The Turkish Lira (Türk Lirası / TRY) is the currency of the Republic of Turkey.
It is indispensable as a means of payment for a holiday in Turkey.
So that you don’t get into the common tourist traps when changing money from Euro to Lira, I have collected all the important tips here.
Every year I spend many weeks in Turkey.
Nevertheless I still haven’t got used to the Turkish Lira.
Turkey has its own currency.
That is just like that.
Therefore it is one of the largest topics for holiday-makers and long-term travelers to arrive at favorable cash in Turkey.
That is not so simple. The traditional possibilities are the most expensive!
You can buy in most tourist places with euros, but you get the rest money back at a very bad exchange rate in Lira. Thus you pay for your purchase much more than would have been necessary.
Some restaurants have cards with prices in Lira and Euro. You can probably imagine which of them are more expensive.
National museums and sights only accept Turkish Lira as a means of payment. With Euro or Dollar you have no chance.
The same applies to small merchants in the bazaars.
Cheap change Euro to Turkish Lira
There are many ways to exchange Euro for Turkish Lira. Very few of them are really cheap. Most of the time you pay a much too high exchange fee or get the money at a bad exchange rate.
Both cost you a lot of money in the long run.
1. Do not exchange cash in Germany
Your own bank is a practical solution at first glance. The exchange of euro in Germany is connected however with the highest change costs. A German bank generally charges a lower price than a Turkish bank for exchanging euros for lira. This is due to the so-called BUY and SELL rates. These are the prices for buying and selling money.
The easiest way to explain the relationship between the two rates is as follows: you buy Turkish Lira notes in Germany. They have to come to Germany first. That costs money. In Turkey you sell Euro, the Turkish Lira are already there. That is why they are traded at a better price.
2. The exchange offices are most expensive
The fees in the exchange offices of the tourist resorts are excessive. They know that there is hardly any alternative to them. And most travellers don’t really look at the exchange rate.
The worst thing I find is the exchange office at Antalya airport. There I have always seen the worst rates for buying Turkish Lira with Euro.
3. Expenses at ATMs
The banks charge high fees for the machines. For a single redemption you normally pay 4 to 10€, no matter how high the amount is. In addition, there is the question which exchange rate is used by the vending machine?
With a normal EC card, this is usually a rate set by the bank itself. It goes without saying that it is designed for the benefit of the bank.
Important: At the end of the cash withdrawal at the ATM, the question “Should the amount be settled in euros” often appears? In this case click on: “No, calculate in Turkish Lira (TYL)”. Otherwise you will have to pay an additional fee.
You don’t pay bank charges.
Your own bank charges you for withdrawing money from a third-party ATM using an EC card or credit card. The costs for this increase significantly abroad. With the Santander 1plus Visa Card you do not pay the expenses!
If your bank in Germany does not charge any fees, the bank in Turkey will do that at the latest. For this you will be charged a fixed amount of 4 to 10 euros, no matter how much cash you withdraw. The fees make a lot of money in the long run.
I don’t like to walk around with all my holiday money in my pocket. I prefer to withdraw smaller amounts again and again. This is possible with the Santander 1plus Visa Card.
Here you can apply for the Santander 1plus Visa Card for free!
More recommendations for paying in Turkey, see valuuttamuunnin website today.
In addition to the Santander 1plus Visa Card, take a Maestro EC card or a Mastercard credit card from another bank with you. This is the safest way. The machines are sometimes a little problematic to operate. Some don’t work with visas, others have a problem with Mastercard. Before you search for different machines, a small selection of possible cards is helpful. This is easy on the nerves.
I run my own bills through Lufthansa’s Miles&More Mastercard Gold. So I collect miles for every euro spent, which I can invest in cheap flights with Turkish Airlines or Lufthansa. DKB also offers a free credit card with a current account if you want to get a second card.
I always pick up Turkish Lira after my arrival at the airport. The safest way to do this is to use the machine in the exit hall.
To be on the safe side, I take at least 100 Euros in cash from home. Safe is safe.
Write down the phone numbers to block your cards and save them in your phone.
Transfer money to Turkey
Banks settle their internal exchange rates when transferring funds to an account in a foreign currency. This makes the whole thing very expensive. For 1.000 Euro you usually pay expenses between 40 and 60€!
The problem can now be solved with TransferWise. This is a kind of intermediary between your bank in Germany, the Turkish bank and vice versa.