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cash, currency and money

London, United...
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cash, currency and money

I am aware that there are similair posts but some seem a little oout of date and so i just needed clarity. Where do i stand with money in turkey, as we will be doing a fair bit of travelling (hopefully) i was planning on converting almost all money at the airport from GBP to turkish Lira. Is this the best thing to do. Otherwise i do have a visa card

London, United...
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1. Re: cash, currency and money

i am so sorry i have just seen a similair post this that was put up yesterday so i will reffer to that.

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: cash, currency and money

I wouldn't convert my cash at the airport, they generally have the worst exchange rates. I kept a very large amount of money in USD and some in Euros. Everyone accepted either one except some restaurants. I found the best way to buy things at a shop was to negotiate in Turkish Lira and then agree to a fair, or slightly better than fair, exchange rate. Always keep some Turkish Lira on hand, though.

Surrey, UK
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for Istanbul
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3. Re: cash, currency and money

Changing cash at the airport is a bad idea - the exchange rate is pretty awful and they charge commission.

Exchange a little before you leave the UK (enough to sort out your transfer and one night just in case) - if you are in London, you can find good exchange rates around Victoria Station.

Then exchange your money in the change shops around the Grand Bazaar. They give you the best rate, and also do not charge commission.

You will find bargaining in Istanbul easier in TL, you will need it for transport (tokens, akbils, taxis etc), shopping in smaller shops (to get water etc) and in any restaurant where you do not want to pay with a card (and for tipping too).

San Francisco...
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4. Re: cash, currency and money

this subject comes up a lot here. you could do a search on it for clarification. do not bring a lot of cash with you,too easy to lose. lira is the currency of Turkey and best to use for . use your debit card to withdraw money as you need it. your bank may charge a foreign exchange commission to do so,so try to take as much as you think you will need for three days.use a debit card for large purchases,and for food if you like. I never had any problem with doing so. if you use euros,you will have problems getting change.you may need to change your PIN and notify your bank before leaving that you will be using your card in Turkey. this prevents it from being frozen.

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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5. Re: cash, currency and money

I would never assume the risk of carrying large amounts of cash with me. I do not do that in the US, and I do not do it when I travel. Should I forget my bag, or be the victim of a criminal, I want to minimize my potential losses. I do not want to spend my time watching my purse or guarding my husband's pockets.

While I believe that Turkey is a very safe country, there is no country that does not have it's share of theft. I think it is just foolish to carry large amounts of cash with you. I certainly would not carry all the money I needed on my vacation with me in cash. Our rule of thumb is to carry no more cash with us than we are prepared to lose.

Many of the places where I shop in Istanbul do not bargain, and I would not dream of offering those places USD and then asking for a discount. I think it would insult the man from whom I purchase bottled water and Diet Coke, and he might not be so anxious to make sure I have a few sticks of my favorite gum every time I visit his shop. I also would never dream of doing that in a restaurant. I have never been in a restaurant that did not have the prices listed in TL, and I certainly would not offer USD or Euros and then ask for a discount.

If you are purchasing something quite expensive, like a carpet or a piece of jewelry you might want to use USD or Euros simply because you are more familiar with this currency. Generally when a seller initiates the negotiation process he asks if you are bargaining in TL, Euros or USD. I answer that question honestly at the beginning of the negotiation process. I do not negotiate in one currency and then switch to another once I have reached an agreed upon price.

I do often ask if there is a discount for cash versus credit card payment. Even in some of the modern malls stores will give a 10% discount for cash payment, but I pay in TL not a foreign currency.

London, United...
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6. Re: cash, currency and money

thank you everyone that has been really helpful, especially as turkey is the second country we will be visiting. so i will take approximately 50 pound in turkish lira and rely on ATM. thank you

Salma k

Montreal, Canada
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7. Re: cash, currency and money

So there's one guy who wouldn't even dream of using Euros, that speaks to his experience using Euros in Turkey. I did use Euros and USD, in both tourist and non-tourist areas. They were accepted everywhere except a few restaurants. And not only were the shop owners not insulted they knew the going exchange off the top of their head. That surprised me but it obviously shows how often they deal with other currencies. So one guy won't dream about, and I'm fine with that. I'm only posting my experience here which is that I did it and it worked just fine for everyone.

Edited: 01 September 2010, 12:07
Ruhr Area, Germany
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8. Re: cash, currency and money

Perhaps I´m a little outdated but I don´t understand why many tourists expect that foreign countries have to accept their currency.

We have always changed our money or withdrawn it at the ATM and only used our own currency for very special situations, EG an unexpected considerable sum for something. Or the hotel bill, if requested.

Maybe they accept euros, pounds and dollars but IMO they don´t need. Would I be able to pay with Euros in UK, US or Canada? And I´m pretty sure we wouldn´t accept TL, pounds and dollars in Germany.

But as I said before, perhaps I´m too outdated...

Tschüss

patara01

Edited: 02 September 2010, 01:31
Montreal, Canada
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9. Re: cash, currency and money

I haven't seen anyone on any post in Trip Advisor say they expect a shop to take foreign currency. I have seen many questions as to whether a major foreign currency will be accepted. The very fact that they are asking shows that they do not expect it, that they need to inquire whether it will be accepted. And many, many, many people have posted that British Pounds, Euros and USD are widely accepted. I myself found that I could use Euros and USD anywhere I travelled in Turkey except for a few small restaurants. But a few posters on here are trying to turn a simple inquiry and a travellers actual experience into some demeaning situation. It shouldn't be. If someone asks whether a local currency is accepted it seems like a simple question. And if someone answers that their experience was that it was accepted there shouldn't be demeaning comments. Personally, I wouldn't 'dream' of acting in such a juvenile manner. Turkey has some of the best entrepreneurs in the world, if you ask me. And I wouldn't be surprised that if you surveyed them about whether they would be insulted if someone wanted to spend their Euros or other major currency in their shop that their answer would not only be that they would not be insulted but that they more than welcome these people to spend their money in their shops - the more the merrier.

Edited: 02 September 2010, 02:22
Ruhr Area, Germany
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10. Re: cash, currency and money

Is it juvenile when somebody answers other than you? And demeaning if you contradict another forumite?

I didn´t say that it isn´t possible to pay in whatever you want, I just say that I´m not sure if this will be the best way. And the OP asked for the best way though!

I know that many Turks accept foreign currency, what else should they do? They need the money urgently, especially in the touristy areas, where the season is short. But in less touristy areas they aren´t always that pleased, believe it or not, I have often stayed there. They have to pay a commision fee when they convert it to TLs and lose some of their profit but they are very often too polite to talk about.

Of course everybody can do whatever he wants, and if it works, why not (although not everything that works is always the best choice) but with all due respect you should accept as well if other forumites have a different opinion. And it was just this what we have told the OP, nothing more and nothing less.

Tschüss

patara01