Getting a Korean phone number or calling one from overseas is different than in other countries.
After getting multiple errors and calls being forwarded, I finally decided to get a Korean phone. From there I went on and did more than 13+ hours of research on South Korean phone numbers. Here’s what I found:
- How To Write and Dial Korean Phone Numbers
- How To Get a Korean Phone Number
- How To Save and Examples of Korean Phone Numbers
Let’s get started.
How To Write Korean Phone Numbers
Korean phone numbers are split into 3-parts.
- Country code
- Prefix (landline code)
Korean phone numbers are made up of 10 to 11 numbers. Here are some examples below:
|City||Country Code||Landline Code||Individual Number|
Now, if you’re calling from overseas it’s important that you use the landline code. If not, the call will probably not be made. You’ll get an error or your call will be forwarded. So, always make sure you use the correct prefix (landline code).
How To Dial Korean Phone Numbers
Calling from overseas or a local South Korean phone number is different. There are 3 ways to dial a Korean phone number.
- Dial the entire number: This would be dialing the country, landline and individual number. For example +82-2-32410333 or 0082-2-32410333
- Dial the regional number: This is only possible when you have a Korean cell phone number yourself. For example 02-32410333
- Dial the local number: If you live in the same city you can call the number locally. For example 32410333
+010 vs. +82 Korean Phone Numbers
There are also differences between +010 and +82 phone numbers. Here are the differences:
- 010 is used as the Korean prefix (landline code). This means that you get called from a phone within Korea.
- 82 is when you call someone overseas. This means that you have to use +82-10-123-4567.
These days there are also people that have +011 as a Korean prefix.
3 Ways To Get a Korean Phone Number
1. Getting a Bundle with your Internet Provider
When you get an internet provider in South Korea, you can ask to bundle it together with a Korean phone number. This is what I’ve done over the last few years, it’s not very expensive and very easy to get.
If you have a cable TV and are paying a monthly fee, then you can also get it bundled with a telephone number.
Usually, people that have a home VOIP already have a phone number. You probably don’t know or use it, so maybe calling try calling the provider helps.
2. Getting a Prepaid Simcard
Buying a Prepaid Simcard at a convenience store also works. This isn’t very expensive and it’ll likely cost you $10.
Normally, this will get you by for the month if you aren’t using over 10 GB over the internet. Some people prefer getting a phone plan because this is cheaper if you plan to stay longer than 3 months in Korea.
Also, signing up for apps like Kakaotalk requires a phone number. And because more than the majority of Koreans use Kakaotalk it’s very handy.
3. Buying a Virtual Number from South Korea
If you’re not living in South Korea or haven’t arrived yet, then getting a virtual number is also possible. There are sites like TextMe or TextNow that provide Korean phone numbers.
Note: these are more expensive than getting them from a convenience store. Normally, these cost between $15 to $30 a month.
But if you really need one, then it’s a great option.
Emergency Phone Numbers in South Korea
South Korea mainly uses two emergency numbers, but in total there are 5.
- 119 for firefighters and ambulances
- 112 for the police
- 1339 for medical emergencies
- 1330 for foreigners that need help
- 182 for reporting missing person and property
Never call these numbers if you aren’t in an emergency situation. It’s important that you only use these if it’s really necessary.
South Korea is very strict and the police will fine you when it’s not serious.
Do Korean Phones Come Unlocked?
Yes, new Korean cell phones bought after 2012 are unlocked. These phones can be used anywhere in the world without any issues. Now, new phones that are bought before 2012 might not be unlocked and will require you to get a Korean phone number.
But because we’re already past 2012, there’s nothing you should worry about. Almost all phones are already pre-unlocked because most manufacturers require this.
This makes buying a phone in South Korea way easier than before. And even if you look at the Korean public phone booths, they don’t get used a lot anymore.
You can buy these phones at:
- Local phone stores
- Any online store in Korea
Buying a Korean phone is actually very easy. And the most popular one right now is Samsung. Samsung holds the majority share in the phone market in Korea.
It’s by far the biggest seller in terms of phones and home appliances.
Now that you know how to get a Korean phone number and how to dial it, you simply have to get an actual phone number. And you’re ready to call your friends, family, or people overseas.