Reasons to visit Pyongyang, North Korea

Reasons to visit Pyongyang, North Korea at least once in your lifetime

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10 Reasons to Visit Pyongyang, North Korea

Imagine stepping into a city frozen in time, where modernity meets tradition, and an enigmatic charm beckons you. Welcome to Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, a destination that is guaranteed to leave an indelible mark on your traveler’s soul. In this article, we will explore ten compelling reasons why you should visit this captivating city at least once in your lifetime. From awe-inspiring architecture to intriguing cultural experiences, Pyongyang offers a unique and unforgettable journey that will both challenge and enchant you.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover an enigmatic city that has preserved its culture and traditions.
  • Witness breathtaking architectural marvels like the Ryugyong Hotel.
  • Experience the vibrant local arts scene through music, dance, and theater.
  • Explore historic landmarks that reflect the country’s rich heritage.
  • Embark on a culinary adventure with delicious local delicacies.
  • Engage with warm and welcoming locals passionate about sharing their culture.
  • Witness impressive military parades showcasing the nation’s pride.
  • Uncover the charm of Pyongyang’s serene parks and natural landscapes.
  • Participate in intriguing cultural festivals that celebrate the nation’s identity.
  • Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in a truly unique and off-the-beaten-path destination.

1. Marvel at the Ryugyong Hotel – A Towering Wonder

The Ryugyong Hotel stands as a towering wonder in the heart of Pyongyang. This iconic pyramid-shaped skyscraper, reaching a height of 330 meters (1,083 feet), is a testament to the country’s architectural prowess. Despite its storied past, the hotel now showcases a beautifully lit exterior, shimmering against the night sky. A visit to Pyongyang would be incomplete without witnessing this architectural masterpiece.

2. Explore the Mysteries of Mansudae Grand Monument

At the Mansudae Grand Monument, you will encounter massive bronze statues of past leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. This awe-inspiring site provides a glimpse into the ideology and cult of personality that reverberate throughout North Korea. Surrounded by meticulous landscaping and adorned with vibrant flowers, this monument is a significant symbol of respect and admiration for the nation’s leaders.

3. Get Lost in Tranquility at Moranbong Park

Escape the bustling city streets and find solace in the serene oasis of Moranbong Park. With its beautiful ponds, pavilions, and lush greenery, this park offers a retreat from the urban chaos. Take a leisurely stroll, enjoy a picnic, or simply bask in the peaceful atmosphere while surrounded by the beauty of nature.

4. Delve into History at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum

Pay homage to the country’s tumultuous past and gain insight into the Korean War at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. This comprehensive museum displays a vast collection of artifacts, including weaponry, photographs, and interactive exhibits, offering a nuanced perspective on the conflict. Prepare to be captivated by the stories of heroism, sacrifice, and resilience that permeate the halls of this remarkable institution.

5. Immerse Yourself in the Grandeur of Kumsusan Palace of the Sun

Enter the majestic halls of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the final resting place of North Korea’s esteemed leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. This sprawling complex offers an opportunity to witness the unwavering admiration and respect the nation has for its former leaders. The palace’s grandeur, lavish interior design, and meticulously preserved exhibits make it a truly remarkable testament to their legacies.

6. Engage with Local Arts at the Mansudae Art Studio

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Pyongyang by visiting the Mansudae Art Studio. This expansive complex is home to a community of talented artists who produce an array of fine arts, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. Take a guided tour to witness the creative process, engage in art workshops, or even acquire a unique piece to remember your journey by.

7. Savor Authentic North Korean Cuisine

Indulge your palate with the flavors of North Korean cuisine, a delicious fusion of Korean, Chinese, and Russian influences. From Pyongyang naengmyeon, a cold noodle dish famous throughout the country, to tantalizing meat dishes like galbi-jjim (braised beef ribs), you will find a diverse range of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds. Embrace the opportunity to dine in traditional restaurants and experience the warm hospitality that accompanies every meal.

8. Witness the Splendor of the Arirang Mass Games

Prepare to be amazed by the Arirang Mass Games, a grand spectacle that combines gymnastics, dance, acrobatics, and music to depict North Korea’s history and culture. Thousands of performers come together with impeccable precision, creating a mesmerizing display of synchronized movements. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will leave you in awe of the nation’s artistic prowess and collective harmony.

9. Discover Natural Wonders at Mt. Myohyang and Chollima Park

Escape the urban landscape and venture into the natural wonders surrounding Pyongyang. Explore the scenic beauty of Mt. Myohyang, renowned for its lush forests, sparkling waterfalls, and historic temples. Additionally, a visit to Chollima Park offers an opportunity to admire its vast green spaces, colorful flower beds, and serene ponds—a perfect setting for relaxation and contemplation.

10. Immerse Yourself in Local Festivals

Celebrate North Korea’s vibrant culture and traditions by participating in local festivals such as the Arirang Festival or the Pyongyang International Film Festival. These events showcase the nation’s identity, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of North Korean arts, entertainment, and cultural heritage. Engage with locals, watch captivating performances, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Embark on a Journey Like No Other

Pyongyang, with its timeless allure and hidden treasures, invites you to discover a world often misunderstood. Through its architecture, history, arts, and culinary delights, this enigmatic city offers an experience like no other. Engage in meaningful conversations with locals, challenge your preconceived notions, and embrace the opportunity to witness a nation evolving while deeply rooted in its traditions. A journey to Pyongyang promises to be a captivating adventure that will forever shape your understanding of this remarkable country. So pack your bags, open your mind, and let Pyongyang work its enchantment on you.

Why go to Pyongyang, North Korea?

You must visit Pyongyang, North Korea, at least once in your lifetime because driving through Pyongyang, the capital is a fascinating experience. So many landmarks, large plazas, and spectacular buildings can be found in the city. Aside from the Juche Tower and the Arch of Triumph, we could see several of their most significant landmarks and institutions.

Places to go in Pyongyang, North Korea:

  1. Arch of Triumph
  2. Changgwang Health Complex
  3. Chollima Statue
  4. Grand People’s Study House
  5. Mansudae Grand Monument
  6. Munsu Waterpark
  7. Pyongyang Metro
  8. Pyongyang Zoo
  9. Rungrado May Day Stadium
  10. Tower of the Juche Idea

What is Pyongyang, North Korea, famous for?

Pyongyang, North Korea, is famous for landmarks, such as the Tower of the Juche Idea, Grand People’s Study House, Korea Art Gallery, Central History Museum, and other significant government agencies, all located in this area of the city. North Korea’s renowned military parades take place here.

Fun Facts about Pyongyang, North Korea

  • Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea.
  • Ryugyong, or “City of Willows,” is one of Pyongyang’s nicknames.
  • There are eight college football stadiums, including the Melbourne Cricket Ground at Rungrado First of May Stadium.
  • A triumphal arch in Pyongyang, known as the “Arch of Triumph,” was built to honor Korean resistance against Japan from 1925 to 1945. It is the second-tallest arch in the world after Paris’ ‘Arc de Triomphe.’

Why visit Pyongyang, North Korea
How big is Pyongyang, North Korea?

Pyongyang, North Korea, is about 2,000 square km or 772 square miles in size.

When is the best time to visit Pyongyang, North Korea?

The best time to visit Pyongyang, North Korea, is the months of May or September if you’re most concerned about having a relaxing and enjoyable day outside.

How many days do you need to see Pyongyang, North Korea?

Even if there is no perfect itinerary for Korea, the country is small enough. One week should be enough time to get used to the culture and still have time to enjoy most of it.

What is the cheapest time to go to Pyongyang, North Korea?

The low season (flights) to visit Pyongyang, North Korea, is in June, during the summertime. 

Is Pyongyang, North Korea, an expensive city to visit?

If you want to take a pre-planned tour of the country, it will cost you anything from $500 to roughly $2,500, depending on how long your vacation will be. Several companies, including Koryo Tours, offer all-inclusive package tours of North Korea.

How to save money when visiting Pyongyang, North Korea?

The best ways to save money when visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, are:

  • Spend your money wisely.
  • Purchase fresh produce from the local market.
  • Join tour packages that include group trips to save money.

What food (and drinks) is Pyongyang, North Korea, known for?

Things you need to eat in Pyongyang, North Korea, before you die:

  • Injo Gogi Bap- Injo-Gogi-bap, literally “rice with imitation meat,” is made of rice, kimchi, soybean paste, and soybean oil. Steamed rice is wrapped in leftover soybean paste and topped with chili sauce.
  • Pansangi- Multiple bronze bowls loaded with fish, pork, veggies, rice, kimchi, and other preserved items.
  • Pyongyang Cold Noodles- Locally known as “Naengmyeon.” These buckwheat noodles are served with thinly sliced chicken, pig, beef, egg, and other toppings in a pleasantly chilly and light broth.

Visit Pyongyang North Korea-at-least once in your lifetime

Is Pyongyang, North Korea, safe to visit?

North Korea isn’t a safe place to visit, and various governments warn their nationals against it. Even if you’ve already arrived in North Korea, failing to adhere to the country’s severe restrictions could result in your detention, torture, or even your death.

What is the best way to get around in Pyongyang, North Korea?

The best way to get around in Pyongyang, North Korea, are:

  • The North Korean Subway System
  • Pyongyang Trolleybus
  • Taxis in Pyongyang

What neighbourhoods or areas should I stay in when I visit Pyongyang, North Korea?

The best areas you should stay in when visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, are:

  • The Ryugyong Hotel
  • Pothonggang Hotel (Deluxe)
  • Sosan Hotel (First Class)
  • The Ryanggang Hotel

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for food?

The best areas for food and drinks when visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, are:

  • Okryu Restaurant
  • Chongryu Restaurant
  • Vienna Caffe
  • Taedonggang Beer Bar

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for shopping?

The best areas for shopping when visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, are:

  •  Korean Department Store in Pyongyang
  • Mansudae Art Studio Gallery
  • Foreign Language Bookshop
  • North Korea Gift Shop

What should I do on my first trip to Pyongyang, North Korea?

If you are visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, for the first time, it is impossible to visit North Korea without seeing the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which has served as a symbol of the Korean Peninsula’s sorrowful division for more than seven decades. There is no better way to get into North Korea than by train, and the best route to get there is from China. A sense of anticipation and excitement develops when the Chinese countryside begins to resemble the North Korean countryside. When shopping at Kwangbok Department Store, remember to bring cash in local currency. Experience Pyongyang from the air in a helicopter.

Is Pyongyang, North Korea, a good place for solo travel?

When traveling solo, it is prohibited to travel to North Korea by yourself. Although private excursions can be arranged, even if you are only one person, you will always be accompanied by tour guides.

Is Pyongyang, North Korea, a good place to visit for a family with kids?

When visiting Pyongyang, North Korea as a family with kids, in most cases, tour operators will allow families with children ages 15 and up to join their group trips as long as at least one parent or guardian is present. However, children under the age of 15 can have a private tour organized for their families.

Is Pyongyang, North Korea, a good place for couples?

When visiting Pyongyang, North Korea, as a couple, couples in North Korean films rarely kiss or show physical affection for one another. Thus many North Koreans aren’t used to public displays of affection. Despite this, North Koreans are like everyone else regarding meeting, dating, and falling in love. So if you are traveling with a loved one, make sure to cling to each other the whole trip.

What are the best annual events in Pyongyang, North Korea?

The best annual events in Pyongyang, North Korea, that you cannot miss are

  • Kim Il Sung’s Birthday Celebration in April
  • Dragon Boat Festival in June
  • Dragon Boat Festival in July
  • Workers’ Party of Korea Foundation Day in October
  • Liberation Day in August 


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