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JOINING A GROUP TOUR OR INDEPENDENT TRAVEL

Which is better, a group tour or an private tour to North Korea?

This all depends on you. Many people shy away from the idea of group tours but actually, we like to think of ourselves as a company that runs group tours for people who don't usually do group tours! The truth is that it is the least expensive option for visiting North Korea and it is actually a lot of fun to travel with a group of like-minded people. Also, all of our group tours are accompanied by one of our western staff who are experts in the DPRK and add real value to the tour. 
 
Independent tours are more expensive but do have the added benefit that you can choose your own travel dates and we design the itinerary to suit your requests. You also get to fit more in as you are able to get round sites more quickly and some people also like the fact that you have much more one-on-one time with the guide. 
 
Please remember though that there is nothing that you can do on an independent tour that can't be done on a group tour.
 

Once I am there, am I free to go where I want?

No, tourists are not allowed to travel around freely so at all times other than in the hotel, you will be accompanied by 2 guides and a driver regardless of how many people are in your group. Please remember this is not a policy set by the travel company but by higher powers and there is no way round this. Any attempt to sneak off from the guides will have serious consequences for them and for you.
 

How do I sign up for a tour to North Korea?

Once you have chosen which tour you want to do then you need to complete the online application form. In addition to this you will also need to email us a scanned colour copy of your passport (full double page) and recent passport photo. Please note that the passport copy has to be clear and all the information easy to read when printed out or it will not be accepted for visa issuance so please test it out before sending! We will then send you the tour confirmation and invoice so you can pay the deposit. Once we have received that then we can go ahead and apply for the visa.
 

Group Tours 

The majority of our North Korea tours are designed for first-time visitors with the purpose of making sure you see and do as much as possible on tour in North Korea (DPRK). Touring this country is the opportunity of a lifetime for many, and we use our 25 years of North Korea experience to ensure you get the most out of your time there. We have classic, speciality, and budget North Korea tours scheduled throughout the year. 
 

Private Independent Tours

We offer customised private independent tours based on more than 25 years of experience arranging tours to North Korea.
 
Contact us to get in touch with one of our expert tour managers who will help design a tailored tour itinerary and package for you based on your available dates, budget, and interests. 
 
We offer both standard and budget private independent tour packages to North Korea. Our base tour packages include transport between Beijing and Pyongyang by train with transfer at Dandong (hard-sleeper, six-beds per cabin), accommodation in North Korea, meals, and entry fees.
 
In North Korea, two professional Korean guides will accompany your party and you will have your own driver and vehicle, allowing you to travel at your own pace. Koryo Tours staff provide a thorough pre-tour briefing on travel guidelines, etiquette, safety, and travel in North Korea, but do not accompany private tours in-country.
 
Base pricing depends on your group size, the length of the tour, and hotel class. Please see below for details and for upgrades, such as flights from Beijing, Shenyang, Vladivostok, or Shanghai - as well as other exciting add-ons.
 
For groups of 16 travellers or more, we can send one of our expert tour leaders  to accompany your group or provide additional discounts. Our tour leaders' schedules fill up so contact us  early!
 

About Budget Hotels in North Korea

Budget hotel options in Korea are generally decent and clean, but with limited facilities and limited hours of hot water depending on the time of year. Choose from the Sosan, Chongryon, Changgwangsan, Haebangsan, Rakrang, or Ryanggang Hotels in Pyongyang, each with its own character.
 
Our North Korea budget tours are designed to provide a budget option for all travellers. We do not offer discounts on our budget tours except to children under the age of 12.
 

About Standard Hotels in North Korea

Standard hotels in North Korea typically have comprehensive facilities (restaurants, shops, entertainment) as well as 24-hour hot water and electricity. Choose from the Yanggakdo or Koryo Hotels in Pyongyang, home away from home for most visitors to North Korea.
 
We offer discounts on our standard North Korea private tours for full-time students, return customers, and children under the age of 12.
 

Transport Upgrades

One-way flight upgrade to/from Beijing - 249 EUR per person.
 
Round-trip flight upgrade from Beijing - 349 EUR per person
 
See our schedule for Trains and Flights to North Korea 2018-9
 

Take the train from North Korea to Russia!

In 2018 Koryo Tours, pioneered a new train route from Pyongyang Rason in North Korea's far northeast or to Vladivostok and beyond! See our Trans-DPRK Rail: Across North Korea by Local Train extension for more details
 
Train and other transport upgrades coming soon!
 

North Korea Visa Service

We offer a North Korean visa service in Beijing for 50 EUR and do not need your physical passport for the process. North Korean visas issued in Beijing are issued as a separate document outside of your passport. This document must be given upon exit from North Korea.
 
For visa collectors, it is possible to have a visa arranged for issue in your passport if there is a North Korean embassy in your home country. In these cases, an additional visa fee needs to be paid directly to the embassy in cash. This typically ranges from 10-30 EUR, depending on the embassy in questions and fees subject to change. Unfortunately we are unable to request for visas to be affixed to passports outside of your home country.
 

Insurance

As a responsible travel company, we require all travellers to North Korea to have insurance coverage for emergency medical evacuation from North Korea and medical treatment. Contact our office for recommendations on suitable insurance cover.
 

Additional Important Information for Travel to North Korea

The default language of our tours is English, but requests can be made for guides who speak German, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Russian, Italian, Polish, Chinese, or Japanese. Guides can, of course, also help with your Korean!
 

Interested in a private tour? Contact us for a consultation.

The following information is helpful for us in creating a custom itinerary and specific quote for you:
  • Number of travellers in your party
  • Your available dates and travel restrictions you might have
  • Desired length of tour
  • Any questions, desired locations, or interests you would like to see reflected in your itinerary.
 
We look forward to hearing from you!
 
Last updated 11 December 2019

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