Pyongyang Marathon Tour (With Kim Il Sung Birthday)

The race of your life

  • April 9th - 17th
  • 995 - 1195
  • 5 / 7 Days

Join us on the Pyongyang marathon tour to participate in the most unique marathon in the world. This is the seventh year that foreign tourists are welcomed to compete or spectate from the grandstands of Kim Il Sung Stadium!

Everyone on this tour will have the opportunity to watch the opening and closing ceremony in the stadium with 50,000 locals cheering on! 

The Pyongyang marathon tour offers the chance for you to not only spectate or compete in the marathon but also to have a great insight into the DPRK by exploring the best Pyongyang has to offer. We’ll travel deep into the mysterious Pyongyang Metro, hear their story of the Korean War at the newly renovated Korean War Museum where captured American tanks and weapons are kept, visit the iconic bronze grand statues of the leaders, explore Kim Il Sung Square where all the previous military parades have been held, and much more.

Group B of this tour takes in the birthday celebrations of North Korean founder and eternal President Kim Il Sung – The biggest holiday on the North Korean calendar. Also during Group B of our tour, we’ve been given special access to a Soviet Mi-17 helicopter to take for a spin around Pyongyang city for a unique aerial tour of the capital.

This chopper ride is completely optional and is €250 per person on top of the tour costs. If you are interested please let us know while booking.

During your visit you’ll be visiting all the must-see sites in Pyongyang city as well as a trip south the DMZ which divides Korea.

This tour is a must see, run, and do tour that you do not want to miss! Book now to secure your position for the marathon & birthday!

The race itself is open to 5k, 10k, 21k & full marathon distances. You can also choose just to spectate or just walk! Let us know which you would prefer.

  • Itinerary
  • Inclusions
  • Exclusions
  • Map
  • Tour highlights

Thursday 9th April

  • Meet your guide at 1:00pm at a Beijing hotel near Beijing Railway Station. During this meeting, we’ll go through the tour’s itinerary, discuss the marathon, receive your North Korea visas/ train tickets, and meet your fellow travellers.
  • Train takers depart Beijing Railway Station at 5:25pm for the 24 hour sleeper ride to Pyongyang.

Friday 10th April

  • Train group arrive at Dandong at 7:00am for Chinese border control then depart for Sinuiju at 10:00am.
  • 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.
  • In the evening your guide will show you around the hotel before taking you for dinner and to get to know your Korean guides.
  • Dinner and overnight at the Sosan Hotel.

Saturday 11th April

Morning

  • Stroll through Mansudae fountain park taking in the Grand Peoples Study House and see the mosaic pictures of the leaders.
  • Visit Mansudae Grand Monument – the two large bronze statues of President Kim Il Sung and Leader Kim Jong Il.
  • Grand People’s Study House. This is the main library and learning center for adult students. This huge building is built in the Korean style and affords a great view over the Kim Il Sung Square.

Afternoon

  • Lunch at Mangyondae Restaurant.
  • Monument to the Party Foundation – The hammer sickle and brush built in 1995.
  • Juche Tower – the tallest stone tower in the world, it represents the Juche Ideology. Central to the teachings of the DPRK(optional extra €5 to go to the top).
  • Stop at the Pyongyang sports village for gentle practice session and look around.
  • Receive a Pyongyang Marathon route map from your Rocky Road guide
  • Dinner at the national restaurant with performance.
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.

Sunday 12th April - Pyongyang Marathon!

Morning

  • Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon!

Afternoon

  • Lunch at the Mangyongdae District Restaurant – a great chance to tuck into some of the famous cold noodles and other local specialties!
  • Spend the afternoon to freshen up at Munsu Water Park. This place has it all - indoor pools, amazing water slides,  cafes, shops, beer bars, table tennis, billiards, massage, you name it. (Extra charge)
  • Visit a Micro Brewery to further wind down with 7 different local  draft beers on tap. Coffee, soft drinks, and juices also available.
  • Dinner at the famous National Restaurant with a performance from the waitresses!
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel, Pyongyang.

Monday 13th April

Morning

  • Hit the road for the 3.5 hour drive to Kaesong and the DMZ.
  • Koryo Museum – Korea’s first university and now a UNESCO museum of history and culture. 
  • The DMZ – tour Panmunjom with a friendly army officer who will give you the look around. You can even take photos with the army here!

Afternoon

  • Lunch in Kaesong City – on the menu will be traditional Korean Pansangi, a series of dishes served in bronze bowls. (Optional extras- Dog Soup €5)
  • Stop by Sariwon to  view the city from the mountain top pagoda.
  • Try locally brewed Makkoli in a local tea house.
  • Stop by the Monument to the Three Charters of National Reunification that stands over the Thongil (reunification) Highway.
  • Back to Pyongyang in time for dinner at the Duck BBQ restaurant.
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.

Tuesday 14th April

Morning - Group A Depart

  • Group A flight takers depart (at a time to be confirmed) to Beijing on Air Koryo.
  • Train takers depart at 10:25am for Beijing arriving at 9am the following morning.

Group B Continue;

  • Ride the Pyongyang Metro! See three of the stations and Exit to:
  • The Arch of Triumph- This celebrates the victory over the Japanese and the triumphant return of  Kim Il Sung to his home town.
  • Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum. This incredible museum features dioramas, captured weapons, the Victory Monument, and the USS Pueblo: the only American military vessel captured by another nation.
  • Helicopter ride option – Optional extra. we’ll drive to Pyongyang Airport for a special lunch (included) and then board a Mi-17 to take on a spin for a 40 minute aerial tour of Pyongyang city. (€250)

Afternoon

  • Lunch at Chongryu Hot Pot restaurant.
  • Visit Mansudae Art Studio, This is where the country’s most important art work and statues are created. We will also get to meet some of the local artists too.
  • Visit Kwanbok department store. Here we can shop with the locals and have access to the local North Korean currency!
  • Next we'll head to the shooting range which has been renovated and equipped with rifles, pistols, archery and automatic rifles! (Extra charge).
  • Dinner.
  • Overnight at the Sosan hotel.

Wednesday 15th April - Birthday of President Kim Il Sung!

Morning

  • Walk through Kim Il Sung Square – This the geographic center of the city where all military parades are held.
  • Foreign Language Bookshop – best place to buy books, pins, posters and other North Korean souvenirs.
  • Kimilsungia Flower Festival – this is a big exhibition in honour of President Kim Il Sung and will be packed with visiting locals.
  • Visit a North Korean Film Studio –  We can tour the film sets and try on some costumes! 
  • Mangyongdae Native House – Birthplace of President Kim Il Sung.

Afternoon

  • BBQ picnic on top of Mt Ryangak – a hill located just on the outskirts of Pyongyang.
  • Special celebratory events (optional: extra €20 ) –  To be confirmed but usually these include a circus or musical performance.
  • Spectate and/or join in on the performance of a mass dance near an iconic Pyongyang landmark. Great photo opportunities!
  • Dinner
  • To be confirmed: expected fireworks on Kim Il Sung Square.
  • Overnight at the Sosan Hotel.

Thursday 16th April

Morning

  • Flight takers depart at 10:00am to Beijing on Air Koryo. (Arriving at 11:30 Beijing time).
  • Train takers depart at 10:25am for Beijing.

Friday 17th April

Morning

  • Train travelers arrive in central Beijing Railway Station at 9:00am.
  • Hotels in Korea

    Twin share accommodation (single supplements are available for an extra 40 EUR per night).

  • Train travel

    Train in and out Beijing-Pyongyang-Beijing.

  • All Meals

    All meals in the DPRK unless specified in the itinerary.

  • Guides

    Korean guide in Pyongyang and a western guide all the way from China.

  • Transport

    Air-conditioned bus and driver.

  • Fights

    Optional extra flight from Beijing to Pyongyang. €215 one way or €390 return.

  • Extra purchases

    All meals are included (unless otherwise stated) with water and some beer. Any extra drinks or souvenirs that you buy are extra cost.

  • Visa

    We arrange the DPRK visa for you at a cost of €50.

  • Tips

    Tip are expected for your Korean local guides and driver.

  • Events

    Sometimes special events pop up on when we are on tour and we may decide to attend. It's up to you whether or not to attend but usually these are extra cost. Examples include the circus or a music concert.

  • Marathon Fee

    The marathon fees are extra depending on what distance you choose to run.

  • Pyongyang Marathon

    Run or spectate the Pyongyang Marathon! Choose 5k, 10k half or full marathon distances. This is the best way to see Pyongyang.

  • Helicopter!

    Optional Helicopter ride over Pyongyang.

  • See the DMZ

    Visit the DMZ and see the blue huts on the demarcation line between North and South Korea.

  • Shooting Range!

    Visit the Korean film studio and the shooting range!

Pyongyang Marathon & Kim Il Sung Birthday Tour

995 - 1195
  • April 9th - 17th (Long tour via train from Beijing)
  • April 9th - 14th (Short tour via train from Beijing)
  • 5 / 7 days
  • Book now by filing out this form!
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