The currency of Turkey is the Lira (TL).
We always advise changing your sterling before you travel for the best rates. Plus, if you order your travel money online you’ll receive it in a couple of business days. There are also exchange kiosks at the airport and in hotels, but rates are usually less competitive and you may be hit with commission charges.
If you run out of Lira, many shops, restaurants and other venues in busy tourist spots will also accept Euros, although it’s always best to have local currency with you.
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 attractions. However, it is always worth contacting your bank before any transactions to make sure you won’t be charged a fee.
A cash machine or ATM is known as a ‘bankamatik’ in Turkey and is a convenient way to withdraw Lira 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. Make sure you're vigilant whenever you withdraw money from a cash machine as fraud is common.
In more remote areas cash machines may not be widely available, so always bring enough cash in case of 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 in hand.
Other handy tips for your holiday to Turkey
It’s best to avoid using travellers’ cheques during your holidays to 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, make larger withdrawals and fewer trips to the cash machine to minimise the fees. Before you jet off, don’t forget to notify your bank to let them know about your upcoming trip. Occasionally, banks may block transactions if they suspect suspicious activity, especially if you’re using your card several times a day.