North Korea Tours
All North Korea tours are led by a western English speaking tour leader as well as two local guides. Our tours start and finish in Beijing, all you need to do is meet us there. Train travel from Beijing to Pyongyang & return is included.
Our signature tours are unique access photography tours for only 7 people which we run in May and July.
Dates don’t work? No worries, we can organise a private tour for you 365 days a year! Click here for North Korean Independent tours.
Our tours visit every part of the DPRK that is possible for foreigners to travel to.
The trips start and finish in Beijing, China. Our entire tour program is listed below.
It's possible to travel to North Korea any time of the year. Weather wise the best time of the year to visit is April-May & September-October. These periods coincide with large holiday events.
Check out the tour schedule below and feel free to ask us anything!
We apply for the North Korea visa on your behalf, then you just collect it from us at the pre-tour meeting in China. All you need to do is fill out a form and send us a copy of your passport and a passport photo by email. You never need to surrender your passport at any stage.
September - December
Our classic DPRK tour but this time with bikes!
The Autumn version with added bonus of the Mass Games!
The most comprehensive North Korea tour possible!
Our signature tour. There’s no other trip like it – designed and led by Rocky Road Travel founder, Shane.
Our smallest ever group tour designed to get you the perfect shots behind the scenes.
It’s never been done, so we’re doing it. The longest train journey in the world!
Sights & events in Pyongyang with optional extensions to the DMZ & Sinuiju!
Quite simply the ultimate North Korean experience!
Our smallest ever group tour designed to get you the perfect shots behind the scenes.
read our 5 star reviews!
North Korea Tours - FAQs
Here's some of our most frequently asked questions and answers. For any other questions please get in touch by using the contact form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A trip to North Korea is very safe despite what you may hear. As long as you follow the rules laid out in our pre-tour information you will be very welcome in North Korea. Even during high tension periods, tourism is never affected and continues as normal.
However it is important to note that they have what amounts to extremely strict lèse-majesté laws (our pre tour travel agreement which all tourists must sign before a tour covers these laws in greater details) and in the event you should contravene those laws the consequences can be severe. All will be explained to you in greater detail during the booking process and pre-tour meeting.
We apply for the visa on your behalf you then just collect it from us at the pre-tour meeting in China. All you need to do is fill out a form and send us a copy of your passport and a passport photo by email. There is a €50 extra cost for this. Check out our How to get the North Korea visa blog here.
All North Korea tours are “all inclusive”. This means that all tour nights in hotel twin share, all meals and all transport are included via train from Beijing. Two Korean local guides and a western tour organizer. Extra costs are the visa (€50) and optional flights to or from Beijing to Pyongyang.
The only other expected expenditure are tips for the Korean guides and any extra drinks/souvenirs you want to buy on tour.
No – there is no need for any vaccinations for trips to North Korea and Northern China.
We offer independent tours, as well as group tours. Check out the private tours page or get in touch for more details. Independent tours to North Korea are great for those with special interests, families & friends, return visitors or those who are definitely sure they’d rather be on their own.
Of course you can! For the most part, you are only unable to take pictures of military zones (aside from the D.M.Z), check points, or close up of soldiers.
It’s also suggested and courteous, to ask locals if you can take their picture. Other than these, or whatever else your guides deem unsuitable, snap away! Another thing to be aware of is that we usually will not go back to the hotel during the day, if you plan to use your camera a lot you may want to bring your charger with you. If you are a keen photographer you may want to consider the VIP Photo Tour which can guarantee to best access in a small group.
No. On any trip to North Korea you must be accompanied by a guide at all times, but this kind of adds to the mysticism of the country. During your stay in any hotel, feel free to explore around the hotel and to invite your Korean guides for a drink or Karaoke. If you see a place outside you’d like to visit you can ask your Rocky Road guide or if you’re travelling as an independent tourist you may ask your Korean guides, but please understand if the answer is no, it can’t be done.
Definitely not. Travelling to North Korea doesn’t restrict you from any future travel to other countries especially to South Korea. If you are travelling to South Korea directly before or after a tour with us it is absolutely fine.
Euro or Chinese Yuan (RMB) are the best currencies, personally we recommend RMB as it is much easier to get change for. In some areas USD are preferred, especially on the East Coast, but we will advise you before the tour if USD will be useful. Prices are usually set in euros and RMB. Credit cards (including American Express), PayPal, Alipay, etc are not accepted in the DPRK, nor are their ATM’s available so it’s best to bring more than you’ll need just in case. Further, getting change can sometimes be difficult so we recommend bringing small denominations. If you are exchanging money before your trip in your home country – request small denominations.
Yes! You will need to tip your guides. If you want to get what you’ve paid for and then some, a tip goes a long way in the DPRK, as it does in any tipping culture. We strongly recommend bringing a gift for your North Korean guides and driver also. This is something much appreciated by the local guides and your chance to make a difference to their lives, with 100% of your gifts and tips going directly to your guides, their families & friends. We suggest spending around €10 -€20 on the gift.
The DPRK has very limited access to foreign products, so it is a good idea to bring local specialties from your home country – beauty products (Japanese are preferred but not necessary), carton of cigarettes (Camel, along with Japanese brands such as Seven Stars, are the most popular – the Koreans prefer Western/Japanese cigarettes to Chinese ones).
Practical gift ideas such as medicine including painkillers, vitamins or cold and flu tablets are appreciated. Or, think outside the box: a nice scarf, small bicycle repair kit, razors (for men and women), electric toothbrush, chocolates, etc. Gifts will be shared between guides, the driver and also with their partners/ families, so do not worry about giving ‘male’ or ‘female’ gifts.
In general you are not required to tip service staff, though it has become accepted in Pyongyang but not expected. If you feel service staff have made a special effort you can quietly give them a tip if you wish. Keep in mind, that as in any service industry, the guides rely greatly on their tips, so be as generous as you like.
These devices are completely fine to bring into the DPRK. As a tourist you are unable to purchase a local simcard but you are able to make international phone calls or send emails out from certain hotels around the country. Satellite phones are illegal to bring inside North Korea.
The restaurants we visit caters for all vegetarians, vegans and other unique dietary requirements. We do recommend bringing in some snacks you prefer from home just in case you get the munchies on the road and can’t find anything suitable at the time.
The average group size is about 10 people. If in the unlikely event the number goes over 24 people then the group is split in two with two guides and two buses.
We have 6 years experience of operating in North Korea. All tours have been meticulously researched & perfected over time.
Our in country partners & contacts guarantee us unparalleled access to several places way off the beaten track. All group tours are led by both a local and western tour leader.
We don’t run tours in dangerous places. All itineraries are planned with our local partners expertise. On top of that we are based in Germany so all bank transfers are safe and secure in the EU.
Pay up to a 30% deposit to secure your place on the tour. The remaining amount is due at the pre-tour meeting in Beijing meaning you don’t need to pay a lump sum in advance.
All our tours are guaranteed departures at some of the most competitive rates on the market.
Check out what our customers are saying!