A visit to Turkey could be even better value this year as the Turkish Lira has weakened against many major currencies (13 percent fall so far this year) with the potential of some great bang for your Buck, Quid or Euro.
Respected financial news agency Bloomberg recently published an article stating that:
“The lira is the worst performance measured in U.S. dollars among the 31 most-traded currencies………Turkish money is hurtling toward instability faster than any other”
So to get the best value out of your visit to Turkey and get the best Turkish Lira exchange you will need to be a bit savvy with the cash, up with the plastic and cool with the hard currency.
We have put together a wallet of tips and knowledge to help you to become a savvy spender in Turkey
The Travellers Guide to the Turkish Lira
The currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TL).
Notes come in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 TL. The 10 and 20 notes are shown in the leading picture.
Coins range from 1, 5, 10, 25 & 50 Kurus and 1 TL. Coins are shown below.
The currency is used for the majority of day to day purchases and you should have no issues using it.
But, as a visitor, you may find that there are exceptions.
Want to buy gold, carpets, expensive jewellery or high end tech and you will find the seller will price in ‘hard’ currencies such as the U.S. Dollar, Euro and even British Pound depending on the location. They price these goods like this to protect against currency fluctuations. If you don’t have the actual hard currency they will convert to Turkish Lira.
You may find in some of the popular holiday destinations that even restaurants will price in U.S. Dollar, Euro and the British Pound.
This is supposedly to make it easier for the tourist to understand prices in their familiar currency. But now that the Turkish currency is under pressure business owners will be desperate to grab some of your hard currency. This could be a bargaining chip worth having as part of your haggling arsenal.
Best Turkish Lira Exchange
Here’s a good little acronym to remind you to get the most from your cash – T.A.P – Timing, Amount and Place.
The value of the Turkish Lira varies every minute of every hour of every business day.
And recently it’s been dropping in value – a 13 percent fall so far this year.
Just the other week the British Pound bought over 4 TL for the first time.
So the timing of your exchange is one of the important aspects of changing your travel cash or withdrawing cash or using a credit card to get the best turkish lira exchange.
We think you will never find the optimum time to change so we prefer to change cash or withdraw it from an ATM little and often so that the change in value is averaged out, or smoothed, during our trip.
Try to change just enough for your daily needs and you’ll help to average out the exchange rate fluctuations in that way too.
Changing just enough means you also don’t get left with a wallet of Lira to convert back to your currency when your trip comes to an end.
You will also minimise any loss should you mislay your purse or wallet.
And on the subject of loss, make sure any hard currency cash you bring with you is stashed in a hotel safe rather than kept on you.
Where you change your cash is very important. Commission, loading, fees and other charges can quickly erode your converted cash.
In our experience the most expensive places to change or obtain cash, those places that will give you poor value for your money, are as follows:
Hotel reception desk
Airport foreign exchange desk
Some debit card / credit card withdrawals via ATM
Best Turkish Lira Exchange we find are:
Some UK online services – although you will need to balance good headline exchange rates with the need to change all your holiday money in one go missing out on the smoothing we mention above.
Local Turkish Doviz – change office. These venues display their exchange rates on boards and usually charge no commission and often offer better exchange rates. Shop around for the best rates.
An ATM used in conjunction with the right UK plastic.
Of course you don’t have to take a wad of cash with you to get the best Turkish Lira exchange.
If you have the right plastic you can not only save but also have the security and flexibility that access to ATMs and Chip and Pin offers.
Just avoid the drastic plastic, those cards that charge high fees and load percentages to use abroad that can seriously erode your coin.
This is especially true of some debit cards that charge a fee every time you use them and give you a poorer exchange rate too.
Do your research and find the best value plastic and get to know the fees and charges levied.
Or even go for a cash card. Load it up and withdraw cash from any ATM in Turkey.
ATMs or cash machines are plentiful and some offer withdrawal of cash in other currencies as well as the Turkish Lira.
And finally grab and app to keep up to the minute with exchange rates.
Download the XE app and keep up to date with any currency.
Convert between and do a dynamic exchange, great when haggling for the best price and the best turkish lira exchange.