North Korea

Travel around North Korea and meet the entrepreneurs in one of the world's most isolated nations


What we will be doing

  • Taking the overnight train from Beijing to Pyongyang
  • Visit the DMZ and the "World's Most Dangerous Border"
  • Visit local businesses including a big steel factory
  • Meet people from the west who do business in North Korea
  • Hike a North Korean Mountain
  • Hang out with North Koreans and drink local beer
  • Explore different parts of North Korea including all big sights
  • ... And of course do it all with amazing like-minded people from across the globe
  • Take the sleeper train to North Korea

    This is probably going to be the most amazing train ride of your life. Board the train in Beijing, have dinner and a beer while heading to North Korea. This is a great chance to see some of rural North Korea when we’re driving from the border to the capital.

    A chance to really explore North Korea

    We will go around the country, visit companies and get as close to real North Korea living as possible

    Experience the most famous border in the world

    We will go to the demilitarized zone and see the border between north and south Korea. We will get to see the room where south and north have their meetings.

    Day by day

    Day 1

    Meet up in Beijing, China

    • Meet up at 2pm at City Line hotel, Beijing
    • Talk about doing business in North Korea and possible conference call with Felix Apt (A capitalist in North Korea)
    • Depart Beijing Central station at 5:25pm for the 24-hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.
    Day 2

    Crossing the border to North Korea

    • Arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00am for the extensive border control from the DPRK side
    • Dinner and overnight at the Yanggakdo Hotel.
    Day 3

    Morning in Pyongyang

    • Walk through Mansudae fountain park and see the mosaic pictures of President Kim Il Sung and the leader Kim Jong Il.
    • Visit Mansudae Grand Monument to show our respects to the President Kim Il Sung and the Leader Kim Jong Il.
    • Foreign Language Bookshop – with a large selection of books in English and other European Languages as well as other souvenirs followed by a short walk to:
    • Kim Il Sung Square the central square of Pyongyang city and the place where all the action happens.
    • Call into the joint Korean/Austrian cafe and meet some local entrepreneurs
    Day 3

    Drive to Kaesong City

    • Lunch at the Gold Cup Restaurant.
    • Korean War Museum- Let the expert local guide show you around the enormous museum featuring dioramas, locally used weapons, tanks etc, and captured American equipment!
    • USS Pueblo- The only US Naval Ship still held captive by another nation.
    • Juche Tower- Monument to the everlasting Juche Ideology
    • Drive to Kaesong City (2 hours) – this ancient city is only a stone throw away from the DMZ
    • Dinner, drinks and overnight at the Kaesong Folklore Hotel
    Day 4

    DMZ Village

    • See the DMZ and the treaty and conferences rooms where the armistice was signed all in the company of a friendly KPA officer guide (You can also take pictures of soldiers here!)
    • Koryo Museum- the oldest university in Korea and now a converted museum of local history. Also the site of the best propaganda and stamp/postcard shop in the DPRK!
    Day 4

    Drink locally brewed Makkoli beers

    • Lunch at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong City- try your hand at traditional Korean Pansangi- a series of dishes served in bronze bowls.
    • Visit the Concrete Wall observatory – here we’ll see the wall built by the South Koreans to prevent any possibility of an attack.
    • Drop by Sariwon City (Capital of North Hwanghae province) to walk in the local folk custom park and view the city from the mountain top pagoda, you can also try locally brewed Makkoli in a local bar.
    • Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification, standing over the Thongil Highway.
    • Dinner at a local Korean restaurant to try the famous Pyongyang cold noodles or Korean Bibimbap
    • Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
    Day 5

    Visit local artists and expats

    • Kumsusan Palace of the Sun- The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.
    • Revolutionary Martyr’s Cemetery- The resting place of the greatest of the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters each grave features a bronze bust of the hero laid to rest within.
    • Lunch in Moran Hill Restaurant
    • Pyongyang Metro- ride 5 stops on the famous Pyongyang Underground!
    • Exiting at the Arch of Triumph- the largest Victory Arch in the world, built to celebrate the triumphant return of Kim Il Sung after the Anti-Japanese war.
    • Walk up Morangbong Hill and join the locals for dancing, songs and drinks if we’re lucky!
    • Visit artists at Mansudae art studio
    • Party Foundation Monument – this monument marks the 50th anniversary of the Worker's Party of Korea built in 1995
    • Dinner at the National restaurant with a performance!
    • Taedonggan Diplomat’s club. There’s local and imported drinks, karaoke, billiards, ping pong and a great chance to meet some local Pyongyang expats
    • Overnight at the Yanggakdo hotel.
    Day 6

    Nampo City and visiting a Steel Complex

    • Drive to Nampo City (2 hours)
    • Chollima Steel Complex- One of the DPRK’s most famous industrial sites – named after the Chollima movement it helped lead. Here we’ll see workers in action as we watch the steps on how Koreans forge steel.
    • Lunch at the Hangu harbour hotel – a quiet and less visited hotel in Nampo city
    • West Sea Barrage- An astounding example of socialist construction the barrage was built to keep the salty water of the West sea from rendering parts of the Taedonggan river and surrounding farmland useless as well as to tame the local sea.
    • Trip highlight – Swim at Nampo beach and hang out with the locals!
    • Dinner and Overnight at the Ryonggang hot spa hotel- with a mineral spa in each room! Great place for billiards and ping pong. Here we have a chance to try Korea’s famous Korean clam BBQ
    Day 7

    Trip to Mt Myohyang

    • Grand People’s study House- Library and academic center for adult learners, this grand building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the central Square.
    • Visit Mansudae Art Studio – the nation’s most important artwork and monuments are created here. This is where we get to meet some of the local artists too.
    • Lunch at the New Stamp restaurant
    • Korean Film Studio – where over a thousand films have been produced. Here we'll be able to dress up as characters and explore the backdrops of the film studio
    • Drive out to Mt Myohyang – 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang
    • Dinner drinks and overnight at Chong Chun Hotel
    Day 8

    Hike Mt Myohyang and back to Pyongyang

    • Visit the very famous International Friendship Exhibition – two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from people, governments and institutions all over the world. A must see!
    • Pohyon Temple – One of the 5 famous temples of Korea and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the DPRK.
    • Lunch at the Chong Chun Hotel
    • Hike around Mt Myohyang
    • Ryongmun Cavern – one of the most famous cave complexes in the DPRK the Ryongmun cavern is famous for its stalactite and stalagmite formations. Bring a jacket as it gets a little chilly underneath!
    • Drive back to Pyongyang
    • Dinner at Dongsong restaurant
    • Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
    • Overnight in Yanggakdo Hotel
    Day 9

    Back to Beijing

    • Flight back to Beijing (included in the price)
    • Enjoy Beijing, continue your traveling or fly home

    Want to know
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    Click the button to be kept in the loop about this trip. We will let you know when spots are selling out and when we’re ready with a list of confirmed participants.

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    Yes, it’s absolutely safe. Despite the North Korea’s reputation in the media, the country is very safe and the people there are very friendly, interested in tourists and accommodating.

    No. This is not possible at all in North Korea. You have to always be with one of the local guides. Feel free to ask if you see something and you want to go there, but please accept a no, because no means no in North Korea.

    Yes absolutely. Some lenses and photo gear are prohibited. If you have very professional gear, please email the list of our equipment to, and we will clarify what you can bring.

    Chinese RMB is the best currency to bring into North Korea as it is the easiest currency to get change for.

    220 volts, same plugs as western Europe. The hotels normally also have converters.

    The hotels that we’re using can cater for different needs, as vegetarian, vegan etc. We recommend also bringing a bit of snacks of your own, just to be sure.

    We will help you every step of the way and guide you in getting the visa. We will contact you after signing up.

    Since we’re taking the train across the border from Beijing, you also need a visa for China. We give our highest recommendations to spend a few days in Beijing. It’s a crazy place as well.

    If you have any questions at all, we’re here to help you. You can write us at and we will get back to you super fast.

    Our participants come from many different backgrounds, but the all have that in common that they are open, positive and proactive people eager to learn about the world. There has always been a really great atmosphere in the groups because we really try to attract like-minded people.

    We have a secure online payment. The deposit is always $500 and the rest of the amount will be withdrawn 3 months prior to the trip. If you’re signing up for the trip less than 3 months before we go, you will have to pay the full amount at once.

    We know that people are busy and that stuff can come up. That’s why we always offer the option of credits for another trip if you cancel up until two weeks prior to the trip.

    Yes, our trips always have a trip leader from Refuga plus local guides and staff.





    Ready to go to North Korea?


    All our prices are in USD

    1 person
    2 persons (per person)
    Refuga Alumni

    Dates & Availability

    • Jun 16 - 24, 2018 (15 spots left)

    What you get

    • An amazing overnight train ride from China to North Korea
    • All travel in the country according to the above program
    • Trip Leader from Refuga + local guides
    • An experience with like-minded people. It matters who you travel with.
    • A unique chance to visit companies in North Korea
    • Visit the DMZ and the world’s most famous border
    • A once in a lifetime experience

    Practical Info

    • We will meet up at Beijing station at 4:00PM. From there every transportation will be done as a group, and we will lead the way.
    • The deposit is always $500 and it secures your spot on the trip
    • The rest of the amount will be withdrawn 3 months prior to the trip
    • If you have to cancel you will get credits to another trip (up until 2 weeks prior to the trip)

    I’m not sure yet

    • If you think this is something for you, but you’re not sure yet, let us know. We are happy to clarify any concerns, so you’re 100% sure before you book.
    • The fastest way to get in touch with us is by email. Write us at and the trip leader of the trip will get back to you asap.

    Let us keep you
    updated on the trip

    We will let you know when spots are running out and tell you about confirmed participants.