copy
• Colour passport photo x4
• Completed Application Form
• Completed Journalist Form
• Please make sure you have a double entry Chinese visa and valid insurance which can cover their trip to the DPRK.
• Unfortunately US citizens can not travel on our itinerary due to the fact that we depart North Korea via train and US citizens can only enter/exit North Korea via plane. Please chat to your booking agent about trying to fly out of North Korea instead of following our itinerary. 
• For Applicants based in Hong Kong, we need a reference letter from his/her company as well as a scan of the person’s HK ID card is required to process the application.
• For applicants based in France, please include an email address as the DPRK consulate in Paris will need to contact them.

Please understand that information and processes can change so for the most up to date information please check with your local Consulate or Embassy.

Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: Yes - in advance
Canada: Yes - in advance
Germany: Yes - in advance
Ireland: Yes - in advance
Netherlands: Yes - in advance
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: Yes - in advance
United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
USA: Yes - in advance

Most nationalities require a visa for mainland China. You must obtain your Chinese visa in advance. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival and Chinese visas can be difficult to obtain outside your country of residence. You may be able to apply for your visa in Hong Kong If you have time here before your trip departs. You will need a Double Entry Tourist for your trip valid for 30 days. Hong Kong is not considered part of mainland China for immigration purposes and most nationalities do not require a visa. Please check with an embassy for specific requirements.

Please make sure if you have a transit anywhere in China before arriving at your destination that you check with your Airline to see if the transit will use your Chinese Visa. You need to make sure your China visa will cover you for any transits made.

Please list the destinations you will visit in China in chronological order on your application form. Do not mention Tibet anywhere on your application form. While these areas are not off limits to travellers, they are considered politically sensitive, so including these on your visa application could lead to significant delays or your visa being denied.

Name of Host/Inviting Organisation:
Intrepid Travel Beijing Co. Ltd.
606 InterChina Commercial Building
33 Dengshikou Street
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100006
+86 10 6406 8022

* Hotel List - this will be sent to you by Intrepid or your travel agent at time of booking. If you do not receive this please email us with your booking number and trip details.
* Official invitation from licensed Chinese tourism company - this will be provided together with the Hotel List to all travellers regardless of whether it is required by the embassy or not
* Itinerary – please print off a copy of your specific trip itinerary from our website and include it with your application, marking the dates you will visit each destination if required
* Photocopy of your passport
* Passport size photo (up to 4 may be required)
* Please check with the embassy for any other specific requirements

Intrepid requires you send the following at the time of booking, at least 30 days prior to travel:

*Clear, colour copy of the personal details page of your passport

Please make sure that this copy is for the passport that you will be travelling on. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number and bring your old passport with you on your trip as well.

Tour guides and drivers are expecting tips.

Internet access is very limited. 

Only if you insert local SIM card.

It’s recommended that you use a hotel or restaurant’s toilet. Packing your own toilet paper is also a good idea.

It’s not recommended to drink the tap water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

No. Only cash is accepted. USD, Euro, RMB (Chinese Yuan) are widely accepted in hotels, bars, restaurants and tourist shops.

Very limited. Make sure to bring enough cash with you, and keep in secure place.

  • 1 Jan New Year's Day
  • 28 Jan Seollal Holiday
  • 11 Feb The 15th of the first month by the lunar calendar / Cheongwoldaeboreum
  • 16 Feb Birth date of Kim Jong-Il / Day of the Shining Star
  • 8 Mar International Women's Day
  • 4 Apr Chungmyung Day
  • 15 Apr Birth date of Kim Il-Sung / Day of the Sun
  • 25 Apr Chosun People's Army Foundation Day
  • 1 May Labor Day
  • 6 Jun Chosun Children's Union Foundation Day
  • 19 Jun The great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il started work at the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea
  • 27 Jul Day of Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War 
  • 15 Aug Liberation Day
  • 25 Aug Day of Songun
  • 9 Sep National Day
  • 4 Oct Han'gawi Holiday
  • 10 Oct Party Foundation Day
  • 16 Nov Mother's Day
  • 27 Dec Constitution Day

Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in North Korea go to:

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Woman drinking from reusable water bottle

Top responsible travel tips for DPR Korea

  1. Be considerate of DPR Korea’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
  2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship, memorial halls and special day celebrations.
  3. For sanitation reasons, try to avoid tap water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
  4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!
  6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
  7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
  8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
  9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children. No photos of military personnel.
  10. If you would like to give a gift when on community visits, speak to your leader to find out what, if anything, is appropriate.

Group of uniformed officers among locals in North Korea

Government regulations to be aware of when visiting DPRKorea

  • All visitors must respect the laws of DPRK and keep to the rules during their stay. You must not do anything that will be detrimental to tourist activities or the government. The country takes it’s image very seriously. Avoid political talk and actions, and negative comments about the country or its people. The government can and will apply the law strongly to anyone that they consider having violated these rules, regardless of their nationality.
  • Photography around the country is permitted, but images must not bring the country into disrepute. All cameras, mobile phones and laptop computers are subject to search by customs – all images and videos will be inspected. Please be aware of the contents documents or files on devices – especially very personal images, videos or documents – and be sure they will not cause problems at customs or go against the law.