How to Tour the DMZ from Seoul [2022 & 2023]

One of the most popular one day tours from Seoul is to tour the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone which is the 240km / 150 mi long border along the 38th parallel between North and South Korea.

Learn more about the three options to visit the DMZ, including details of the major attractions and tour options and how to book your tours.

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DMZ Korea Tour Comparison Table

Below are your quick links to see the options to book your DMZ tour, more information about the DMZ attractions are detailed further below in this article. Use the table below to book your DMZ tour through Get Your Guide, Klook or With Locals.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
From $US 69
DMZ Half Day Tour

DMZ Half Day Tour

  • Group morning and afternoon tour
  • Multiple Seoul departure points, with hotel pick up add-on option
  • Visit Dorasan Observatory, Third Tunnel and Imjingak
  • No Shopping
  • Options to add on Shooting Club experience (14+) or Seoul City Tour (Get Your Guide only)
8
Click Here Get Your GuideClick Here Klook
From $US 163 (min. 4 people)
Private DMZ Morning Half Day Tour

Private DMZ Morning Half Day Tour

  • Private morning tour with hotel pick up and drop off
  • Visit Dorasan Observatory, Third Tunnel and Imjingak
  • No shopping
  • Get Your Guide can accommodate larger groups
  • With Locals maximum group of four people
9
Click Here Get Your GuideClick Here With Locals
From $US 114
Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour

Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour

  • Visit non-restricted areas along the disputed maritime borders between North and South Korea (north west from Seoul)
  • Pick up and drop off from your accommodation in Seoul
  • Observe a fake North Korean village created for propaganda purposes across the river from the Peak Observatory
  • Tour points of interest along the border areas including the Iron Fence Zone, Aegibong Peak, and Yeonmijeong Pavilion
  • Learn more about the Korean War and recent events from an English speaking guide
  • Two different tour options - Standard and Special
9.1
Click here Klook

About the DMZ in Korea

The DMZ was created as part of the truce which was agreed after the Korean War following three years of combat and approximately 3 million casualties. The truce date is now commemorated annually on 27 July as Armistice Day. The DMZ is a 4km / 2.5 mi wide corridor which provides a buffer zone between the two countries.

Of note that the Korean War still continues today as the armistice was only temporary. That is why the DMZ still exists, and in the news you will see a lot of news coverage about the actions in North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-un. That is also why DMZ tours are regularly cancelled – whenever issues arise they cancel the tours.

If you would like to learn more about the Korean War, a good overview for beginners is in The Korean War Trivia Book: Interesting Stories and Random Facts From The Korean War by Bill O’Neill.

Where is the DMZ?

As you can see in the below map, the DMZ stretches along the entire 240km / 150 mi long border along the 38th parallel between North and South Korea. There are three main options for tourists to visit the DMZ as detailed below.

  • The part of the DMZ normally visited by most tourists is the section north from Seoul called Paju which is a drive of approximately one hour. You can visit the Imjimbak Resort without requiring a tour or security checks, however to visit the DMZ located attractions you are required to be on a tour. DMZ tours are either half or full day tours.
  • The Northern Limit Line is the maritime border between the two countries, the dotted red line on the western side of Korea, again about a one hour drive from Seoul. There are some full day tour options to visit this area.
  • The Goseong section of the DMZ is located on the eastern side of Korea and can be visited either via self drive or a tour from Sokcho.

In this article we will focus on Seoul DMZ tours as the most popular and easiest option for tourists to visit the DMZ.

DMZ Korea Map showing Seoul and Pyeongyang
DMZ Korea Map showing Seoul and Pyeongyang

What to See on a DMZ Tour from Seoul

The major locations which are visited on DMZ tours from Seoul are as detailed below and shown in the below map. Of note is that there are a lot of attractions gathered in Paju before crossing the Imjin River, before driving through several attractions to the northern most Joint Security Area (JSA).

Joint Security Area (JSA)

The Joint Security Area (JSA) is located in the village of Panmunjeom where the Armistice Agreement was signed, and sits inside the DMZ itself. It is the location where North Korean and South Korean soldiers stand guard face to face. The JSA also has a conference room located half and half in each country which is used for meetings between countries.

When the JSA tour is running, to go on this tour there are strict rules about which nationals are able to visit and what you can take with you. Before visiting the JSA you will receive a briefing at Camp Bonifas, the United Nations Command military post which is responsible for enforcing the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953. After the briefing you will be taken by UN bus to the JSA for a short visit to the conference room, where you are able to take photos.

Note that if conditions are unsafe the JSA tour can be cancelled at short notice and an alternative activity included in your tour. As a result of COVID19 the JSA tours were cancelled, and have not yet restarted. Hopefully it will not be long before tourists can again visit the JSA.

The Third Infiltration Tunnel

Over time North Korea has made several attempts to dig tunnels under the DMZ to enable a surprise attack. Four tunnels have been discovered so far as shown in the below map, however there are believed to be many more yet to be found.

The Third Infiltration tunnel was discovered in 1978 as a result of information provided by a North Korean defector. The tunnel was subsequently blocked by South Korea. You can now do a tour of the Third Tunnel where you are able to descend and walk in one end of the tunnel. You are not allowed to take cameras or phones inside.

The Korean Peninsula is divided along the 38th parallel. By Rishabh Tatiraju – CC BY-SA 3.0

Dora Observatory

The Dora Observatory enables visitors to view North Korea. From this viewpoint you can see Kijong-Dong, the ‘Peace Village’ which is a fake town with no residents. You may be interested to learn that you can see the fourth tallest flagpole in the world in Kijong-Dong! From Dora Observatory you can also see the city of Kaesung.

Dorasan Peace Park

You can visit Dorasan Peace Park near the Dora Observatory where you can visit the memorials and learn more history about the Korean War.

Korean DMZ
Korean DMZ

Imjimgak Resort Attractions

You can visit the Imjimbak Resort attractions without being on a tour, however to cross Imjim River and visit the DMZ itself you must be on a tour and pass through security check points. The following are the main attractions you can visit in Imjimgak Resort.

  • Freedom Bridge. Freedom Bridge was used to return Korean Prisoners of War to their homes in 1953.
  • Imjingak Tourist Information Center. Visit to learn more about the DMZ and Imjimbak Resort attractions.
  • Dorasan Station. The Dorasan Train Station is the northern most train station in South Korea, built in hope of reunification. You can pay a fee to visit the station.
  • Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park. The park is worth a wander to see many displays and history.
  • Mangbaedan Altar. The Mangbaedan Altar is where Koreans separated from their families in North Korea come to perform ancestral rites every New Year’s Day and Chuseok.
  • Food and drinks. There are many restaurants, cafes and street vendors you can access.

Note that you can visit Imjimgak Resort using public transport, the green Gyeongui-Jungang Metro line from Seoul runs to Imjimgak Station for a normal metro ticket cost. Note that this service only runs periodically, so check the timings before planning your visit.

DMZ Tours Korea

DMZ tours run every day except for Mondays. Make sure you carefully check and understand the cancellation conditions for your preferred tour option, as they usually reserve the right to substitute an activity if the DMZ is closed. Check out the table below to book your DMZ tour through Get Your Guide, Klook or With Locals.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
From $US 69
DMZ Half Day Tour

DMZ Half Day Tour

  • Group morning and afternoon tour
  • Multiple Seoul departure points, with hotel pick up add-on option
  • Visit Dorasan Observatory, Third Tunnel and Imjingak
  • No Shopping
  • Options to add on Shooting Club experience (14+) or Seoul City Tour (Get Your Guide only)
8
Click Here Get Your GuideClick Here Klook
From $US 163 (min. 4 people)
Private DMZ Morning Half Day Tour

Private DMZ Morning Half Day Tour

  • Private morning tour with hotel pick up and drop off
  • Visit Dorasan Observatory, Third Tunnel and Imjingak
  • No shopping
  • Get Your Guide can accommodate larger groups
  • With Locals maximum group of four people
9
Click Here Get Your GuideClick Here With Locals
From $US 114
Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour

Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour

  • Visit non-restricted areas along the disputed maritime borders between North and South Korea (north west from Seoul)
  • Pick up and drop off from your accommodation in Seoul
  • Observe a fake North Korean village created for propaganda purposes across the river from the Peak Observatory
  • Tour points of interest along the border areas including the Iron Fence Zone, Aegibong Peak, and Yeonmijeong Pavilion
  • Learn more about the Korean War and recent events from an English speaking guide
  • Two different tour options - Standard and Special
9.1
Click here Klook

Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour

The Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour is a full day tour which will take you to visit the Northern Limit Line maritime boundary between North and South Korea. Attractions you will visit include the following.

  • Aegibong Peak Observatory, where you can view North Korea across the DMZ, which includes the city of Gaeseong as well as a fake rural village.
  • Yeonmijeong Pavilion, where you can view where the Han and Imjingang Rivers merge.
  • Other local attractions.

Click here to check out and book the Northern Limit Line Disputed Border Day Tour through Klook

Tour the DMZ Korea

Join the South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group

You are also welcome to join our South Korea Travel Planning Facebook Group – it is a great resource to enable you to ask questions about your upcoming trip to South Korea!

South Korea Travel Planning

Disclaimer:  This article contains affiliate links.  If you book after clicking on one of these links then we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.