places to visit in North Korea

Located in East Asia, North Korea is a country shrouded in mystery and intrigue. With a rich history spanning thousands of years, it is home to a plethora of fascinating places to visit. From ancient temples to stunning natural landscapes, North Korea offers a unique travel experience unlike any other. Despite its political isolation, the country has become increasingly significant on the global stage, attracting curious travelers from around the world.

One of the most iconic sites in North Korea is the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, a mausoleum where the bodies of the country’s leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, lie in state. The palace, with its grand architecture and meticulously manicured gardens, serves as a revered symbol of the nation’s leadership. Visitors are required to dress formally and show utmost respect when paying their respects at this iconic memorial.

In addition to its historical and political significance, North Korea boasts breathtaking natural landscapes. Mount Paektu, an active volcano situated on the border with China, is not only the highest peak in the Korean Peninsula but also holds great cultural significance. It is revered as the birthplace of Korea, and its pristine forests, deep crater lakes, and majestic waterfalls make it an ideal destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Despite its relative isolation, North Korea has made efforts to promote tourism in recent years. The country has designated special economic zones where foreign investment is encouraged, leading to the development of modern amenities and infrastructure in these areas. In addition, North Korea has hosted various international events, such as the annual Pyongyang Marathon, to attract tourists and showcase its cultural heritage.

While visiting North Korea can be a divisive topic, it is important to note that tourism contributes to the local economy and fosters cross-cultural understanding. According to recent statistics, the country has seen a steady increase in the number of foreign tourists, reaching a record high in recent years. This trend highlights the growing interest in exploring the unique history and culture that North Korea has to offer.

North Korea’s places of interest are not limited to just Pyongyang, the capital city. The country boasts several picturesque cities and towns, each with its own charm. For example, the coastal city of Wonsan is renowned for its beautiful beaches and serene atmosphere, making it a popular destination for relaxation.

In conclusion, North Korea may be an enigmatic and controversial travel destination, but it is also a country that offers an array of captivating attractions. From historic sites to stunning natural wonders, exploring the places to visit in North Korea can provide travelers with a deeper understanding of its rich heritage and current significance on the global stage.

What are the top attractions and must-visit sites in North Korea?

Discover the captivating wonders of North Korea and unveil its hidden treasures. From magnificent historical landmarks to breathtaking natural landscapes, this article provides an in-depth exploration of the must-see places that will leave you awe-inspired. Dive into the rich cultural heritage, mesmerizing architecture, and picturesque beauty that North Korea has to offer. Join us as we delve into each destination, shedding light on their historical significance, notable features, and enchanting allure. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the remarkable places to visit in North Korea!


Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea, is a must-visit destination for its unique blend of history, architecture, and culture. Visitors to Pyongyang can explore iconic sites such as the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the final resting place of North Korea’s leaders, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. Another must-visit attraction is the Juche Tower, a symbol of North Korea’s ideology.

Additionally, the Mansu Hill Grand Monument, featuring giant bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s political beliefs. The city also boasts stunning architecture, including the Ryugyong Hotel, a striking pyramid-shaped skyscraper that has become an iconic symbol of Pyongyang.

Mount Paektu

Located in the northern part of North Korea, Mount Paektu is a majestic volcanic mountain that holds great cultural and historical significance. It is considered the birthplace of the Korean nation and is steeped in folklore and mythology.

Visitors can hike to the summit of Mount Paektu and enjoy breathtaking views of the crater lake known as Heaven Lake. The surrounding landscape is also a haven for nature enthusiasts, with beautiful forests, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Exploring the area provides a unique opportunity to connect with the country’s natural beauty and history.


Kaesong, located near the border with South Korea, is a city filled with historical landmarks and cultural heritage. One of the main attractions in Kaesong is the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Historic Monuments and Sites in Kaesong.

Travelers can visit the famous Koryo Museum, which houses a vast collection of artifacts from the Koryo Dynasty, showcasing the rich history of the region. The Kaesong Namdaemun Gate, a well-preserved gate from the 14th century, is another notable architectural gem in the city.

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a heavily fortified border between North and South Korea and offers a unique opportunity to witness the tense divide between the two countries. Visitors can take guided tours to the DMZ, which include a visit to the Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Panmunjom truce village.

Getting a firsthand look at this historic site allows travelers to gain insight into the Korean War and the ongoing political situation. It is an unforgettable experience that provides a glimpse into the complexities of the Korean Peninsula.


According to official data, North Korea received around 100,000 foreign tourists in 2019, showcasing a slight increase in international visitors compared to previous years.

Places to Visit in North Korea FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions for places to visit in North Korea

FAQ 1: Can I visit North Korea as a tourist?

Yes, North Korea allows tourists to visit the country, but you must be part of an organized tour group.

FAQ 2: What are the popular tourist destinations in North Korea?

The popular tourist destinations in North Korea include Pyongyang, the capital city, Mount Kumgang, the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, and the Juche Tower.

FAQ 3: Is it safe to visit North Korea?

While North Korea is generally safe for tourists, it is important to follow the rules and regulations set by the government and your tour guides.

FAQ 4: Can I take photographs while visiting North Korea?

Yes, you can take photographs in North Korea, but there may be restrictions in certain areas. Always ask your tour guide for permission before taking any photos.

FAQ 5: Can I use my mobile phone or the internet in North Korea?

Foreign mobile phones usually do not work in North Korea. However, you can purchase a local SIM card upon arrival. Internet access for tourists is limited.

FAQ 6: What is the best time to visit North Korea?

The best time to visit North Korea is during the spring (April to June) or autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild.

FAQ 7: Can I bring gifts or souvenirs back from North Korea?

Yes, you can bring gifts and souvenirs back from North Korea. However, there are restrictions on certain items, such as propaganda materials, so it’s best to check with your tour guide before purchasing.

FAQ 8: Are there any dress code requirements in North Korea?

There is no specific dress code in North Korea for tourists. However, it is recommended to dress modestly and avoid wearing clothing with political or offensive symbols.

FAQ 9: Can I exchange currency in North Korea?

Yes, you can exchange foreign currency for North Korean Won (KPW) at official exchange counters. However, it is advised to bring enough cash in US dollars or euros as credit and debit cards are generally not accepted.

FAQ 10: How can I book a tour to North Korea?

You can book a tour to North Korea through authorized travel agencies that specialize in North Korean tourism. It is not possible to visit the country independently.

Conclusion for which places to visit in North Korea

In conclusion, North Korea offers a range of incredible places to visit that provide a unique and eye-opening experience. From the bustling capital city of Pyongyang with its grand monuments and vibrant atmosphere, to the serene and scenic Mount Myohyang, there is something for everyone to explore and enjoy.

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is an absolute must-visit, offering a fascinating glimpse into the tensions between North and South Korea. The ancient city of Kaesong showcases traditional Korean architecture and provides a glimpse into the country’s rich history. Additionally, the breathtaking landscapes of Mount Kumgang and the pristine beaches of Wonsan offer the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of North Korea.

Although North Korea may be a controversial destination, it is undeniable that the country has a lot to offer in terms of its unique culture, history, and natural beauty. Visiting North Korea allows travelers to challenge their preconceived notions, gain a deeper understanding of the country, and engage in meaningful cultural exchanges with the local people. Despite its isolated status, North Korea’s tourism industry is steadily growing, with more visitors gaining access to this mysterious and intriguing destination. Whether it’s exploring ancient sites, witnessing impressive displays of military might, or simply embracing the warmth of the local people, a trip to North Korea promises to be an unforgettable adventure.

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