Travelling to North Korea is not something that many people do as the DPRK is one of the most isolated countries on Earth. Below are some questions regarding tourism in North Korea that you will find helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly for any specific questions you may have regarding travelling to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea.
1. Is travelling to North Korea (DPRK) safe?
Yes. The DPRK is probably one of the safest places in the world for tourists to visit with one of the lowest crime rates recorded.
2. Can I travel alone to the DPRK?
Travelling to North Korea completely alone is not permitted. Private tours can be organised, but you will always be accompanied by tour guides, even if you are just one person travelling. Wandering alone through the streets is not allowed.
3. Can I mingle with locals?
It is quite hard to do so unless you speak Korean, but you will have several chances to meet locals, especially during festivities. Many North Koreans do not speak English. When visiting places you will encounter local citizens and we do encourage the North Korean tour guides to enable you to communicate with them. However, we do not encourage asking them or the tour guides sensitive questions.
4. How about pictures? Can I take as many as I like?
Your guides will tell you when you are not allowed to take pictures. This will be mainly in certain areas in and accessing the DMZ as well as on the train ride to Pyongyang from Beijing. Please do respect what the guides tell you to do and restrain yourself from taking pictures of places/scenes they ask you not to. Your pictures will more than likely be checked upon your departure and your guides may get into trouble if you take pictures you should have not taken.
5. What currency is used in the DPRK?
The local currency is the Korean Won. However, as a tourist you can only use Euros, Chinese Yuan or USD. Please take with you small change.
6. Are things expensive in the DPRK?
Your tour price includes all costs in North Korea. However, you will see that there are several things for sale such as local products, books, CDs, souvenirs, etc. Their prices are not rock bottom, but definitely much lower than that of Western goods.
7. Is there access to Western media in the DPRK?
Hotel rooms all have Western channels, including BBC international. Local North Korean channels can also be seen.
8. Can I make phone calls abroad?
Although you are not allowed to take your mobile phone around the country you can still make international calls from hotels.
9. Can I give tips to my guides and driver?
Giving your guides and driver a present will be deeply appreciated. Souvenirs from your country are a good idea. Alternatively, men normally like cigarettes and women facial cream. These can be purchased in the hotels where you will be staying. You will also be expected to give around 20 Euros tip in total if with a group.