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General facts / There are a lot of things well worth seeing

There is plenty to see...

Tour itineraries   

If you let Korea Reisedienst know your specific areas of interest well enough in advance, most of your wishes can be fulfilled. As a rule, you will indeed visit those sites and tourist attractions that were listed in the itinerary worked out for you in advance. However, Korea Reisedienst as the intermediary agent must point out that the state tour operator reserves the right to modify the itinerary and the choice of sites to be visited at any time, without giving reasons. In addition to general interest tours of the country, which take in a variety of places with differing geographical characteristics, themed tours are also particularly popular, e.g. excursions directed towards people with botanical or zoological interests, people interested in architecture, music and theatre lovers, people with a medical background (traditional Korean medicine), experts in agriculture or railway enthusiasts (trips by steam train). The main tourist areas are Pyongyang, Kaesong, Wonsan, Myohyang-San, Kumgang-San and Paektu-San. The Rajin-Sonbong (Rason) economic special zone is more of interest to business travellers and offers hardly any tourist attractions. Mount Kuwol, the Chilbo range and the fruit-growing area of Kwail are currently in the process of being opened up for tourism.

Places worth seeing

  • Pyongyang
    The centre of the country, with particularly grand buildings and monuments, lying in a very beautiful situation on the River Taedong. The rebuilding of the capital after the Korean War produced a series of architectural superlatives, such as the Mansudae Grand Monument, the Juche Tower, the Triumphal Arch, the Kumsusan Palace, the May Day Stadium, the numerous museums and theatres, the film studio, the children’s palaces and the universities, and the magnificent underground stations of the metro system. The US warship “Pueblo” can be visited by prior arrangement. Pyongyang is the starting point for excursions to Mangyongdae, to the Taesong Revolutionary Martyrs’ Cemetery and to the famous royal tombs.

  • Nampo 
    A seaport at the end of the West Sea Barrage, a large lock and sluice system in a 13-km-long dike.  

  • Kuwol 
    A picturesque mountain range between Nampo and Kaesong in South Hwanghae province on the country’s west coast. From the highest summit, Sahwang (954 m), there is a magnificent view out over the sea and central Korea. Particularly worth seeing, in addition to the Woljong Temple, is the tomb of King Kogukwon with its wall paintings.  

  • Kaesong
    A city that escaped destruction during the Korean War. It lies in the midst of mountainous scenery with many relics of old Korea. The starting-point for excursions to royal tombs, to ginseng growing areas and to Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone.  

  • Haeju 
    A seaport on the west coast of Korea, set among very beautiful scenery; has some old buildings, temples and ice stores.  

  • Wonsan
    A seaport on the east coast of Korea with the Songdowon bathing beach and children’s holiday camp. Boats cross from here to Japan.  

  • Lake Sijung 
    A magnificently situated lake; there is a sanatorium for mud therapy directly on the shore.  

  • Kumgang-San 
    The famous “Diamond Mountains” with their bizarre rock needles are divided into the Inner, Outer and Sea Kumgang-San. Ideal for rambling and climbing. Waterfalls and other sites of natural beauty, and also ancient temples and hermitages.  

  • Hamhung 
    An industrial city and seaport, starting point for excursions to the seaside resort Majon.  

  • Myohyang-San 
    The “Mountain of Pleasant Fragrances”, delightful mountain scenery with sites of great natural beauty and famous temples. Unique exhibition of gifts from state visitors to the Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, housed in two monumental, palace-like buildings, some of the exhibition rooms having been hewn out of the mountain.

  • Chilbo-San 
    A mountain massif, only recently made accessible, on the east coast, with bizarre rock forms: earth pyramids and other impressive geological formations created by erosion, including gigantic arches.

  • Chongjin 
    Important port and industrial city. Korea Reisedienst brought the first foreign tourists here. 

  • Hyesan 
    Railway junction; change here for Paektu-San. Major monument commemorating the Battle of Pochonbo against the Japanese occupation forces.  

  • Paektu-San area 
    Korea’s highest mountain, a volcanic peak that occupies a preeminent place in Korean mythology and culture. Unique scenery with rare flora and fauna, sites of and memorials to acts of resistance against the Japanese, including the Samjiyon Grand Monument at Lake Samji.  

Moving around  

The tour itinerary is planned in advance in minute detail, and includes a wealth of interesting items which in many ways are unique in the world. The programme is so full that there is hardly any time left over for making discoveries on your own. Korea Reisedienst would like to take this opportunity to point out that it is scarcely possible to go on walks or seek to make discoveries except in the company of a Korean guide. In country districts, the language problem alone demands that tourists should only go out in the company of a guide. If you feel this to be a limitation on the freedom of movement that you have been accustomed to when travelling in the past, then you should consider very carefully whether it is advisable for you to visit the DPRK.

Life in society

The history of North Korea has been shaped by the struggles against the Japanese for national independence and the consequences of the Korean War, which led to the complete division of the country. The utterly dominant personality of State and Party Leader Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994, continues to make itself felt. Foreign visitors are requested to respect this, to listen attentively to what their Korean interlocutors have to tell them and to show an interest in it. The North Koreans are very proud of their achievements, which have almost all been realised without foreign assistance. This is in accordance with the basic idea of the “Juche” ideology on which North Korea’s national identity is founded, an autonomous national route to the development of Korean socialism. Korean culture has a very long and rich history; its society is that of a well-organised polity. Science, the arts and the cultivation of national culture are high-ranking priorities. The townscapes and the countryside are characterised by extraordinary cleanliness and orderliness. Particular stress is laid on the proper bringing up and furtherance of young people, with the focus on the transmission of knowledge and the development of a sense of community.


In principle, anything may be photographed. However, courtesy and discretion should be exercised when taking photographs of people. As in almost every country in the world, it is not permitted to photograph military installations. If in doubt, please consult your guide in order to avoid misunderstandings. Tourists are recommended to take adequate film material or sufficient chip cards with them, as there are a large number of attractive motifs. At some places in Pyongyang, prints can be made immediately.


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