Is it Safe to Visit North Korea
BOOKING - VISA - PAYMENT
In order to be able to apply for a North Korean visa, you first have to book a package tour (package including transport, hotel stay, transfer, full board, tour guide). You can get your visa in your country of residence, provided that there is a DPRK embassy in that country. As a rule, the visa is issued by the embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in either Berlin, Vienna or Bern. If you live in China or in a country where there is no North Korean embassy, you will receive the visa from our representative in Beijing (usually one day before you leave for Pyongyang). Many of our customers send us the passport with DHL to get the North Korean visa in Stockholm. We will send them back the passport with the visa after 3-4 days with DHL. This is the fastest, easiest, and perhaps the cheapest way to obtain a North Korean visa. See our English page for more information.
How to book your trip and get the visa in your country of residence
This is only possible if your country of residence has an embassy of the DPRK (Germany, Austria, Switzerland).
The process consists of the following steps:
- Simply download the following form. Then simply save the completed form (please make sure that your data is correct) and send it to [email protected]
- We'll send you the invoice. Bookings are final upon receipt of a deposit of 50% of the total amount.
- We will inform you when your application documents have been approved by the North Korean authorities (at the earliest 2 months before entering North Korea). You can go to the DPRK embassy in person to obtain a visa. In that case, you will receive the visa on the same day.
- You must hand in the following documents to the embassy:
- 1 passport photo (not older than 6 months) with a white background.
- Visa application form. You can download the two-page application form here. Instructions for filling out the form. Please fill in in block letters.Point 10: write ”Tourism”. Point 13: Write ”Sinuiju” if you are entering the DPRK by train and ”Pyongyang” if you are entering the DPRK by flight). Point 14: ”Train”, ”Flight” or both (depends on your specific journey). Point 15: Write ”KITC”. Point 17: only fill in if you are traveling with young people under 18.
The fee is to be paid in cash at the Boschaft. The cost (between 10 and 40 euros) depends on the country.
To travel to North Korea via China, you need a Chinese two-entry visa. You have to apply for your Chinese visa yourself at the Chinese embassy. You can download the visa application form here. You do not need a visa for the PRC if you are in transit in China (only if you are flying to China). You must then continue your flight within 144 hours and have a confirmed ticket. So you need to have documents ready for the next country you plan to fly to. It is also possible to obtain the Chinese visa in Pyongyang during your stay in NK. (The cost of the visa is around 60 euros).
Documents required for visa-free transit are:
- Valid passport
This must be valid for at least 6 months upon entry.
- Additional ticket + visa for the third country (North Korea)
Passengers must have booked an onward ticket with a confirmed seat and date. You must also have a valid visa for the third country mentioned
- Completed arrival / departure card
You need to make sure that your arrival and departure dates coincide with the dates of the visa-free period.
Important: the visa approval for North Korea is only valid for a specific passport. If you receive a new passport later, we must be informed immediately. Otherwise the visa must be applied for from scratch.
The 144-hour visa-free settlement is valid for Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, specifically for the following points of arrival and departure:
- Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing West Railway Station;
- Binhai International Airport in Tianjin, Tianjin International Cruise Home Port;
- Shijiazhuang of Hebei: Zhengding International Airport;
- Qinhuangdao of Hebei: Qinhuangdao Port.
Passengers are allowed to enter and exit from any point.
Travelers from 53 countries are allowed to enjoy this benefit of visa-free transit:
- Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland;
- 15 other European countries: Russia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Albania, Belarus, and Monaco;
- American countries: USA, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile;
- Australia and New Zealand;
- Asian countries: Korea, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
PAYMENT - CANCELLATION:
A deposit of 50% of the total price must be paid for all trips. Please pay the amount by normal bank transfer (credit cards are not accepted). The balance is due by bank transfer at least 30 days before your departure for Pyongyang. Regarding transfer costs: within the EU, the fees are the same as for a domestic transfer.
Travel Guarantee Fund
As a tour operator, Korea Konsult AB is insured against bankruptcy and bankruptcy with the Swedish Travel Guarantee Fund, so you can enjoy your trip safely and without worry.
Cancellation by the customer
The payment of cancellation costs (30% of the total price) is at the expense of the traveler if the cancellation occurs no later than 10 days before your departure to North Korea. The customer is recommended to declare the cancellation in writing. If the customer withdraws at a later point in time, he loses the right to the entire travel price paid. In this case, Korea Konsult AB will give the customer (if the customer decides to take another trip) a reasonable discount. In any case, we recommend that you take out your own travel cancellation insurance.
Resignation due to a visa refusal or "force majeure"
If Korea Konsult AB cannot arrange the trip (in the event of a visa refusal or if North Korea decides to temporarily refuse foreigners entry into the country and if you cannot take a tour at a later date, we will in this case the payments already made) refund immediately – only the bank charges are borne by the customer).
Important information regarding journalists:
Journalists are not allowed to visit North Korea on a tourist visa these days. They require a special permit. Applying for a visa with false information can have serious consequences for Korea Konsult as a travel agency as well as for our Korean employees and embassy staff. When booking / applying for a visa at Korea Konsult, we expressly ask you not to violate this rule. We thank you for your understanding on this matter.
Photography and filming: Digital cameras and video cameras can be introduced without any problems. Usually you are allowed to take most of the photographs (there are, however, some prohibitions: photographs of the military, military installations, "poverty"). Photographing military personnel is normally permitted when visiting Panmunjeom. Driver statues may only be photographed as a whole. It is advisable to ask the tour guide, especially for close-ups of people, in order to avoid misunderstandings. If you have a good relationship with the guides by adhering to the rules of conduct, you will be left alone when taking photos with consideration.
Air Koryo: A few years ago AIR KORYO bought new Tupolev Tu-204 aircraft to rejuvenate their international fleet. The aircraft is currently serving the Pyongyang to Beijing route. The Tupolev Tu-204 complies with all safety requirements of the European Union and since April 2010 AIR KORYO is again permitted to fly into the airspace of the EU with this type of aircraft.
Group tours: our travelers come from all over the world, so the main guide is always in English. However, you can book additional tour guides in other languages on request (provided that you book early). Additional tour guides are available in the following languages: German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
Moving freely in North Korea as a tourist is not permitted. Group or individual trips can only be carried out in the company of North Korean guides or interpreters.
As a tourist, you are expected to respect the prevailing personality cult and the specific political traditions of the country. When visiting the sanctuaries of the country and especially the mausoleum of the Eternal President, Kim Il Sung (Kumsusan Memorial Palace), it is advisable to wear appropriate and well-groomed clothing. No blue jeans or short shorts are accepted in the mausoleum. Otherwise you can dress like at home. When visiting Kim Il Sung statues, a bow is usually expected to greet them.
It is not allowed to leave the hotel on your own. However, you can always ask the guide if you want to see something in particular in Pyongyang. In this case, the tour guide will mostly (possibly) try to help you, even if this is of course accompanied by the tour guide.
In North Korea the voltage is 220 volts, the frequency 50 Hz. The sockets type A and C are used. Electricity to charge batteries is available at the hotel. It is recommended that you bring a travel plug adapter with you. The energy supply in the hotel is always guaranteed, but there may be bottlenecks in the rest of the country. It is recommended to take a flashlight with you in this context.
Cell Phones: Foreigners are now allowed to keep their cell phones while in North Korea. Laptops, MP3 players and e-book readers are allowed.
Foreign media is not available in North Korea. However, in the hotels in Pyongyang you can receive TV channels such as the BBC. Internet connections are usually not available to tourists.
Western travel guides through North Korea are not allowed. It is not recommended to take books that are “directly hostile to the country” with you. If you take a laptop / cell phone with you, please ensure that it does not contain any films or photos that are incompatible with the moral or ideological values of the country. Random checks are very often carried out on entry at the airport.
If you are traveling with a larger group, parts of your tour can be filmed by a North Korean cameraman. This cameraman will accompany the group during the tour. You can also buy a DVD / Video CD from him as a souvenir after the tour. It costs around 40 euros and the film is usually very well made.
Internet: sending e-mails. Internet connections are usually not available to tourists, but you can send emails from your hotel in Pyongyang. It costs around 3 euros to send an email, provided it is not larger than 30 KB. Receiving emails doesn't cost anything. You always send emails from the hotel's email address and not from your private email address. If you are sent an e-mail to the hotel's e-mail address, your room number must always be included in the subject.
There are post offices in the big hotels. Send your holiday greetings home by postcard.
The official currency in North Korea is the won. As a foreigner, you usually pay in euros (the most common currency) or Chinese yuan. (You can also pay with US dollars).
Credit cards are usually not accepted. It is recommended to take enough euro or yuan cash with you (preferably small bills and enough coins, as the possibility of changing money can sometimes be problematic). For shopping you will be taken to tourist shops where you can buy souvenirs (snake brandy Pulrosol, ginseng products, handicrafts or books, VCDs, etc.)
No vaccinations are required for a stay in North Korea. It is advisable to take medication for stomach problems, your own toilet paper and soap with you. A hand sanitizer can be useful. In the event of illness, the North Korean side will do everything possible to ensure that the sick person receives medical help. Medical care for foreigners must always be paid for in cash.
It is recommended that you take out private travel health insurance. Beyond European borders, you are always a private patient. It must also be said that North Korea is a safe country and there is no crime against foreigners. In the event of illness, the North Korean side will do everything possible to ensure that the sick person receives medical help.
If you are traveling between June and August (rainy season), it is recommended that you bring appropriate clothing. Rain jacket) and don't forget an umbrella.
Since the travel guides try very hard to make your stay in North Korea as pleasant as possible, it is advisable to give a tip (around 30-50 EUR in total).
For more information, please read our FAQ.
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