Join us in the DPRK to participate in the Pyongyang Marathon! This incredible event is the sixth year that foreign tourists are welcomed to compete or spectate from the grandstands of Kim Il Sung Stadium!
Everyone on this tour will have the opportunity to watch the opening and closing ceremony in the heart of the stadium with 70,000 locals cheering on!
This very special tour offers the chance for you to not only spectate or compete in the marathon but also to have a great insight into the DPRK by exploring the best Pyongyang has to offer. We’ll travel deep into the mysterious Pyongyang Metro, hear their story of the Korean War at the newly renovated Korean War Museum where captured American tanks and weapons are kept, visit the iconic bronze grand statues of the leaders, explore Kim Il Sung Square where all the previous military parades have been held, and much more.
During your visit you’ll be visiting all the must-see sites in Pyongyang city, and of course, no trip to the DPRK is complete without a visit to the DMZ, where the country is separated from South Korea.
This tour is a must see, run, and do tour that you do not want to miss! Book now with us to secure your position for the marathon and your spot with Young Pioneer Tours! Group bookings and Young Pioneer returners are most welcomed with discounts.
Marathon running fees are listed below and not included in the tour cost.
Full Marathon (42km/26 miles) – cost of entry is $150USD
Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) – cost of entry is $100USD
Mini Marathon (10km/6 miles) – cost of entry is $70USD
5KM Marathon (5km/3 miles) – cost of entry is $70USD
A race timing chip is included in the price above. The maximum time limit for the full marathon is 4 hours (possibly 4 and a half hours but yet to be confirmed), half marathon is 2 and a half hours and both the mini marathon and 5km marathon is 2 hours. All running participants will receive a Pyongyang marathon certificate titled to you, with the top three men and women in each distance excluding the 5km run receiving ceramic vases at the awards ceremony held in front of 70,000 people!
The Pyongyang Marathon committee also welcomes differently-abled runners. If you are interested in running please let us know more about your details so we can confirm everything ahead of the event.
Registry for all marathon runners is on a first come first served basis and limited to 1500 runners in total, so if you wish to run, book now! Registrations close end of February 2019.
Running isn’t your thing? No problem! Join the locals in Kim Il Sung Stadium as the marathon takes off, observe the marathon from the streets of Pyongyang, or watch a football game inside the stadium during the race.
During your tour, we’ve been given special access to a Russian Mil Mi-17 helicopter to take for a whirl around Pyongyang city for a unique aerial tour of the capital.
Please note: flights between Beijing and Pyongyang are very limited. The sooner you can book with us the sooner we can confirm your flights. Please have a Chinese visa prepared as we may need to switch you from the flight to train if seats are quickly sold.
Meet your YPT guide at 1:00pm at the Beijing Zhong Gu Hotel near Beijing Railway Station found here. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, further discuss the marathon, receive DPRK visas and tickets, as well as a great chance to meet your fellow travellers and to discuss any other questions you may have about the DPRK.
Train takers depart Beijing Railway Station at 5:25pm for the 24 hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.
Saturday 6th April
Train group 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
Flight takers depart Beijing Airport Terminal 2 on Air Koryo. (Group will meet at Air Koryo check in counter). Flight departure times will be announced closer to the departure date. To avoid any inconvenience we recommend for you to arrive in Beijing the day before to better prepare yourself.
Flight group arrive in Pyongyang to a warm welcome from your Korean guides.
Train group arrive at 6:30pm to an equally warm welcome.
Receive a city map from your YPT guide and enjoy evening views of Pyongyang as the bus does a lap of the marathon route to give you a clear understanding of where you will be running.
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street
Check in and overnight at Sosan hotel
Sunday 7th April – Marathon Day!
Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon!
Lunch at the Mangyongdae District KITC Restaurant – your chance to try the famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or the traditional Korean Bibimbap dish along with other popular Korean dishes!
Cool down at Munsu Water Park with indoor pools and amazing water slides, the park also features plenty for those who don’t want to swim, including a cafe, shop, beer bar, table tennis, billiards, massage, or a beauty salon – optional charges.
Visit the Taedonggang Micro Brewery to further wind down with multiple delicious draft beers on tap, with coffee, soft drinks, and juices also available.
Dinner at the National Restaurant with performance from the waitresses!
Overnight at the Sosan hotel.
Monday 8th April
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 – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il overlooking the city. (Optional extra- you can present flowers if you wish: small bunches are 2 euro, larger ones 4).
Kim Il Sung Square – The Main square of Pyongyang City where all the military parades are held.
Foreign Language Bookshop – the best place for pins, stamps, books, CDs and DVDs as well as DPRK Flags!
Helicopter Joyride option – we’ll drive to Pyongyang Airport for a VIP lunch (included) and board a Mil Mi-17 to take on a joyride for a 40 minute aerial tour of Pyongyang city. (250 euros)
Lunch at Chongryu Hot Pot restaurant.
Pyongyang Metro! Ride from stop 1 to stop 2 then on to stop 6! Exiting to:
The Arch of Triumph- The largest Victory Arch on the planet, it celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the return of the General Kim Il Sung to his home city.
Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum, featuring dioramas, captured weapons, tanks, and planes, the Victory Monument, and the USS Pueblo: the only American military vessel held by another nation.
Juche Tower – the tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the eternally burning Korean Juche Ideology (optional extra 5 euro to go to the top of the tower).
Dinner at New Stamp Restaurant restaurant.
Overnight at the Sosan hotel.
Tuesday 9th April
Up nice and early to drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
Koryo Museum – Korea’s first university and now a museum of history and culture. Also home of the best stamp and propaganda poster shop in the DPRK, so don’t forget your wallet!
The DMZ – see one of the most tenses places on earth complete with a friendly KPA officer who will not only give you a guided tour but also keep you safe. Also the only place you can take photographs of and even with a soldier!
Lunch at the Thongil Restaurant in Kaesong City – try your hand at traditional Korean Pansangi, a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog Soup 5 euro, Ginseng Stuffed Whole Chicken 30 euro – can be split between several people).
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.
Try locally brewed Makkoli in the local tea house.
Photo opportunity of the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification that stands over the Thongil Highway.
Get back to Pyongyang for dinner at the Duck Lamb BBQ restaurant with performance!
Overnight at the Sosan hotel.
Wednesday 10th April
Korean Film Studio – We’ll be able to dress up from characters from the old Koryo Dynasty (1 euro) and walk the streets of the backdrops such as Seoul during the 1960s, Tokyo during the 1940s and even an old European town.
Visit Mansudae Art Studio, where the nation’s most important art work and statues are created. This is where we get to meet some of the local artists too.
Grand People’s Study House: the main library and academic centre for adult learners, this grand building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the central Square.
Lunch at a local restaurant
Visit the Kwanbok department store where we can shop with the locals and have access to the local DPRK won currency!
Head to the Meari Shooting Range which has been recently renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery, virtual games, and automatic rifles! (Extra charge).
Monument to the Party Foundation – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party.
Gentle stroll along the new Mirae Scientist Street to see one of the newest residential areas in Pyongyang.
Dinner at Potonggang Restaurant.
Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
Farewell drinks at Taedonggang Diplomatic Club for local and imported drinks, karaoke, billiards, ping pong, and a great chance to meet some local Pyongyang expats!
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 11th April
Flight members depart at 10:00am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 11:30 Beijing time).
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28.
Friday 12th April
Train members arrive in Beijing Railway Station 9:00am.
• Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).
• Train in and out Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing.
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides.
• Air-conditioned bus and driver.
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated).