Addresses in South Korea

While looking at the comments and answering them, I thought of making this post.  Are you planning to send a letter or a package to someone in South Korea?  Chances are with the difference in writing system, it may be a challenge even to write address in Korea.  However, based on experience, addresses written in Alphabet normally reaches the recipient.

First and foremost, addresses in Korean are written in reverse order as what most of us maybe used to.  Just to give an example a typical address (mock address) would be  2F Burgundy Building 77 Buendia St. Barangay Bel-air Makati City 1226.  The way this will be written in Korea would be 1226 Makati City, Barangay Bel-air  Buendia St. 77 Burgundy Building 2F.

When I was planning my first visit to South Korea in 2008, i was looking for a specific address in Gangnam I wrote it down so I can show it to the taxi driver.  While reading about locating places in Korea I realized how big this country and to be more specific, Seoul.  They say some places maybe hard to find because streets are not usually marked.  One friend even told me that finding a small building within Seoul is like looking for a needle in a hay sack.

If you have seen at least a Seoul City map which you normally get from hotels and in the airport you might be surprised to see names of places and these are some of the things that are worth knowing:

  • 시 (shi) is City such that 서울시 means Seoul City
  • 도 (-do) is province such that 절라북도 (Jeollabukdo) means Jeollabuk province or
  • 구 (-gu) is a ward and is typically written in small letter hyphenated after the place name such as 강남구 (Gangnam-gu)
  • 동(-dong) is a neighborhood within a ward such as 청담동 (Cheongdam-dong)
  • 층 (cheung) is floor number
  • 호 (ho) is suite or apartment number

Streets are called 길 (gil) for smaller streets and for bigger ones its 로 (-ro), be careful though with 로 as depending on the preceding name of the street this may be romanized as -no like the case of my favorite place to stay in Seoul 종로 (Jongro but is actually romanized as Jongno).  Likewise big streets are sometimes divided into 가 (-ga).  Again, like the case of Jongno which is a long street, it is divided into 5-ga. The number 5 is pronounced using the Sino Korean number such that is is O-ga, so 3-ga would be pronounced as Sam-ga.

Here is an example of an address in South Korea which I have been familiar with since this is my choice hotel when in Seoul.

  • 주소: 110-420 서울특벌시 종로구 관수동 122 돌로스 호텔.
  • Address: 110-420 Seoul Teukbyeolshi Jongno-gu Gwansu-dong 122 Doulos Hotel

The above address is translated this way – Doulos Hotel 122 Gwansu Neighborhood Jongno District (ward) 110-420 Seoul Special City South Korea.

When sending parcel or letter outside of South Korea it is very important that you write South Korea after the address. Also, the address should not be translated, only romanized

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6 Replies to “Addresses in South Korea”

  1. Hi. Thanks so much for posting! I’m seriously thinking about going to South Korea this year. Do you have any recommendations on where to go, what to do, what part of Seoul to stay in? Any information will be helpful. Gamsahapnida!

  2. One of my best friends gave me his address in South Korea, but I have no idea how to write it Ina letter. Could you help me?

  3. hi there, I posted a mail to south korea and having problems in writing it. I hope it reaches its destination. Gosh, its really hard. I went online to search for the postal address and it pointing toward gangnam-gu. But there is no gangnam-gu in their written address. This is the written address “Hak Dong Ro 25 Gil (Non Hyun Dong) 19, Seoul”. So I posted it, with this address and added Gangnam-gu too… Gosh, now I am terrified that this post won’t make it to the destination… huhuhu… What should I do?

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