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 standard.
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 practical matters.
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. According to allcitycodes, North Korea area code is +850.
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 cards.
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 selections.