There are a lot of misconceptions about travelling to North Korea (they prefer to be called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or DPRK). Many people have no idea you can actually visit the place, and have no idea about the existence of travel blogs like these. I hope I can shed some light with this post.
First of all: yes, it is possible for you to travel to North Korea. Currently there are no restrictions on nationalities, except for South Koreans, who are not allowed to visit their neighbouring country. Yes, Americans can visit North Korea (with some limitations, for example you can’t use the train to enter or exit the country). Japanese are allowed to visit the country as well.
There is absolutely no reason for your trip to North Korea to be expensive. In fact, these trips are only slightly more expensive than any other trip you can make, while all the more memorable. You should take note of the fact that all trips are eventually booked through KITC – or the Korea International Travel Company. This is the only North Korean tourism company which regulates all tourism. However, you will have to book your tour through an external, Western company. Popular options include Uri Tours, Young Pioneer Tours and Koryo Tours.
After having booked your trip you can enter the country in several ways, by train, by plane or by foot. Honestly, even though I haven’t crossed the border by foot, all options should be great. The North Korean air carrier, air Koryo, is a proper airline, and you shouldn’t be disturbed by its reputation. The 24 hour train ride from Beijing is also excellent (you can read more about this here).
Your visit to the country itself will be safe and spectacular. There will not be much room for wandering about on your own, and the itinerary will be a busy one. But you will be sure to have the time of your life!