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How do addresses work in South Korea? | You can now write a Postcard to your friend in Korea.

Hello,안녕하세요 I am Vaibhavi from India. Have you ever received a package/ postcard from Korea? No, Me neither haha. Coming back to the topic.

When it comes to sending a postcard in Korean the struggle can be real, so trust me, and be ready for that! This lesson will help you to understand how Korean addresses work, how to send a postcard, and a few cultural insights.If you’re a K-Pop fan, you will be able to send a fan letter to your K-Pop bias so keep reading!

Let's start the lesson with basic vocabulary related to postcard :

주소: address, residence

우표: stamp

봉투: envelope

우체국: post office

엽서: postcard

편지를 쓰다: write a letter

이름: name

받는 사람: recipient

편지: letter

보내는 사람: sender


When writing the address in Korean, instead of writing the street name, city, and state, you start with the province or state, city or ward, and then the street name.

Western Address format

Name of the Recipient

Street name



Postal code

Korean Address Format

Name of the Recipient



Street name & Street No.

House Number

Postal code (6 Digit)


In South Korea, the land is divided in big chunks and they are called 도 (Province). There are eight provinces, one special governing province.

  1. 충청북도

  2. 충청남도

  3. 강원도

  4. 경기도

  5. 경상북도

  6. 경상남도

  7. 전라북도

  8. 전라남도

Inside these 도 there are areas called 시 (City). Depending on the size of시 the next sub levels can go from 도 - 시 - 구 – 동 or 도 - 시 - 군 - 읍 - 면 – 리

Bigger cities usually go from 도 - 시 - 구 – 동 and smaller cities go from도 - 시 - 군 - 읍 - 면 – 리.

Let’s take a look what each of these stands for:

도 means province which are divided into 시 and 군.

시 means cities and are broken down into 읍, 동and 면.

군 means municipality and are broken down into 읍and 면.

읍 is centre of municipality they are divided into 리.

리 is a specific area within the neighbourhoods.

면 are the villages of a municipality and these units surround an 읍.

구 means a district within a metropolitan city.

동 an area or district within a city.

There! That seems like a lot, right? Just keep in mind the pattern I mentioned earlier and write the address accordingly. But there are 7 metropolitan cities that do not belong to any 도.

  1. Seoul 서울특별시

  2. Busan 부산광역시

  3. Daegu 대구광역시

  4. Incheon 인천광역시

  5. Gwangju 광주광역시

  6. Daejeon 대전광역시

  7. Ulsan 울산광역시

Geographically they are part of the province but they are considered separately. Does that makes sense?

'Street' in Korean is 거리 And 'Street Number' is 거리 번호.

Korean streets have names that end in the following:

1. 대로 Boulevard (8 or more lanes)

2. 로 Street (2-7 lanes)

3. 길 Road (1 lane)

In South Korea, if the person is living in a multi-story building, you must also include the floor and apartment or suite number in the address along with Building Number 건물 번호.


Postal codes 우편 번호 are also an important part of Korean addresses. In South Korea, their postal codes have six digits. It is written as two sets of three and is separated by a dash.

For example this is the postal code from Jung-gu, Seoul. 100-011

The first three numbers are determined by the province or town and the zone in a South Korean postal code. The next three numbers are determined by delivery zone or building.



Now it’s time for a fun exercise:


384-8 Minam-ri, Cheongha-myeon, Buk-gu, Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

Try to write out (convert) the location (address) of this famous K- drama shooting site listed above. IN KOREAN FORMAT

경상북도, 포항시, 북구, 청하면, 미나암리, 384-8

Now that you've read this post I hope you know the administrative divisions of South Korea and the format of the address. Did you notice that it is completely opposite from western countries?

Let me know in the comments. If you enjoyed this post, click the tab given below to explore more.

If you ever want to get in touch, please DM me on my Instagram @iamlinguistic or just click below:

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Rokil Naro
Rokil Naro
Aug 02, 2023
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Wow! This is so detailed! Now if I have a pen pal, I know how to write to them and address it so it actually gets there 😂


Apr 11, 2022

Haha I feel proud being Hungarian, cause the order of the addresses are kinda similar. The theory is not confusing for me at all, although in practice it might take a bit of time to figure out which city is located in which province.


Mar 29, 2022

매우 유용하고 귀하의 노력을 볼 수 있습니다. 잘했어요.😊

Apr 09, 2022
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감사해요 🙆🥰

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