Turkey Currency Exchange Guide

Turkey is a land of contrasts, where East meets West and the modern world rubs shoulders with centuries-old tradition. It’s a place where you can steep yourself in history, enjoy beautiful beaches, or explore idyllic villages nestled in the mountains. And it’s all wrapped up in rich culture and hospitable and welcoming visitors. No wonder Turkey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world! Whether you’re looking for sun and sand or snow-capped peaks, Turkey has something to offer everyone. So come and explore this stunning country for yourself – you won’t be disappointed!

General Turkey Currency Information

What is the current of Turkey?

The official currency in Turkey is the Turkish lira (TRY).

What do Turkey notes & coins look like?

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A new series of banknotes circulating as of January 1st, 2009, the “E-9 Emission Group”, replaced the previous Turkish lira series (E-8 group) on the 31st of December 2009. The E-9 banknotes identify the currency as the “Turkish lira” rather than the “new Turkish lira”. In addition to this change in name, a new 200 denomination has been included.

This new series of Turkish lira banknotes is unique because while Atatürk remained on the obverse side, each bill features a different renowned Turkish personality on the reverse side instead of picturesque landmarks and buildings, namely:

  • 5 (purple) – Ord. Prof. Aydın Sayılı

  • 10 (red) – Ord. Prof. Cahit Arf

  • 20 (green) – Mimar Kemaleddin

  • 50 (orange) – Fatma Aliye

  • 100 (blue) – Jtri

  • 200 (violet) – Yunus Emre

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As for Turkish lira coins, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk remains on the reverse side of all six denominations, while different images of Turkey’s history and tradition, Crescent-star, year of minting, and value reflect the obverse.

Economy

The Republic of Turkey, which has the 20th largest nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 11th largest GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP), is an appealing destination for foreign investors across various sectors. The country’s sizable, young population (of approximately 84 million) combined with its highly favourable geostrategic position create a favourable investment climate in Turkey.

Brief currency history

Turkey has a long, tumultuous history, and its currency reflects that. The Turkish Lira has been through many changes since it was first introduced.

After the kurus was replaced by the Ottoman lira as the principal currency unit of the Ottoman Empire, the first Turkish lira began in 1844. When the Ottoman Empire collapsed in 1922 and the Republic of Turkey was established, the currency was officially renamed the “Turkish Lira”.

Inflation began to erode the value of the Turkish Lira in the 1970s when it had previously been a stable currency. Because of its declining value, Turkey eventually had to replace its previous currency with a brand new one.

Today, variations in size across denominations, a holographic stripe, various portraits of Ataturk, and a security thread featuring the denominational number and the letters TL are only some of the modern security elements included in the new banknotes. Before accepting any bill, especially one of larger banknotes, make sure it has all these security features.

Taking Travel Money to Turkey

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What currency should I take to Turkey?

If you’re travelling to Turkey, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Turkish liras (TRY) before you leave. Read more in our AUD to TRY currency exchange guide.

Is it cheaper to convert currency in Australia or Turkey?

It is cheaper to exchange currency in Australia before you leave, as the exchange rates are generally more favourable here. Plus, you’ll have an idea of how much Turkish money you’ll need for your trip. However, if you need to exchange currency while you’re in Turkey, you can do so at banks and authorised moneychangers.

How much can I take to Turkey?

There is no limit to the amount of foreign and Turkish currency to be brought into Türkiye. However, if it is more than US$5000 worth of Turkish currency or equivalent, you’ll need to declare it to customs on arrival.

Where to convert currency?

Getting your travel money has never been easier than with Crown Currency Exchange. We have served Australian travellers for nearly 20 years and have become one of the country’s leading foreign exchange specialists. We offer over 80 foreign currencies at a very competitive exchange rate, so you can be sure you’re getting great value for your money. Plus, with 50 stores across Australia, you can find us in all major cities and shopping centres.

Is tipping customary in Turkey? How much is expected?

In Turkey, it’s common to give a gratuity for satisfactory service in places like restaurants, cafes and bars – especially in locations with lots of tourists or business people. Tipping is also recognised in hotels, serviced apartments, and other venues where staff, such as spas or salons, may not be compensated very well.

Depending on the service and location, tipping in Turkey varies. As a general rule of thumb, 10% of the bill is standard. If you receive a fantastic service, consider giving 15-20%.

Taxi drivers: For taxi drivers, you don’t need to tip, simply round the fare upwards to a nearby amount. For example, if the fare is 116, make it 120. As for private transfer services, gratuity isn’t required. Although if you desire, 10% is a reasonable amount.

Tour guides & drivers: It is up to you how much you tip your tour guide or driver. They will likely appreciate a tip, but a good one will not think less of you if you don’t give one. And those who are bad at their job do not deserve any money from you. Remember, this tip is to show your appreciation for good service (not as a payment for the tour since that should already be included in what you paid). USD $20-40 per day for the guide and $10-20 per day for the driver is a good rule of thumb, but you can give more or less depending on how much you enjoyed their service.

Hotel staff: While porters are content with $1-$2 per bag, and housekeeping staff work hard and deserve your tip, in moderately priced hotels, it is greatly appreciated to leave $1-2 per day.

Restaurants: For less pricey establishments, tipping 5% or slightly more is unnecessary yet still appreciated by the staff. If you’re dining in a luxurious restaurant, it’s common to tip 10-15%.

Hamam (Turkish bath): At the end of your bath at a Hamam, all of the attendants will line up to say goodbye and expect a tip. If you received good service, share 15% of the total price among them as a gratuity.

Can you bargain in Turkey?

Absolutely! Turkey’s tradition is to bargain when shopping in markets, which many shopkeepers expect. When bargaining, start at around 50% of the asking price and work your way up. Be respectful and friendly, and keep a straight face, as the process can be quite fun! Remember – the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.

What is ATM access like in Turkey?

If you’re looking to take out cash in Turkey, know that ATMs are widely available in all major cities and towns. However, you may run into issues if you’re trying to find an ATM in a rural area. For your safety, it is best to use the ATM machines inside banks rather than the free-standing ones on street corners. Not only are they more secure, reducing the risk of tampering, but they also offer a less sketchy vibe.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

You can explore Lira without spending too much by budgeting an average of 700 (AUD $58) per person per day or 4,900 (AUD $408) per week. If your budget for a hostel is 300/night and you plan to spend 350 each day on other activities like transportation, food, sightseeing, and entertainment, you’ll be able to stick to your budget while still enjoying all the city has to offer.

Moderate

For mid-range travellers, an ideal daily expense would be 1,600 (AUD $133) per person, which could get you a cheap but equipped hotel for two people (1000), some form of public transport or the infrequent taxi ride of 500. With that budget, Turkish breakfast, numerous street food snacks, dinner at a modest restaurant with wine included, and other activities such as viewing street performing artists or witnessing the Whirling Dervishes show becomes entirely possible.

Luxury

Now, if you’re looking to spend your days in the lap of luxury, know that a hotel room can cost as much as 3,000 (AUD $250) per night. If you plan to spend extravagantly on food and activities as well, your daily expenditure could reach 5,000 (AUD $417).

Please note that the prices indicated are just averages and may differ depending on your exact location, time of year, and chosen activities.

Currency details

Currency:

Turkish lira

Currency code:

TRY

Currency symbol:

Central bank:

Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey

Nickname:NoneCurrency sub-unit:

Kuruş = 1/100 of a Lira

Bank notes:

5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200

Coins:

1, 5, 10, 25, 50 kr., 1

Must-do's while you are in Turkey

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1. Treat yourself to a Hamam

A Hamam, or Turkish bath, is an experience not to be missed while in Turkey. Hamams have been around for centuries and are still a staple part of Turkish culture. They are typically large, ornate spaces with a central marble platform where people relax and socialize. The heat and steam help to cleanse the skin and open the pores, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. In addition, Hamams provide an opportunity to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon or want to try something new, visiting a Hamam is sure to be unforgettable.

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2. Ride a hot-air balloon over Cappadocia

Cappadocia is one of the most unique and beautiful landscapes in the world, and there is no better way to experience it than by riding in a hot-air balloon. Floating gently over the region’s fairy-tale rock formations, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into another world. And as the sun rises above the horizon, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable light show as the rocks change colour in the early morning light. Hot-air ballooning is the perfect way to slow down and appreciate the beauty of Cappadocia. There’s no better way to start your day than floating peacefully above this incredible landscape.

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3. Visit the ruins of Ephesus

The ruins of Ephesus are some of the most well-preserved Roman ruins in the world. The site includes several impressive buildings, including the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Great Theater. In addition, the ruins offer a unique insight into the everyday life of the Roman Empire. Visitors can see a number of homes and businesses that have been perfectly preserved, giving them a rare glimpse into the past. The ruins of Ephesus are also located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by mountains and forests. As a result, visiting the site is an unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.

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4. Shop at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the world’s largest and oldest covered markets. Spanning over 60 streets and 4,000 shops, the bazaar is a veritable treasure trove of Turkish culture and history. From hand-woven carpets and colourful spices to intricate jewellery and Turkish Delight, there is something for everyone at the Grand Bazaar. And bargaining is expected! Haggling with shopkeepers is part of the fun, and it’s a great way to get a reasonable price on souvenirs. So whether you’re looking for unique gifts or simply want to immerse yourself in Turkish culture, be sure to add the Grand Bazaar to your list of must-see sights while in Istanbul.

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5. Take a cruise down the Bosphorus Strait

Stretching for thirty kilometres, the Bosphorus Strait is one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world. The strait separates Europe from Asia, making it the perfect place to experience two different cultures in one trip. And what better way to do this than by taking a cruise down the strait? Cruises offer a relaxed and comfortable way to take in the scenery, and there are plenty of interesting sights to see along the way. From castles and mosques to palaces and mansions, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Best of all, taking a cruise is an affordable way to experience all that the Bosphorus Strait has to offer. So if you find yourself in Turkey, be sure to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Other helpful guides & resources on travel in Turkey

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