I absolutely fell in love with the inspiring skyline of Pyongyang, North Korea’s proud and patriotic capital city. I was able to see the view of the city from a load of different places, high and low and also from the edge of the city. From the sleeping river, to the forests throughout the city, to the famous Ryugyong Hotel, to the obvious lack of banks and advertising. Here are my personal top 5 places for a view of Pyongyang. For an added bonus, check one of them out at night if you can and you’ll get a good tip on saving energy and electricity. The reason being Pyongyang is one of the world’s darkest cities by night.
1. The Revolving Restaurant, Yanggakdo Hotel, Pyongyang
“Wow!” is what you will say when you arrive at the Revolving Restaurant on the 47th Floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang. The views are 360 degrees and offer an exceptionally high vantage point of this city.
Despite rumours that the restaurant doesn’t really revolve, these rumours are fake. It does revolve. But to save electricity they probably only turn on the revolving bit when there are people in the restaurant. Makes sense and any restaurant wasting electricity might learn a trick or two from this logic.
There is a bar and we ate at an all you can eat buffet there (the food is average but you’re here for the view right?). You can relax here and gaze down at the skyline. There are windows in the way of course, but if you head down to the 46th floor on the stairs to where the toilets are, you can sneak out to the balcony and get a view without windows.
2. Juche Tower, Tongdaewon District, Pyongyang
The Juche Tower sits proudly and prominently overlooking the Taedong River. The views beside the river are tremendous and you can go for a walk and stare across at Kim Il Song square.
Locals play badminton and go cycling here. For 5 Euros you can go to the top of the Juche Tower and get yet another high vantage point over the entire city.
3. Grand People’s Study House, Central District, Pyongyang
It came as a surprise that the Grand People’s Study House offers a decent vantage point. After your tour of the study house, which is the most elaborate and unusual library you will ever visit, you get rewarded with an awesome view down over Kim Il Song Square. Even better when we went, we basked in the North Korean sunshine.
4. Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery, Taesong District, Pyongyang
It’s good to get out of the city and see what the skyline looks from afar. I love the distinct lack of advertising. It’s just amazing looking from the edge of the city. Smoke, smog and cloud can be a problem in Pyongyang (as it is in China), but the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery allows you to check out the skyline, led by the famous Ryugyong Hotel’s pyramidical feel.
5. Kim Il Sung Square, Central District, Pyongyang
A top 5 places for a view of Pyongyang can’t ignore the obvious central square, known as Kim Il Sung Square. Pay respect to the Great Leader and admire the architecture and watch the traffic go by.
It’s not just the 360 degree views all round at the typically communist grand buildings.
You can walk down by the riverside and see Pyongyang on the other side of the Taedong River as well which includes the Juche Tower. The square itself is a scene of many an army parade. If you can ask your guides if you can walk there and have a walk around. Pyongyang is a truly relaxing place. Kids fly by on rollerblades, daytime city workers cycle home and locals enjoy the peaceful air.
I’m sure there are those of you reading who will say “but you left out the view from…” and “you left out this place for a great view” and maybe I did. But travel in North Korea is with a guide and is slightly more limited and so these were thew top 5 places for a view of Pyongyang that we saw. Leave some comments and let me know of other great views of a fabulous city.
I left out the Hotel Room View, so here are a few photos of the view from our bedroom on the 24th Floor of the Yanggakdo Hotel in Pyongyang.
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These were my top 5 places for a view of Pyongyang and I’ll leave you with a video from each. Don’t forget to follow my adventures on my YouTube channel.
View from the top of the People’s Grand Study Centre:
Buffet Lunch and View from the Revolving Restaurant:
Down by the Taedong River near the Juche Tower:
View from Kim Il Sung Square:
View from The Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery: