10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang, North Korea

kaeson youth park north korea

10 Nighttime activities in Pyongyang, North Korea – Kaeson Youth Park.

I totally loved Pyongyang while on tour with the awesome tour group Young Pioneer Tours. One of the biggest surprises was the sheer amount of night time activities in Pyongyang – it was a nice pleasant surprise and you are NEVER short of things to do in this city. While it’s not well lit at night, and the city centre becomes a ghost town, I managed to do a load of cool activities while I was there and here are the top 10 night time activities you can do in Pyongyang.

arc de triomph at night

Pyongyang’s sparkling Arc De Triomph at night.

1. The Mass Games, May Day Stadium, Rungna Island

This is without doubt the night time highlight of any trip to Pyongyang. You’ll have to head to North Korea in September to catch it. It’s quite simply a massive show which acts as a visual display of the entire history of the DPRK, the country most of the world calls North Korea. Ticket prices vary from 80 – 300 Euro. It’s worth spending the money on when offered this – you really don’t want to miss it. Trust me. Here’s the entire Don’t Stop Living Mass Games review.

mass games top night time activity pyongyang

Top 10 Nighttime activities in Pyongyang, North Korea – The Mass Games!

2. Kaeson Fun Fair

Pyongyang is blessed with a great fun fair called Kaeson Fun Fair, also known as Kaeson Youth Park. This offers a great chance to meet the locals, go on rides with them and play dodgems. I went on the fastest roller coaster in the country, nicknamed “The Superman” roller coaster. Entry to the Kaeson Fun Fair is 1 Euro. The rides vary from 1 – 3 Euros. There are lots of stalls selling snacks like hot dogs and ice cream. You’ll probably forget the fact you’re even in North Korea as you wander round this marvellous Fun Fair.

superman rollercoaster kaeson park

10 Nightime Activities in Pyongyang – here I’m riding “The Superman” rollercoaster in Kaeson Park.

3. Karaoke Bars

There are a lot of karaoke bars in Pyongyang. They are mostly just full of foreigners though, however in the Diplomatic Club you can see locals sing. Karaoke is available in Korean, Chinese and English. We went to the karaoke at our hotel, it’s on the ground floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel. The cost is 1 Euro to enter and beers are also priced at 1 Euro, or 10 RMB. I did a rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” just so I could say I had sang it in both North and South Korea!

karaoke in pyongyang michael jackson

10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang – up singing karaoke.

4. Bowling Alley

There are a lot of bowling alleys in Pyongyang. There is one in the city centre which is frequented by locals, but in all honesty unless you’ve paid for a private tour, your best place to go bowling is at the hotel. We stayed in the Yanggakdo Hotel and there’s one on the ground floor – at the basement. There’s a full bar with beer, soju and other spirits. On our busy schedule I had time to pop in for a beer (8 RMB only). The bowling itself varies between 1 – 2 Euros per person per hour. Very reasonable.

ten pin bowling pyongyang

10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang – ten pin bowling.

5. Drink in “The Brewery”

“The Brewery” was my favourite bar in North Korea. Mainly because they brew their own beer!! For 22 RMB you can have a nice fresh North Korean Ale. They also have live football on the screen which is a massive bonus. You can relax here. It’s on Floor 2 of the Yanggakdo Hotel. Chill out – you’re in North Korea.

beer in brewery bar pyongyang

10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang – buying a beer in “The Brewery”

6. Play Pool

In the Diplomatic Club in central Pyongyang, I played pool. I played against Hwang, one of the North Korean guides on our tour. Once you get in there though, you can play pool with anyone. The truth is, the North Koreans are only discovering games like pool and they weren’t yet aware of the rules of snooker either, which I explained to Hwang. I was able to beat Hwang without much effort, as he had only played 3 times before. But it was really great craic. You can also play pool at the billiards bar in the Yanggakdo Hotel. Note that all the locals smoke and the bar has a lot more western products than you could imagine – Heineken being the beer of choice. I favoured the local Pyongyang beer for the entirety of my stay in the country.

pool in the diplo

10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang – playing pool in “The Diplo”

7. Have a beer admiring the view of Pyongyang

A few nights in Pyongyang I was pretty tired but aware I was behind on my work, especially all the travel writing I wanted to do from the last few trips. So I sat on a settee by the window overlooking the city of Pyongyang from our Hotel Room, on the 24th Floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel. I sat working on my laptop, having a beer, typing away. I never thought I’d be able to add “worked in Pyongyang, North Korea” to my CV, but there you go. The most notable thing about Pyongyang at night is, it’s just not very well lit. There aren’t many lampposts, and even the massive Ryugyong Hotel is barely lit at night. It’s a good way to save energy I guess, but it will fascinate you that your view onto this massive city is reduced to a few dots of light by night in a dark city.

working in north korea jonny blair

10 Nighttime Activities to do in Pyongyang – I call it having a beer enjoying the view, but yes I did some work out in North Korea!

8. Pyongyang Casino

There are a few Casinos in Pyongyang for sure, but they are limited to people who stay in the hotels, normally. Though I must say there may be a casino lifestyle in Pyongyang that we don’t see as tourists – perhaps the locals have a load of local casinos behind closed doors which we are unaware of. I couldn’t take any photos either inside the casino, or even at the entrance (the guard stopped me) but I did snap one of the sign outside the staircase leading down. You can’t use North Korean Won to buy your chips and you’ll be given special coins to use in the slot machines.

casino in pyongyang

10 Nighttime Activities to do in Pyongyang – go to the casino.

9. Korean Dancing

Koreans love to dance and you can join in dancing with them at the Barbecue Lamb Restaurant and Bar in central Pyongyang. I was up dancing with them as they played local music. It’s all good fun, though like a lot of things in North Korea, there will be about 80% foreigners in the places you go.

korean dancing pyongyang

10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang – Korean Dancing!

10. Have Sex

No visit to Pyongyang could be complete without getting your own bit of Pyongyang going! Get your soldier out and fire the bullets. You’ll get some peace and quiet. This really is a sleeping city by night.

pyongyang at night sex

Admiring the night skyline of Pyongyang from our Hotel Room. Having sex will complete your top 10.

You can also enjoy eating barbecued duck, barbecued pork, dog meat soup and a load of Korean specialities but I’ve left food off this list. Sightseeing in Pyongyang is also better done in the day time. The city gets a bit dark at night so hopefully these 10 things will keep you occupied during your stay in North Korea. If all else fails, retire to your bedroom and watch TV. They even had BBC in our bedroom in the Yanggakdo Hotel…hope you enjoyed my 10 nighttime activities in Pyongyang.

watching BBC in North Korea

You might also just retire to your hotel room and watch good old BBC…it was a surprise to see it for the first time in over 4 years!

Here are a few videos from Pyongyang at night:

Playing Pool in Pyongyang:

Drinking in the Brewery in Pyongyang:

Singing Karaoke in Pyongyang:

Dancing in Pyongyang:

The Mass Games in Pyongyang:

Watching TV in the Hotel Room in Pyongyang:

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14 thoughts on “10 Nighttime Activities in Pyongyang, North Korea

  • Wow, the fun side of North Korea. Number 10 made me laugh and this is a bit controversial, wait they eat dog meat soup? have you tried it? And do they have a curfew? I have read somewhere that when traveling to NoKor, you get to have your own companion at all times but… is it safe to go out at night?
    Shayne recently posted…Manila’s Jeepney RestaurantMy Profile

  • Hi Shayne, thanks for the comment. Yes I tried the Bosintang (dog meat soup) before when I was in South Korea and hated it so much that I didn’t bother in the north – http://dontstopliving.net/fridays-featured-food-bosintang-dog-meat-soup-in-seoul-south-korea/ . His Shayne, you don’t need a companion – solo travellers can go but you must be there as part of a tour. There were plenty of solo travellers there in our tour group. I travelled to North Korea with my girlfriend and the recommended YPT tour company. Of course it’s safe to go out at night! Much safer than Seoul – robberies and pick pocketing here is non existent but you will probably be housed on Yanggak Island if you’re a budget traveller and you don’t really need to leave the island at night. When we did, it was always by bus with our tour group. It’s definitely a cool country to travel in and much more authentically Korean than the south, which has succumbed to US commercialism just a tad too much! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hey Jonny, sounds like you enjoyed North more than South. Anyway, regarding the companion, I read it somewhere that it sort of acts like some sort of a guide/guard? maybe it was implemented way before you came or maybe on their group. how much is your budget for this trip, btw? and how long?
    Shayne recently posted…Manila’s Jeepney RestaurantMy Profile

  • Hi Shayne, You can read lots of information about this on my other North Korea posts. Our trip was a week but included a night train in China and the flight into Pyongyang, so 6 days in the DPRK in total. I shared with my girlfriend – think we spent about 1,500 Euros in total. You can do cheaper and shorter trips of course, but make sure you use YPT – they are the budget North Korea tour operator and the most fun. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hi Fred – I’m sure it is, but knowing Korean would be a huge help! I personally didn’t as I was backpacking there with my girlfriend but you can try your luck when you get there. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Not realistic Fred, assuming you’re not a North Korean yourself, and, given the fact you’re on the internet, that’s a pretty safe assumption.

    Locals will not even look you in the eye for the most part, plus everywhere you go you will be accompanied by a guide/minder. No chance to slip away for sex, even if there was an opportunity – which there would not be. I think there’s still a full service on offer in the massage center at the Yanggakdo hotel, but it’s not cheap, and your girl will be Chinese not N.Korean.

    Fascinating country but not for “mongering”.

  • Ha ha great update there Matt. No doubt Freddy will read it and head backpacking to the Yanggakdo to get his hands on a pair of real life “Pyongyangs”. Let us know how it goes Fred and what size their yangs are! Safe travels. Jonny

  • Interesting…until I got to the perverted part. Why on earth would ANYONE EVEN THINK ABOUT travelling to North Korea. One would have to be suicidal or just plain DUMB.

  • Hi Emily, thanks for the comment. Yes I am suicidal and I suffer from severe depression, but I assure you I am not dumb. Out of interest did you only visit North Korea, or also South Korea? I backpacked both and by far and away North Korea is much nicer – friendlier people, cooler sights and no American capitalist cow excrement like Ratsbux and DickMonlads which sadly exist in South Korea. Safe travels. Jonny

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