Visa and entry requirements North Korea:
German nationals need a visa to enter the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is usually provided by the Embassy of the DPRK in Berlin
Visa cost: 20, - Euro
Information from the Foreign Office on your North Korea trip:
North Korea is a state in Asia with about 25 million inhabitants. The country borders on South Korea to the south, the Yellow Sea to the west, China to the north, Russia to the northeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.
The official language of the East Asian state is Korean and the national currency is the North Korean won, where 1, - Euro is about 150, - KPW.
North Korea's largest cities include Pyongyang, Hamhueng, Namp'o, Kaesong, Hungnam, Wonsan, Chongjin, Sinuiju, Kanggye and Haeju.
The territory of North Korea's DPRK is predominantly mountainous, with the 2.744 meter high mountain Paektusan being the highest peak. The majority of the largely Buddhist population, therefore, lives in the shallow coastal regions.
North Korea is the most isolated country in the world, with no foreign television, no internet and a telephone network created specifically for the country.
North Korea is the only state in the world that still has a planned socialist economy, so all industries and agriculture are in state hands. Almost half of the working population works in agriculture, and another large part in services.
One of the few sources of revenue for Western foreign exchange is state-controlled tourism. Today, 300 international visitors are admitted daily, most of them from China. Major tourist attractions in the country include the demilitarized zone with its famous concrete wall, King Kongmin's Tomb and Kaesong Heritage Museum, Wonsan Ski Resort, Hyangsan's Pohyonsa Temple and the Diamond Mountains around Mount Kumgang.
The capital and by far the largest city in North Korea is Pyongyang with about 3,5 million inhabitants in the urban area and nearly five million people in the entire metropolitan area.
Pyongyang, located on the Taedong River, is located in the west of the country and is the country's political, economic and cultural center.
Key attractions in Pyongyang include Kim Il Sung Square, the 1 stadium. May - largest stadium in the world, the 150 meter high TV tower, Kumsusan Palace, the Grand Opera House, the Korean Art Gallery, the Historical Museum, the Triumphal Arch, the Grand Monument with the double statue of the two former rulers Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong -Il, the Moranbong Theater, the Juche Idea Tower, the Military Museum, the Geumsusan Sun Palace, the Hope Arch - the symbol of reunification with South Korea, the Monument of Korean Workers, the State Circus, the Study Palace, and the Water Park.
In September 2016, I visited North Korea for four days. The journey into the last socialist country completely isolated from the outside world was of course one of our strangest and most mentally exhausting country visits ever.
During my entire stay in North Korea, I somehow had to be careful at all times, not to do anything wrong. My completely organized trip, with a driver, a tour guide and an interpreter, had a tight schedule and was therefore sometimes quite exhausting.
The afternoon of my arrival and the following day were reserved for the capital Pyongyang with its main attractions and cultural buildings. Throughout the city, I always had the feeling that all the people there are running around remotely. Every inhabitant, but also every citizen of North Korea, wore a badge with the national flag or the face of the ruler on his heart side. Incidentally, every time I visited a statue with someone from the ruling family, I first had to buy flowers for 5, - to 10, - and later drop them off locally.
The next day, the program led to Kaesong, about three hours away, to the world-famous demilitarized zone. It has always been a great wish of mine to see the famous light blue barracks from close by. The border section with all its historical history, was a very impressive place, also the controls and surveillance were quite loose. Because I was born near Berlin and in eastern Germany, I know exactly what I am talking about historically.
For the tourists allowed in 300 per day in North Korea, there are a total of two hotels. My hotel, unfortunately, was getting a bit old, was located on a peninsula, just in front of the center of Pyongyang, just separated by the river. The bridge to the city was, however, about two kilometers from the hotel, on the way in between, except police and military was nothing. Going out in front of the hotel entrance, possibly smoking a cigarette, was forbidden.
The leisure facilities in the hotel, such as a bowling alley, billiards or table tennis, were a bit dated. By the in-house brewery and the associated bar, but it was at least not boring.
After a surprisingly pleasant and enjoyable stay in North Korea, I went back to Beijing the next morning with the domestic airline Air Koryo.