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A friend in Australia is on a trip to North Korea soon, and has the problem that she can't get local currency in advance. Is there any way to do this before hitting the country, or is it perfectly acceptable to take Euros and USD? This is implied on at least one tour site however there's no indication that you can withdraw more while in the country.

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I will happily accept a report of that trip as a question on Meta. :) – Karlson Jun 17 '14 at 15:31
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Euros are your best bet. The North Korean won is not convertible, and all facilities for tourists price in and accept euros. Koryo Tours, the largest operator of DPRK tours, says:

Currency The official exchange currency in DPRK is now Euros (USD were taken out of circulation in 2003 but can still be used though we advise you bring Euros). It is possible to exchange other currencies (such as Pounds, Yen, Renminbi, HK Dollars) in the hotel but be aware that the rate will not be in your favour, better to change the money before entering the DPRK. We do not recommend taking in travellers cheques as they are difficult to cash. Economic reforms at the end of 2002 mean that the DPRK Won is now valued at roughly 165 won to 1 Euro. It may be possible to get hold of real DPRK money in the hotel but the best currency to use when buying goods remains the Euro.

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