3 Nights – from €1140
** Our price is all-inclusive of round-trip flights from Beijing on Air Koryo **
Take the weekend off and join us in Pyongyang for the 70th Anniversary of National Day, including the expected return of the Mass Games after a five-year hiatus. A military parade is also anticipated, but not confirmed. We will explore Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea with a visit to all of the iconic monuments such as the Tower of Juche Idea, take a ride on the Pyongyang metro and a look into the newly renovated Fatherland Liberation War Museum alongside the USS Pueblo. We will also take a road-trip to the DMZ, the border between the North and South Korea, to learn a different perspective of history. Arrive back in Beijing in the morning, a perfect weekend getaway.
Note: Although a military parade is expected for the 70th Anniversary of National Day, it cannot be guaranteed. Events of this nature in the DPRK are typically not 100% confirmed until just days before, or even the day of the event.
DAY 1 – DEPART FOR PYONGYANG
At 10am, meet us at Terminal 2, Air Koryo counter E, of the Beijing Capital International Airport to check in (flight times to be confirmed but usually Air Koryo flights depart at 1pm). We will hand out your DPRK visas at this time. We will then fly to Pyongyang, the capital of the DPRK and home to many of the most iconic monuments and political sites. Our Korean tour guides will be meet us at the airport with a warm welcome.
En route to the hotel, our guides will point out the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery with its striking monument of a bayonet before we stop at the Arch of Triumph, the world’s largest triumphal arch. From the top, we will get our first panorama view of Pyongyang city! Afterward, we will head over to the Mansudae Grand Monument, an important site famous for its large, bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Chairman Kim Jong Il. It is customary to bow and lay flowers here. Check into the Koryo Hotel, our deluxe accommodation in the heart of Pyongyang popular with local residents, foreign diplomats, delegations, NGOs. Have an optional visit to the Kaeson Youth Amusement Park where the thrillseekers among us can brave the rides with Pyongyang locals on a night out. Our welcome dinner will be in style at the Koryo Hotel’s top floor revolving restaurant!
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: L, D)
DAY 2 – NATIONAL DAY – 70TH ANNIVERSARY!
As a military parade and other major celebrations are expected for the 70th Anniversary of National Day, today’s activities are subject to change. Be assured that we’ll be on-location for the major available festivities!
We will start the morning off with a visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the grand mausoleum where the late leaders lie in state. Afterward, take a walk in Kim Il Sung Square, the 3rd largest public square in the world and home to many of the North Korean military parades broadcast internationally during important holiday events. Take a stroll through the city to the Foreign Languages Bookshop which provides the best chance in the DPRK to pick up postcards, publications, posters and other trinkets that make perfect souvenirs. Visit the Grand People’s Study House, an extensive library used to further education and the heart of study on the national Juche ideology.
After lunch, we will go walking on Moran Hill, a park place buzzing with festivities as locals celebrate the National Day with picnics and dancing! Learn about the DPRK’s defining ideology, the Juche philosophy, on a visit to the iconic Tower of Juche Idea for the best views in Pyongyang city! Then visit the massive Monument to Party Founding, built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Afterward, we’ll witness (and take part in!) National Day festivities, usually including an unforgettable mass dance event in Kim Il-Sung Square where you can join in if you wish, but could include a military parade.
Head deep underground to take a 5-stop ride on the Pyongyang Metro, the deepest metro in the world also filled with mosaics, monuments, and plaques commemorating the DPRK’s revolutionary history. Follow up with a casual evening walk on the new Ryomyong Street, home to Pyongyang’s most extravagant apartment complexes and opened in just April 2017 to international media attention. Dinner will be at a local Korean BBQ restaurant, a favorite among locals where we will cook our own meats at the table!
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 3 – DMZ
Take a morning drive through the countryside to the historic city of Kaesong. We will head for the DMZ where we’ll hear from our guides a perspective of the Korean War that often gets discredited or unheard. At the DMZ, explore Panmunjom, shake hands at the exact place that the Armistice Agreement was signed between UN forces and the DPRK, and wave hello to the South at the blue houses in the Joint Security Area. Afterward, we will head to the Koryo History Museum, a UNESCO site, to learn about the Koryo Dynasty (where the name Korea originates). You’ll also have a chance to pick from the most varied range of postcards in the country at the Koryo Stamp Shop.
For lunch, enjoy Pansanggi, a historic Kaesong cuisine traditionally served for royalty. Afterwards, stop at the original Sonjuk Bridge, a UNESCO site. On our return to Pyongyang, we will visit the newly renovated Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and the USS Pueblo in its new spot (the “American Spy Ship” captured in 1968).
We will then attend the Mass Games, an extraordinary event involving up to 100,000 people performing in unison through dance and gymnastics to pay homage to North Korea’s culture and history. For dinner, enjoy Korean bibimbap and get the chance to taste local Korean draft beers at the Taedonggang Microbrewery.
Overnight at the Koryo Hotel.
(Meals: B, L, D)
DAY 4 – FAREWELL
Morning departure to Beijing. Estimated time of arrival is 10:00 a.m. local time. Please reserve any connecting flights departing after 1pm local time to allow sufficient time for immigration/customs clearance, baggage claim, re-check-in and security.
This itinerary is subject to change at any time.
What’s included in this tour:
- DPRK visa fees and handling
- Round trip ticket from Beijing to Pyongyang on Air Koryo
- 3 nights’ DPRK hotel accommodations (double occupancy, 4 stars)
- Meals as indicated
- Coach/car transportation in DPRK
- Two local English-speaking Korean guides
- One local driver
- Admission fees (except those listed under exclusions)
What’s not included in this tour:
- Private sedan transportation from Beijing International Airport to hotel (approximately $75)
- Round-trip airfare to Beijing from home country
- Beijing hotel accommodations
- Chinese visa fees and processing, if applicable
- Travel and medical insurance
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, etc.)
- Extra drinks during meals (one complimentary beer included)
- Beer at microbreweries ($1-3 per draft)
- Extra a la carte items incurred during meals
- Tips for guides and drivers (please budget $10 per day per traveler)
Excluded Entrance Fees for Optional Events
Entrance fees are priced in Euros but RMB and USD accepted.
- The Mass Games entry fee: Pricing begins at 100 Euro and will depend on the class of seat
- Elevator to the top of the Juche Tower, 5 euros
- Elevator to the top of the Arch of Triumph, 5 euros
- Flowers to be laid at the Mansudae Grand Monument, 3-5 euros
- Pyongyang circus (if playing): 20 Euros
- Meari Shooting Range: rifle and per bullet fees apply
- Kaeson Amusement park entrance and rides, approximately 1-3 Euros each