DMZ JSA tour

Looking at Panmungak from Freedom House during our DMZ JSA tour

Experience the mystery of the Korean Demilitarized Zone and the unique Joint Security Area! These sights should be at the top of every adventurous traveller’s bucket list. No other country in the world has such a remarkable historical division and simultaneous desire for peace. Create unforgettable moments and get insider cultural knowledge on our DMZ JSA tour!

* JSA tour bookings need to be made at least 7 days before your tour. * Children under 12 years old are not permitted to join this tour.

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What is the DMZ – Demilitarized Zone

The DMZ is the area surrounding the Demarcation Line (DML), which separates North and South Korea. About a half-century ago, the DML was drawn to keep the two countries physically separated.

This border came about from the need for peace between the two countries after the prolonged military and political tension. The DMZ is 250 kilometres long with a four-kilometre diameter.

North Korea is famous for being mysterious and very hard to visit. Our DMZ tours will allow you to get as close to the infamous country as possible and even look across the border!

What is the JSA – Joint Security Area

Looking ahead at the bridge of no return through the windscreen of the DMZ JSA tour bus in Korea

The JSA (Joint Security Area) is a shared space between North and South Korea. Here the two countries can coexist with the help of the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC). This is the only place where South and North Korean forces stand face to face – a sight not to be missed!

The former village (Panmunjeom) sits just 60 kilometres northwest of Seoul and was initially called “Neolmun-ri.” The area is rectangular, with a size of 400×800 meters and is set up on the Military Demarcation Line, essentially making it neutral ground.

Here, you will find various buildings that accommodate negotiation talks and a few bridges of great historical importance.

Following our tour group on our DMZ JSA tour. In the background you can see the UNCMAC Conference rooms and North Korea's Panmungak

Don’t miss this chance to see one of the unique corners of the world! Our DMZ JSA tour from Seoul is one of Korea’s most popular and loved tours, and we make sure that you see all these incredible landmarks in comfort.

JSA tour Regulations and Restrictions

The JSA is a unique area due to its purpose – to preserve peace, and therefore the United Nations Command (UNC) have some strict regulations to bear in mind.

Everyone wishing to visit must supply their passport and register at least 7 days in advance. We, therefore, request a full-colour copy of your passport page when booking. All members of your group should be at least 12 years old, and those younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

In addition, the UNC limits the number of people that can visit daily. This limit means it can get booked up very quickly.

If you wish to avoid the restrictions and ensure there is enough space, we suggest you book our DMZ Half Day Tour . This way, you will still see everything there is to see at the DMZ but will not have to deal with pre-registration and limitations.

What to expect on our DMZ JSA tour – key features

Our tour has a very well-organized itinerary that makes sure you don’t miss a beat and are as comfortable as possible. Our pickup and drop-off location is City Hall Subway Station (Exit 6), a central and easily accessible location in Seoul to start and end the day.

We provide professional, licensed tour guides who will be there from start to finish to answer all of your questions. All transportation is included and we take care of all the entrance fees for you, so you don’t have to worry about the details!

One of the key features not to be missed on our DMZ JSA tour is looking into North Korea. You can get a very clear view across the border when the weather is good!

In addition, we will walk through the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel dug by North Koreans in an attempt to attack the South. Don’t miss this chance to walk in the steps of the soldiers! The tunnel has a steep slope and is two meters tall and two meters wide. If you don’t feel comfortable in confined spaces, we invite you to wait for us by the exit.

Lastly, we will visit the infamous border between North and South Korea! This is an experience you cannot get anywhere else in the world!

Charge your camera – these are our tour highlights not to miss

Since this area is so rich in history, there are a few buildings and landmarks that you can not miss! We will make sure to cover them all on our tour. Here are all the details you need to know about these spots in advance.

Imjingak – a spiritual place for mourning

A sign at Imjingak showing that the distance to Seoul is 53 km, while Kaesong is just 22 km away.

Sitting 53 kilometres northwest of Seoul, Imjingak is where South Koreans come to mourn their lost ancestors who have fallen in the Korean War.

This ritual happens on every Lunar New Year’s Day. It aims to comfort about ten million people who pay respects to their families lost in the North.

The Bridge of Freedom – crying “Hurrah!”

Until 1998, the Bridge of Freedom was the only direct link to Camp Greaves, Liberty Bell, and Panmunjeom.

According to the history books from the war period, about 13,000 captives crossed the bridge yelling “Hurrah!” for freedom, which gave this structure its name.

People crossing the Bridge of Freedom at Imjingak. In the background you can see the railway bridge that connects with Freedom Bridge.

Feel the spirit of exaltation as the war has come to an end at this historic place on our DMZ JSA tour.

The Third Tunnel of Aggression – crawling through time

This hidden tunnel was discovered in October of 1978. Resembling Tunnel II, which both the North and South knew about, this one was secret! The tunnel’s location lies just 4 kilometres away from Truce Village (Panmunjeom).

The measurements of the tunnel are 1,635 kilometres long, 1.95 meters high, and 2.1 meters wide. It was made big enough to move an entire division per hour and was clearly built for a surprise attack on Seoul! So on our DMZ and JSA tour, we will have the chance to go inside and see the secret tunnel for ourselves!

DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall – an organised look into past events

A glass box gun display in the DMZ Theater and Exhibition hall

If you’d like to track the events of the Korean War and see a significant amount of evidence, you would love the DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall. Here, you can expect to see leaflets, bayonets, military letters, pottery, and empty cartridges.

These objects will give you an idea of what life was like during this challenging period and will transport you back in time.

Dora Observatory – see across the border inside North Korea

The view of the closest North Korean village through binoculars at Dora Observatory

Due to stringent regulations, we aren’t allowed to go into North Korea, so instead, we make sure to get you as close as possible so you can have a look at the mysterious country! Dora Observatory is the closest point to North Korea.

Dorasan Station – the railway connecting North and South

An information board directing passengers to board the train for Pyongyang at Dorasan Station located inside the DMZ

Unification Bridge – the idea of peace is manifested

Crossing Unification Bridge over Imjin River

The Unification Bridge (Tongildaegyo) started as an idea of unification. It was built symbolically in 1998 by the Hyundai Business Group of South Korea and towers over the Imjingang River, which flows from North Korea.

The bridge got a peculiar nickname – “Cow Bridge.” This is because of the founder of Hyundai, Mr Jung Juyoung, who crossed the bridge going to North Korea in 1998, bringing 1001 cows.

Camp Bonifas – remembering a hero

Camp Bonifas is a military post that belongs to the United Nations. The site was previously known as “Kitty Hawk”, but on August 18, 1986, the name was changed to honour Captain Arthur G. Bonifas. The American captain was killed in the “axe murder incident”, so the camp was dedicated to him posthumously.

Entering Camp Bonifas on our JSA tour

We will visit this camp during our DMZ and JSA tour. Here you will receive a briefing and watch a slide show from UN military personnel before visiting Joint Security Area.

Freedom House – a safe space for peace talks

A border guard standing in front of Freedom House inside the Joint Security Area

The Freedom House is located on the south side of the JSA and was finished in July of 1998. The building has a modern design and four floors. It serves as the home to the “South and North Liaison Office” and “South and North Red Cross Liaison Office.”

This space aims to provide a safe zone for discussion, inter-Korean dialogues, and cultural exchanges aimed at peace.

Military Armistice Commission Conference Room – enforcing the historic agreement

The United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC) was assembled in July 1953 at the end of the Korean War. Its goal is to ensure that peace is maintained and that the Korean Armistice Agreement is strictly enforced.

JSA border guards securing one of the Military Armistice Commission Conference Rooms

The conference room is where it meets. The North and South take turns using the conference rooms in the JSA, which have doors on both ends to ensure privacy and equal access.

Inter-Korean Peace House – leaving military matters aside

The Peace House was completed on December 19, 1969. It is used for talks that have nothing to do with the government or the military and is located 130 metres south of Freedom House.

This building was first constructed in 1980 when the two countries’ prime ministers needed a neutral place to meet and have a dialogue. It was later rebuilt in 1989 and is still used to this day.

Tongilgak (Unification Pavilion) – the hidden office

Tongilgak is a conference hall on the northern side of the JSA that has a similar function to the Peace House. It has mainly been used to house North Korea’s “South and North Liaison Office”, which has been the case since May 1992.

This is where various inter-Korean talks have taken place. Similar to the mysterious image of North Korea, this building is not easily visible. It’s located 100 meters northwest of Panmungak, and you need to actively look for it to see it!

Panmungak (Phanmun Pavilion) – a place for propaganda

Panmungak’s role in the Joint Security Area is to represent North Korea. The building was first constructed on September 2, 1969, and is where North Korean officials have their offices. The building also serves as the waiting room for UN officials who want to have a dialogue with North Korea.

Looking across the demarcation line in the Join Security Area at the Panmungak building aka Phanmun Pavilion

The curious fact about Panmungak is that propaganda efforts take place here. The North is famous for its efforts to promote propaganda information against South Korea. One such example is the “Pan-Korean Convention” that happens every 5th of August. Moreover, this building was completely closed off to the North Korean public until 1964.

The Bridge of No Return – a place marked by a shocking event

A soldier standing guard in front of the Bridge of No Return facing North

You may recognise this bridge from the popular James Bond movie “Die Another Day”. This is also the bridge where the famous “axe murder incident” happened on August 18, 1976. The bridge became infamous as the spot where General Arthur Bonifas and First Lieutenant Mark Bennett were killed.

However, the original purpose of this bridge, which gave it its name, was to be a place where POWs (prisoners of war) were exchanged. Once a prisoner chose the country he wanted to go to, there was no coming back, hence the bridge of “no return”. Don’t miss the chance to see this tense and historically rich place on our DMZ JSA tour!

The Bridge of 72 Hours – a desperate need for access by North Korea

After the “axe murder incident” happened, the Bridge of No Return was shut down and was no longer in use. That meant that North Korea lost its access to the JSA. Shocked and desperate, the government decided to build a new one.

This is how the Bridge of 72 Hours appeared. It only took 72 hours for its completion, which was a massive effort on behalf of the North. This bridge connects Panmunjeom and the city of Kaesong to the north.

As you can see, the DMZ and JSA are two places extremely rich in history and unique in their cultural aspects. Be sure not to miss the chance to discover their mysteries with our DMZ JSA tour!

DMZ + JSA tour Itinerary

  • Meet at City Hall Subway Station (Exit 6)
  • Bridge of Freedom
  • Third Tunnel of Aggression
  • DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall
  • Dora Observatory
  • Pass by Unification Village
  • Lunchtime at Imjingak Park
  • Unification Bridge (Passport Check Point)
  • Camp Bonifas (Slide Show and Briefing)
  • JSA (Freedom House, Conference Room etc)
  • Drop Off at City Hall Subway Station (Exit 6)

Our DMZ and JSA tour includes

  • Fully licensed tour guide
  • Transportation to and from the DMZ and JSA
  • Entrance fees and tickets
  • NO forced shopping stops

Additional Notes

  • Please  bring your passport on the day for UNC military checkpoints.
  • A full-colour scan of your passport picture page including the bar code at the bottom should be sent to us by email at least 7 days in advance.
  • Payment has to be fully arranged at least 7 days before the tour date (by credit card).
  • A 100% cancellation charge will be applied when cancelling within 7 days of the tour date.
  • The above itinerary, time and price can be changed depending on the current situation.
  • JSA tour bookings need to be made at least 7 days before your tour .
  • Korean nationals cannot join this tour.
  • The following dress code applies: Normal blue jeans are OK to wear, but no sleeveless shirts, t-shirts without the collar, short pants, skirts, sandals, military-looking clothes, or clothing with a country flag or name of the nationality on it.
  • Children under 12 years old are not permitted to join this tour.
  • The JSA is controlled by the United Nations Command (UNC), so there are limited seats due to restrictions.

6 reviews for DMZ JSA tour

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Chris (verified owner) – May 5, 2023

Wow, all I can say is do this JSA tour if you possibly can. I did the normal DMZ tour which was great, but then did this JSA tour – it was fantastic and takes you even closer to the frontline and actually inside the DMZ itself to the JSA. Our guide Nancy was quite amazing and brilliant. I have done many great tours around the world – this is up there amongst the very best.

Wiola kawasaki – January 11, 2023

We had the most remarkable family tour.

Marsha – October 14, 2022

JSA DMZ Tour Option? Hello, is this tour still available?

Gareth Singh – September 25, 2019

So glad I booked this tour. Knew I wanted to do it after doing some research before arriving in Korea. I booked early after reading that this tour is difficult to get on dude to all the restrictions and military / political events. Found myself on a bus full of people from all different places. Some people on the bus could only do the first part of the tour because they didn’t book early enough, so be sure to book as early as you can!

Holly is a member of our customer support team here at VIP Travel

Holly VIP Travel – November 5, 2019

Dear , Gareth Above all thank you for review of the DMZ + JSA tour .

Yes , as the JSA is managed by UN community , the tour is only available on certain days with limited seats … So most of time the tour is fully booked in advanced .

You were very lucky to join the DMZ + JSA tour with VIP : )) Haha Hope you can join the tour next time with us if you ever come back to Korea .

Thank you Holly

Tony – September 20, 2019

When we asked our hotel to recommend a tour that visited both dmz and jsa they told us VIP Travel. They said they are well known for having the best dmz and city tours. The hotel staff gave us VIP’s brochure and left us to it, so we decided to give them a try. They quickly managed to get us a spot on the DMZ JSA tour 6 days later. Sophie from the booking staff was super helpful and informative and took care of everything for us. The tour was incredible. You can feel the emotion as you walk around, through tunnels and visiting the camp. So glad we booked it and had such a good time that we are booked on a city tour for tomorrow aswell.

Dear , Tony Above all thank you for the review of DMZ and JSA tour.

Yes Sophie is one of our fast staff that always trying to help our customer . Really great that you got spot for the DMZ and JSA tour as the seats are very limited for tour and always fully booked .

Hope you have enjoyed the city tour as well with us : ) Please come back to VIP if you every comeback to Korea.

We always treat our customer as VIP Holly

Dave and Michele – August 27, 2019

Can now say we have visited both sides of the DMZ JSA border, having previously visited North Korea. Really enjoyed VIP’s take on this tour. Guides were top class and everything went smoothly. Managed to get some great pics and wife enjoyed herself too even though she was originally not that keen to visit again just 2 weeks later.

Dear, Dave Above all thank you for the review of DMZ and JSA tour .

I will pass to the tour guide that you have enjoyed the tour with us : ) Hope you can join some other tours with us if you every comeback to Korea!

We always treat our customer as VIP Thank you Holly

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Taking a photo outside the third tunnel of aggression on our DMZ half-day tour

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Wapiti Travel

How to choose the best DMZ Tour (2024 edition)

By: Author Sylvia

Posted on Last updated: January 22, 2024

Are you wondering what’s the best DMZ tour?

When we visited Korea for the first time, we absolutely wanted to visit the DMZ.

We did tremendous research about the best way to visit the DMZ and the best DMZ tour.

What we didn’t know at that time was that the inter-Korean summit would sabotage our plans.

Our DMZ tour was canceled because of the meeting between the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

Covid-19 threw a wrench in the works of our second trip to Korea, but in 2023, the moment finally arrived! We could again travel to Korea, and this time our visit to the DMZ, became a reality. Hooray!

The visit to the DMZ is slightly different after Covid than it used to be. We share all the latest details.

Here’s everything we learned from our extensive research and from our visit in 2023.

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In a hurry? Here you will find the most important information about the DMZ

The DMZ is an interesting place to visit and a perfect way to learn more about Korean history and the current situation of separation between North and South Korea.

  • The cheapest way to visit the DMZ is with the DMZ peace train . (The train has stopped running due to COVID-19 and service has not yet resumed at this time. )

DMZ half or full-day trip

  • DMZ half or full-day trip ( is slightly cheaper than the one above, but at the moment only runs on Saturday or Sunday )
  • DMZ Tour with Optional North Korean Defector
  • If you are traveling with a larger family or a group, you could consider a private tour with a guide
  • After 2 years of being closed, the JSA is finally reopening. Note that JSA Tours are very popular and are quickly booked up. If you want to visit the JSA you should book your tour as soon as your travel plans are fixed. Read on to learn the difference between the DMZ and the JSA .

Table of Contents

What’s the DMZ

In order to completely understand what the DMZ is all about we will start with some history.

The complete Korean peninsula on which both North and South Korea are currently located was annexed by Japan in 1910. The Japanese treated Korea as a colony. The interests of the Koreans were completely subordinate to the interests of Japan.

Japan was defeated by the Allies at the end of the second world war in 1945.  At that time the Soviet Union had occupied the Northern part of Korea and the United States took control of the Southern part of the Peninsula.  

7 days in Korea, the perfect itinerary. 

The intention of the two superpowers was to create a temporary separation between the 2 parts. Plans existed to create a united and  independent Korea in 5 years but things turned out differently. 

The Cold War ensured that there was no agreement to hold elections for the whole of Korea.

The differences in politics drove the 2 parts further apart instead of coming to each other.

In 1948 the independent Republic of Korea was established in the American zone.  In the same year, the Communist Democratic Korean People’s Republic (North Korea) was founded in the north.

Two years later the Northern army invaded the South with the aim of uniting the two Koreas into one communist state.  This was the start of a 3-year-long civil war that claimed more than 2 million victims.

Initially, the Northern army succeeded in overrunning 90% of the South but they were fought back by US-led reinforcements sent by the UN.

In their turn, they crossed the border and made plans to conquer the whole North, against the will of China that launched a counter-attack.

private dmz jsa tour

It took until July 27, 1953, before the Armistice Agreement was signed.

The two parties took long to negotiate where the new border should be but in the end, it was decided that the border remained more or less where it had been all the time. 

The new border diagonally crosses the  38th latitude and was widened with the creation of a four-kilometer-wide weapons-free buffer zone between the states, known as the DMZ.

The war left its traces and further perpetuated the division of Korea leading to a permanent alliance between South Korea and the United States and the establishment of a US base in South Korea.

There has been a truce since then but o fficially the 2 countries are still at war with each other.   We read about how you can literally feel the tension at the border where the armies of both countries are facing each other.

In other parts of South Korea, such as Busan , you do not notice much of the war except that foreign navigation systems, such as Google Maps, do not work because South Korea requires that all mapping data is stored locally. The government also enforces that military bases are removed from maps. Apparently, Google couldn’t promise to obey to all these rules.

In 2018 both countries have done a considerable effort to ease their relations.  At the Korean summit in May 2018, they vowed to officially end the war within a year.

Since then several other meetings have taken place between both parties as well as a historic meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in June.  That was the first time that the sitting leaders of these countries spoke in person.

We are now well past this deadline and nothing has come of it. Relations between the two countries have even deteriorated again.

It would be great news if Korea would finally be reunited but at this point, it doesn’t seem like this will happen anytime soon.

Over time the DMZ will hopefully transition into a more amicable place but nothing has changed for the time being.

It may be one of the world’s most heavily militarized borders but it’s also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Korea.  The DMZ welcomes more than 1.2 million foreign travelers each year, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

Why visit the DMZ

The guided tours are very educational and some tours have a North Korean defector as a tour guide who can give you more insight into how life is on the other side of the border. 

It is at this point one of the few still active remnants of the cold war and that makes it extra special.

Americans and South Koreans are not allowed to travel into North Korea, for them this will be the closest they can get to this isolated country.  And despite the fact that other nationalities are allowed to travel to the country, there are not many who do it.

The DMZ is described as one of the most volatile regions in the world and it is a border post that has torn thousands of families apart and still holds them hostage in their “new” country. 

It feels strange that at the same time it is one of the top tourist attractions in this country.

We wondered if we would not feel guilty that we as a tourist came to look at a place that is the source of so much misery for other people.

What convinced us is that we believe that, by showing this to people, hopefully, the following generations will learn from the mistakes of the past.

What is the difference between the DMZ and the JSA

With regard to the tours, there is a distinction between the DMZ and the JSA tours in Korea.

JSA refers to the Joint Security Area , this is as close as you can get to North Korea.

The JSA is what most people probably think about when they think about the Korean border.  This is the area with the blue barracks that are used for all the negotiations between the North and the South.

JSA Panmunjom South Korea

This is an iconic picture of the JSA but things may be different today.  One of the first things that North and South Korea agreed upon was to clear the JSA of all weapons and military.  This disarmament was completed in October 2018.

The good news is that they also decided to preserve the JSA in its current state.

Later on, in this article, we discuss in more depth the different points of interest that DMZ and JSA DMZ tours cover.

Who can visit the DMZ? 

Everybody can join the DMZ tours but at this point, certain restrictions are still in place regarding the JSA.

Since the JSA has been disarmed the expectation is that these restrictions will disappear in the near future.

Until that is a fact, these nationalities can visit the JSA but will need to provide a scan of their passport at the time of booking a tour. Albania – Afghanistan – Algeria – Azerbaijan – Bangladesh – Bahrain – Belarus – China – Cuba – Egypt – Estonia – Georgia – Hong Kong – Iran – Iraq – India – Indonesia – Jordan – Kazakhstan – Kuwait – Kyrgyzstan – Latvia – Lebanon – Libya – Lithuania – Malaysia – Morocco – Moldova – Nigeria – North Korea – Oman – Pakistan – Qatar – Russia – Saudi Arabia – Somalia – Sudan – Syria – Taiwan – Tajikistan – Turkmenistan – Tunisia – Ukraine – United Arab Emirates – Uzbekistan – Vietnam – Yemen Visitors with European, American, or Australian nationality do not have any restrictions when visiting the JSA.

Children must be accompanied by their parents for both the JSA as well as the DMZ tours.

Some tour companies require that children are at least 10 years old before they can participate in a JSA tour.  If you’re planning on doing a DMZ or DMZ/JSA tour with small children we recommend that you check with the tour company.

Things to know when visiting the DMZ

Opening hours.

The DMZ tours don’t run on Mondays and Korean holidays ( except Korea’s New Year and Thanksgiving Day).

If the Korean holiday happens to be during a weekend, there is a chance that the DMZ tours will run anyway.

We cover an alternative DMZ tour that you can do if your only chance is to visit the DMZ would be a Monday. More about this tour later.

Things you should bring

A current valid passport is required for both the DMZ as well as JSA DMZ tour. 

You have to take your passport with you.

Without your passport, you won’t be allowed to join the tour.

A dress code applies when visiting the JSA.

The dress code is expected to disappear now that the disarmament of the JSA is a fact but for the time being, we would advise you to stick to the dress code or to check with your tour operator to confirm what you will be wearing is OK.

This is the dress code:

  • Skirts/dresses need to be at least knee length
  • No sandals, flip-flops,s or slippers
  • No t-shirts: must be collared shirts
  • Civilian clothes preferred
  • Jeans accepted with no holes (no ripped jeans)
  • No tank tops
  • No exercise clothes
  • No clothing with militarily styled prints
  • No stretch pants/tights

The reason that the dress code is in place has nothing to do with security as most would think.

The dress code came after it appeared that North Korea used photos of “sloppy” dressed foreigners to use them in their propaganda.   The North Korean government used the photos to showcase the poor state of the other countries.

For this same reason, it is not allowed to wave to the North Korean guards.  Images of foreigners waving to North Korean guards have been used in propaganda and have been framed as people who wanted to defect to the communist state.

Codes of conduct 

There is still a strict code of conduct in place as we write this article. You mustn’t wave, point, or in any other way signal to the North Korean guards.

Photos are also not allowed everywhere.  The guides will tell you what you can and cannot take pictures of. (eg. it is not allowed to take pictures inside the 3rd infiltration tunnel)

When you tour the JSA you must at all times stay with your guide and the military escorts and comply with all the instructions given by your guide and the military.

The disarmament will result in a more relaxed code of conduct in the future.

Most interesting points of interest

The most interesting sights are the Joint Security Area, the Freedom Bridge, the Infiltration Tunnels, and the Mount Odu Observatory.

JSA view from North Korea

The Joint Security Area (JSA)

Located in Panmunjom, the JSA is the closest point a tourist can get to North Korea without getting arrested or shot.

Here you’ll have a chance to physically stand in North Korea. It is also the only spot  in the DMZ, where the South and North Korean soldiers face each other.

The JSA area is occupied by the South Korean and US military. 

Bill Clinton repeatedly called this border post the scariest place on earth but it is touristy at the same time.  There is even a gift shop selling original items from North Korea, including stamps, money, and wine.

A visit to the JSA zone usually starts in Camp Bonifas.  

This is a United Nations Command military post that houses the United Nations Command Security Battalion of the Joint Security Area whose primary mission is to monitor and enforce the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953.

Here you will normally also be given a 20-minute briefing by an American soldier explaining the rules and possible dangers. 

There are quite a few rules you should follow so listen carefully. You cannot  take any loose items with you, if you bring a coat you have to wear it all the time (you cannot hang it over your arm), you will also have to walk to the actual border in “formation” and have to set up in rows, etc. 

At this point, you’ll also be signing a waiver that absolves South Korea, the UN, and the USA in case any incidents will arise.  The waiver explicitly states that the visitor’s safety is not guaranteed in the event of unanticipated complications.

A standard formality because in recent years there have been no accidents and these tours are done on a regular basis.

private dmz jsa tour

This document also provides more information about photo privileges, specifically when and where you’re allowed to take pictures.

Once everybody has signed the waiver a tour bus brings you to the freedom house.

Here two South Korean soldiers of a special unit stand guard facing soldiers from North Korea.   Often there is only one soldier on the side of North Korea.

The JSA is the only part of the DMZ where North and South Korean soldiers are face-to-face. They stare at each other all day long and have been for several years.

A little later you can enter the conference room. This is the actual conference room where the armistice agreement was signed.  In this room, you will get the chance to cross the border.  The border cuts the conference room in 2 so when you cross the room to the opposite side you’re effectively in North Korean territory. 

This concludes your visit to the actual JSA zone, next you get a short tour along a lookout point towards North Korea from where you can see the Propaganda Village.

This is a well-tended village just along the North Korean border that is supposedly housing 200 families, several schools, and a hospital. 

Tourists seldom see any movement in the village and it is believed that North Korea only built the town for propaganda purposes.  Hence the name South Koreans gave to the town.

You will also visit the location of the Korean ax murder incident.  Two American soldiers were killed here by North Koreans while cutting a tree.  

Another highlight is the bridge of no return.

This is the bridge where prisoners between the two countries were exchanged after the Korean War. 

The name originates from the final ultimatum that was given to prisoners of war brought to the bridge for repatriation: they could either remain in the country of their captivity or cross the bridge to return to their homeland.

However, once they chose to cross the bridge, they would never be allowed to return, even if they later changed their minds.

After 2 years of being closed, the JSA is finally reopening.

Note that JSA Tours are very popular and book out quickly. We therefore recommend that you book as early as possible so that you can choose your desired date.

Check prices and availability: DMZ-JSA Tour

Imjingak park DMZ, South Korea

Imjingak Park and the Freedom Bridge

Imjingak Park has an important sentimental and symbolic meaning. This park commemorates families who are separated because of the split between North and South. 

The remnants of the Freedom Bridge can be seen from the park. This bridge was long 1 of only 2 bridges that crossed the Imjin River.

It had long served peaceful purposes but its position close to the Korean border made it of crucial importance during the Korean War.

The bridge was destroyed early in the war, making the Imjingang bridge alongside it the only connection to supply the Southern troops fighting in the Northern territory with supplies.

After the peace treaty was signed this bridge was also used to exchange the sick and wounded prisoners.

private dmz jsa tour

The Third Tunnel of Aggression

The Third Tunnel of Aggression is one of four known tunnels under the border between North and South Korea.

The tunnels have been dug to make a surprise attack from North Korea on South Korea.

North Korea denies this and claims the tunnels are part of a network of tunnels belonging to a coal mine.  This is highly unlikely as coal has never been found in the area.

The Third Tunnel of Aggression is located 44 kilometers from Seoul and was discovered in 1978.  It runs underneath the Demilitarized Zone. 

The incomplete tunnel is 1,635 meters long, with a height and width of 2 meters. It is estimated that the tunnel would be able to accommodate more than 30,000 soldiers with light weapons per hour.

Today the tunnel has become an all-inclusive tourist attraction, with a DMZ video hall, representative sculptures, gift shops, and more.

private dmz jsa tour

The tunnel is located 73 meters below the surface and is accessed through a steep tunnel. It makes for quite a tough climb. For a supplement, you can use the monorail pictured above to enter and exit the tunnel. Check in advance with the tour organizer if he can arrange this if you want to use the monorail.

You can walk a part of the tunnel until the MDL (military demarcation line). The tunnel may feel quite cramped and if you’re claustrophobic you want to skip it.

Pictures are not allowed in the tunnel.

The New Dora observatory in the DMZ

The Dora Observatory

The Dora Observatory is the northernmost Observatory.  It is situated on top of Mount Dora.

Here you can catch a rare glimpse of the reclusive North Korean state without setting foot in the country.

You will see the Kijong-dong Propaganda village and, on a clear day, you can see as far as the real city of Kaesong situated about 8km from the DMZ.

private dmz jsa tour

Kaesong is the only city that actually changed hands after the Armistice agreement was signed.  It used to be under the control of South Korea but is now ruled by the North. 

The Kaesong Industrial region that borders the city is because of its proximity to the border a special administrative region where both people from the North and the South are allowed to work.

You can also see the Dorasan train station , a station located only 650 meters from the Korean border. 

The railway line used to continue into North Korea all the way to the capital city of Pyongyang.

The tracks are still there and one hopes that in the near future the trains will again operate in between the two current capitals.

Dorasan Train Station DMZ, South Korea

The Dorasan Train station 

In 2000 North and South Korea made plans for a rail line that connected both capitals.

The line was completed in 2003 but it took until 2007 before the first freight trains started to run across the border.  Not for long unfortunately because already in December 2008 North Korea decided unilaterally to again hermetically close the border.

The Dorasan Train station is currently hugely oversized.  The DMZ train is the only train that serves the station with exactly one arrival and one departure daily.

But, with a large customs & immigration area, the station is completely ready for the day that the trains will again continue further North.  The original intention was to enable passenger transport in the long term. Let’s hope that this will become a reality in the future.

At this point, Dorasan station is more a symbol of the hope for a reunion between South and North Korea than it is an actual functioning train station.

How to visit the DMZ 

The DMZ area is located 60 km from Seoul and can be visited with the DMZ train or a private guided or group tour.

The DMZ peace train

DMZ peace train service has not yet resumed post-COVID-19.

The cheapest way to visit the DMZ is with the DMZ peace train .

The DMZ peace train runs from  Seoul  to Dorasan station from Tuesdays to Sundays. Just before the train reaches Dorasan station it crosses the Imjingang bridge which gives you a good view of the remnants of the Freedom bridge. 

Once arriving at Dorasan station, you can hop on a bus to visit the DMZ. The bus will take you to the Dorasan peace park, the Dora observatory and you will visit the Third Tunnel of Aggression.

Pros and cons

private dmz jsa tour

  • The cheapest way to visit the DMZ. You will have to take cash to pay separately for the bus tour (if you don’t join the bus tour the only other option is to hang around for 5 hours at the train station) as well as for your lunch.
  • This tour might be for you if you don’t like group tours. It gives you slightly more freedom although you still will have to join the bus once you arrive at Dorasan station.

private dmz jsa tour

  • No English is spoken on the bus tour.
  • This tour takes a whole day. If you are short on time you better opt for an organized half-day DMZ tour allowing you to explore the rest of Seoul during the remaining afternoon
  • You cannot visit the JSA.
  • No hotel pick up, you will need to get to the train station on your own expense

Although we’re not fans of organized group tours ourselves we have opted for an organized tour to visit the DMZ and we were happy with our choice afterward.

The first reason is that you have to join a tour anyway if you want to see the sights such as the infiltration tunnel that are located inside the DMZ. Otherwise, you can only visit Imjingak park.

The second reason is that many of the sights, including in Imjingak park, don’t say that much unless you hear the story from the guide.

We haven’t been able to visit the JSA yet, that will be for our next trip. If you want to visit it you also need to book a tour with a guide.

Finally, there isn’t a huge price difference between what you would pay if you went to the DMZ on your own and took a tour there or booked an organized tour from the start.

That’s why our advice would be to have a look at the organized tours before you opt for the train.

“The scariest place on Earth” – Former US President, Bill Clinton, during his visit to the DMZ in 1993.

The best DMZ tours from Seoul

The most comfortable way to visit the DMZ is with an organized DMZ tour from Seoul.

We recommend using GetYourGuide to book your DMZ tour in Korea. One of the advantages of GetYourGuide is that most tours have a flexible cancellation policy. Normally you can cancel up to 24hours before the tour to get a full refund.

Here is an overview of all the tours on GetYourGuide.

You have a choice between half-day and full-day DMZ tours.

All DMZ tours will head to Imjingak Peace Park first where they will buy tickets to enter the DMZ area. Depending on how busy it is, your group will have to wait there until it’s your turn to visit the DMZ region.

Your guide will tell you some stories about the most important things at Imjingak when you arrive.

The last train to cross the Korean border

You can use your free time at Imjingak to see several monuments and other elements that tell stories about the Korean War. One of them is this steam locomotive riddled with bullets. This was the last train to cross the border. It was destroyed by US soldiers so that it could not be used by North Korean troops.

Once it is your turn to visit the sights inside the DMZ area, the Dora Observatory, and the Infiltration tunnel, you will board a bus and visit those things in groups.

Know that the end times of all tours are only indicative. Only a limited number of people are allowed in the DMZ area at a time. Therefore, there is a real chance that your group will have to wait and that your tour will be delayed. We recommend not booking any other activities on the day of your DMZ visit.

Make sure to book your DMZ tour from Seoul well in advance to avoid disappointments, especially JSA tours tend to sell out well in advance.

Which Dmz Korea tour is the best one? Here’s a list of the most recommended and popular tours. 

To create this list we looked at the itineraries and the reviews.

This tour visits the DMZ and JSA in 1 day. It is the most complete and popular DMZ tour.

Tours to the JSA zone have only just resumed and availability is currently difficult to find.

Check prices and availability: JSA tour on Viator

Inside the JSA buildings DMZ, South_Korea

  • Visit the freedom bridge near Imjingpark and the old steam train
  • Learn more about the Korean war by visiting the 3rd infiltration tunnel and the DMZ Exhibition Hall
  • See North Korea from the Dora observatory
  • Visit the Dora station

They offer both half-day and full-day tours. You can join the half-day tour in the morning or in the afternoon. The morning tour starts at 8 am, the afternoon tour at 11 am.

If you opt for a full-day tour, you will also visit the War Memorial of Korea.

Pickup is included ( see the tour for the exact pickup locations)

  • Those who are not interested in the JSA or who are short on time will find that the half-day DMZ tours offer a great alternative.  You will see all the highlights of the DMZ and still have a half-day to discover Seoul.
  • If you want to visit the War Memorial of Korea, you should opt for the full day tour.

Check prices and availability: DMZ half or full day trip

Dorosan train station

DMZ half and full-day tour

  • Explore the extraordinary Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea
  • Get a rare glimpse of North Korea from the Ganghwa Peace Observatory
  • Stop by at the Veterans Memorial Park and learn more about the Korean War
  • Watch the statues and monuments at Imjingak Park
  • See the Bridge of Freedom

There are both half and full-day tours. 

Both tours will take you to all the highlights of the DMZ. 

In addition, the full-day tour includes an authentic Korean-style lunch (Bibimbap) and a real shooting experience back in Seoul.

Due to COVID-19 measures, the places visited will be Imjingak Park, Bridge of Freedom, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, and Dorasan Station.

Note that at the moment this tour only runs on Saturday and Sunday.

  • If you aren’t interested in the JSA or short on time will find that the half-day DMZ tours offer a great alternative.  
  • The Ganghwa Peace Observatory is a great alternative for those that are looking to visit a less touristic area of the DMZ.
  • If you add up all the costs of the train excursion, the difference between these half-day excursions is negligible.

Check prices and availability: DMZ half and full day

DMZ North Korean Defector tour

DMZ Tour with a North Korean Defector

  • Listen to enlightening commentary from a professional guide and a real North Korean defector
  • Ask questions about real North Korean life and hear about the past and present of North Korea
  • Enjoy a comprehensive tour of the Korean Demilitarized Zone ( tour of DMZ) and learn about both South and North Korea’s history
  • Explore all the must-see spots in the DMZ in one tour
  • Catch a rare glimpse of the reclusive North Korean territory

Tours 

With this DMZ tour, you visit the must-see spots in the DMZ zone and you have the possibility to ask questions to a North Korean defector about life in North Korea.

You can opt for a tour with or without hotel pick-up.

This tour is similar to the half-day DMZ tour we listed above but you will be accompanied by a guide and a North Korean defector.  

This is our top recommended tour if you want to learn more about North Korea. 

There’s no better way to learn more about North Korea than to speak to somebody who lived there for several years.

Check prices and availability: Tour with Optional North Korean Defector

private dmz jsa tour

Private DMZ Peace Tour: 3rd Invasion Tunnel(Monorail) and Suspension Bridge

If you are traveling with a larger family or a group, consider a private tour with a guide.

This tour visits all the important stops such as the freedom bridge and the Mangbaedan altar, the third tunnel, Dora Observatory, and more.

You will also have the option to visit Gamaksan Chulleong Bridge or Majang Lake.

The Gamaksan Chulleong Bridge is with length of 150 meters one of the longest suspension bridges in Korea. This bridge was a fierce battlefield during the Korean War. 

Majang Lake is the lake where the Allied Forces fought a fierce battle during the Korean War.

Check prices and availability: Private DMZ Tour

A journey to South Korea is not complete without a visit to the DMZ.  It may feel strange to travel to a very controversial border post as a tourist but it is the best way to learn about the rich albeit sad history of the 2 Korean countries.

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Best DMZ Tour

I am Aileen

How to Visit Korea’s JSA & The DMZ Tour (World’s Most Heavily Guarded Border)

by Aileen Adalid South Korea , Art, History & Music 15 comments

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The Korean peninsula has long been divided into two countries: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Unfortunately… it was NOT at all a peaceful separation given the infamous 250km-long and 4km-wide buffer zone of the Korean Demilitarized Zone ( DMZ ) that separates the two since 1953. (DMZ Tour).

Today, it is referred to as the most heavily guarded border in the world given the battle-ready armies, fences, landmines, and fences on both sides.

That being said, it’s undeniable how it is one of the scariest places in the world — and yet… it continues to be a popular major tourist attraction in South Korea that attracts a lot of curious minds and history buffs who are seeking to witness this surreal area for themselves (yes, people like me).

» DMZ Trivia ••• The DMZ is a strip of land that was established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement (a “cessation” on the hostilities of the Korean War — so it’s not an agreement to end the war but a part of an attempt to negotiate peace). Under this armistice that was created in 1953 between China, North Korea and United Nations, it made DMZ a buffer zone between North Korea and the South Korea, thereby roughly dividing the Koran Peninsula in half. . ••• For years now, there have been unfortunate incidents that have happened in and around DMZ (with the most notorious clashes happening in or near Panmunjom Joint Security Area or JSA, e.g. Panmunjom Axe Murder Incident , etc.). These events have caused military and civilian casualties on both sides and have almost sparked the resumption of the Korean War (thankfully, it didn’t) . This heinous history combined with ongoing bad relations between North and South Korea had always given off a tense atmosphere for travelers who visit the demilitarized zone. In fact, though the DMZ tour is generally considered safe, things can happen out of the blue especially in JSA — this is why visitors are typically asked to sign a waiver whenever they enter JSA. . ••• I can go on a long discussion about what brought on the Korean War, but I’ve decided NOT to discuss it here because aside from the fact that I’m not ‘qualified’ to talk about it, I also believe that a part of the allure of this DMZ tour is when the South Korean guides retell the history to you since you’ll also be hearing their own sentiments regarding how the Korean War went out of control. (But if you already want to read up on it beforehand, you can do so by looking it up online ).

Now, you might have heard of the recent news this 2018 on how North and South Korea have agreed to end the long-running Korean War in order to pursue a more peaceful relationship with one another. This is great news not only for Koreans but for the world too!

That being said, it’s possible that DMZ will thankfully transition into a more amicable place soon — but for now, it seems that the standard DMZ and JSA tours are still being held. To know more info about this, please continue reading through this article.

Table of Contents

4-StopTour Travel Guide

South Korean currency: South Korean Won (KRW / ₩) ₩1,000 = USD$0.90~ = €0.70 = Php 49.00~ (as of May 2018)

» Tour Inclusions & Price

There are different tours for you to choose from…

  • DMZ Half Day Tour = ₩55,000~
  • DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression = ₩65,000~
  • DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression + Northern Limit Line (NLL) Iron Fence Zone = ₩120,000~
  • DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression + Panmunjom Joint Security Area Tour (JSA) = ₩130,000~

Any of the above tours will typically already include:

  • Admission fee
  • Round-trip transportation (including parking, toll fees, and fuel) from Seoul and back
  • An English-speaking professional tour guide

The only things that are NOT included are personal expenses, insurance, and tips.

– – –

» Best Time to Do DMZ Tour

The DMZ tours run all year round, and as for the best time to visit, it will depend on your preference.

  • Spring : (March to May) The city becomes a hit with all the flora that starts to bloom and bud. And of course, much like Japan, South Korea has cherry blossoms which tourists often seek. Given this demand, there tends to be a slight increase in costs, but the weather and season are quite desirable.
  • Summer : (June to August) This is arguably the peak season in the city so things get busier and costlier. It doesn’t help either that this is the vacation month of schools and Korean companies so everyone is out and about. That’s why if I were you, you should avoid these months — also because the weather can get quite humid with occasional downpours.
  • ★ Autumn : (September to November) This is the best time to visit Seoul because the weather is pleasant, prices are more affordable, and crowds are thinner. However, do take note to avoid Chuseok or Korea’s autumn harvest festival.
  • Winter : (December to February) As the temperatures drop, prices and airfare also drop. Take note though that it can get very chilly; but, supposing you’re not that sensitive to the cold, this can be a fun time given all the amazing ski resorts and festive atmosphere.

» Other Things to Do in Seoul

I wrote a comprehensive travel guide for this and you can read my Korea itinerary .

» Where to Stay (Accommodations) in Seoul

To search for the best hotel accommodation in Seoul at the best prices, I suggest checking out Agoda and Booking.com . But if you’re rather interested in renting comfortable houses or apartments, check AirBnB .

As for ‘where’, these are the top 5 districts in the city:  Myeongdong (best for shopping),  Hongdae  (best for a hip youthful scene), Insa-dong or  Jongno  (best for culture),  Gangnam (best for luxury shopping), and  Itaewon (best for nightlife).

If you want particular hotel names per district, I recommend that you read my ‘ Best Hotels in Seoul ‘  article.

» Visa for South Korea

If you’re NOT a citizen of any of South Korea’s exempted countries , you are then required to avail of a visa beforehand. (If you’re from the Philippines, you can read my guide on how to get a South Korea visa in Manila here .)

  • Check full visa requirements here as per your nationality.

» Helpful Korean Phrases

English is not widely spoken in South Korea even if it is taught in a lot of schools, but you’ll have better luck in the capital of Seoul where a lot of people put time, effort and money in learning English. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to learn a bit of the local language!

  • RELATED READ: Best translation apps for travel

Hello (formal): Annyeong haseyo Hello (informal): Annyeong Thank you: Gamsahamnida You’re welcome: Cheonmanyeyo Yes: Ye/Ne No: Aniyo Goodbye (to person leaving): Annyeonghi gaseyo Goodbye (to person staying): Annyeonghi gyeseyo Goodbye (informal): Annyeong

Excuse me (getting attention): Sillyehamnida I’m sorry: Joesonghamnida Is there someone here who speaks English?: Yeogi-e yeong-eoreul hasineun bun gyesimnikka? Help!: Dowajusipsio! Cheers!: Geonbae!

Typical Stops for a DMZ Tour

The DMZ is a wide strip of land and most tours will be showing you the following highlights…

» Third Tunnel of Aggression

Third Tunnel of Aggression

NOTE: Photography inside the Third Tunnel of Aggression is NOT allowed, so, unfortunately, I can’t show you photos of it — you must see it for yourself!

The Third Tunnel of Aggression is one of the 4 known tunnels that have been eerily dug out by North Korea as a way to possibly invade South Korea. As the name suggests, this was the 3rd tunnel that they have discovered and this particular one is said to have the capacity to transport 30,000 soldiers per hour which would have been beneficial to North Korea as a surprise attack on Seoul.

Just the thought of this is quite frightening, and as if that wasn’t enough, we were even told by our guide that there’s a possibility of 10 or 20 other tunnels that haven’t been discovered yet!

Take note, when this 3rd tunnel was found, North Korea defended itself by saying that it’s a part of a blasted coal mine; but of course, evidence on the tunnel’s walls suggest otherwise (e.g. the walls are made of granite and some parts of the walls were even seemingly painted black by North Korea to resemble coal) . Since then, this Third Tunnel of Aggression has been blocked with 3 barricades and then turned into a well-guarded tourist site that involves a steep walk down. A word of advice, if you’re claustrophobic, this is a walk that you must skip on.

…Anyhow, I just gotta say though that it’s a bit ironic how the tunnel was originally built for an invasion to defeat South Korea; yet now, it serves as a major day trip attraction from Seoul — so if you think about it, North Korea inadvertently ‘helped’ boost South Korea, particularly in terms of tourism (though of course, the tunnels remain to be an unwelcome existence).

TOURS THAT INCLUDE THIS STOP: – DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression – DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression + Northern Limit Line (NLL) Iron Fence Zone – DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression + Panmunjom Joint Security Area Tour (JSA)

» Panmunjom Joint Security Area (JSA)

JSA Tour

This JSA tour is the most sought-after tour by travelers to South Korea’s DMZ because it is the closest place to North Korean soil that anyone can step into without getting arrested or shot. Needless to say, this experience takes you to the ‘front lines’ and you can see up close the tension between the two countries.

Located in the former village of Panmunjom on the western coast, JSA is comprised of several buildings separately owned and strictly guarded by the North and the South. It also consists of the infamous blue conference rooms where negotiations often take place and where visitors are allowed to step in (and watch as both the stationed North and South Korean soldiers face one another, as if on a staring showdown).

Now, a trip to JSA will only be possible through an organized tour that is approved by the government and there are strict rules being implemented (e.g. NO bringing in of cameras that have lenses of 90mm and higher, NO taking of pictures in certain areas, NO wandering without a guide, etc.).

For this tour, the itinerary will take you to the following highlights…

  • “The visit to the Joint Security Area at Panmunjom will entail entry into a hostile area and possibility of injury or death as a direct result of enemy action.” .
  • TRIVIA: A large portion of the funds that were used to build this bridge was donated by Hyundai because its former CEO’s hometown was in North Korea.
  • TRIVIA: There is at least one North Korean soldier that will stand in Panmom Hall as he faces the South. There are strict rules NOT to make any kind of gesture towards that soldier or any North Korean soldiers for that matter, after all, you wouldn’t want to be the cause of a commotion on JSA against South Korea.
  • TRIVIA: Inside MAC, take note that the neat lines of microphones on the central table marks the exact position of the Demarcation Line between the North and the South. This is also aligned to the low concrete bar mark outside. Anyhow, you’re free to walk around this small room and ogle at the North and South Korean soldiers that similarly stand guard against each other in an intimidating way.
  • You might even feel like a ‘celebrity’ once inside because North Korean soldiers often observe you from outside the building. They will even film or take photos of you, as well as the South Korea soldiers inside JSA.
  • Bridge of No Return : You will also pass by another bridge but this one crosses the Demarcation Line. Basically, this used to be a place where prisoner exchanges were done at the end of the Korean War.
TRIVIA : Apparently, North Korea also holds their own DMZ tours to JSA; but it seems that their tours are timed to NOT overlap with the tours done by South Korea. . TOURS THAT INCLUDE THIS STOP: – DMZ + Third Tunnel of Aggression + Panmunjom Joint Security Area Tour (JSA)

» Other Stop Highlights

Third Tunnel of Aggression

  • North Korea Center of Unification Board : Shows over hundred of photos and documents showing the stark reality of North Korea.
  • Mangbaedan Alter : The spot where Korean’s separated from their families in the North. Koreans typically visit this place on New Year’s Day and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) to perform ancestral rites to their home and relatives in the North.
  • Bridge of Freedom : Where South Koreans have crossed when they were released from North Korea. Nowadays, the bridge also serves as a memorial for all the families that were separated during the Korean War. You will even witness a lot of ribbons tied to the fences that each contain messages of hope, peace and love. .
  • TRIVIA: You can also see from here the ‘flagpole war’ which is an example of North Korea and South Korea’s competitiveness with one another. It all started when South Korea built a 98.4m-tall flagpole in Daeseong-dong (a South Korean town in DMZ) in the 1980s. In response to this, North Korea built a taller one at 160m over at Kijŏng-dong or the Peace Village/Propaganda Village. Because of this, it used to be the tallest in the world for a decade, but today it is now the 4th tallest flagpole worldwide. .
  • TRIVIA: You can find stamps here to commemorate your visit to Dorasan Station. Alternatively, you can purchase a train ticket to Pyongyang, but it’s basically just payment for the chance to stand on the platform as you wait for a train that will never come. .
  • Northern Limit Line (NLL): When taking a tour that explores this region, you can easily see the confrontation between the two societies as you go, for instance, to the observatory at Aegibong Peak (where you can see North Korea’s kaepung county) and the Iron Fence Zone.

» Top Korea Tours «

Nami Island Tour

Nami Island Tour and — Petite France, and 2 more.

Seoul Joseon Palaces and —

Seoul Joseon Palaces and — Folk History day tour.

DMZ Tour

It might seem crazy at first to go on a DMZ tour, but I still urge you to go because it is one of those mystifying yet insightful experiences out there. Yet, of course, all in all, what I just hope now is that this place will soon be taken down (much like the Berlin Wall) so that peace could once again prevail in the Korean peninsula.

With regard to the kind of tour that you must do, naturally, doing the combined JSA and Third Tunnel of Aggression would be your best choice, so if there is ever an available tour date, I say go ahead and grab it! Otherwise, a tour to the Third Tunnel of Aggression would already be quite an experience for you.

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How to start a successful blog, 15 comments.

Karisa

Hello! I found you by chance but it was me who struck gold, South Korea and visiting DMZ was one of my bucket list but after reading through your blog I have started planning for next years autumn trip! Thank you!

Aileen

I’m so happy to hear that! Let me know how it goes :D

Elane

What an adventure you have there. Ill include this to my to my travel list.

Tami

I’m torn about which tour to take. I find this very interesting as I’ve never been near a guarded border before.

Esther Irish

I’ve been watching Korean dramas on Netflix. What an amazing experience to visit. I’d love to go.

I hope you get to experience this :)

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Gajayo | Private Van Rental & Tour Packages in Korea

JSA Panmunjom & DMZ Guided Tour

Jsa panmunjom & dmz guided tour.

from ₩140,000/person

  • Pickup & Dropoff At Hotel President (Nearest subway is at City Hall Station or Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station)
  • Whole Day Tour (07:50am - 4:30pm)
  • English Speaking Tour Guide
  • JSA Panmunjom Program
  • DMZ (Korean Demilitarized Zone) Program
  • Lunch (Beef Bulgogi)

JSA (Joint Security Area) & Demilitarized Zone

Its a day to get engrossed in the history of the Korean War and visit the only place where North & South Korean forces stand face-to-face. Experience the tensions faced everyday by North Korea and South Korea at JSA Panmunjom in person and learn the interesting facts of the Korean War at DMZ. If you are lucky enough, you even get to see North Korean soldiers in patrol too! Good luck?

JSA & DMZ Combined Program

Following the signing of the panmunjom agreement for peace, prosperity and unification of the Korean peninsula in 2018 by the North & South Korean presidents, we hope it won't be too long before we could step into North Korea at the JSA & DMZ programs. Until then, this JSA & DMZ combined program is as good as it gets!

JSA (Joint Security Area) Panmunjom

Dora observatory, peace village in north korea, imjingak park.

  • 👤 Minimum age of 11 years old
  • Book at least 4 days before the tour day.
  • Same price for Adults and Children.
  • Available only from Tuesday to Saturday, except Monday, Sunday and public holidays.
  • You are required to provide us with a coloured copy of your passport for booking if you are from the following countries:

Please email your coloured passport copies to  [email protected] .

Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Macau, Malaysia, Moldova, Morocco, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian authority, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen

  • Tour routes and schedules are subjected to military considerations and changes. In such cases, refunds will not be given if tour is cancelled.
  • You must bring along your valid passport on tour day.
  • Sleeveless tops, see-through clothes, miniskirts, clothes displaying offensive and huge words, sandals and slippers are not allowed.
  • Cameras with over 90mm zooming lens are not allowed. Photography is not allowed except when the tour guide says it is allowed.
  • Please check your confirmation email for location of meeting place.
  • Please do not be late as the shuttle bus will not wait for you.
  • Itineraries estimated based on smooth traffic conditions. Pickup and arrival times could be delayed due to heavy traffic but we aim to be punctual all the time!

If you are late and you miss the tour, it will be considered as a no-show and refunds will not be issued.

Tour routes and schedules are subjected to military considerations and changes. In such cases, refunds will not be given if tour is cancelled or schedules are changed.

Date change is permitted up to 7 days prior to tour day but is subjected to availability.

Full refunds issued for cancellations made at least 7 days prior to tour day.

No deposit refunds issued for no-shows and cancellations made 6 days or less prior to tour day and on tour day.

Customer's Reviews

We most definitely did not write these ourselves, we promise!

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Where Are Those Morgans

DMZ Tour Review (+ How To Choose The Best One)

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by Mark and Kristen Morgan

Published: May 8, 2023

Where Are Those Morgans DMZ Tour Review

A typical DMZ tour includes Imjingak Park, the 3rd Tunnel and Dora Observatory . Most tours last 6-10 hours and you can choose additional options such as the gondola, suspension bridge or JSA. Our review will highlight the difference between each tour option so you don’t miss out.

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about booking a tour of the DMZ including pros and cons from our experience.

Disclosure : We paid for our own DMZ tour and this is not a sponsored post.

Our DMZ Tour Experience

Two people posing for a photo in from of an old steam locomotive at Imjingak Park

We spent 14 days exploring Seoul in March 2023 and during this trip, we personally went to the DMZ . Visiting the DMZ was at the top of our bucket list so we booked a tour for the first full day we were in Seoul. It was the best way to start our trip!

But we ran into a few problems during our tour . So our detailed and honest DMZ tour review will tell you everything you need to know including a step by step account of our experience. Depending on what you want to see, you might need to book a different tour and we want to help you make the most of your trip. Read more  about us .

What Is The DMZ?

View of North Korea from South Korea from Dora Observatory

The DMZ or Demilitarized Zone is one of the most notorious and heavily fortified strips of land in the world running between North and South Korea. Additionally, the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) is the official land border between the two countries. On either side of the MDL, you’ll find the official DMZ area.

After the Korean war, an Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27th, 1953 formally ending the war. This was one of the longest negotiated armistice in history spanning over two years and 158 meetings. As part of this agreement, North Korea and South Korea were to remain separate and each country kept similar territories they occupied before the war.

Both the DMZ and DML were created from the 1953 Armistice Agreement. This buffer zone spans 4km wide and 250km in length along the 38th parallel between the two Korean countries . Soldiers from each county patrol their respective sides.

While the DMZ is one of the most heavily guarded borders on the planet, there is no threat to visitors or civilians. The DMZ is still considered to be an active war zone, but it has now become a place of peace and is safe to visit making the DMZ one of the best day trips from Seoul .

It’s also interesting to note, travelers with American and South Korean passports are not allowed to enter North Korea . So for many, a tour of the DMZ is the closest they will ever come to this very secluded and secretive country.

The Joint Security Area

American and South Korean flags at Imjingak Park

If you want to book a tour, you can visit both the DMZ and the Joint Security Area (JSA). Inside the Demilitarized Zone, you’ll find the former village of Panmunjom which is now known as Truce Village on the western coast of the peninsula along the Military Demarcation Line.

Located near this village, the JSA is the closest point to North Korea within the Civilian Controlled Zone . This is where North and South Korean soldiers stand face to face.

The JSA has several blue barracks that have historically been used for negotiations between the two nations. Supported by the United Nations Command Military Armistice Commission (UNCMAC), the JSA is now considered to be a neutral place. You can visit as part of a tour and visitors are allowed to enter one of the Military Armistice Commission conference rooms.

In 2019, Donald Trump was the first U.S. President to set foot on North Korean soil. He met with Kim Jong Un for about an hour and then both leaders stepped back into South Korean territory where they were greeted by South Korea’s President, Moon Jae-In . If you visit the JSA, you’ll be able to see where this historical meeting took place.

However, the JSA is heavily regulated by South Korea and the US military. Unfortunately, no visitors under the age of 12 can visit and there is a dress code in place. If you choose to visit the JSA, you’ll be given a 20-minute briefing by an American soldier outlining the possible dangers .

You’ll also be required to sign a waiver which absolves South Korea, the US and the UN if any incident arises. JSA tours were suspended last year in 2023 because a US soldier ran into North Korea during his tour and unfortunately, the JSA is no longer allowing tours.

Travel Tip : It might take at least 72 hours in advance to make a reservation if you plan to visit the JSA so if this is something you want to do, you will have to plan ahead.

Can You Visit The DMZ Without A Tour?

Visitors listening to a tour guide during a DMZ tour with Klook

No, you can not go to the DMZ in South Korea without a tour and you must have a registered guide from an official tour company. However, you can visit Imjingak Park without a tour or a guide . This park is located just outside the DMZ and it also does not require any additional security screening to visit.

At Imjingak Park, you can ride a gondola over the DMZ line, see the Freedom Bridge, visit the National Memorial For Abductees, buy North Korean money and so much more. If you don’t want to take a tour of the DMZ, we’ll show you how to visit Imjingak Park on your own. However, we recommend you book a DMZ tour from Seoul to make the most of your South Korea experience.

READ : Best things to do at Imjingak Park

Should I Visit The DMZ Or JSA?

Man and Women posing for a photo with the famous DMZ sign at the 3rd tunnel

Because you can’t travel to the DMZ without a guide, many of the tours follow similar routes. However, the first decision you should make is whether you want to visit the DMZ, JSA or both.

If you choose the DMZ, you can expect to visit :

  • Imjingak Park including Freedom Bridge
  • The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel
  • Dora Observatory

If you choose to visit the JSA, you can expect to visit :

  • Camp Bonifas
  • Freedom House
  • Military Armistice Commission Conference Room

Then depending on how much time you have in Seoul itinerary, you can choose a half day or full day option . We chose a full day tour to the DMZ with Klook and had a great experience. Later in this DMZ tour review, we’ll give you a full walk through of our tour so you know exactly what to expect.

When we visit in March 2023, the JSA was still closed for tours due to covid, but it opened a few months later. However, the JSA closed once again in July 2023 because the US soldier ran into North Korea.

Personally, we chose the DMZ over the JSA because we wanted the best chance of being able to go on a tour . While both the DMZ and the JSA can close to tours, the JSA is a much more restricted area with high political tension so it’s often the first to close over the DMZ. If you book a JSA tour and it closes last minute, all DMZ tours might be fully booked.

Things To Know Before Booking

The 3rd Tunnel Monument in the DMZ near Seoul, South Korea

As we mentioned earlier, the DMZ and the JSA are active military zones so you can’t always expect a perfect tour. For example, the week before we took our DMZ tour, North Korea was carrying out missile testing so all DMZ tours were cancelled for a few days while this took place.

When we visited in March 2023, there was also a surge in tourism and the tickets for DMZ were extremely limited on a first come, first serve basis with timed entry. We had to move our tour time a few hours ahead to ensure we arrived early enough in the day to secure our tickets.

Travel Tip : Book your DMZ trip at the beginning of your Seoul itinerary so if your tour is altered for any reason, you have a few days of buffer room to reschedule if needed.

Two important things to know when booking your DMZ / JSA tour:

  • You must bring your passport (or ARC, local Alien Registration Card for South Koreans)
  • Dress code is important when visiting the JSA

Dress code is enforced at the JSA because North Korea has previously used photos of carelessly dressed tourists as propaganda suggesting how poor the rest of the world is to their citizens. So if you choose to visit the JSA, you’re not allowed to wear revealing or suggestive clothing such as:

  • Ripped or faded jeans
  • Sleeveless shirts or tank tops including a revealing midriff
  • Shorts and miniskirts
  • Clothing with military print
  • Anything that could suggest your nationality (like a national flag)
  • Workout gear

Overall, we found it best to dress appropriate yet casual. Keep in mind this is a geopolitical area so taking the time think about your outfit shows respect. If you’re fully covered and casually dressed, you’ll be fine for your DMZ tour.

Most Popular DMZ Tour Options

Two cars from the Imjingak Peace Gondola traveling over the DMZ

We chose to book our DMZ tour through Klook because they offer some of the best deals. Each tour company varies in cost depending on time of year so always check prices before booking.

  • Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour from Seoul – Chinese, English or Japanese speaking guide with admission to attractions and optional suspension bridge (this was the tour we booked).
  • DMZ Adventure Tour – 9 hour tour with English or Korean speaking guide with suspension bridge and boat voyage

Get Your Guide :

  • South Korea DMZ Tour Option – Half or full day tour option with I LOVE SEOUL TOUR including an English speaking guide
  • From Seoul: DMZ Guided Day Trip – Another half or full day tour option (6-9 hours) with Seoul N Tour and English speaking guide
  • Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour – 6 hour tour with SEOUL CITY TOUR CO. including Tongilchon-gil, the unification village
  • Private DMZ Tour Option – Experience a 9-10 hour private tour including Gamaksan Chulleong Bridge or Majang Lake

JSA Options :

  • DMZ JSA with VIP Travel – Limited seats and may sell out quickly
  • Paju JSA + DMZ One Day Bus Tour – A very popular option by Klook
  • JSA Tour with Viator – Sometimes unavailable so check before your trip

Booking Tip : Make sure you carefully read the description for each tour option and it includes what you want to see.

Our DMZ Tour Walkthrough

Even if you choose to visit both the JSA and DMZ, you’ll visit most of the places we did during our tour. The main difference is you’ll have less time at each location . Here is what we experienced on our full day tour (8:00am – 6:00pm) of the DMZ:

1. Booking And Tour Departure Times

The tour we booked with Klook offered an 8:00am or 10:00am departure time. We chose the 10:00am time slot. But we learned to be flexible because we received a phone call and text from our tour guide the day before asking if we could start earlier in the day at 8:00am.

Unfortunately, when we visited Seoul, the DMZ was still working on a limited number of tickets per day on a first come first serve basis. So we potentially would not get tickets if we arrived later in the day . Our tour started around 8:00am and we were picked up by private car in front of our Seoul hotel. The driver was hilarious and he dropped us off at the bus where everyone else was waiting.

2. The Bus Ride

Bus ride during a DMZ tour

Our DMZ tour group met outside Hongik University Station . Once everyone was accounted for our tour guide, Spring , introduced herself and told us about the plan for the day. Because the DMZ was limiting tickets due to an influx of visitors, she had to secure the tickets and this was her first priority when getting to Imjingak Park.

The bus ride from Seoul to Imjingak Park was about 1 hour and 30 minutes with traffic. During the drive, Spring spoke about numerous things including the history of South Korea, what we could expect for the day and the current situation at the DMZ.

Travel Tip : Your passport is required to visit the Third Infiltration Tunnel and the Dora Observatory.

3. Imjingak Park

Multi-colored ribbons tied to a fence at Imjingak park

Once at Imjingak Park, Spring got in line for our DMZ tickets and we had a little bit of time to look around the area ourselves. If you’re hungry, there are many food options including a few local stalls, Dunkin Donuts and burgers.

Luckily, Spring secured our tickets and our entry time for the DMZ was 12:00pm . So we had an additional few hours to explore Imjingak Park which was not part of the original itinerary. This was actually a blessing in disguise because we now had a few hours to see as much as possible. Spring led us around to several of the important areas and explained their significance.

We then had more free time to visit the rest of the park on our own. Personally, we thought Imjingak Park was worth visiting and to see everything, you’ll need at least a few hours. We recommend you read our guide featuring the best things to do at Imjingak Park before your visit.

4. Freedom Bridge

Freedom Bridge at Imjingak Park

The Freedom Bridge is one of the most important symbols found at Imjingak Park. However, you won’t be able to cross it because you can only see it from a distance. This bridge was built in 1953 for the temporary purpose of exchanging 12,773 Prisoners of War (POW) from the Korean War between North and South Korea.

During this time, the POWs crossed the Freedom Bridge on foot after arriving to the bridge of the Gyeongui Line via motor vehicles. And today it represents the tragedies from the war.

5. The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel

Man standing with two soldiers at the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel

The next stop on our DMZ Korea tour was the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel and we thought this tunnel was the most interesting part of the entire tour . Sometimes also known as the Third Tunnel of Aggression , this is one of four known tunnels under the border between North and South Korea and it’s located about 50 km (~30 miles) from Seoul.

Entrance to the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel

The 3rd Infiltration Tunnel was built by North Korea for a surprise attack on Seoul . This underpass could accommodate about 30,000 men per hour including weaponry. Discovered by South Korea in 1978, the 3rd Tunnel spans 1,635m in length, 2m in width and 2m in height.

During a DMZ tour, you’ll be able to walk a portion of the 3rd Tunnel . It’s a very steep incline down into the tunnel, but it has railings for support and it’s lit extremely well.

Travel Tip : There are no photos allowed in the 3rd Tunnel and you’ll be asked to leave your belongings in a locker including your phone. Please respect the rules and don’t take any photos.

6. Dora Observatory

View finder with North Korea in the background

After the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, we headed to Dora Observatory. Sitting on top of Dorasan (Mount Dora) in Paju and first opened in 1987, the observatory allows visitors to see the North Korean propaganda village as well as the city of Kaesong. This is where you’ll get to see panoramic views of the Demilitarized Zone using binoculars from the top of Dora Observatory.

We had fun playing with the tower viewers where we could easily see regions of North Korea including the flag flying high in the sky from a nearby village. This is also your chance to snap a selfie with North Korea in the background!

Man and woman taking a selfie with North Korea in the background

7. DMZ Souvenir Shop

The last stop on our DMZ tour was a souvenir shop and it lasted for about 15 minutes. However, this wasn’t a forced shopping experience and you could choose to stay on the bus. It was a good place to buy products such as wine, chocolate and ice cream which are produced only in the DMZ area. If you’re looking for a unique gift to take back home, this might just be it.

DMZ products for sale available for purchase during a toru

8. Bus Ride Back

On the bus ride home, our entire tour group was pretty tired from the long day. We were back on the road about 4:00 pm so it was almost 6:00pm by the time we arrived back in Seoul . The bus ride home was much more quieter compared to the morning. We also hit a little bit more traffic heading back into the city.

The Morgan Conclusion

Woman looking through tower viewer at Dora Observatory

The DMZ is one of the few places in the world where visitors can experience first hand what a Cold War era looks and feels like . It’s a great reminder that we need to continually build peace wherever we go. It’s also the only place on earth where you’ll get to see a glimpse of North Korea through binoculars.

So is a DMZ Tour worth it?

Yes, the DMZ tour near Seoul is absolutely worth it because it’s one of the most fascinating places we’ve ever visited . A tour gave us a great perspective about the current climate of South Korea as well as the opportunity to learn about the history between North and South Korea. Personally, we think taking a DMZ tour is something any first time visitor to Seoul must experience.

Here is what we liked and didn’t like to help sway your decision:

  • We had a very knowledgable tour guide and learned so much
  • Ability to see places we couldn’t visit ourselves
  • Tour bus provided so we didn’t have to worry about our own transport
  • Left alone to explore Imjingak Park
  • Affordable day trip option
  • Tours may be cancelled last minute
  • Having to wait for a tour time (unknown amount)
  • The JSA has age restrictions for children

We learned so much about South Korea from our DMZ tour, we couldn’t learn elsewhere. Sometimes you need to experience things to better understand them for yourself. Our tour showed us the walls which easily separate democracy from communism still exist today and this is more important than ever as we look to the future. This tour is a very eye opening experience.

Our DMZ Tour Photos

We took many photos during our DMZ tour and this review wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of our favorites!

Red mine sign along the DMZ

Our Seoul Guides

  • 46 cool things to see in Seoul
  • Best things to do at Imjingak Park
  • How to visit Seoul Sky Observatory
  • Guide to visiting N Seoul Tower
  • How to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Things to do inside Changdeokgung
  • Unique things to see at Huwon Secret Garden
  • Best palaces in Seoul to visit
  • What to see at the Jongmyo Shrine
  • How to visit the Seodaemun Prison
  • 20 best hotels in Seoul South Korea

Want more Seoul content? Head over to our South Korea Travel Guides to explore the very best of Seoul and beyond.

We hope this detailed review about our DMZ tour helps you decide if this attraction should be included on your Seoul Itinerary!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the South Korea DMZ tour or traveling through Seoul in the comments below.

Happy Travels ,

Mark and Kristen

Enjoy this DMZ tour review? Pin it for your trip!

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Note : This article contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

All Rights Reserved © Where Are Those Morgans, LLC. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, maps, graphics, etc.) in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

private dmz jsa tour

Mark and Kristen Morgan are travel, hiking and photography experts. Over the last 6 years traveling full time, they have explored more than 40 countries and 30 US states.

Where Are Those Morgans has been featured in USA Today, Gestalten, Get Your Guide, CityPASS and Condé Nast Traveler along with various other publications. Read more about us .

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  • Travel Destinations

How To Visit Korea’s JSA & The DMZ Tour (Guide & Tips)

Published: September 10, 2023

Modified: December 27, 2023

by Gilberta Hewitt

  • Plan Your Trip
  • Travel Guide
  • Travel Tips
  • South Korea

how-to-visit-koreas-jsa-the-dmz-tour-guide-tips

Introduction

Welcome to the enchanting and historically significant world of Korea’s Joint Security Area (JSA) and Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) tour. This unique journey offers visitors a rare glimpse into the political and military complexities of the Korean Peninsula.

Situated just 35 miles north of Seoul, the JSA & DMZ serve as a powerful reminder of the division between North and South Korea. It is a place where past and present intersect, where tension and curiosity coexist, making it a must-visit destination for history buffs, adventure seekers, and those interested in geopolitics.

The JSA, also known as Panmunjom, is the only point where North and South Korean soldiers stand face-to-face. It is a symbol of the ongoing ceasefire agreement and the fortified border that separates the two nations. On the other hand, the DMZ spans 2.5 miles on either side of the border, creating a buffer zone that preserves a fragile peace.

In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with all the necessary information to ensure a memorable and smooth JSA & DMZ tour experience. We will cover everything from understanding the significance of these areas to preparing for the journey, booking a tour, navigating security regulations, and exploring the key highlights of the JSA and DMZ.

Whether you are a history enthusiast wanting to witness the vestiges of the Korean War, a curious traveler intrigued by geopolitics, or simply someone seeking a unique and offbeat adventure, the JSA & DMZ tour offers something for everyone.

So, buckle up as we unravel the wonders of the JSA & DMZ and guide you through this fascinating journey into one of the most politically charged regions in the world.

Understanding the JSA & DMZ

Before embarking on your JSA & DMZ tour, it’s essential to grasp the historical and political significance of these areas. The Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) play a crucial role in the ongoing conflict between North and South Korea.

The JSA, also known as Panmunjom, is a small area within the DMZ where meetings between the two Koreas take place. It is the only spot where North Korean and South Korean soldiers stand face-to-face, creating a visually captivating and tense atmosphere. This is highly symbolic of the division and ongoing ceasefire agreement between the two nations.

The DMZ, on the other hand, is a 2.5-mile-wide de facto border that stretches across the Korean Peninsula. This buffer zone was established at the end of the Korean War in 1953 to maintain a fragile peace between the two countries. It acts as a demilitarized zone, limiting military presence and activities, while also preserving a unique ecosystem that has flourished in the absence of human interference.

The DMZ has become a significant tourist attraction, offering a glimpse into the history and current state of affairs between North and South Korea. It houses various landmarks, such as the Third Tunnel of Aggression, the Dora Observatory, and the Imjingak Park, each carrying its own story and historical context.

One of the most remarkable features of the JSA is the famous blue conference buildings, where inter-Korean meetings take place. The building itself straddles the military demarcation line, with one half technically belonging to North Korea and the other half to South Korea. Visitors to the JSA can step inside these buildings and stand in both countries simultaneously, experiencing a truly unique and surreal moment.

Understanding the historical context and geopolitical dynamics of the JSA & DMZ will enrich your tour experience, allowing you to appreciate the significance of the sites you will visit. It’s essential to approach the tour with an open mind and a willingness to learn about the complexities and challenges faced by the two Koreas.

Now that you have a better understanding of the JSA & DMZ, it’s time to prepare for your journey. In the next section, we will provide you with essential tips on how to plan and book your tour.

Preparing for the Tour

Embarking on a tour to the JSA & DMZ requires careful preparation to ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience. Here are some essential tips to help you get ready for your journey:

  • Check travel advisories: Before planning your tour, it’s crucial to check the latest travel advisories and warnings issued by your government. Ensure that it is safe to visit the area and that there are no restrictions or security concerns.
  • Reserve in advance: Due to high demand and limited daily visitor quotas, it’s advisable to book your JSA & DMZ tour well in advance. This will secure your spot and allow you to choose from various tour options.
  • Choose a reputable tour operator: Selecting a reliable and experienced tour operator is vital for a successful JSA & DMZ tour. Look for operators with positive reviews, knowledgeable guides, and adherence to safety protocols.
  • Prepare necessary documents: Carry your passport or identification document with you as it will be required for verification purposes at the security checkpoints. Additionally, ensure to have a printed copy of your tour confirmation or e-ticket.
  • Dress appropriately: As the JSA & DMZ are active military areas, wearing casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. Avoid clothing with provocative slogans or symbols, and do not wear clothing resembling military uniforms.
  • Observe photography restrictions: There are certain areas within the JSA & DMZ where photography is strictly prohibited. Follow the instructions of your tour guide and respect these limitations to avoid any unwanted complications.
  • Pack essentials: Carry essential items such as sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a reusable water bottle, and a raincoat or umbrella, as the weather can change unexpectedly. It’s also advisable to pack some snacks for the tour as food options may be limited.
  • Follow security guidelines: A visit to the JSA & DMZ involves passing through multiple security checkpoints. Be prepared to undergo security screenings, including bag checks and metal detector scans. Follow the instructions of the tour guide and security personnel at all times.
  • Be respectful and mindful: The JSA & DMZ hold significant historical and political importance. Show respect for the solemnity of the sites and the military personnel present. Refrain from making inappropriate jokes or engaging in disruptive behavior.

By following these preparatory steps, you will be well-equipped to embark on a fulfilling and memorable tour to the JSA & DMZ. The next section will guide you through the process of booking a tour to ensure you secure your spot and make the most of your visit.

Booking a Tour

Booking a tour to the JSA & DMZ is the most convenient and recommended way to visit these historically significant areas. Here are some key considerations when booking your tour:

  • Research different tour options: Start by conducting thorough research on various tour operators that offer JSA & DMZ tours. Look for reputable companies that have positive reviews, experienced guides, and comprehensive itineraries.
  • Compare tour packages: Take the time to compare different tour packages and their inclusions. Some tours may prioritize specific sites within the JSA & DMZ, so choose a tour that aligns with your interests and preferences.
  • Check availability: Due to limited daily visitor quotas, it’s crucial to check the availability of tours on your chosen date. Popular months and weekends tend to get booked quickly, so plan ahead and secure your spot early.
  • Consider additional attractions: Some tour packages may include visits to additional attractions near the JSA & DMZ, such as the Third Tunnel of Aggression or the Dora Observatory. If you’re interested in exploring these sites, look for tours that offer these options.
  • Read reviews and testimonials: Before finalizing your booking, read reviews and testimonials from previous tour participants. This will give you insights into the experiences of others and help you make an informed decision.
  • Check cancellation policy: Ensure you are familiar with the tour operator’s cancellation policy. Circumstances may change, and having a clear understanding of the cancellation terms will provide you with peace of mind.
  • Book through a reputable platform: Use trusted booking platforms or directly book through the tour operator’s official website. This will help ensure the legitimacy of your reservation and minimize the risk of fraudulent activities.
  • Provide accurate information: When booking your tour, make sure to provide accurate personal details, including your full name, passport or ID number, and contact information. Double-check the information for any errors before submitting your reservation.
  • Confirm the meeting point: Pay attention to the meeting point provided by the tour operator. Familiarize yourself with the location and plan your transportation accordingly to arrive on time.
  • Keep a copy of your reservation: Once your tour is booked, keep a digital or printed copy of your reservation confirmation. This will serve as proof of your booking and make the check-in process smoother on the day of the tour.

By following these guidelines, you can easily navigate the process of booking a tour to the JSA & DMZ. Booking in advance ensures that you secure your spot and grants you peace of mind, knowing that your visit to these historically significant areas is well organized.

Next, we will discuss the various transportation options available to reach the JSA & DMZ for your tour.

Getting to the JSA & DMZ

Reaching the Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for your tour requires careful consideration of transportation options. Here are the main ways to get to the JSA & DMZ:

  • Join a guided tour: The most popular and convenient way to reach the JSA & DMZ is by joining a guided tour. Tour operators provide organized transportation with pick-up and drop-off points in major cities, such as Seoul. This eliminates the hassle of navigating public transportation and ensures you have a knowledgeable guide throughout the journey.
  • Public transportation: If you prefer to explore on your own, you can use public transportation to reach the JSA & DMZ. From Seoul, take the subway or a local bus to Imjingak Park, a central area near the DMZ. From there, you can transfer to a designated shuttle bus that takes visitors to the JSA and other key sites within the DMZ.
  • Hire a private driver: For a more personalized experience, you can hire a private driver to take you to the JSA & DMZ. This option offers flexibility in terms of itinerary and allows for customization based on your interests and schedule.
  • Group tours: Some organizations and universities also organize group tours to the JSA & DMZ. These tours often include transportation and provide a unique opportunity to explore the area with like-minded individuals.
  • DMZ Train: The DMZ Train is a popular option for visitors who want a scenic journey to the DMZ. This train departs from Seoul and takes you through the beautiful countryside before arriving at the DMZ. From there, shuttle buses are available to transfer you to the JSA and other attractions.

It’s important to note that regardless of the transportation option you choose, access to the JSA is only possible through guided tours, as it is a highly secure military area.

When planning your journey to the JSA & DMZ, consider factors such as convenience, time constraints, and personal preferences. Guided tours provide a hassle-free experience, while public transportation and private drivers offer more flexibility and customization.

Next, let’s delve into the security regulations and guidelines you need to be aware of before visiting the JSA & DMZ.

Security and Regulations

Visiting the Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) requires strict adherence to security regulations. As these areas are still active military zones, it’s essential to be aware of the following guidelines:

  • Identification and registration: When entering the JSA & DMZ, all visitors must present a valid identification document, such as a passport. This is necessary for security purposes and to ensure that only authorized individuals enter the area. Along with ID verification, visitors are also required to register their personal information before entering the JSA.
  • No inappropriate behavior: Respect the solemnity and sensitivity of the JSA & DMZ by refraining from inappropriate behavior, such as making jokes, taking selfies in inappropriate locations, or engaging in disruptive behavior. Follow the instructions provided by the tour guide and security personnel at all times.
  • No pointing or gesturing: It is strictly prohibited to point, gesture, or make any provocative actions towards North Korean soldiers or personnel. While it may seem harmless, such actions can escalate tensions and compromise the security and integrity of the area.
  • Stay within designated areas: During the tour, it’s important to stay within the designated areas and follow the instructions of your tour guide. Straying from the identified paths or crossing into unauthorized areas is not allowed, as it can jeopardize personal safety and violate security regulations.
  • Be mindful of photography restrictions: Certain areas within the JSA & DMZ have strict photography restrictions. Listen to your tour guide and follow their instructions regarding where photography is allowed and where it is prohibited. Ignoring these guidelines can lead to confiscation of equipment or other consequences.
  • Respect dress code: As the JSA & DMZ are military areas, it’s important to dress appropriately. Avoid wearing clothing with provocative slogans or symbols, and do not wear attire resembling military uniforms. Dress comfortably, and consider the weather conditions when choosing your outfit.
  • Do not bring restricted items: Leave behind any items that are considered restricted within the JSA & DMZ, such as weapons, drones, large backpacks, or flammable substances. Security checks are conducted, and bringing restricted items can result in delays or denial of entry.
  • Follow emergency procedures: In the event of an emergency or unforeseen situation, listen to the instructions provided by your tour guide and follow their lead. They are trained to handle any unexpected incidents and will prioritize your safety and well-being.
  • Stay informed: Stay updated on any changes in security regulations or guidelines prior to your visit. Check the official websites or contact your tour operator for the most up-to-date information. It is your responsibility to stay informed and comply with the regulations in place.

By adhering to these security regulations and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and respectful visit to the JSA & DMZ. Remember, these areas are sensitive and hold deep historical and political significance, so it is essential to approach the tour with a responsible and mindful attitude.

Now that you are familiar with the security regulations, it’s time to delve into the highlights and key attractions of the Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the next section.

Exploring the Joint Security Area (JSA)

The Joint Security Area (JSA), also known as Panmunjom, is the heart of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and a highlight of any visit to this region. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity to witness the standoff between North and South Korea and experience the tension and history firsthand.

Upon arrival at the JSA, you will be guided through various significant sites by a knowledgeable tour guide. Here are some key highlights you can expect to explore:

  • Panmunjom: Panmunjom is the main area within the JSA where negotiations between North and South Korea take place. It’s an iconic symbol of the division between the two nations. Visitors can step into the blue conference buildings, where inter-Korean meetings occur. Standing precisely on the military demarcation line, you can find yourself in both North and South Korea simultaneously, creating a truly surreal experience.
  • Freedom House and Conference Row: Freedom House is a building located within the JSA that was built for inter-Korean reunions. It serves as a venue for various diplomatic engagements and discussions. Nearby, you can also witness the Conference Row, a series of buildings where military officials from both sides of the border convene for meetings.
  • Bridge of No Return: The Bridge of No Return holds historical significance as the site where prisoner exchanges took place during the Korean War. It got its name after the war when prisoners were given the choice to stay in their captor’s country or return to their home country. Once they crossed this bridge, there was no turning back.
  • Peace Bell: The Peace Bell is a striking monument located within the JSA. It serves as a symbol of hope and unity for the Korean people, reminding visitors of the importance of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula.
  • Observation Points: As part of the JSA tour, you will have the opportunity to visit observation points that overlook North Korea. These points allow you to glimpse into the neighboring country and witness the stark contrast between the two sides of the border.

Exploring the Joint Security Area provides a profound insight into the ongoing tensions and political complexities of the Korean Peninsula. It’s a chance to witness history in action and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by both North and South Korea.

Now, let’s move on to the next section, where we will unveil the captivating sites and experiences offered by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

Visiting the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is a captivating and historically significant area that stretches across the Korean Peninsula, separating North and South Korea. A visit to the DMZ offers a unique opportunity to understand the geopolitical dynamics and experience the remnants of the Korean War. Here are some key highlights and experiences you can expect when visiting the DMZ:

  • The Third Tunnel of Aggression: One of the most intriguing sites within the DMZ is the Third Tunnel of Aggression. This tunnel was discovered in 1978 and is believed to have been crafted by North Korea as a potential invasion route into South Korea. Visitors can explore a section of the tunnel and learn about its historical significance.
  • Dora Observatory: The Dora Observatory provides a panoramic view of the DMZ and the surrounding area. On a clear day, you can even catch a glimpse of the North Korean city of Kaesong. This observatory not only offers stunning views but also serves as a reminder of the division and the desire for reunification.
  • Imjingak Park: Imjingak Park is a symbolic area located near the DMZ, offering a peaceful and reflective atmosphere. It features landmarks like the Bridge of Freedom, which was used by prisoners of war returning to South Korea, and the Freedom Bell, which represents the hope for reunification. Imjingak Park is a poignant reminder of the shared history and aspirations of the Korean people.
  • Panoramic view from Dora Sanzan: For an even more striking view of the DMZ, you can visit Dora Sanzan, a trio of hills located near the border. From here, you can witness the vast expanse of the DMZ and appreciate the stark contrast between the heavily guarded border and the peaceful landscape beyond.
  • Unification Bridge: The Unification Bridge is a symbolic suspension bridge that spans the Imjin River, connecting North and South Korea. While visitors cannot cross the bridge, it serves as a reminder of the hope for reunification and the desire to bridge the gap between the two nations.

A visit to the DMZ offers not only a chance to witness the physical division but also an opportunity to reflect on the shared history and aspirations of the Korean people. It serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing strive for peace and reunification.

Now that you are familiar with the highlights of the DMZ, it’s time to delve into some essential tips and advice to make the most of your JSA & DMZ tour. Continue reading to ensure a memorable and enriching experience!

Important Tips and Advice

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable JSA & DMZ tour experience, here are some essential tips and advice to consider:

  • Follow instructions and guidelines: Always listen to the instructions provided by your tour guide and follow any guidelines given. They are there to ensure your safety and the integrity of the areas you will visit.
  • Arrive early: Plan to arrive early at the meeting point to avoid any delays or rushing. This will give you time to check-in, go through security checks, and familiarize yourself with the tour itinerary.
  • Respect the solemnity of the sites: Both the JSA and the DMZ are areas of deep historical and political significance. Show respect and refrain from making jokes or engaging in inappropriate behavior that may diminish the seriousness of the locations.
  • Stay with the group: Throughout the tour, it’s essential to stay with your tour group and follow the designated paths. Straying from the group or crossing into unauthorized areas is strictly prohibited for security reasons.
  • Keep your personal belongings secure: As you will be passing through various security checkpoints, keep your personal belongings secure and watchful. Avoid bringing unnecessary valuables and always keep an eye on your belongings to prevent any loss or confusion.
  • Stay informed about the latest news: Keep yourself updated on any changes or developments related to the JSA & DMZ. This includes checking official websites and monitoring news updates to ensure you have the most accurate information before your tour.
  • Be mindful of the sensitivities: Remember that visiting the JSA & DMZ is a unique experience that involves the ongoing political and military tensions between North and South Korea. Be mindful of the sensitivities and avoid engaging in discussions or actions that may cause unnecessary tension.
  • Engage with your tour guide: Make the most of your tour by engaging with your knowledgeable tour guide. They can provide valuable insights, answer your questions, and enhance your understanding of the sites you visit.
  • Capture memories respectfully: Photography is allowed in certain areas, but be mindful of the restrictions and guidelines. Respect the privacy of others and the solemn nature of the sites when capturing your memories. Avoid taking selfies in inappropriate locations and always ask permission before taking photos of other visitors or military personnel.
  • Reflect on the experience: After the tour, take a moment to reflect on the experience and the knowledge you have gained. The JSA & DMZ tour offers a unique perspective on the complex history and political situation of the Korean Peninsula, and embracing this opportunity for reflection can enhance your overall understanding and appreciation.

By keeping these tips and advice in mind, you can ensure a respectful, safe, and enlightening JSA & DMZ tour. Now, armed with essential knowledge, prepare for an unforgettable journey through the fascinating world of the Joint Security Area and the Demilitarized Zone.

To conclude, the JSA & DMZ tour is a profound adventure that offers a rare opportunity to witness the ongoing division and historical significance of the Korean Peninsula. It’s a journey that combines geopolitics, history, and cultural understanding, leaving visitors with a deeper appreciation for the complexities and struggles faced by the Korean people. So, get ready to embark on this extraordinary venture and immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of the JSA & DMZ!

The Joint Security Area (JSA) and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) tour offers a remarkable opportunity to explore the historical, political, and cultural complexities of the Korean Peninsula. This journey provides a deeper understanding of the ongoing division between North and South Korea while allowing visitors to witness firsthand the tension and symbolism of these areas.

From standing in both North and South Korea simultaneously at the JSA to exploring the historical sites within the DMZ, such as the Third Tunnel of Aggression and the Dora Observatory, every step of the tour is filled with profound insights and thought-provoking experiences.

To make the most of your JSA & DMZ tour, it’s essential to prepare in advance, book your tour with reputable operators, and adhere to the security regulations. By following these guidelines, you ensure a smooth and safe experience as you delve into the fascinating world of the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

As you journey through the JSA and the DMZ, remember to approach each site with respect, mindfulness, and a desire to learn. Engage with your knowledgeable tour guide, capture memories respectfully, and be cognizant of the sensitivities surrounding the ongoing conflict.

By the end of your tour, you will leave with a profound understanding of the historical significance, political challenges, and aspirations for peace and reunification that define the Korean Peninsula. The JSA & DMZ tour offers an incredible journey that will leave an indelible mark on your understanding of this region.

So, prepare for a captivating adventure as you unravel the wonders of the Joint Security Area and the Demilitarized Zone. Embrace the unique experiences, reflect on the complexities of the Korean Peninsula, and return home with a deeper appreciation for the historical and geopolitical intricacies that shape this captivating part of the world.

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Full Day Tour JSA + DMZ from SEOUL

private dmz jsa tour

  • Traditional Korean meal
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking Tour guide
  • The entrance ticket for The 3rd tunnel and Dora Observatory
  • Entry/Admission - Imjingak Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park
  • Entry/Admission - The Third Tunnel
  • Entry/Admission - Dora Observatory
  • Entry/Admission - Panmunjom
  • 24-2 Hoehyeon-dong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea Once you exit from Hoehyeon (Namdaemun Market) station Exit 7, turn left. Cross the small crosswalk twice to reach the Shinsegae building, and continue walking straight for about 20 seconds. This is our designated meeting point.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Participation is limited to ages 8 and above.
  • Please be at the meeting place with the passport/DOD ID card(If you do not have a DOD ID card, please ignore this message and bring your passport.) Please kindly send a copy of your passport to our email address, right after booking the tour. Additionally, please note that all reservations must be made at least 5 days prior to the tour date. If you need to cancel your reservation, please inform us within this timeframe as well, so that we can ensure a smooth and well-prepared tour for you.
  • The following attire and accessories are strictly prohibited within the UNC MACHA. (1) Shirts/tops without sleeves or which expose the midriff. (2) Any clothing with insulting, profane, provocative, or demeaning representations. (3) Ripped jeans or trousers which expose undergarments or private parts of the anatomy. (4) Shorts or skirts that are above the knee in length. (5) Outer articles of clothing that are sheer or stretch material such as warm-ups, pants and leggings. (6) Sports uniforms, logos or athletic clothing of any kind. (7) Shower shoes, sandals or opened-toe shoes. (8) Clothing with military-style camouflage to include hunting apparel. (9) Oversized clothing or excessively baggy trousers. (10) Leather "biker" vests and leather riding chaps.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.

Similar experiences

private dmz jsa tour

  • You'll start at 24-2 24-2 Hoehyeon-dong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea Once you exit from Hoehyeon (Namdaemun Market) station Exit 7, turn left. Cross the small crosswalk twice to reach the Shinsegae building, and continue walking straight for about 20 seconds. This is our designated meeting point. See address & details
  • 1 Namdaemun Market Stop: 10 minutes See details
  • 2 Imjingak Pyeonghoa-Nuri Park Stop: 2 hours - Admission included See details
  • 3 The Third Tunnel Stop: 60 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 4 Dora Observatory Stop: 50 minutes - Admission included See details
  • 5 Panmunjom Stop: 2 hours - Admission included See details Pass by DMZ
  • 6 Namdaemun Market Stop: 10 minutes See details
  • You'll return to the starting point

private dmz jsa tour

  • E2431LMcatherinel 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles In the soop Mason is friendly, give some tips to take nice photos at the locations, he has great experience to share with me. Fun trips 👍👍💜💜 Read more Written May 11, 2024
  • 45feliciak 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles BTS Must See Great experience, took many photos and got to feel and breathe the same air as BTS members. Being able to step into what we saw on TV is an incredible experience. Read more Written May 11, 2024
  • LondonUK-G 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing experience for any BTS ARMY A spectacular experience for any BTS ARMY fans. The tour was well organised, the best was the tour guide, Anna; she was wonderful, knowledgeable, kind and considerate. She enhanced the experience. Thank you Anna and HanaTour Read more Written May 11, 2024
  • SouthbankUK 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing BTS tour, great guide Anna What a spectacular tour for any BTS ARMY fan. It was well organised, and the tour guide Anna was amazing; she was funny, kind and patient and make the experience special. Thank you Anna. Recommended activity. Read more Written May 11, 2024
  • B6250KLelizabethr 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Dream Realized Anna is excellent tour guide and a very enjoyable companion to have, very clear and gives very good important information. Bethreyes from Philippines/ USA Read more Written May 10, 2024
  • FrequentFlier788155 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Discovering Seoul Korea in 7 days I traveled solo this tour was awesome Mark was a great tour guide Park was an awesome driver make sure everybody was safe mark kept us always informed and also answered any questions and had us work as a group we had a great time 7 Day Tour I would recommend food was great hotels were wonderful and once again Mark the tour guide did a phenomenal job can't say anything bad at all Read more Written May 10, 2024
  • Cameron H 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Discover Round Korea 7 days "A Wellness Holiday" Seamless. Our tour director, Mark was exceptional, he carried the show with honour, organisational skill and he listened to clients. Our driver Mr. PARK a true professional. Read more Written May 10, 2024
  • Vacation58111719197 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles IN THE SOOP BTS ver 2 It was as fun trip. Anna was a great tour guide. And we cannot do it without her. Lucky I book this trip. Hope to visit again next time with fellow army :) Read more Written May 10, 2024
  • Tamara v 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Great experience, would do it again! It was so amazing to see the filming location! ❤️ The driver and guide was so so nice to us. 1 1/2 hours didn’t feel like it would be enough to see everything and I‘d loved to stay longer but I did see everything and it was amazing. There was also a cute doggo! The only thing I was sad about was that the official merch store was closed. I would‘ve loved to do some shopping there. Over all it was a great experience tho (with lots of toilet breaks) and I would do it again if I could! Read more Written May 9, 2024
  • bamamargo 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles In The Soop If you are Army and have watched In The Soop this is a must do tour. Our tour guide, Anna was super nice and helpful. She showered us with gifts, In The Soop neck pillow, ramen noodle cup, BTS photo cards and coffee in a can. She is an army herself and was so much fun. The In The Soop filming area brought back so many memories of BTS having a fun time. The tour ran smoothly and on time every wherever we went. Highly recommend it! Read more Written May 9, 2024
  • V6942WTlead 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Just perfect 💜 Anna was an perfect mommy Army ! She was so kind and gentle et her love for BTS was so amazing ! The visit was so great, from departure to arrival, I recommend ! Read more Written May 9, 2024
  • _R5792TJ 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Our dream trip The guide was funny and amazing. We were glad to receive wonderful gifts while travelling. Timing was perfect and the guide tended to all the participants’ needs immediately. The scenery is just wonderful. It was dream come true. Read more Written May 8, 2024
  • Venture30049899176 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles super fun awesome experience!!! the best tour ever!!!!! our tour guide was super funny and nice and took great care of us! so much was provided on this tour for us, we didn’t have to worry about anything. i would definitely do this again !! Read more Written May 7, 2024
  • toshiakio2022 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Memorable Tour to see all South Korea! The 7 days tour seemed long at first but it just flew by with great tour guide, Mr. Jay who was very cheerful, attentive and very humorous to make us laugh and keep us in good spirits. He took time to get to know each of us by talking and listening to our stories. The bus driver Mr. Kim supported the tour by keeping us safe with comfortable ride. All hotels were top class and breakfast were sumptuous and delicious. Mr. Jay took care of lunch and dinner menu every day to enjoy different Korean food. I was worried about eating hot Korean food everyday but Jay picked all the meals which were not hot to our stomach. Few travel tips: Recommend to rent a portable WiFi for translation and use for a long bus rides every day. We enjoyed all the tour spots but with lots of walking around historical places so wear a comfortable shoes. There are many coffee shops but If you drink coffee with milk, you have to order a Latte since they don’t provide separate cream. It was fast paced tour but highly recommended to learn Korean history and see all the South Korea in a week. Read more Written May 7, 2024
  • 550sasal 0 contributions 5.0 of 5 bubbles Amazing experience :) All the activities were amazing. But I wish I had more time in Busan and at Mt. Seorak. I met great people during the trip. Thank you for the good memories. And Thank you Jay for taking care of us ! ❤️ Read more Written May 6, 2024

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private dmz jsa tour

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private dmz jsa tour

Full Day Tour JSA + DMZ from SEOUL provided by HanaTour ITC

private dmz jsa tour

  • South Korea
  • Day Trips & Excursions

private dmz jsa tour

Full-Day Paju DMZ and JSA Tour from Seoul

  • Tour includes pickup and drop-off from the Hotel President in Seoul
  • 9-hour Paju, DMZ and JSA tour from Seoul
  • Explore Paju and the Joint Security Area with a guide
  • Learn why the Demilitarised Zone is in place and gain insight into the barriers to reconciliation
  • Visit important sites including the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory and Dorasan Station

Inclusions & Exclusions

  • Local guide
  • Transportation with driver
  • Lunch (seasonal local food)
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Pickup and drop-off (from the Hotel President only)
  • Entry or Admission - Camp Bonifas
  • Entry or Admission - Panmunjom
  • Entry or Admission - Dorasan Station
  • Entry or Admission - The Third Tunnel
  • Entry or Admission - Dora Observatory
  • Food and drinks (unless specified)
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure & Return

7th floor of the Hotel President, Seoul

7:50amTimes are subject to change due to local traffic conditions.

Returns to the Hotel President or Lotte Hotel KAL Limousine Station

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A current valid passport is required on the day of travel
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A current valid passport copy must be sent to the tour operator upon confirmation of booking
  • UN requires a copy of all passengers' passports at least 4 days before the travel day. Please send your passport copy to the tour operator immediately upon confirmation of booking. Your reservation will be canceled automatically if your passport copy is not received on time
  • Minimum age is 12 years
  • Please check the restricted countries for this tour: Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, South Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, and Syria
  • The itinerary is subject to change due to traffic conditions and military reasons
  • In the event military or other official circumstances prevent entry into the JSA, the tour will be cancelled and customer will receive a refund.
  • A moderate amount of walking is involved; comfortable walking shoes are recommended
  • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately
  • The following attire and accessories are specially prohibited during the JSA Tour:
  • Outer articles of clothing which are sheer or stretch material such as warm-ups pants and leggings
  • Flip flops and similar footwear are specifically banned
  • Sports uniforms, logos or athletic clothing of any kind
  • Clothing with military-style camouflage, including hunting apparel
  • Leather "biker" vests and leather riding chaps
  • Umbrellas (except for during periods of precipitation)
  • Tripods (except for authorized media)
  • No tours on following national holidays in 2018 : 2

Cancellation Policy

  • If you cancel at least 7 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is No cancellation fee
  • If you cancel between 3 and 6 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is 50 percent cancellation fee
  • If you cancel within 2 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is 100 percent cancellation fee

Your Contact Details

Questions or requests.

Do you have questions or specific requests regarding this tour?

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