Turkish Lira Currency Exchange

The Turkish Lira is divided into 100 kuruş (koo-ROOSH). Here are the Turkish Lira notes/bills…

Cash from an ATM

The most convenient way to get money in Turkey is by using your home bank ATM/cash card or a credit card in a Turkish ATM/bancomat/cash machine. Most Turkish ATMs issue only Turkish liras, but some will give you liras, euros or US dollars. More…

Of course, ATMs are run by banks, so there will be not just fees, but significant fees, perhaps 2% or 3% or more of the money you receive. ATMs are an easy, but expensive, way to get money.

Exchanging Cash

If you want to exchange cash, plenty of places will do it for you, and it can be cheaper.

Currency Exchange Offices (Döviz Bürosu) are found in tourist, market and commercial areas. They offer better exchange rates than most banks, and may or may not charge a commission (komisyon). Offices in market areas tend to offer better exchange rates than those in tourist areas. Offices at international airports in Turkey tend to offer poor rates of exchange (for you; good for them).

Consider the Buy & Sell Spread

Besides exchange rates, a good gauge of the price you’ll pay to exchange money is the Buy and Sell spread that an office uses.

The spread is the difference between what an office pays to buy a unit of your currency, and what it sells that unit for to someone else.

A big spread means the office makes a lot of money on the transactions. A small spread means it makes less, and you get more.

Sample Exchange Rates

Buy US$1 = TL3.9856 You get 3.9856 Turkish liras for every US dollar you change.
Sell US$1 = TL3.8088 Someone else has to pay 3.8088 liras to buy that dollar.
Spread = 0.0232 The office keeps TL0.0232

So if you change US$100, you get TL398.56 in return, and the office will make TL2.32 (1.3%) on the business.

But what if the rates are Buy TL3.9900 and Sell TL3.9980, a spread of only 0.008? You get TL399.00 for your US$100 instead of only TL398.56. The office keeps only TL0.008 (only 1/2 of 1%)—a much better deal for you.

Look for the office where the difference between Buy and Sell is the smallest amount.

—Here are today’s exchange rates.

—Here are the best places to exchange cash in Istanbul.

Post Office (PTT)

Most post offices will exchange cash US dollars or euros, and the bigger post offices may also exchange other major currencies such as UK sterling (but no Scottish notes!)

Bank (Banka)

These have the worst rates, the biggest commissions and the most cumbersome procedures, but a few specialized branches may be willing to exchange currencies lesser known than the US dollar, euro, sterling, and yen.

—Here are the Turkish names for various currencies.

Currency Converter by OANDA

—Tom Brosnahan


About Turkish Money

The Turkish Lira (TL, TRY)

Turkish ATMs (Cash Machines)

Credit Cards

Travelers Checks

Exchange Rates

Tipping

What It Costs

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