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Money and costs

Won (₩)
Exchange Rates
Rates provided by Open Exchange Rates. Last updated January 17, 2019 11:48AM UTC

The unit of currency is the North Korean won (KPW), though most travellers will never even see them. Banknotes come in denominations of five, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000KPW and coins come in denominations of one, five, 10 and 50 chon, as well as one won. Visitors can pay for everything with euros, Chinese RMB or US dollars (but bring small change of both; big notes can be impossible to change). Japanese yen may also be accepted in some places.

Credit cards are completely useless everywhere in the country, so bring as much cash as you’ll need, with some leeway for any unexpected expenses. While you're unlikely to use the won, it may be possible to get some from your guides, but it’s officially illegal to take it out of the country.

Travellers cheques are not usable in North Korea and there are no ATMs linked to international networks anywhere in the country.


Tipping is expected by your guides and driver and is generally calculated at €10 per driver or per guide per day, meaning that you should plan for €30 per day in total. Tips will be given collectively on your final morning in North Korea. Elsewhere tipping is not expected anywhere in the country.