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Turkish Lira or Euros or both?

Any advice for this would be appreciated! Going to Istanbul for a week at the end of the month. In terms of hard cash, is it best to have Lira or Euros or both? I've read that shops, cafes, restaurants, etc., prefer to be paid in Euros rather than Lira. I plan to get currency when I arrive at the airport at an ATM, which you can choose Lira, Euros or Dollars evidently.

Posted by
1506 posts

The Turks would definitely prefer to be paid in euros.
Today’s Turkish lira is about 15 per US$1 The euro is worth 5% more than the dollar so about 15.75 Turkish lira per euro.

Make sure to Google up the current exchange rates when you are in Turkey. And if anyone tries to get you to negotiate off of what the exchange rate is.- pay them in Turkish lira. By law they must accept Turkish lira. You are doing a favor by paying in euros rather than the ever-descending Turkish lira.

Posted by
737 posts

I have never used Euros in Turkey except for once when our guide requested Euros.

Posted by
4931 posts

Our hotel quoted the price for our upcoming airport transfer in euros, cash. I'm assuming they actually want it paid in euros.

Posted by
5 posts

Liras are recommended. Most shopkeepers will not have Euro sufficiently at hand to make change, and if you receive Euro coinage, it will prove more expensive at the end to dispose of (you may not be able to) than Turkish coinage.

Euros are really only necessary should you make a side trip to a Eurozone country, such as Greece.

Card transactions can be conducted in whichever currency you prefer, typically; however, you will likely find it cheaper to have it charged in the local currency.

Posted by
7050 posts

What Turks prefer is the exact opposite of what's in the best interest of the tourist. I would pay in local currency only; unless you're OK in paying based on their own devised exchange rate (which will have a profit margin built in that you wouldn't face if paying with Lira).

Posted by
19 posts

Thank you everyone. You gave me a much better perception of what to expect!

Posted by
1224 posts

Check out the thread 'What I learned this spring on 2 RS tours.' Some vendors will not accept Lira or only as cash.

Posted by
737 posts

@CWSocial -- Some hotels will give you a discount if you pay cash in Euros. If they don't give you a discount, I wouldn't bother with Euros. Even when prices are quoted in Euros, they can/should run a credit card transaction through in lira.

Also, the lira has been reasonably stable so far in 2022, unlike the roller coaster it was in late 2021. (I am leaving for Turkey later this week, and so I have been keeping a close watch on the exchange rates.)

Posted by
1506 posts

PS. The Turkish Lira dropped further today breaking the 15 lira per US Dollar mark to end at 15.10 Lira per $1. Now (5/10) it is 15.35
The lira is starting to resume it’s downward slide.

Posted by
4931 posts

Marie, this is to pay a third party driver, so I imagine they are wanting to hand him cash. Certainly if it's a credit card transaction, I'll request that it be in liras.

Posted by
737 posts

CWSocial, it depends on the hotel. Last November our hotel just added the airport transfer fee onto the bill. It was quoted in Euros but we paid with a credit card in lira.