Korea, North

Travel Facts

US State Dept Travel Advisory

The US Department of State currently recommends US citizens DO NOT TRAVEL to North Korea due to the continuing serious risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. nationals. Exercise increased caution to North Korea due to the critical threat of wrongful detention. Consult its website via the link below for updates to travel advisories and statements on safety, security, local laws, and special circumstances in this country.


Passport/Visa Requirements

Individuals cannot use a US passport to travel to, in, or through North Korea without a special validation from the Department of State. Special validations are granted only in very limited circumstances.

US Embassy/Consulate

Embassy of Sweden Pyongyang, Munsu-Dong District, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, +46 8 405 10 00 (main switchboard), US citizens may call US Dept of State (202)-501-4444 for emergencies, https://www.swedenabroad.se/en/embassies/north-korea-pyongyang/

LGBTQIA+ Travelers

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) travelers can face unique challenges when traveling abroad. Laws and attitudes in some countries may affect safety and ease of travel. Legal protections vary from country to country. Many countries do not legally recognize same-sex marriage. Approximately seventy countries consider consensual same-sex sexual relations a crime, sometimes carrying severe punishment.


Telephone Code


Local Emergency Phone

US citizens may call US Dept of State (202)-501-4444 for emergencies


The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for North Korea: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, COVID-19, and influenza.



Temperate, with rainfall concentrated in summer; long, bitter winters

Currency (Code)

North Korean won (KPW)

Electricity/Voltage/Plug Type(s)

220 V / 50 Hz / plug types(s): C

Plug Type C

Major Languages


Major Religions

Traditionally Buddhist and Confucianist, some Christian and syncretic Chondogyo (Religion of the Heavenly Way)

Time Difference

UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time); note: on 5 May 2018, North Korea reverted to UTC+9, the same time zone as South Korea

Potable Water

Opt for bottled water

International Driving Permit


Road Driving Side


Tourist Destinations

Complex of Koguryo Tombs

Major Sports

Soccer, basketball

Cultural Practices

It's illegal to show disrespect or make jokes about North Korea, current or former leaders or their families. It's also illegal to talk to North Koreans without authorization. Authorities may consider it spying if you do. Only shop at stores designated for foreigners.

Tipping Guidelines

Tipping is not expected


Stamps and postcards, propaganda posters, obsolete currency, watch movements, panacea teas

Traditional Cuisine

Kimchi raengmyŏn — long, thin handmade noodles made from the flour and starch of various ingredients such as buckwheat, potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch, or kudzu, and beef or poultry broth; typically served cold

Please visit the following links to find further information about your desired destination.

World Health Organization (WHO) - To learn what vaccines and health precautions to take while visiting your destination.

US State Dept Travel Information - Overall information about foreign travel for US citizens.

To obtain an international driving permit (IDP). Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs:
American Automobile Association (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)

How to get help in an emergency? 
Contact the nearest US embassy or consulate, or call one of these numbers:
from the US or Canada - 1-888-407-4747 or from Overseas - +1 202-501-4444

Page last updated: Wednesday, September 27, 2023