Ryugyong Hotel


Three decades after construction began on this extraordinary hotel in 1987, it still has not been completed. Planned as a prestige project but abandoned following the collapse of the USSR, its haunting skeleton sat on the Pyongyang skyline for years as an unavoidable symbol of North Korea's economic failure. In 2008 work began on the hotel again when it was clad in glass, and so while it looks far better than before, it sadly remains empty inside and cannot be visited.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Pyongyang attractions

2. USS Pueblo

0.35 MILES

The USS Pueblo is a US surveillance vessel that was seized by the North Koreans off the east coast of Korea in January 1968, during a heightening of…

4. Potong Gate

0.66 MILES

The western gate of the original walled city of Pyongyang dates from the 6th century, but was rebuilt in the 15th century and then again in 1955.

5. Korean Revolution Museum

0.84 MILES

Despite the museum’s rather misleading name, its main function is to document the death of Kim Il-sung (including a film of the extraordinary public…

6. Chollima Statue

0.86 MILES

This impressive statue portrays Chollima, the Korean Pegasus. It’s an interesting example of how the North Korean state has incorporated traditional…

7. Mansudae Grand Monument

0.89 MILES

Every itinerary includes an homage to these vast bronze statues of the smiling Great Leader and Dear Leader, the latter in his trademark parka. The first…

8. Chilsong Gate

0.91 MILES

Located inside what is today Pyongyang's main park, the Chilsong Gate was once the northern entrance to the original walled city of Pyongyang and dates…