North Korea Travel Information
North Korea is a socialist republic where the state
controls all parts of society. Traveling to the country
takes place through organized tours, and it should be
noted that the medical health care is not of Western
The level of tension in the Korea Peninsula varies,
but has shown a positive development in the past year.
Travelers to North Korea should keep abreast of the
situation in the country through their tour operator,
news updates or other sources of information. While
visiting the country one cannot expect to have access to
international media. In the event of a crisis, it may be
difficult to leave the country.
Norwegian citizens who are staying in the country for
a shorter or longer period are encouraged to register
their contact information on reiseregistrering.no. We
would also like to note that Norway does not have an
embassy or other presence in North Korea. Thus, there
will be restrictions on what can be provided by aid
should a crisis situation arise.
The Swedish embassy in Pyongyang can be contacted in
case of emergency: +850 2 381 74 85.
To travel to North Korea as a tourist, you must
participate in a tailor-made program organized by
pre-approved tour operators. The embassy recommends that
all Norwegians traveling to North Korea follow the
guidelines given, comply with the laws of the country
and show respect for the country's leadership.
In summer, typhoons can occur, and very high rainfall
can cause landslides or floods in parts of the country.
- Countryaah: Pyongyang is the capital
of North Korea. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
It is important to have valid travel insurance.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Entry to North Korea cannot be made directly from
South Korea. The most common method of entry is to fly
to Pyongyang from Beijing. Travelers then need a visa to
China, (double entry) in addition to a visa to North
Korea. The passport must be valid for six months from
the date of entry. It is the traveler's responsibility
to ensure that travel documents, or any visa, are valid.
Travelers under North Korean law are required to
comply with officially-appointed Korean guides and
cannot, for security reasons, travel alone in the
country. The guides act as interpreters and arrange all
There are rules for what can be brought into the
country and what is not allowed. Literature for own use
is largely accepted, but literature intended for
distribution can be hard pressed. There are also strict
rules for what can be photographed. Digital cameras can,
for example, be controlled at both entry and exit.
Vaccination is not mandatory, but the Institute of
Public Health recommends vaccines for diphtheria,
tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever,
poliomyelitis, as well as Japanese encephalitis. Malaria
can occur in southern areas of the country.
Health services are very limited and one should not
expect the same standard as in many other countries. In
many cases, treatment or surgery can only become
possible after leaving the country. Even simple
medicines can be difficult to raise in North Korea and a
regular first aid box with e.g. painkillers or tablets
for abdominal pain may be helpful.
Norwegian summer time + 6.5 hours, Norwegian winter
time + 7.5 hours (announced on August 15, 2015)
The climate in North Korea is temperate. The winter
in North Korea is dry and cold. The summers are hot and
humid. The most enjoyable time to visit North Korea is
spring and autumn.
Cash should be brought. Euro, dollar, yuan (yuan) and
yen can be used in hotels and some restaurants. In some
places, North Korean won is required, but it is usually
possible to exchange currency. The stores will give
clear information whether foreign or national currency
is to be used. Few hotels in Pyongyang take credit
North Koreans speak Korean, but with a slightly
different dialect than South Korea. In tourist places
and shops, there are usually some who speak English or
Chinese. However, knowledge of foreign and foreign
languages is not widely used. Power outages can occur
and internet and telephone access in the country is very
limited. Foreign mobile subscriptions do not work in
most places in the country.
National Holidays: January 1, February 16 (Kim Jong
Il's Birthday), April 15 (Kim Il Sung's Birthday), April
25 (Army Day), May 1 (Workers International Match Day),
July 8 (Day Then) Kim Il Sung died), July 27 (Victory
Day), August 15 (Liberation Day), September 9
(Independence Day - Establishment of Democratic People's
Republic of Korea), October 10 (Founding Day of Korea's
Workers' Party), December 27 (Constitution Day). In
addition, there are several moving holidays and other