Sinŭiju is bordered by the Yalu River, and by P'ihyŏn and Ryongch'ŏn counties. The city's altitude is 4 feet, or about one meter, above sea level. There are several islands at the mouth of the Yalu River - Wihwa-do, Rim-do, Ryuch'o-do and Tongryuch'o-do.
Sinuiju city is the heart of the Sinuiju Special Administrative Region. The city is currently divided into 49 tong (neighbourhoods) and 9 ri (villages):
Developed as a major settlement during the colonial rule at the terminus of a railway bridge across the Yalu (Amrok) River, it is located 7 miles west of Ŭiju, the old city from whose name Sinŭiju (meaning “New Ŭiju”) derives. As an open port, it grew commercially with the logging industry which uses the Yalu River to transport lumber. Additionally, a chemical industry developed after the hydroelectric Sup'ung Dam was built further up the river.
In the course of the Korean War, after being driven from P'yŏngyang, Kim Il Sung and his government temporarily moved its capital to Sinŭiju - although as UNC forces approached, the government again moved - this time to Kanggye. Also, the city sustained heavy damage from aerial bombardment as part of the U.S. Air Force strategic bombing of North Korea, but the city has since been rebuilt.
An important light industry centre in North Korea, Sinŭiju has a plant manufacturing enamelled ironware as well as a textile mill, paper mill and an afforestation factory. Its southwest harbour has a shipyard, although the shipyard's main function is seemingly to dismantle ships for scrap metal and other usable materials rather than building new ships. The area has recycling plants which recycle a wide range of material, including products that are banned for recycling in China. The Sinŭiju Cosmetics Factory is located in South Sinŭiju (Namsinŭiju).
A substantial portion of North Korea's international trade, both legal and illegal, passes through Sinuiju and Dandong, across the Yalu River in China.
Since 2002, commercial life has been centred on the Chaeha-dong Market. Based on a satellite image taken on 30 October 2012, the market has been destroyed and is being made into a new park.
Sinŭiju can be reached from P'yŏngyang by air, railway and road. It can been reached from Dandong in China by crossing the Yalu River by bridge or boat. Foreign tourists on excursion boats from Dandong are sometimes permitted to approach within a few meters of the city's coastline, as long as they do not land.
Sinŭiju's airport has a single turf runway 03/21 measuring 3,250 by 213 feet (991 by 65 metres). Air Koryŏ operates passenger and cargo flights from P'yŏngyang.
Sinŭiju Ch'ŏngnyŏn Station is the northern terminus of the Korean State Railway's P'yŏngŭi Line from P'yŏngyang; the district is also served by several other stations on the P'yŏngŭi line, as well as the Tŏkhyŏn and Paengma lines. It is also connected with the Chinese city of Dandong in Liaoning Province (China) by the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, which is 944 m (3,097 ft) long from end to end, and through the Manchuria Railway links up with the Trans-Siberian railway.
Sinŭiju has a monsoonal humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa) with hot, humid and stormy summers and cold, dry winters with little snowfall.
Facilities in Sinŭiju include Sinŭiju High School, Sinŭiju Commercial High School, Eastern Middle School, Sinŭiju Light Industry University, Sinŭiju University of Medicine and the Sinuiju University of Education. Scenic sites include the Tonggun Pavilion, Waterfall, and Hot Springs.
There also is a Ferris wheel overlooking the Yalu River, reportedly broken.