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North Korea

Money & costs


As a tourist, North Korea is no budget destination. Opportunities to cut costs by staying in youth hostels do not exist. As well as paying for your bed and board in advance, you will also have to pay for two guides and a driver, making group tourism one of the few measures that can save you money.

As a rough guide, solo travellers should bank on paying about €250 per day for guides, hotel and full board. This can be reduced to around €130 per day if you go as part of a group. Note that the euro and Chinese yuan are the accepted currency for visitors to use and that small change in both currencies (euro coins and yuan in denominations of under 50) is a huge advantage as most places can’t change big notes.

Once in North Korea, the only major expenses will be the souvenirs and other gifts that are on sale at every tourist attraction. Apart from evening drinks and telephone/fax costs, there is little opportunity to spend your money elsewhere. It’s customary to tip the guides at the end of each tour, so budget a minimum of €20 per guide for this.