MAP-FOR-TOURIST.COM

Money Exchange in Turkey


Page update - Apr 6, 2023

This page will talk about currency exchange in Turkey. With what currency is it better to go on vacation? Where and how to change money? How to find the best exchange rate option? Read the answers and the current Turkish lira exchange rates.

This page will only focus on the exchange. If interested in information about the currency Turkish Lira, then read our review "What is the money in Turkey".

Important! Now (Apr 2023) the Turkish lira exchange rates are falling quickly. The USD/TRY exchange rate has already reached 19.2, although it was 7 back in October 2021. In this situation, double-check the exchange rate every time you go to change money!

Do you need to exchange or not?

It depends on the part of the country where you stay.

If you visit major cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir) or inland areas of the country, you will definitely need to change dollars, euros or other currency into Turkish liras. Only Turkish liras are accepted everywhere. Of course, there are tourist spots in major cities where vendors accept foreign currency. For example, at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. But these are rare exceptions.

In the Mediterranean resorts (Antalya, Alanya, Belek, Kemer, Side), the situation is the opposite. Local traders, cab drivers, dolmush (minibus) drivers accept euros and dollars more readily. You probably won't need to exchange. Liras may be needed only at the ticket offices of some attractions and for official city and intercity buses.

The Aegean resorts (Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye) are borderline. On the one hand, the main currency there is Turkish lira. On the other hand, dollars and euros are accepted almost everywhere, but at a clearly disadvantageous rate.

Basic concepts

Currency exchange offices are called "Döviz Bürosu" in Turkish. The word "döviz" translates to "currency". But it is also usually written in English "Currency Exchange" or simply "Exchange".

Some exchangers and banks charge a fee for exchange, which is "komisyon" (commission) in Turkish. Pay attention to this inscription first.

Current exchange rates

You can see the current exchange rates of the lira to the US dollar, UK pounds, Euro and other currencies in the table below.


Exchange rates at 02.03.2024

1 Turkish lira = 0,0318 US dollar
1 Turkish lira = 0,0251 UK pound
1 Turkish lira = 0,0293 EURO
1 Turkish lira = 0,0431 CAN dollar
1 Turkish lira = 0,0487 AUS dollar
1 Turkish lira = 0,0521 NZ dollar
1 Turkish lira = 2,6367 IND rupee
1 Turkish lira = 0,0281 Swiss francs
1 Turkish lira = 0,2262 Chinese yuan
1 Turkish lira = 4,7794 Japanese yen

1 US dollar = 31,4465 Turkish lira
1 UK pound = 39,8406 Turkish lira
1 EURO = 34,1297 Turkish lira
1 CAN dollar = 23,2019 Turkish lira
1 AUS dollar = 20,5339 Turkish lira
1 NZ dollar = 19,1939 Turkish lira
1 IND rupee = 0,3793 Turkish lira
1 Swiss francs = 35,5872 Turkish lira
1 Chinese yuan = 4,4209 Turkish lira
1 Japanese yen = 0,2092 Turkish lira

Where to change

Option 1 - post offices

Not the best option. In Turkey, post offices not only handle money transfers, but also currency exchange. This is not surprising, as there are often no bank branches in the countryside, but post offices are everywhere. It is easy to recognize the post office, look for yellow signs with the abbreviation PTT (Posta ve Telgraf Teskilati).

Pros for tourists. None.

Cons for tourists. Unprofitable rate, there is the commission, documents required, change only dollars and euros, and sometimes only dollars are accepted. Not all post offices are engaged in a currency exchange.

Option 2 - bank branches

Not the best option. Banks are called "banka" in Turkish. Every relatively large settlement has at least one bank branch.

Pros. Guaranteed against counterfeit banknotes. Chances of being cheated are minimal.

Cons. Unprofitable rate and high commission, documents are required, it is necessary to fill out paperwork.

Most banks are usually open from 8-30 am to 5-30 pm (8-30 to 17-30), lunch break usually from noon to 1-30 pm (12-00 to 13-30). Saturday and Sunday are days off.

Option 3 - exchange offices in airports

Not the best option. Changing money in exchange offices at airports is not profitable. There is no need to do it to pay for a cab, as cab drivers will almost always take dollars or euros.

Pros. They work almost round the clock. You can exchange currency just after arrival and forget about this problem.

Cons. A very unprofitable exchange rate, high commissions. For example, in the center of Istanbul, the usual difference between buying and selling rates is 3% or often less, but it is about 7% in the airports of Istanbul.

Option 4 - exchange offices in hotels

A great option. Large hotels have their own exchange offices, which is very convenient. If your hotel does not have an exchange office, you can go to a nearby large hotel, where the exchange office is for sure.

Pros. No need to go anywhere, no need to look. The exchange rate is usually good, although not the best. You don't need to have your documents with you, they usually only ask for your room number, you don't have to fill out paperwork. They work from early morning to late evening.

Cons. The rate and fees vary from hotel to hotel. There are exchange offices with extremely unfavorable rates.

Option 5 - common exchange offices

A great option. Exchange offices are located in shopping malls, near bus and subway stations, near the attractions. By law, you need your passport for the exchange, but in fact it is not always required.

Pros. The most favorable rate and usually no commission. They usually work almost round the clock.

Cons. There is a high probability of getting a counterfeit banknote, they can cheat. Stay awake!

Which exchange rate is beneficial, which is not

Not many holidaymakers have time to visit several exchange offices and compare the figures. And who wants to do it on vacation? You want to know at once if the exchange rate is good or bad. There are two ways.

The first method is spread calculation. The spread is the difference between the buying price and the selling price. Usually there are two figures on the scoreboard of an exchange office - the bid and ask prices for each currency. The method is simple, you need to calculate the percentage difference between these two figures. If the result is less than 3%, then change at that exchange office with confidence, the rate is good.

However, Turks have long known about this method, which is used by many tourists, because more and more tourists are very competent in finance. Therefore, the only one figure (purchase price) is sometimes indicated on the boards of exchange offices in resort areas. Then the task becomes more difficult.

The second method is a direct estimate. You need to find out the official exchange rate of the Turkish lira (for example, above on this page). This is easy to do if you have mobile Internet. If there is no Internet, then ask the employee at the hotel reception, he/she will look on the Internet.

Then count the percentage difference between the official exchange rate and the exchange rate on the board. If it is less than 2%, then change with confidence, the rate is good.

And do not forget that there are commissions. The rate on the scoreboard may be awesome, but there is a commission. Look for "komisyon" (in Turkish) or "commission" (in English).

How to know the REAL rate (inc. commission)?

This method works in every country. Just show the 100 dollars (euros, pounds) banknote to the employee at the exchange office. Ask him/her, "How much in lira?" He/she will show you the amount. You need to divide the amount by 100 and you know the REAL exchange rate.

CONCLUSIONS AND TOTALS

1. Cash US dollars and Euros are best for travel to Turkey. You can find an exchange office with the losses only 0.2-0.3%. Any other currency in your pocket is a loss of money;

2. It is better to exchange currency either at the exchange office in the hotel, or at the exchange offices in shopping centers. In banks, post offices, exchange offices in airports, the exchange rates are unprofitable or the fees are high;

3. It is also possible to determine the profitability of the exchange rate without going to exchange offices. You can either compare the exchange rate with the official one or use the difference between the buy and sell rates. We have described the methodology above. Do not forget that there may be a commission for the exchange;

4. About bank cards, the situation is complex. There are banks that charge very low commissions for a transaction to Turkey (for example, getting cash from an ATM), sometimes less than 1%. We know of such banks, but we will not advertise them. There are banks that charge astronomical commissions, it happens even more than 5%. So! Always ask your bank in advance what the exchange rate will be and what exactly the commission will be.

On how much money to take on vacation in the Turkish resorts, read our review "How much money to take for Turkey".

Have a good vacation on Turkish beaches, and read our interesting pages about Turkey (find the list of the pages below).

map-for-tourist.com © 2020-2024