How to get from Seoul to Pyongyang? You can’t be a North Korean travel agency – or involved with Korean tourism – without providing up-to-date and on-the-pulse information about travel to the aforementioned destination. It is with this in mind that we bring you the not-so-simple guide to travel between Seoul and Pyongyang!
Can you visit North Korea from South Korea?
Can you visit North Korea from South Korea? The short answer is no you cannot, unless you have special permission, such as for business, or the seldom held family reunions.
Let’s also not forget that despite the border being called a “demilitarized zone”, it is also one of the most militarized places on earth. You do not want to accidentally go over this border!
We get it, you’re in Seoul enjoying some Korean BBQ and a cursory check on Google Maps shows just how close Pyongyang is. Wouldn’t it be great to travel from South Korea to North Korea? Well, fun fact, no.
How far is it from Seoul to Pyongyang?
Seoul is but a mere 195 kilometres from Pyongyang. In an ideal world, this would mean it taking about three hours to travel between the two cities. Alas, we do not live in an ideal world. Theoretically, at least, one could traverse the DMZ via the one ‘open’ road between the two countries and head to Kaesong City and, from there, Pyongyang via the Thongil Highway. Theoretically.
Can South Koreans visit North Korea
This is a whole article in itself, but essentially no they cannot, unless they have special permission from the government, such as for business, political, or family reunification reasons. Conversely this also means that South Koreans are the most likely to cross the border between North and South Korea.
Seoul to Pyongyang – overland
Whilst very few that cross the DMZ get all the way to Pyongyang, formerly many south Koreans would visit Mt Kumgang in North Korea. There is also the Kaesong SEZ, which formerly at least employed a number of south Koreans. Again they would go to Kaesong, rather than all the way to Pyongyang.
Have any tourists traveled from Seoul to Pyongyang overland?
We are unaware of any tourist that have gone from Seoul to Pyongyang, but in 2013 two bikers from New Zealand managed to do it the other way around. They managed to bike from China through North Korea and Pyongyang down through the DMZ and indeed into Seoul.
Alas before you ask we cannot as of now arrange this.
Can you fly from Seoul to Pyongyang?
Directly? No. But it is possible to fly from Seoul to Beijing or Shenyang and, from there, connect to Pyongyang. Air Koryo has regular flights to and from the two Chinese cities. Depending on your nationality, you could even make use of the Chinese transit visa, but we’d recommend getting a full double-entry visa to be on the safe side.
Can you travel from Seoul to Pyongyang by sea?
Again: directly, no. You could take a ferry from Incheon to the Chinese border town of Dandong, and then take the Dandong-Pyongyang train.
Can you take the train from Seoul to Pyongyang?
There is – officially, at least – terminuses at the border between the North and South. Alas, the railway systems of the two countries have diverged somewhat. It is often speculated that a trans-Korean railway system will be established; such a system would allow Seoul a land connection to Russia and China, with all the trade opportunities that that would entail. For now, you can fly from Seoul to Dandong via Yantai and catch the train in Dandong.
Regardless of how you travel to North Korea, however, we likely have a tour to suit your needs!