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Best currency for Turkey?

edited June 2010 in - Turkey
Going to Alanya in Turkey,anyone been there recently? What's the best currency to take?Or is it better to take English pounds and change your money over there,and if so where is best to change it. Can anyone help please - we go on 6th July!!!


  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi James

    Change a little into Turkish Lira before you go for the first day or so and for any refreshment breaks on your transfer from the airport. You get a better rate of exchange in Turkey than in the UK so change your money here or use the ATMs but beware your UK bank may well charge for this. Don't change money at your hotel - usually a very poor rate of exchange and often a commision charge as well. All exchange bureau or banks display their rate - it does alter daily. The PTT (Post Office) offers commision free exchange as well. You will see a yellow sign for the PTTs. Lots of places will exchange money for you, travel shops and shops with often a very favourable rate.

    If you bring sterling with you be sure to have a safe at your hotel - also a very good place to keep your passports and tickets.

    Don't be alarmed by shops, restaurants etc displaying prices in Euro. Many people are mistaken to think this is the preferred currency because of this but it's just convenience on behalf of the owners - before the Euro the prices were displayed in GB Pounds, French Francs, German Dm etc etc now they just display the Euro!!!

    If you intend buying jewellery or bigger more expensive items you can often use your sterling to your advantage - chaeck out the day's exchange rate before shopping though so you can be sure of a good deal. Small shops and supermarkets though will only accept lira. At the food market you will need lira as well and plenty of small change as the prices are so low - I got a kilo of chery tomatoes this week for just 1 lira (about 40p) - bargain!!!

    Alanya is a lovely place and I'm sure you'll have a great time there. Be prepared for a 2 or so hour transfer from the airport but this is along the coast road and very scenic. You will probably stop along the way for a drink and toilet break so don't feel obliged to buy bottles of very overpriced water on your flight!

    Oh and remember your £10 each for your visa on entry to Turkey.

    Have a great holiday :o)
  • edited 10:36PM
    I'm off to belek soon, the club ali bey do you know anything about it.
  • edited June 2010
    Hi Joanne

    I'm not that familiar with the hotels as living here I don't use them personally!!!

    However I have read several reviews by other travellers all praising the hotel. One or 2 have minor gripes as is normal, we never like to completely praise something do we!!! But on the whole travellers of all nationalities seem to find this a good hotel. It is popular as well with Turkish holiday makers so as far as I can gather the clientele is very international and diverse.

    Hope you have a good holiday in a beautiful part of the country :o)
  • edited 10:36PM
    Great advice Clare! Why don't you apply for Expert status on the site?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi David

    I did have expert status but it has disappeared!!!! Do I need to reapply?


  • edited 10:36PM
    I think the replies above must be enough but just in case;

    you can change money at banks, exchange offices, Post offices, etc. but banks sometimes do not change if it is less than a certain amount( around 1000 Euros or Dollars.) And The exchange office at the airport and touristy places give a very poor rate so be careful. The best way to check the rate is of course internet since it fluctuates a couple of times everyday. You can see the correct rates at
    As for the best currency, Euro is going down and Dollar seems to be strong so I would take Dollar.

    And Alanya is a wonderful place, enjoy every second there.
  • edited 10:36PM
    I personally have never had any problems changing any amount of currency in a bank - particularly a tourist place, possibly they're more geared to accepting smaller amounts.

    As you have sterling don't change it to US Dollars only to have to change it again - you'll lose out inthe transactions!!!
  • edited 10:36PM
    Also don't bother with Travellers Cheques - a nightmare to find a place to exchange them, generally a lower rate of exchange and also usually a commision charge!!!
  • edited 10:36PM
    I have dollar traveller's cheques left over from a previous holiday. Is it worth taking them or take gbr cash. Cheers
  • edited 10:36PM
    You could bring them and try!! But you may get a better rate exchanging back in the UK and bringing GBP with you! As they are "left over" money maybe the exchabge rate isn't so crucial to you. Where are you staying? That could determine the ease with which you can exchange them.
  • edited 10:36PM
    please can anybody help? we are off to bodrum in a weeks time... will we have any trouble changing sterling into lira?? also..... is lira the best currency to use?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi - I recently wrote this article on getting the best exchange rates on your holiday money - basically you can easily get ripped off by the bureaux de change if you change money last minute or use a credit card. Read more before you change currency for your trip to Turkey!
    Visit for destination advice
  • edited 10:36PM
    Only change a small amount to Lira before you go - enough for the first day or so. The rate of exchange is always slightly better in Turkey. In Bodrum you'll find a lot of places to exchange from banks, bureaux, small shops etc. All display the rate outside. Often the post office, PTT - yellow sign has the best rate of exchange but try to avoid going middle of the day as its always busiest then.
    Do not exchange at your hotel and if you buy anything in GBP do check the vendor's exchange rate and calculations!
    Lots of ATMs in Bodrum but I usually try to use one attached to a bank during banking hours just to be on the safe side but as mentioned before your bank may well charge for withdrawals.
    A little tip - if you do the trip to Kos take your ATM card and withdraw the Euros you'll need for the day once you are there. Better rate again.
    You've picked a lovely time of the year to go to Bodrum, have a great time:o)
  • edited 10:36PM
    has anyone be to side in turkey. What is it like and the best way to shop with pounds or lira.
  • edited 10:36PM
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi. Great thread, and nice to see some experts here. I'm taking the wife and children to Gumbet next June 2011. I have been before but that was 15 years ago. I'm concerened about what currency toi take with me from the UK. For example if i want to take £2000, how would you suggest i take this? Pound sterling, travellers cheques, or leave it in my bank?
    Big big thanks for any guidance. Just don't want anything to spoil my families first every holiday.
    All the best
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi Darren
    First of all DON'T take travellers cheques - particularly to Gumbet as there's nowhere to change them! Your hotel may but it will be a rotten rate of exchange and a charge as well. Banks aren't much better either.
    Take a smallish amount in Turkish Lira for your first day or so - especially for water, odd drinks etc. Are you staying B&B, All inclusive or Self catering? If AI you'll obviously need less. A hundred pounds or so will be plenty. Exchange rate is always more favourable in Turkey, but it does fluctuate daily.
    I always used to take GBP sterling with me and use the ATMs to top up if needed. Beware though as UK banks do charge for withdrawing money abroad - check with your bank. Do have a safe at your hotel though, also useful for keeping passports, tickets etc in one place.
    Lots of places will change money for you but check the exchange rate offered. There is a Garanti Bank up on the main road as well. Also if you have any euros left over from other holidays you will find these accepted as well.
    Anything else you'd like to ask please just shout - I used to live in Gumbet/Bodrum :o)
  • edited 10:36PM
    Thats great, many thanks. We are staying Self Catering at the Bozok Hotel. I've convinced my wifes, mum, dad and brother, aunti, auncle, and three cousins to come as well.
    So £100 in Turkish Lira, some in currency and it seems that Santander charge a % for money withdrawn (minimum £1.99)
    What about the Thompson currency payment cards?
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi Darren
    A lot of the currency pay as you go cards are only available in US Dollars and Euros so not much of an advantage in Turkey!!! But compare them. I beleive though they do make charges for certain transactions. See if it's worth opening a current account for the holiday with one of the banks that doesn't charge for cash withdrawals.
    If you are self catering it is worth taking the dolmus (bus) up to Carrefour on the main road just outside Gumbet and doing a bit of a shop - great for stocking up on nibbles and drinks for the kids. From experience I used to find it was the poolside drinks that really add up over the course of a holiday. Having a fridge of juice etc can really save you money. I always got the dolmus to Carrefour - ask the driver to stop there but you can't miss itas you come out of Gumbet onto the main road!! Then as I always bought so much I'd get a taxi back. The drivers are always so helpful and there's always a couple there.
    For a great day out go on a boat trip. I always used Leo's boat. He also has a very friendly bar/restaurant on the main street and you can book the trips with him there. He has a mini bus and will transfer you to and from your hotel. Price includes lunch, cup of tea and biscuits in the afternoon and several stops to swim in the bays. He generally takes the boat to Camel Beach as well - a chance for not such strong swimmers to have a paddle. The only thing you need to pay for is drinks on board. A really good value for money day out at around £10 an adult.
    Don't book any trip with your travel rep but use the guys in town - same trip but a lot cheaper. Indiana travel on the main street offer great advice.
    At least your transfer from the airport is fairly short and no stops on the way.
    Hope you have a great time but don't hesitate to ask anything else :o)
  • edited 10:36PM
    So sorry I missed the posts about Side - not sure why :o(
    October is a great time of year to visit - the crowds have departed and the weather is far more comfortable but everywhere is still fully open. Expect temperatures above 25 deg C in the day and a lovely warm sea. Evenings and nights though beome quite chilly especially near the beach so it's worth taking a cardigan/jumper or fleece and some long trousers.
    GBP are widely accepted as are Euros but smaller shops will want Lira. Best to take a mixture but don't change GBP into Euro as has been suggested on other threads. Places display prices in Euros for convenience. Pre Euro days they had prices in GBP, French Francs, German DM etc etc. The Euro has just made things a bit easier for traders!!!
    You get a better rate of exchange in Turkey than in the UK.
  • edited 10:36PM
    My self and my partner are are going to Lara Beach at the end of the month, what is the best currency to take? We're staying all inclusive so was only planning taking maybe £75 worth of lira and then euros, wasnt going to bother taking sterling, should we be ok with this?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Don't change your sterling to Euro before you come - bring the sterling and exchange it here. Always a better rate of exchange in Turkey. Don't change at your hotel as always a worse rate but do have a safe box. Or if you have a bank account that doesn't charge exhorbitant fees for use abroad use the ATMs. Still teh main currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira and you'll need the cash if you venture out and about or go on any excursions. Book the excursions through the local tour shops - much cheaper than travel reps.

    Even though you are AI remeber to tip at your hotel. It's so much appreciated by staff on low wages and often something that's forgotten. Also if you have a meal or drinks outside your hotel tip there as well. It is a tipping culture!!

    Have a lovely holiday :o)
  • edited 10:36PM

    We are going on our first holiday to Turkey end of April to Antalya, we are stopping AI we are abit worried about what currency to take? the hotel we are stopping in is abit away from the town centre and was wondering if we are better taking lira with us of exchanging our money at the hotel? also does anyone know what the weather is like in April? is it true that you must give a £10 note only per person (even children) once you enter the country?
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi I am going to Alanya in June and was just wondering what the weather is like at that time of year. Would you advise taking a cardigan for the evening. Should I buy suntan lotion in the UK or is it cheaper at the resrot? Also am I best using Euros or Lira?
  • edited 10:36PM

    My family (2ad & 3 young children) are staying in Belek in August (School holidays!!!!!). I have been checking currency etc and notice a new global pre paid card is available. We used the dollar prepaid in Florida last year and is was a great and safe way to spend your cash. The rates look fine and they convert your £££ to Lira at the best exchange rate they get as and when you use it. They do charge at an ATM but charges seem alot more reasonable than credit / debit cards. Has anyone any ideas if these cards are accepted in Turkey - they have the MasterCard logo.
  • edited February 2011
    Don`t forget most of these cards are only available in dollar or euro options so you may well be charges a fee for exchange to lira.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi, I am going to be in Istanbul for a Holiday in March, I am from South Africa, how is the weather in March?
  • edited 10:36PM
    March is not too bad but might be rainy so be ready ..bring some nice water proof shoes and a light rain coat. no need for an umbrella as you can find them around the corner.
  • edited 10:36PM
    I would suggest packing to allow you to wear layers. That way whatever the weather brings you will be prepared. A tshirt with a light sweater or cardigan plus a lightweight coat should give you plenty of options! Oh and don't forget comfortable shoes!
  • edited 10:36PM
    Thank you very much!
  • edited February 2011
    Sorry I missed some of the earlier posts about Alanya/Antalya so I'll answer them together here.

    Suntan lotion is expensive here so buy in the UK especially as places like Boots have special offers on! Remember though to pack it in your hold baggage or it will be confiscated - I saw that happen to an unfortunate lady who had to throw all her bottles in the bin. You could buy it once you are airside as a lot of airports have Boots branches but may not always have all the offers and ranges.

    Don't change money at your hotel the rate is always a lot poorer. As you are AI you won't need too much and can always make purchases on your credit cards for any excursions etc. Bring some lira with you though - very useful for tips etc and if you venture out of the hotel.over from a previous holiday bring them but don't change to Euro for Turkey. Prices are displayed in Euros but this is for convenience - before the Euro prices were displayed in so many currencies its now easier for traders to display euro and lira!

    Weather in June is beautiful you will not need a cardigan but will for the journey back to the UK!! Weather in April is very pleasant but you may get the odd shower and need a light cardigan for the evenings.

    Yes everyone entering Turkey needs to buy a tourist visa at the airport, even children. This is currently £10 each.

    The Turkish Lira is the currency in Turkey. Euros are accepted in some places and if you have any left from previous holidays by all means bring them but don't change any especially for this holiday.
  • edited 10:36PM
    You can view the detailed weather forecast from below link.
  • edited 10:36PM
    We are going to Lara beach (AI) in early May. What is the best currency or travellers cheques to take. Also, if you recommend GB £ - would we have to get English notes or would they accept Scottish notes?
    What is the weather likely to be like at that time?
    Are Turkish visas still required and is the price still £10 each? I didn't know anything about them until I read previous comments on this site.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Traveallers cheques are not recommended. Not any more. VISA, Mastercard is accepted all over Turkey in even small shops. GB£ is well known and you may use. I am not sure about Scottish Notes.
    Best currency could be EURO to use.

    Antalya is always warmer than other parts of Turkey. You may see the weather
    You may get visa in the airport. Price is same.
  • edited March 2011
    Yes there is still a £10 visa to buy at the airport before passport control.

    Scottish notes aren't accepted but English are.

    Euro is not the best currency especially in the smaller shops. By all means if you have Euro left from a previous holiday then bring them but don't change into Euro for a Turkish holiday.

    ATMs are plentiful and take most UK cards but your bank may well make a charge. Check with them and see if they have an account that's free for withdrawals abroad. Bring some lira for the first day or so - about £100. Cards are accepted in most restaurants and in the bigger shops. Travellers cheques are not a good idea as they charge commission to change them and the rate is usually lower. Hotels always have a poorer rate of exchange as well. Generally speaking the rate is always better here in Turkey than the UK>

    Expect daytime temperatures of around 25 deg C but evenings will be cooler so if you intend sitting outside or near the sea bring a light cardigan or similar. The sea will still be pretty chilly as well!! Although I walked along the beach yesterday in my coat and tourists were sunbathing in swimming costumes!!

    Have a lovely holiday.
  • edited 10:36PM
    I may be a little late in replying but for any travellers going to Belek, in the town there are only a couple of ATM's but many of the Hotels have an ATM machine just outside their main gate. I have used them, many times and never ever had a problem, you get a good rate of exchange but each transaction incurs a fixed charge, so if you only with draw 20TL then a £1.50 charge is expensive but if you withdraw 250TL then £1.50 is rather good value. What ever you do don't go out and buy Euro's in the UK to take to Turkey to use, only take Euro's if you have them left from other holidays.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Hi my husband and i are going to Side on the 3rd may and we have brought all our lira (gutted after reading off of your comments now but nevermind!!) we have been wondering what is best to go and visit we want to go to a hamann turkish bath but i'm worried we will be ripped off and not sure what you have to take with you! how much do the baths usually cost and is it best to go through a travel rep? we also was thinking of going on a few boat trips but again not sure how much or who to go with? Please help havent been on holiday in years and never been to turkey so dont want to ruin it by me being stupid and not findin out enough information!!
    Thank you so much
  • edited 10:36PM
    The local tour organ?sers are now promoting a Turkish Bath/Hammam that is just 2 years old called Demirhan Ronesans - ? went there yesterday and was well impressed - one of the nicest ones ? have been to and only 30 TL for 2.5 hours of total pampering - that includes exfoliating - bubbles and wash - rest with a drink you pay for - and full body massage with o?ls - - Be aware that the normal way here ?s to pay 15 TL to the tour organiser and then the additional 15 TL when you arrive at Demirhan.

    ?t depends which tour organiser you book with in Old Town Side as to which Turkish Bath you are sent to - but they w?ll p?ck you up from your hotel and return you there for no extra charge.
  • edited 10:36PM
    Don't book anything with your travel rep - book with the local tour companies. You get the same trip at nearly half the price! Often they offer a free Turkish bath if you book other tours with them. All you need to take is yourselves and your swim wear - helps preserve your modesty!
    The hamam that Squash recommends seems excellent value.
    You can book boat rips through the tour guys or if you go into Antalya and the old harbour there are loads of different ones being offered from a quick trip to a whole day.
    Have a lovely time - a beautiful time of year to visit as its not too hot or crowded so you can get around easily. Take time to chat to the locals as well - always fun and often they offer very good advice.
  • edited 10:36PM
    We're going All Inclusive to Xanadu Hotel in Belek in June. Never been to Turkey before and would like advice on level of tips for good service etc:
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