Pyongyang Marathon and Kim Il Sung 110th Birthday Tour
Join us in the DPRK to participate in the Pyongyang Marathon! This incredible event is the eighth 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 110th birthday of President Kim Il Sung, undoubtedly the largest celebration of the year as well as the decade. We’re expecting fireworks, military parades, mass dancing, the Mass Games, and a number of other events that will most likely be announced much nearer the time to mark the incredibly unique events for the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung.
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, the Mausoleum, exploring the International Friendship Exhibition, hiking Mt. Myohyang with stunning views, 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 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 135 Euros
Half Marathon (20km/12 miles) – cost of entry is 90 Euros
Mini Marathon (10km/6 miles) – cost of entry is 65 Euros
5KM Marathon (5km/3 miles) – cost of entry is 65 Euros
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 mid March 2022.
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.
The Mass Games, the world’s largest performance with over 100,000 performers is expected to take place during this tour! Now is your chance to watch this grand spectacular performance. Tickets are on-top of tour cost and is paid in cash during your tour in Pyongyang. We highly recommend securing your spot on tour early as we expect spaces to fill up very quickly.
Ticket costs for Mass Games below:
Original Price (Per Person)
€100 / 800RMB
€300 / 2,300RMB
€500 / 3800RMB
€800 / 6000RMB
Be sure to book and reserve your spot on tour before it’s too late! 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 1:30pm 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 8th 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 9th 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: 40 RMB or 5 euros).
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
Lunch at the Mangyongdae district – your chance to try the famous Pyongyang Cold Noodles or the traditional Korean Bibimbap dish along with other popular Korean dishes
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 40RMB or 5 euros 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 Kwangbok department store where we can shop with the locals and have access to the local DPRK won currency!
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 10th April – Marathon Day!
Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon!
Lunch at a local Korean restaurant
Cool down and relax at Munsu Water Park – with Indoor and outdoor pools and amazing waterslides, the park also features plenty for those who don’t want to swim, including a Haemaji coffee shop, a beer bar, table tennis, billiards, massage, or a beauty salon. Various services extra charge, swimming and access to the gym, table tennis and billiards is 80RMB or 10 euros).
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 11th 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. Explore folklore 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 12th 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 13th.
Group A flight members depart from Pyongyang 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 6:00pm
Group B continues:
Mansudae Art Studio – a chance for us to meet local artists where monuments, portraits, sculptures are produced for the country
Visit the Three Revolution Exhibition – The exhibition primarily showcases the three revolutions of Kim Il-sung, the ideological, technical, and cultural with North Korean satellites on display.
Drive 2 and a half hours north of Pyongyang to the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang on the way stopping for refreshments
Visit Pohyon Temple – One of the 5 famous temples of Korea and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the DPRK.
Lunch at the Chongchon Hotel, check into your rooms and change into comfortable hiking gear
Hike the mountain ranges of Mt. Myohyang
Sangwon Valley is the most famous for the Sangwon Hermitage site at the end of the trail.
See breathtaking views of Manpok Valley which holds many scenic waterfalls.
Return to hotel, dinner drinks and overnight at Chongchon Hotel
Wednesday 13th April
Visit the International Friendship Exhibition – Two large gift houses holding the gifts presented to both Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un from people, governments and institutions all over the world. One of the major highlights of the tour.
Lunch at Hyangsan Hotel
Head back to Pyongyang and on the way stopping at Ryongmun Cavern – one of the most famous cave structures in Korea, it’s well known for its size and the uniqueness of its rock formations.
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).
Stop by Mansugyo Beer Bar – a local bar to join the locals for refreshments
Dinner at Chongryu Hot Pot restaurant.
Overnight at Sosan Hotel
Thursday 14th April
Kumsusan Palace of the Sun – The mausoleum for the Great Leader President Kim Il Sung and the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. A truly unique experience.
Revolutionary Martyry’s Cemetery – The resting place of the greatest of the anti-Japanese revolutionary fighters each grave features a bronze bust of the hero laid to rest within.
Lunch downtown at a local restaurant by the Koryo Hotel
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.
Visit Kim Jong Suk Textile Mill – established in 1948, it is the largest textile factory in Pyongyang with over a thousand employees producing fabric. The local workers will demonstrate the spinning, dyeing, and weaving techniques used in the DPRK.
Mangyongdae Schoolchildren’s Palace – the DPRK’s largest schoolchildren’s palace. We’ll have a chance to visit classrooms to see students studying their elective subjects including dancing, sports, musical instruments, calligraphy, computer science, embroidery and more. The students of the palace will put on a spectacular performance.
Dinner and drinks on Reunification Street
Overnight at Sosan Hotel
Friday 15th April – Kim Il Sung’s Birthday – Day of the Sun
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
Mangyongdae Native Home – Birthplace of the President Kim Il Sung and where he spent the early years of his childhood.
Spectate and/or join in on the Pyongyang university students performing a mass dance near an iconic DPRK monument – incredible photo opportunities
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 150RMB or 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.
Trip highlight – watch the military parade take place by Kim Il Sung Square
Dinner at New Hope Restaurant
Spectate the Mass Games – The world’s largest performance. Tickets can be purchased with cash only and reserved whilst on tour in North Korea.
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.
Saturday 16th April
Group B 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 6:00pm
Group B train members depart at 10:25am for Beijing on train K28.
Sunday 17th April
Group B 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)