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Does Turkey Use The Euro? (Explained!)

Does Turkey Use The Euro? (Explained!)

Can I use Euros in Turkey? A common question asked by travellers visiting Turkey. The answer to this question is that you can use Euros in Turkey, but not for everything and everywhere. The answer cannot be a straightforward yes, so let’s talk about what a traveller needs to know about using Euros in Turkey.

In What Instances can I use Euros in Turkey?

Spending Money From Wallet

Although you can use Euros in Turkey, you cannot use Euros for everything.

You might be able to pay for your hotel reservation in Euros; you can use Euros to pay for things at the airport; fancy shopping malls may accept Euros. But there’s a disadvantage to using Euros in Turkey; when quoting prices in Euros, vendors will almost always quote a higher price, and you’ll end up forking out more than you have to.

To shop at Turkish street markets, you need to have the savvy of bargaining, but it’s difficult to bargain over values offered in Euros. So, our advice to you is to use the official currency, the Lira, for everything.

Currency in Turkey

Turkish Lira

Let us start with the official currency in Turkey.

The official currency in Turkey is the Lira – this is also the official currency in Northern Cyprus.


The Turkish Lira first came into circulation in 1844. At the time, kurus was the official currency, which became a subgroup upon the introduction of the Lira. Between 1844 and 1881, the Lira had two values: 99.8292 grams of pure silver and 6.61519 grams of pure gold. However, between 1881 and 1914, the silver standard was abandoned, and the gold value became the norm. But during the First World War, the gold standard too was abandoned, and the Lira started losing its value.

In 1946, the Lira was tied to the US dollar at an exchange rate of TRL 2.80 for USD 1. However, in 1960, the value again decreased when USD 1 became equal to TRL 9. The Turkish Lira kept on losing its value, but in recent years, it managed to be somewhat stable and gain some value on the USD, the British pound, and the Euro.

After numerous devaluations, Turkey introduced a new currency in 2009, which is also called the Lira.


As of now, the Turkish currency has two types of coins: Lira coins and kurus coins. Kurus coins come in values of 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50, and there are only 1 lira coins. One hundred kurus are equivalent to the value of a Lira coin.


As for Lira banknotes, there are six denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200.

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Interesting Facts About the Turkish Lira

Turkish Lira Coins
  • 5 and 50 Lira banknotes look almost identical
  • The name Lira originated during the Ottoman empire
  • The obverse of the Turkish banknotes carries the likeness of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey
  • One Lira coin has similar dimensions to the 2 euro coin – a thickness of 1.95 millimetres, a diameter of 26.15 millimetres, and a weight of 8.5 grams

Exchanging Money in Turkey

It’s best to exchange your money in Turkey rather than in your home country; you’ll always get a better exchange rate in Turkey than what’s offered outside Turkey.

Therefore the best way to get Turkish currency is to use an ATM; you simply have to stick your card in to get Liras.

You can also go to a currency exchange office or a bank; you may need to show your passport before obtaining money. Exchanging money at airports isn’t the smart thing to do; you’ll never get a good exchange rate.

Can I use Euros in Istanbul?

Many tourist places in Istanbul accept Euros, but it doesn’t benefit you in any way; you’ll end up paying way more than you should. It’s the same with airport shops; you can use Euros, but you’ll get the worse possible exchange rate.

However, there are many currency exchange centres in Istanbul, so don’t worry; you can easily exchange your money for Liras.

Does Turkey Use the USD?

US Dollar

Turkey uses the USD as much as it does Euros. The same theory applies. Airport shops and major tourist areas accept dollars, but it’s best to use the local currency.

You can use dollars, but you won’t get a good exchange rate. In fact, vendors may like you to use dollars as they can exchange the dollars for a good value in the local currency.

Can you Spend English Money in Turkey?

Yes. You can use English money at airports and in major tourist areas in the cities. But the exchange rate will be determined by the vendors, and as such, you are in for a rip-off.

What’s the Best Currency to Use in Turkey?

The Turkish Lira is undoubtedly the best currency to use in Turkey.

Using Traveller’s Cheques and Credit Cards in Turkey

Credit Cards

Try not to bring traveller’s cheques with you. They are considered old-fashioned, and not many places accept them. You can, however, use credit cards. Needless to say, you cannot use credit cards at street markets, but they are accepted at almost every other place.

Inform your bank that you’ll be using your credit card in Turkey; there may be additional charges. Also, some vendors charge a commission on top of the purchase value if you pay with a credit card.

Does Turkey use PayPal?

Unfortunately, PayPal isn’t an option in Turkey. PayPal ceased its operations in Turkey in 2016 due to various regulatory complications, but there are alternatives.

Wise is one of the PayPal alternatives to transfer money to and from Turkey; this is a quick and easy way, and it’s cheap, too.

Western Union is considered the best option, and MoneyGram is another alternative.

Good To Know

  • The Turkish Lira is the best currency to use in Turkey, so get your money exchanged at a bank or a currency exchange centre, or use an ATM; the easiest and the best way
  • It’s always far better to get your money exchanged inside Turkey rather than outside Turkey.
  • Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost everywhere, but American Express cardholders may run into issues, so withdraw money from an ATM and use cash whenever possible
  • Don’t rely on one method of payment – have both your bankcards and cash ready
  • Ditch the traveller’s cheques; they won’t be any use to you in Turkey
  • Exchange rates on Visa, Mastercard and American Express are way better than what you get at banks and currency conversion centres
  • Don’t accept the first price offered; haggling is expected when shopping at small shops and street markets

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Budget for your Vacation In Turkey

Travel Spending

Turkey isn’t an expensive destination; you can get through your holiday without spending too much money.

  • A budget traveller may need about USD 20 per day
  • For a mid-range traveller, USD 50 per day would be enough
  • If you want luxury, you need about USD 150 per day

Always keep some emergency money with you; also, you should consider getting travel insurance.