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!
We’ve combined this year’s Marathon tour with the birthday of President Kim Il Sung, undoubtedly the largest celebration of the year. We’re expecting fireworks, mass dancing, possibly parades and a number of other events that will most likely be announced much nearer the time to mark the 108th anniversary of the President’s birthday.
During your tour you’ll be visiting all the must-see sites in Pyongyang city, such as riding the Pyongyang Metro, exploring Kim Il Sung Square, visiting the Korean War Museum, picnic lunch up in the mountains, 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 on tour. Group bookings and Young Pioneer Tour 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 2020.
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 Group B of the 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 and schedules are only announced a few weeks before the tour
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.
Friday 10th 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.
Dinner at a local Korean restaurant on Ryomyong Street
Check in and overnight at Sosan hotel
Saturday 11th 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).
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 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
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)
Monument to the Party Foundation – built in 1995 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Worker’s Party.
Visit the Olympic Village in Pyongyang constructed in 1989 for a practice run for tomorrow’s marathon event
Receive a city map from your YPT guide and enjoy the views of Pyongyang as our bus does a lap of the marathon route to give you a clear understanding of where you will be running for the event
Dinner at the National Restaurant with performance from the waitresses
Overnight at the Sosan hotel
Sunday 12th April – Marathon Day!
Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon!
Lunch at a local Korean restaurant
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.
Large dinner banquet to celebrate the day
A gentle evening stroll along Future Mirae Scientist Residential street along the Taedong River
Overnight at Sosan hotel
Monday 13th 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
Overnight at the Sosan hotel.
Tuesday 14th April
Group A departs
Group A train members depart at 10:25 am for the overnight train to Beijing and enjoy the peaceful countryside of both the DPRK and China. Train arrives in Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am on Wednesday the 15th.
Group A flight members depart from Pyongyang in the morning arriving at Beijing Terminal 2 Airport. Flight departure times will be announced closer to the departure date. To avoid any inconvenience, we recommend for you to not arrange your next flight departing Beijing before 4:00pm
Group B continues:
Explore the 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.
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.
Mansudae Art Studio – a chance for us to meet local artists where monuments, portraits, sculptures are produced for the country
Head to the Meari Shooting Range which has been recently renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery, virtual games, and automatic rifles (Extra charge – 50 US cent per bullet).
Visit the Kwanbok department store where we can shop with the locals and have access to the local DPRK won currency!
Dinner at Potonggang Restaurant.
Kaeson Youth Park (Entry 2 euros, rides 3 to 5 euros extra each depending on how awesome they are).
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Wednesday 15th April – Kim Il Sung’s Birthday – Day of the Sun
Walk downtown through Kim Il Sung Square – The main square of Pyongyang City where all the military parades are held and we expect some birthday events to be happening nearby
Foreign Language Bookshop – great place to buy books, pins, posters and Korean DVDs
Kimilsungia Flower Festival Exhibition – A flower presented by former Indonesian President Sukarno to Kim Il Sung is held in a massive greenhouse exhibition which is popular amongst locals
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.
Mangyongdae Native Home – Birthplace of the President Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood.
A gentle hike and BBQ picnic on top of Mt Ryangak – a mountain located just on the outskirts of Pyongyang to enjoy the magnificent views of the capital
Special celebratory events (optional: approx 20 euros) – Yet to be confirmed but we will take part in any birthday events that are possible for tourists to attend. These may include a circus performance, an orchestra and possibly some other surprises.
Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – incredible photo opportunities
Dinner at New Hope Restaurant
To be confirmed: we’ll join the locals on Kim Il Sung Square and watch the fireworks light up over the Taedong River.
Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.
Thursday 16th April
Flight members depart at 10:30am for Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 11:30 Beijing time).
Train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28.
Friday 17th 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 travel between Beijing and Pyongyang
• All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.
• Korean and western guides
• Air-conditioned bus and driver
• All entrances (unless otherwise stated)