DMZ + JSA tour

View of the Panmunjom JSA border guards protecting the truce village
Min Age 12+
Group Discount
Bring Passport
Min 1 Person
Hotel Pickup

140,000

5.00 out of 5
(3 customer reviews)
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Experience the mystery of the Korean Demilitarized Zone and the unique Joint Security Area! These sights should be at the top of every adventurous traveler’s bucket list. No other country in the world has such a special 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 72 hours prior to your tour.
* Children under 12 years old are not permitted to join this tour.

Tour Code: 27

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 kilometers long with a four-kilometer diameter.

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

What is the JSA – Joint Security Area

Following our tour group on our DMZ JSA tour. In the background you can see the UNCMAC Conference rooms and North Korea's Panmungak
Visit one of the UNCMAC Conference rooms at the Joint Security Area on our DMZ + JSA tour.

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

The former village (Panmunjeom) sits 60 kilometers northwest of Seoul. It was originally called “Neolmun-ri.” The area is rectangular, with a size of 400×800 meters. It is set up on the Military Demarcation Line, essentially making it neutral. Here, you will find various buildings that accommodate negotiation talks, as well as a few bridges of great historical importance.

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

JSA tour Regulations and Restrictions

The JSA is a special area due to its purpose – to preserve peace. 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 72 hours in advance. We therefore request a copy of your passport page when booking. Your group should be at least 12 years old and those younger than 18 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 be sure that there is enough space, we suggest you book our Half day DMZ 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. Starting with our complimentary pickup service from your hotel in Seoul.

We provide professional, licensed tour guides who will be there from start to finish to answer all of your questions. All of your transportation is included as well as lunch. 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. When the weather is good, you can get a very clear view across the border!

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 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 can not 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.
North Korea’s 9th largest city Kaesong is just 22 km away from Imjingak.

Sitting 53 kilometers northwest of Seoul, Imjingak is the place 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!”

People crossing the Bridge of Freedom at Imjingak. In the background you can see the railway bridge that connects with Freedom Bridge.
The Bridge of Freedom between Mangbaeddan memorial and the railway bridge crossing Imjin River.

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.

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 kilometers away from Truce Village (Panmunjeom).

The measurements of the tunnel are 1,635 kilometer-long, 1.95 meters high, and 2.1 meters wide. It was made big enough to move a full division per hour and was clearly built for a surprise attack on Seoul! 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 organized look into past events

A glass box gun display in the DMZ Theater and Exhibition hall
The DMZ Exhibition Hall showcases a number of artifacts from the Korean war. Perfect for the history buffs.

If you’d like to track the events of the Korean War and see a great 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 truly give you an idea of what life was like during this tough period and will transport you back in time.

Dora Observatory – see across the border inside North Korea

A man looking at North Korea from Dora Observatory using high powered binoculars
Use high powered binoculars at Dora Observatory to spot the statue of Kim Il Sung, or spy on North Korean farmers.

While due to very strict regulations we aren’t allowed to go into North Korea, 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.

At the height of 304 square feet and with the capacity to hold 500, this observatory is located at Mt. Dora and gives you the best opportunity to catch a glimpse into North Korea! This is one of the most exciting places on our DMZ and JSA tour.

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
Dorasan Station located inside the DMZ was the railway station that used to connect South and North Korea.

Dorasan Station is a railway station which in the past, used to connect North and South Korea. It is located on the Gyeongui Line. The line was destroyed during the war and was later rebuilt. Dorasan Station sits just about 650 meters from the southern border of the DMZ.

There are two platforms of which only one is used, as well as two tracks, only one of which is used. The North-South rail link construction started in September 2000, 12 kilometers south of the Gyeongui Line. Later, in October of 2001, Imjingak station was opened. Then, on February 12, the Mangbaedan train passed through the Imjin River to Dorasan station, signifying peace and unity.

Unification Bridge – the idea of peace is manifested

Crossing Unification Bridge over Imjin River
The Unification Bridge also known as the Cow Bridge, crosses the Imjin River and allows us to enter the DMZ.

The Unification Bridge (Tongildaegyo) started as an idea of unification. It was built symbolically in 1998 by the Hyundai Business Group of South Korea. The bridge 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

Entering Camp Bonifas on our JSA tour
At Camp Bonifas we will watch a slideshow and have a briefing before visiting the JSA.

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

You 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 the Joint Security Area.

Freedom House – a safe space for peace talks

Looking at Freedom House behind a well maintained garden inside the JSA
Freedom House is located on the south side of the Demarcation Line inside of the DMZ and JSA.

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.”

The goal of this space is 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 entrance to the Military Armistice Commission Conference room with two border guards positioned on either side facing south
During the tour you will be given the opportunity to enter one of the Military Armistice Commission Conference rooms.

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

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. It is located just next to the Freedom House, at 130 meters south.

This building was first constructed in 1980 when the prime ministers of the two countries needed a neutral place to meet and have a dialogue. It was later rebuilt in 1989 and is still in use 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 been mostly used as the house of North Korea’s “South and North Liaison Office.” That has been the case since May of 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 is located 100 meters northwest of Panmungak, and you need to actively look for it to see it!

Panmungak (Phanmun Pavilion) – a place for propaganda

Looking at Panmungak from Freedom House during our DMZ JSA tour
Panmungak also known as Phanmun Pavilion is located on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area.

Panmungak’s role in the Joint Security Area is to represent North Korea. The building was first constructed on September 2, 1969. This 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.

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 August 5. 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 recognize this bridge from the popular British spy movie “James Bond – Die Another Day”.

You may recognize 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.

The original purpose of this bridge, however, which gave it its name, was to be a place where POW (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

  • Hotel Pickup (Seoul)
  • Imjingak
  • Bridge of Freedom
  • Third Tunnel of Aggression
  • DMZ Theater and Exhibition Hall
  • Dora Observatory
  • Dorasan Station
  • Pass by Unification Village
  • Lunch
  • Unification Bridge (Passport Check Point)
  • Camp Bonifas (Slide Show and Briefing)
  • JSA (Freedom House, Conference Room etc)
  • Drop Off at President Hotel (Seoul)

Our DMZ and JSA tour includes

  • Complimentary Hotel Pickup service
  • Fully licensed tour guide
  • Transportation to and from the DMZ and JSA
  • Entrance fees and tickets
  • Lunch
  • NO forced shopping stops

Additional Notes

  • Please bring your passport on the day for UNC military checkpoints.
  • The above itinerary, time and price can be changed depending on the current situation.
  • JSA tour bookings need to be made at least 72 hours prior to 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 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), and so there are limited seats due to restrictions.

3 reviews for DMZ + JSA tour

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gareth Singh

    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 VIP Travel

      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

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    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.

    • Holly VIP Travel

      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

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dave and Michele

    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.

    • Holly VIP Travel

      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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