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Best currency for Turkey?



  • edited 4:37AM
    Although it sounds obvious give Turkish Lira as tips. Not everyone does and they leave money that is more or less useless to the recipients!
    Depends on the level of service you receive and what you think it is worth. Not everyone gives tips when AI and the workers in these hotels really lose out. Often they are students or have travelled a long way from home to work the season and tips are essential to them.
    How long are you staying? Do you intend eating outside the hotel at all? As a rule of thumb aim to tip 10% of the bill - more if the service was excellent. Same applies in hairdressers etc. Taxi drivers also appreciate a small gratuity as well.
    If you are intending tipping at the end of the holiday in your hotel it's really up to you. Often the workers appreciate having your toiletries etc that you don't want to carry back.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi Benji, we go to Turkey on a regular basis and find that giving tips (money) sometimes does not go down well. We tend to take sweets with us and hand them out to the staff. It gives us great pleasure to see their faces light up with delight. We also leave items of clothing for the cleaning staff so we can fit more goodies in our suitcases for the trip home. We are going to the new Xanadu Island in July and will be well stocked with sweets for the holiday.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Depends how the tips are given!!! Often it can be worthwhile being fairly discreet about it.
    I have many friends working in the tourist industry here and tips are always very much appreciated. Many work for just 6 months of the year so the extra money is almost essential to them. One guy I know travels a tremendous distance to work the season to keep his family for the year.
    They all love sweets especially decent chocolate as well.
    Turkey has a tipping culture and while they will never "ask" for a tip it is always gratefully received.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Clare and Froggy, thanks very much for the advice. We will take some sweets and chocolate with us, sounds a great way for extra tipping.
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    Pens are also a good gift. Needn't be expensive but unusual or from London etc. Not too heavy to pack either :o)
  • edited 4:37AM
    Can someone please help!!

    I will be travelling from UK with my family to Istanbul next weekend. The hotel requires us to pay in Euros. As we use GBP in UK, is it best to change GBP to Euros in UK or in Istanbul in order to have the most exchange rate? Any good website to get the most of my money?

  • edited 4:37AM
    Why don't you pay on your credit or debit card and only incur one lot of exchange commission
  • edited 4:37AM

    The hotel will change to Turkish Liras as it benefits them most if we pay them in Euros. We just have to make one exchange from GBP to Euros
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    Does anyone know whether the living expenses is cheaper in UK or Istanbul?

  • edited 4:37AM
    Istanbul :-)
  • edited 4:37AM
    I am going to Turunc in early May staying All Inclusive but keen to spend some money locally. Have been told Turunc is out of the way but is it likely that we will be able to exchange money easily or should we change it all before going? Any other tips on any aspect of our holiday appreciated too!
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi Meg - I don't know Turunc but a good idea is to exchange some money before you go so you have enough on you for any incidentals such as a bottle of water while you explore outside your hotel etc. You will probably have a "comfort break" on your transfer from the airport so will need some Turkish Lira for a drink/snack. You will also find ATMs in Turunc that accept major cards but do be aware that your bank may charge for this so check with them. Generally the rate of exchange is better in Turkey. Again do not use travellers cheques as they are a nightmare to exchange in a lot of places.
    Have a great holiday :o)
  • edited 4:37AM
    Thanks for your advice! Looking forward to my holiday - so many people have told me Turkey's a great place to visit. :)
  • edited 4:37AM
    Turkey is a great place to visit (and live :o))
    I hope you enjoy your holiday and take the opportunity to explore a little.
    For a relaxing day try a boat trip - these are usually laid back days where you visit several bays to swim in the sea. Lunch is generally included and you buy drinks on board. Beware though of sun burn as the the strength of the sun can be deceptive out on the sea!
    Have a lovely time :o)
  • edited 4:37AM

    Just been reading this thread and its been very helpful!
    I'm going to Marmaris next week with a friend, never been to turkey before. We are stayin sc. Any tips or advice?

  • edited 4:37AM
    Change about £100 each to lira before you go to give you time to get your bearings. Stock up your fridge in the apartment with juices, sodas etc as it's the incidental drinks around the pool etc that really add up. OK most places won't let you bring drinks to the pool area but you can nip up to the apartment. Local equivalents are Turka Kola, Yedigun (orange soda) Uludag (a lemonade). Cherry juice is cheap and refreshing - goes beautifully with vodka! Lots of other juices available as well.
    If you have a favourite tipple I suggest you buy it duty free as imported spirits here are quite heavily taxed and expensive. That way you can enjoy a drink or 2 on your balcony before going out in the evening. Efes is the local beer - a lager type of light beer. Nice to have a few in the chilling nicely in the fridge!
    Self catering accommodation in Turkey is usually basic but very clean. Kitchens tend to consist of a fridge, hotplate and kettle plus of course sink and utensils. Sinks don't have plugs so worth bringing a universal travel one.
    It's lovely having breakfast in the peace and quiet of your own apartment and there is so much to choose from - eggs, lovely cheeses, tomatoes, olives etc. If you want a chedder type cheese look for kasar peynir. If you can't survive without your favourite tea bring it with you. Turkish tea is lovely but very different - drunk without milk in tulip shaped glasses. Actually it's worth finding a corner in your suitcase for instant coffee as well. Then you can have a welcome cuppa when you arrive.
    Tap water is safe but not very nice tasting so OK to cook with and boil for hot drinks otherwise have bottled water.
    Find a big supermarket such as Migros or Tansas to stock up at. Cheaper than smaller shops although they are great for daily things such as bread, water etc.
    I don't know your plans for self catering but it's nice to eat out at night and more affordable if you have self catered during the day!!!
    Have a great holiday and explore this amazing country :o)
  • edited 4:37AM
    Thanks so much!

    Plan on eating out every night to sample the local cuisine. Really looking forward to it and hope the weather is good!
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi, me and my family are travelling to Belek in December this year for a two week AI holiday could anyone advise us on what clothing we should take for ourselves and children? Thanks Tracy
  • edited 4:37AM
    December is cooler than the height of summer obviously :o)
    On Christmas Day I walked along the sea front in jeans and a light jersey top and was fine but tourists were sunbathing in swimming gear!!! Guess that's the difference between living here and arriving here from a cold winter elsewhere! I would suggest t shirts plus sweatshirts, cardigans or similar to be able to shed layers or add them! A pair of jeans each for the evenings if you plan to wander around and some lightweight trousers. The odd shower is not unheard of either so a waterproof may be an idea. I assume you'll have your coats you have travelled in and will need for travelling back. The hotel will be heated and often the air conditioning unit can be used as a heater if you need it. It does get cool as soon as the sun goes down.
    Hope this helps a bit.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi Ned and others
    A very good website to check for weather forecasts is
    I find it fairly accurate.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi, thanks for that I have read all the thread so i'm pretty much ready now and all your advise will get used by us, thanks again, Tracy
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi again, do you know the best places to visit (that will be open in December) we quite like going off the beaten track (safely of course) we are staying at the Voyage Belek Spa Hotel, Thanks again, Tracy
  • edited 4:37AM
    Depends what you like to see and do!!
    There's so much available here. Antalya is a year round resort area so there's always plenty going on.
    Aspendos is well worth a visit as is Perge - 2 ancient sites. Perge is less "developed" and still being excavated.
    Side is lovely to visit and stroll aorund.
    A day wandering around Antalya city is great. Stroll along the seaside and stop of for a (very cheap) cay (tea) and watch the world go by. Wander through Kaleci (the old town). I love the museum as well 15 Turkish Lira entrance for adults and I;m sure it's less for kids. A lovely journey through the history of the area. Lots of atefacts recovered from Roman sites as well as recreations of traditional houses and costumes.
    I'm not terribly familiar with Belek itself living on the other side of Antalya. sorry. But I am sure there are some nice walks etc. There's always good places to walk in Turkey!
    If you plan on booking any tours, day trips etc book with the local guys not your travel rep - the trips are often double the price through the reps!
  • edited 4:37AM
    Thanks, we have looked up on net and agree that the museum is definately a must, Thanks Tracy
  • edited 4:37AM
    Maybe start off with the museum - it may then give you idea of anything else you'd like to visit! Also the cafe there selling drinks and cakes etc is very reasonable! A nice break sat in the museum grounds surrounded by even more artefacts.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Have been sitting here for an hour reading this forum and have to say I am very impressed with how helpful and friendly people are. Im taking my you family to Turgutries in a few weeks and am both excited and nervous as never been to Turkey before. We are staying AI, but like to go out and about.
    I have Euros, USD from previous holidays and obviously £GBP but still not sure which to take, or if Turkish lira would be better? Maybe a mixture?
    Am also slightly confussed about the weather, I have been looking on 2 different weather sites and 1 says hot and dry, the other says warm(ish) and rain....any ideas?
    And should i really take chocolate to tip?
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hello JoJo, if you take the USD, the Euros and UKP you will have no problem spending any of them. The shop owners and vendors will happily take all.
    With regard to the weather in a couple of weeks time temperature will be in the high 70's /low 80's and I don't think you will see any rain.
    Chocolate wise, it will proberbly melt from the time you get of the plane until you get to your hotel, Play safe and tip in Lira.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi JoJo
    As Squash says bring all the currencies you have left from previous holidays but it's a good idea to exchange £100 or so for the first few days while you get your bearings. Don't change any sterling into any other currency though and the exchange rate to lira is always slightly better here than in the UK.

    I suspect by the time you get to Turgutreis it will be hot and sunny! Turgutreis is a lovely place and it's good to get out and about to explore the area. The sunsets at that end of the peninsula are fabulous especially while enjoyed sipping a cool drink! The Saturday market is great fun. Be prepared to barter though and don't be afraid to walk away. Decide what you want to pay for the item but try to be non-aggresive and a smile works wonders.

    It's more than worth taking a dolmus to Gumusluk. A relatively unspoilt resort. You can get the bus at the dolmus station in Turgutreis. There are some fabulous fish restaurants along the sea front. Remember if you eat at one they sell the fish by weight so always ascetain the price before hand. Otherwise there is a nice place selling kofte (meatballs) in bread on the front and soft drinks which is very reasonable. Rabbit Island is walkable to from the beach but last time I heard it was being excavated. Check out for more information.

    Take a day and go into Bodrum itself. Again getting a dolmus from Turgutreis dolmus station. The castle is well worth visiting, allow at least a couple of hours to explore it. It's closed on Mondays. The views from the top of the walls are wonderful.

    Book a boat trip from the guys in Turgutreis. A very relaxing day for around £10 a person which includes lunch but drinks are generally extra. The boats stop off at a number of bays for swimming, snorkelling etc. Remember the high factor sun cream as the strength of the sun can be deceptive on the water.

    There is a large aqua park on the road from Bodrum to Turgutreis. Most of the local tour shops offer excursions there. Far easier than going yourself and transfers are usually from your hotel. Again remember the high factor cream as there isn't much shade there. Once there you put money on a card then lock all your belongings in locker.

    Also if you want to book any trips book them through the local tour companies rather than your travel rep. The trips can be up to half price. The travel reps may try to convince you that you're not insured - you are!!! What else do you have travel insurance for? :o)

    Tipping - please tip in lira. These people work incredibly long hours for very low wages. Chocolate etc is nice as a treat but as Squash says it will probably melt! Just tip discreetly in your hotel but if you have a meal or drinks outside generally a 10-15% tip is normal and appreciated. I used to leave behing toiletries etc as well which are very appreciated.

    Don't forget your £10 each for your visa and most of all have a great time :o)
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi Clare
    I'm going to Marmaris next week and never been there before, do you have any tips on places to eat,drink and trips to take?
    Thank you in advance

  • edited 4:37AM

    Im going to Antalya on Monday, and wondering what best currency is to take - as getting confused. Travel agents did advise Euro's were best to take - however reading through comments maybe Turkish Lira is best to take or mixture? We dont have any Euros left over from prev holiday - so means that we would have to exchange.

    Also wondering of any nice restaurants to goto in Antalya?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks :)
  • edited 4:37AM

    My sister and I are going to Istanbul on the 15th of May 2011. I would like to know which currency is best to take as we are from South Africa. We have some American Dollars left from a previous holiday and some Euros but not enough to sustain us for the 10 days we are in Turkey... What currency is best for us? And where should we change it?

    We are also looking to go South to Ephesus, Pamukkale, etc... What is the best way to get there travelling down the coast and keeping in mind we have only 10 days in Turkey??? Is it a good idea or rather a trip on its own at some other time???

    Please help...

    Thanx in advance:)!!!
  • edited 4:37AM
    Julie, Travel agents often recommend Euros - I thnk it's because lots of prices are displayed in Euro but this is to make life easier. Before the Euro they were displayed in GBP, French Franc etc etc, There are lots of good restaurants in Antalya - where are you staying?
    Sorry don't know Marmaris very well at all - I last went there over 10 years ago. One thing though whatever trips you do book them with the locals rather than through your travel rep - so much cheaper for the same trip.
    Claudi, Ephesus is amazing one of my favourite places in Turkey. So worth a trip there. Maybe look to fly from Istanbul to either Izmir or Bodrum (BJV) airport if time is short. Pegasus usually have some good deals on domestic flights as do Atlas.
    All of Turkey has plenty of ATMs and you can pay in most restaurants with both debit and credit cards.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi im going to turkey in three weeks time to wow tokapi palace on lara beach all inclusive, how much spending money do you think i need there will be me my partner and three children were staying for a week, and are there any trips you can recommend. thankyou.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Depends whether you intend eating out at all and what trips would interest you.
    Most excursion companies accept credit/debit cards and there are ATMs you can withdraw money from. Do check what charges your bank levies though to draw money abroad.
    I'd suggest exchanging maybe £100-£200 into lira to bring with you then see how you go. If you bring cash to exchange make sure you have a safe at the hotel and exchanging money at the hotel is usually a poorer rate of exchange. It's the incidental drinks outside your hotel that can sometimes add up especially with children!
    Book trips with the local companies in Lara rather than your travel rep. Aspendos is worth visiting as is Perge. A boat trip is a relaxing day as well. The museum in Antalya is fascinating. Though as you are here for a week make the most of relaxing in the sun!
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hello DeeDee, a couple of years ago my sister went all inclusive to a similar hotel just a little further down the beach than Topkapi Palace and during her 10 day she did not spend a penny (ha ha). Seriously she didn’t spend any money until she had to get her car out of the car park at Stansted.
    Clareg has given you good advice and you won’t go far wrong if you follow it. I would add that you certainly should have travel insurance and take a credit card for emergencies.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Hi we are going to the belkon hotel complex in Belek in August,mixed reviews on trip advisor,has anybody been?? also was wondering what the best market to go to is,what days are they on and if it is best to take Sterling or Lira to spend at the market.

    Thank you
  • edited 4:37AM
    Can't help with the hotel sorry or local market days as I live on the other side of Antalya but I'm sure Squash the Toad will be along to help as he visits Belek often.
    Take a mixture of GBP and Lira to the market. but either work out a ready reckoner of the exchange rate or decide in GBP what you are prepared to pay before you go as it can get confusing int he market and not all traders are as scrupulous as we would like to think!!!
    Also read between the lines of a review - some people would complain that Aladdin's cave was damp and dark! See what the main gripes are and whether they actually really bother you. Also a lot of people "complain" when they get home and write bad reviews but have not reported faults to hotel reception etc so the hotels haven't had a chance to rectify the situation. I remember reading one damning review of a hotel and the main gripe was that there were not top sheets for the beds. In Turkey it is usual to have a pike which is a heavier embossed cotton sheet as a top cover. These were what the reviewer was moaning about! I'm sure if they'd asked the hotel they would have changed them.....
  • edited 4:37AM
    Squash the toad & Clarecg both give good advice on Antalya and it's surrounding areas. I myself found Belek a great town. It's not too big but very friendly. I think the market day is on a Sunday? But i'm sure Squash the toad will correct me if i'm wrong. I took a mixture of GBP & Lira. I think i'm right in saying that GBP & Euros are more welcome than Turkish Lira because of the value of them both, but they accept just about any money even Rubles. Haggle hard over the prices on the markets, they really don't mind. eg: something for 20 Lira you should be looking at paying 8 - 10 Lira after haggleing. If you don't like the price on offer walk away. Like Clarecg says, people come home and moan about all sorts that are not even important and give a hotel a bad name, instead of going and asking for what they want. "Do they think the hotel staff are mind readers" I read one review complaining there were loads forginers and not enough English. Don't be put off i'm sure you'll enjoy it there. Hope this info is of use.
  • edited 4:37AM
    Thanks very much for your replys chaps,much appreciated !
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