/ The Istanbul Guide
Istanbul — By inka on May 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm
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Money matters in Turkey

You want to enjoy your stay in Turkey and not lose time wondering about the currency or run to a bank or museum when it’s closed. So, here are the basics:


Currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TYL). The most common banknotes come in the folwoing denominations:

  • 100
  • 50
  • 20
  • 10
  • 5

There are bigger, but you will rarely have them and they are not gladly accepted either.

Coins are

  • 1 TYL
  • 50 kurus
  • 25 kurus
  • 10 kurus
  • 5  kurus

1 and 2 kurus coins also exist but nobody bothers with them. If for instance your bill in a supermarket comes to 15.27, they will accept 15.25. On the other hand, if you give them 15.30 don’t expect to get any change back.

Exchange  rate is approx. $1 = TYL 1.5. Obviously, it fluctuates, so make sure.

Many prices especially in Istanbul are marked in € (EUROS) and  €s are accepted. Be careful, the € banknotes are very similar in color and size to the TYL notes, but worth twice as much! Don’t get confused.

20 TYL note and 1TYL coin

Credit cards are accepted, (AMEX not so much) but cash gives you much better bargaining power in the bazaars.

Banks exchange money, but nobody goes there. They may have a better rate, but charge commission. Money is usually exchanged at exchange kiosks, travel agencies or many shops. Jewellers tend to give the best rates. It pays to compare and this way of money exchange is perfectly legal.

Photograph is authors own.

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