Itinerary - Kim Il Sung Birthday Long Tour and Pyongyang Marathon

tour plankim il sung birthday long tour

Fri 8th April - TOUR BRIEFING

4PM: The group assembles in the office for a pre-tour briefing, which will last approximately 1 hour and is designed so that you will get the best out of your tour.

Sat 9th April - ARRIVAL DAY

AM: Meet together outside the office (time to be confirmed) and head to Beijing Airport T2 for our flight from Beijing to Pyongyang (1.5 hrs), the showcase capital of the DPRK
PM: Meet guides who will accompany you during your stay, Arch of Triumph – similar to the French version (but bigger)
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


AM: This morning we head straight for Kim Il Sung Stadium for the highlight of the tour: the PYONGYANG MARATHON. This is only the second year that the marathon has been open to amateur runners so get your shorts on, limber up, and start running! You can do a 10km run, half marathon or a full marathon. Running through the streets of Pyongyang with hundreds of local runners is guaranteed to be an amazing experience. Those who are not running can either watch from the streets, and cheer on those participating, or – alternatively – attend a local football match inside Kim Il Sung Stadium (where the marathon also starts and finishes).
PM: After the marathon we will head back to the hotel for a shower, change of clothes and lunch. You can then choose whether to spend the afternoon relaxing at Munsu Water Park (Entrance costs EUR 10) OR take an afternoon city tour of Pyongyang. The city tour starts at the Juche Tower, the highest stone monument in the world. Party Foundation Monument – an iconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush which was constructed to celebrate 50 years of Workers’ Party rule. Pyongyang Metro, which is the deepest subway system in the world. The designs of the main stations are stunning, and particularly notable for their superb lighting and mosaics. Mangyongdae Native House – the native birthplace of President Kim Il Sung.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Mon 11th April - PYONGSONG

AM: This morning we drive 40 mins north of Pyongyang to the town of Pyongsong. First we’ll visit  Paeksong Revolutionary Site, which is where Kim Il Sung University was moved to in 1952 during the Korean War; a hidden academic base! Next we’ll stop by the local Ponghak beer factory, which has only very recently opened to foreign visitors. Be among the very first tourists to visit this factory! Before lunch we visit Kim Jong Suk Higher Middle School (named after the mother of Kim Jong Il). The headmaster here is very welcoming and will take us on a tour of the school, where you can see what middle-school students typically study in the DPRK. If you are brave enough then you are encouraged to jump in and chat to students in their English class! This can often be a valuable first opportunity for English-language learners in Pyongsong to converse with a native English speaker.
PM: First stop after the lunch is Pyongsong Provisions Production Factory – a foodstuffs factory that produces everything from popcorn to beer and soju (a Korean rice wine). Visitors can watch the production line and taste the array of snacks made in this place. We’ll also drop by Pyongsong Central Square before driving 3 hours down to our overnight stay in the city of Kaesong where we’ll check into the hotel in time for dinner. 
OVERNIGHT: Minsok Hotel, Kaesong (beautiful courtyard hotel where guests sleep on heated floors in traditional Korean style)

AM: Grand People’s Study House - supposedly stocked with over 3 million books, this enormous library/place of study has a great view over Kim Il Sung Square. Foreign Languages Bookshop and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Pyongyang. Kim Il Sung Square, which is Pyongyang’s largest. This is where the capital’s mass dances take place and the military parades pass through. Pyongyang Metro, which is the deepest subway system in the world. Tram ride around the city.
PM: Juche Tower, at 150m, topped with a flickering red torch, is the highest stone monument in the world. Party Foundation Monument – aniconic sculpture of a hammer, sickle and calligraphy brush – was constructed to celebrate 50 years of Workers’ Party rule. Golden Lane Bowling Centre where Pyongyang’s residents go for their ten-pin fix.

PM: Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum
(Korean War Museum), USS Pueblo (US spy ship captured in 1968).

Tue 12th April - KAESONG & THE DMZ

AM: This morning we’ll walk from the hotel though the old streets of Kaesong up to Janam Hill for views over Kaesong City. Panmunjom/DMZ (where North and South Korea continues their decades old face-off), Koryo Museum (former Confucian college, shows history of the area and relics of the ancient city), stamp shop.
PM: We’ll then drive out to the Concrete Wall, an observation post deep in the DMZ where you can view South Korean positions and see the anti-tank barrier that stretches across the peninsular. Next we drive back to Pyongyang and stop by the Golden Lane Bowling Centre where Pyongyang’s residents go for their ten-pin fix. This is a great chance to mix with local people. Even if you don’t end up playing, it’s worth grabbing a seat here to watch everyone have some fun. There is also a shooting range next door where you can fire 20 rounds for $6.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Wed 13th April - NAMPO & THE WEST COAST

AM: First on this morning’s itinerary is a tram ride around the city. We then visit the Foreign Languages Bookshop and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Pyongyang. Stop by Kim Il Sung Square, which is Pyongyang’s largest. This is where the capital’s mass dances take place and the military parades pass through. Next, we’ll visit Kwangbok Department Store where you can change your Euros into local currency and browse some local products. Lunch will be a BBQ at a famous picnic stop in Mt Ryonggak.
PM: This afternoon we drive to the west coast to the city of Nampo. On the way we’ll visit Chongsan-Ri Co-operative Farm – the DPRK’s most famous farm that was visited a number of times by the President Kim Il Sung. We’ll have a tour of the farm including a farmer’s house and Kindergarten. We will also stop off at Kangso Mineral Water Factory – where you can see naturally carbonated water being bottled. We then head for our overnight stop - the Dragon River Hot Spa guesthouse. This is a complex of guesthouses where each room has a private bath which can be filled with water direct from the hot springs - said to have many medicinal benefits. It is here that we can experience the famous Nampo petrol clam BBQ (costs EUR 5 per person but you can still watch for free if you don't want to have any of the clams)
OVERNIGHT:Dragon River Hot Spa Hotel, Nampo


AM: First stop this morning is to the West Sea Barrage – an 8km-long dam separating the Taedong river from the West Sea of Korea. Back in Pyongyang we visit The Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum where you can learn the history of the Korean War from the North Korean perspective. USS Pueblo – an American spy ship captured by the DPRK navy in 1968.
PM: After lunch we visit the DPRK’s centre of artistic excellence, Mansudae Art Studio. Next it’s time for a tour of Mangyongdae School Children’s Palace - a centre of extra-curricular activities for gifted children – we’ll walk around classrooms with children demonstrating their talents including music, art, taekwondo and speech-making. Paradise Micro-Brewery and Bar and after dinner you’ll have the chance to try out some of the rides at Kaeson Youth Funfair - one of the most popular nightspots in Pyongyang.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang


AM&PM: DPRK HOLIDAY: 104th Birthday of Eternal President Kim Il Sung - Kumsusan Memorial Palace (Mausoleum of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), Mansudae Grand Monument (giant statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il),  Kimilsungia Festival (exhibition of flowers named after the late leader), Pyongyang Symphony Orchestra - usually held in the afternoon this concert of Korean and western music is stunning (EUR 20); Pyongyang Circus - also in the afternoon this is another stunning performance showcasing the talents of the DPRK's acrobats and other entertainers (EUR 20). For these events that require additional payment, we will always offer a free alternative such as a walk in the city or visiting a coffee shop - the itinerary will be confirmed on the spot in Pyongyang. We will also take a walk in Moranbong Park - located in the centre of Pyongyang this is a favourite place for locals and during the holiday periods it is not unusual to come across a group of Koreans dancing. As today is a national holiday we expect to see a mass dance taking place. University students dress in their finest and gather together in various public spots around Pyongyang to dance together (a great time for young couples to meet for the first time) - an impressive spectacle indeed. We’ll round off the celebrations with our farewell dinner at Pyongyang’s first Pizza Restaurant.
OVERNIGHT: Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang

Sat 16th April- DEPARTURE DAY

AM: The flight departs Pyongyang at 09:00 and arrives in Beijing at approx 10:00am. The train departs Pyongyang at 10:40am and arrives in Beijing at approx 08:30am on Sunday. End of Tour.


TOUR COST: $2,290
DPRK VISA FEE: $75 (to be paid at the pre-tour meeting)
PRE-TOUR MEETING: Friday 8th April, 4PM, at our office in Beijing
EXPECTED WEATHER: It will be cold in the morning and evening but warmer during the day, around 15°C so bring layers.
Room upgrades available – please ask for more information.


  1. Flight Beijing-Pyongyang, plane Pyongyang-Beijing
  2. All meals on the tour except on the train out of DPRK – see below
  3. Hotel accommodations in DPRK
  4. All entry fees
  5. Two guides and a driver per group
  6. All transportation in DPRK
  7. Transportation to Beijing airport prior to departure to DPRK.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE (all payments paid in cash) :

  1. Transportation from your country to Beijing and hotel stay in Beijing
  2. Travel insurance (can be purchased at the pre-tour briefing)
  3. Optional single room supplement of $60 per night (must be booked in advance and can be pre-paid in US with credit card)
  4. Spending money for drinks and souvenirs
  5. DPRK visa fee ($75)
  6. Tip for the guides (approx $7/day)
  7. Meals on the train out of DPRK - (bring your own food or eat dinner and lunch in the buffet car approx $10 per person)
  8. Entry tickets for special events (Revolutionary opera, circus , etc).
  9. The lift up the Juche Tower (approx $6)
  10. Meals will have a complimentary beer but you will have to pay for extra drinks above those provided. If you are vegetarian or have special dietary requirements then please inform us beforehand