The currency of Turkey is the Lira.
If you buy Turkish currency at the airport or your hotel, you’re likely to get much less for your sterling, as rates at these venues tend to be much less competitive. However, even if you do run out of Lira, you’ll find many shops, restaurants and other venues in tourist destinations will accept Euros, although it’s always best to have local currency with you in any case.
Using your card in Turkey
In popular tourist destinations like Istanbul, Marmaris, Antalya and Bodrum, you’ll have little difficulty using your credit or debit card in shops, restaurants, hotels, nightlife venues and major tourist attractions. Many of these establishments will have swipe and pin number cash machines, but bear in mind you may be charged a fee to use your card.
A cash machine or ATM is known as a bankamatik in Turkey, and is a convenient way to withdraw Liras when you’re in a hurry. There will be a charge for every withdrawal you make, although this shouldn’t be more than a small percentage of the transaction. Be vigilant whenever you withdraw money from a cash machine, as fraud is common, so don’t allow anyone to see your pin number, and make sure the keypad is not removable.
In more remote areas such as the interior, cash machines may not be widely available, so always bring enough cash in case there’s an emergency. If you need to exchange sterling to buy Turkish currency, you can visit a bank or travel agent, although remember to have your passport to hand.
Other handy tips for your holiday to Turkey
It’s best to avoid using traveller’s cheques during your holiday in Turkey, as these are not usually accepted and are no longer necessary due to the availability of cash machines. If you think you’ll need to withdraw cash regularly during your holiday in Turkey, make larger withdrawals and fewer trips to the cash machine to minimise the fees for converting Turkish Lira into sterling. Before you set off to Turkey, don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be travelling abroad. Occasionally, banks may block transactions if they suspect suspicious activity, especially if you’re using your card several times a day.