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North Korea - Getting there & away, getting around

North Korea - Getting there & away

The flight from Beijing to Pyongyang takes two hours, and Air China and the North Korean airline Koryo Air make about three trips weekly between them. Aeroflot Russian International also flies into Pyongyang. You should book as far in advance as possible, although most aircraft fly nearly empty. Sunan International Airport is 30km (19mi) west of Pyongyang, and the journey by car takes about 20 minutes.

The alternative means of getting into North Korea is via train from Beijing. You can also leave North Korea in the far north-east by crossing into Russia, and then take the Trans-Siberian to Moscow.

Getting around North Korea

There are no regularly scheduled domestic flights and the ones that are scheduled are not available to foreigners. There are hardly any public buses running in the country or between major cities. North Koreans are not permitted to travel around their own country without permission, and most of the time you'll travel by car with your driver and guide. You may be able to get trains to some of the major tourist destinations such as Kaesong. There are virtually no bicycles in the country, in stark contrast to China, and even if you brought your own, there are no street signs in the city or direction signs in the country.

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