Information about Turkish money for tourists

The currency in Turkey is named “Turkish lira”,” TL “or in Turkish”Turk Lirasi”. The article is about useful information about money in Turkey, as a tourist.


So in general, exchange rates and how you pay cheap euro in lira exchange,

I still do not want to believe it myself:

The Turkey has its own currency and it is advisable to exchange cash!

This allows you to pay in local currency and save a lot of money.

The reasons for this are diverse.

Euros are often not accepted as means of payment. This applies for example at the entrance of state museums.

If stores or restaurants accept Euros, they charge more for their services than in Lira!

In addition, you will get the change back anyway in Turkish Lira. The exchange rate is very bad in such a case.

You will find important information about the Lira in the next few paragraphs.

Then I come to tips on how you can exchange them for Euros cheap.

The Turkish Lira banknotes and coins

The Turkish banknotes have the values ​​of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 lira.

In former times there was also a 1 Lira bill, this was abolished, because he could not prevail against the 1 Lira coin.

On the banknotes are natural landscapes and Portraits of important personalities from art, culture and science.

A special position is taken by the portrait of the Turkish founder of the state Mustafa Kemal Ataturk one whose portrait can be found on all the front pages of the banknotes. The illustrations come from different phases of his life.

What with Euro is the cent, is called by the lira Kurus, There are coins with a value of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 Kurus as well as 1 Lira coins. The portrait of Atatürk is located at the back of the coins.

The 50 Kurus and 1 Lira coins are easily confused with the 1 and 2 Euro coins. The change is often rounded in Turkey, which means that the 1 and 5 Kurus coins are hardly needed.

Image of all banknotes and coins of the Turkish Lira
Banknotes and coins in Turkey

Change and pay money

In most tourist resorts can be paid with euros or dollars. But you have to expect a much worse exchange rate than in a bank or exchange office.

One of the biggest drawbacks of exchanging banks in Turkey is the lack of possibility to exchange coins, Especially with smaller amounts, this can lead to change ratios that are more like 1 €: 1 – 1.5 TL than 1 € to 3.50 TL (as of November 2016)

Change cash

The The most favorable exchange rates are offered within Turkey, The two most expensive ways to get Turkish Lira are the exchange in Germany or at the airport. The fees and exchange rates are by far the worst there.

Tip: The best exchange rates for cash You can get it from banks in Turkey, exchange offices or credit cards with them Free cash can be withdrawn, These also offer the bonus that Turkish lira can always be fixed at the current daily rates.

Tip: It is better to carry many small bills with you. Notes with a value of more than 50 Lira are partially not accepted by small traders!

Note that at foreign fixes incur usual bank card or euro check card fees. These differ depending on the bank. They can easily be up to 10 euros per withdrawal.

Compared to the bureaux de change, the removal at an ATM comes cheaper. The reason for this is the fees charged there for the cash issue and the better exchange rates of the banks.

Tip: If you pick up Turkish Lira at a machine and at the end of the process ask: “Should the amount be settled in euros?“Appears, click on” No, calculate in Turkish Lira (TL) “. Banks will otherwise charge additional cash-handling fees.

Debit cards

Already in 2011 many banks have EC cards blocked in Turkey and other EU countries, These regulations were further tightened in 2014 once again. The anti-fraud measure includes the reduction of the daily withdrawal limit in Turkey to 0 euro.

Before starting your journey, you should always ask your own bank if this applies to your own card as well. An afterthought activation is unfortunately very difficult to impossible.

Credit card

The Turkey is a land of credit cards, Every turkey has not just one, but several of them. In Germany small amounts are paid with the debit card, in Turkey there is the credit card.

The whole thing sometimes leads to funny situations, where you can find small market stalls or traveling dealers who announce on a sign proudly: Purchasing also possible with a credit card!

Nevertheless, you should take good care of your card as well as in Germany or other holiday destinations. Use them only in exceptional cases. Best for cash only at an ATM. Unfortunately, there are also warnings of fraud attempts with this means of payment.

See My Travel Credit Card for withdrawing money in Turkey for tips and recommendations on how to pay and withdraw money.

Definitely discouraged & common scams

Pick up cash at one ATM only during business hours and in company. Make sure nobody can watch the input of your pin code. Unfortunately, lately ATMs have been tampered with. The deceptively real essays used for this purpose, the cards no longer ago and copy the secret code of the card.


If the card is stuck for this reason or a technical error, you can only be helped during the opening hours of the bank. In no case should the help of a passing by passers be claimed!

It can happen that you be addressedwhether you want to exchange euro coins in bills. It does not necessarily have to be a fraud attempt.

You will mostly due to the Einbezahlungsmodalitäten Turkish banks. asked for it. They either do not accept Euro coins or charge disproportionately high fees for the deposit.

Unfortunately it comes through the deceptively similar looking 50 Kurus 1 Lira coins again and again that they intentionally or unintentionally as a 1 or 2 Euro coins untergejubelt.

Especially in the confusion of streets or markets, it is better to refrain from such shops, so as not to lose the shorter.

Last but not least: Do not fix cash from a cash machine in the middle of the night in a hidden alley!

Two prizes on a card

Especially in the resorts In recent years it has become a common practice that prices in restaurants, shops and public institutions are quoted in Turkish Lira but settled in Euros or Dollars.

With an exchange rate of 1: 3, this naturally leads to a significant increase in prices.

For this reason, it is advisable to sign up before making a purchase or placing an order inquire in advance about the terms of payment and currency, It happens again and again that separate price tags or menus for tourists and locals are spent.

The prices written in German or English are much higher in such a case.

There are also two prizes in museums, historical sites and ruins. Once for tourists who have to pay between 10 – 20 TL per entry …

… and Turks, who can buy an annual pass for state museums around 60 TL.


The lira is subject since theirs Introduction in the 1870s a strong inflation. At that time, it was introduced to the Ottoman Empire as a new major entity for the Kurus. 100 Kurus corresponded to 1 lira. At that time the currency was tied to gold (Goldlira) and the curus to silver (Silberkurus). The bond was abandoned after the First World War in favor of Papierlira. Their value was only a ninth of the gold lira.

Photo of an old turkish banknote with a value of one million lira
The old currency of Turkey: A bill with a value of 1,000,000 Turkish Lira

Beginning devaluation

Until the 1980s, the exchange rate remained relatively stable in relation to later decades. 1933 could be changed 2 TL in 1 dollar. in the 1970s, it required 13 TL. The rapid decline in value of TL began in the 1980s and found its end only with a maximum exchange rate of about 1,500,000 TL for one US dollar. In comparison, the exchange rate in 2000 cheated still 620,000 lira for one dollar.

Exchange rate and shopping

The exchange rate of the Turkish Lira has always been subject to strong inflation, This has continued even after the reduction of six zeros in 2004. At that time, 1 dollar was equivalent to 1,410,000 lira and thus 1.41 yeni Türk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira).

After the high Inflation at the turn of the millennium could be stopped …

… and the Yeni Türk Lirasi (New Turkish Lira) was introduced with a reduction of six zeros, the exchange rate remained relatively stable.

In 2009, the name suffix “Yeni” painted. Since then, the Turkish currency has again been called “Turkish Lira”.

Purchasing power Euro

Initially, 1.60 lira could be exchanged in 1 euro.

The fluctuations were low and depending on the season, The value of TL is still decreasing in summer and rising again in winter.

Despite the ongoing, relatively slower inflation that has occurred in recent years, prices have risen in Turkey.

Course to the Euro

The euro has developed in recent years to the detriment of the lira. In the Last years lost the currency an average of 10% of their value compared to the euro per calendar year. Currently, this development is fueled by ongoing economic weakness and political turmoil.

The actual purchasing power of a euro has decreased in recent years. This is mainly due to rising prices for products, goods and services within Turkey.

The exchange rate is currently in a range of 2.90 to 3.10 TL to 1 Euro. After the electoral defeat of the AKP in June 2015, a low of 3.10 TL was reached at 1 euro. The trend continues down.

What is there to say in conclusion?

For travelers mean the current Exchange rate developments an improvement of their holiday budget. The Turkish economy and the population are not doing well in this development.

The price developments make a Turkey vacation as low as in a long time.

Under travel Tips You can find many more helpful information about a holiday in Turkey.

In a separate post I wrote about it like you cheaply change to Turkish Lira can.

Do you have any questions about the Turkish currency? Then put it in the comments column.

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