A weak Turkish Lira may be good news for British holiday makers but how do you protect your holiday spending cash from the big daily exchange rate movements?

It’s Political

The news that Turkey is likely to be holding another election, following the failure to form a coalition government, has sent the Turkish currency to new lows on the currency markets.

Turkish General Election this Sunday

The AKP lost its 13-year hold on power in the June 7 polls, falling 18 seats short from a ruling majority in the 550-member parliament in Ankara.

Yesterday evening the Lira was trading at 4.47 TL to the British Pound.


Going on holiday to Turkey could now be even better value now the Turkish Lira is so weak.

However, in times of rapid change things can move rapidly so here are our tips on how to be currency savvy.

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. Coins are in Kurus ranging from 1, 5, 10, 25′ 50 and 1 TL.

Turkish Lira Exchange Rate Great for Holiday Makers
Turkish Lira Exchange Rate Great for Holiday Makers

The country works on this currency for most things, but 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.

You may find in some of the popular holiday destinations that even restaurants will price in U.S. Dollar, Euro and British Pound, especially now the currency is weakening almost everyday

But for everything else you will need to carry and use the Lira.

Here’s a good little acronym 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.

So the timing of your exchange is one of the important aspects of changing your travel cash.

We think it’s impossible to find the optimum time to change so we prefer to change cash 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.



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 and end.

You will also minimise any loss should you mislay your purse or wallet.

And on the subject of loss make sure the 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.

The most expensive places to change your cash – those places that will give you poor value for your money are as follows:

Hotel reception desk

Airport foreign exchange



The Better Places

Some debit card withdrawals via ATM

A typical Turkish holiday resort change / exchange office
A typical Turkish holiday resort change / exchange office

Some online services – although you would 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.

It’s worth shopping around for the best rates.

Plastic Fantastic

Of course you don’t have to take a wad of cash with you to get the best rates.

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 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.

Keep up to date with Rates

And finally grab and app to keep up to the minute with exchange rates.

Download a currency app and keep up to date with any currency. Convert between and do a dynamic exchange, great when haggling for the best price.

Enjoy your trip and happy savvy holiday spending.

Turkish lira coins