Does Turkey Use the Euro? (Get Prepared For Your Trip!)

Does Turkey use the Euro? Technically, no. Turkey is not a member of the European Union and does not use the Euro as its official currency – but in some cities or areas with high numbers of tourists, you can pay in Euros.

Both Turkish citizens and tourists can use euros in some tourist areas of the country. But although the euro circulates widely in places with tourist traffic, its rate is usually lower than its actual value. So despite the convenience, you’ll get the short end of the stick if you choose to pay in euros when you visit Turkey.

Does Turkey Use the Euro
Major cities and tourist destinations in Turkey will accept Euros

Read more about Turkey

Does Turkey use The Euro?

People visiting Turkey for the first time ask one common question: “Does Turkey use the euro?” The answer is obvious: Turkey does not use the euro as its currency. The official currency of Turkey is the Turkish lira (TRY).

The main reason why Turkey cannot use euros as its official currency is that it is not a member of the European Union (EU). But you can use euros in some tourist areas and large cities.

You can pay for things at the airport using euros or pay for your hotel reservation. Fancy shopping malls also accept euros. All you need to do is check with your hotel or the local tourism office to find out if they accept euros.

Turkey’s Economy and the Euro

The euro is the second-best currency to use in Turkey after the lira. Turkey’s economy has been doing quite well. According to the World Bank, Turkey is the 18th-largest state in the world and aims to have the world’s 13th-largest economy by the year 2023.

Turkey is well known for its educated workforce and attracts foreign investors. Although Turkey has not been a member of the European Union, it has a special relationship with the union. Hence, it is still able to receive euros in some areas.

Being a member of the European Union’s Customs Union, Turkey is part of the EU’s visa-free travel areas. That means that Turkish citizens can work and live in any EU country. They can also trade freely with EU businesses.

does turkey use the euro
Istanbul harbour

In recent years, Turkey has been increasingly aligning with the EU economically, and there has been speculation that the country may adopt the euro.

The problem is that significant obstacles prevent Turkey from meeting the criteria for Eurozone membership. So far, the Turkish economy has weathered most of these challenges, but it remains on trial to show how long it can continue having a thriving economy.

Another reason why Turkey has been unable to adopt the euro as its official currency is because of its high level of external debt. Turkey’s external debt stood at $413 billion at the end of 2017.

The Turkish Lira has also lost 30% of its value against the US dollar since the start of 2018. These challenges have continuously weathered Turkey’s economy and made it extremely hard to introduce the euro in Turkey.

What’s the Best Currency To Use in Turkey?

The Turkish lira stands to be the best currency to use in Turkey. Although you can use euros in some areas, using the Turkish lira will always get you a better deal.

You can get the lira from ATMs using your travel or debit card. Alternatively, you can use Mastercard and Visa cards, which get widely accepted in the big cities of Turkey.

As a country with a rich and varied history, Turkey’s currency plays a significant role in its development. The Turkish lira has a long history, dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

Unfortunately, the Turkish lira has suffered high inflation in recent years, making it quite less valuable than other currencies. Before 2005, Turkey introduced the Turkish lira as its currency. In 2005, Turkey officially switched to the new Turkish lira, worth 1 million old Turkish liras.

The Turkish lira has been relatively stable despite all the economic challenges. After the devaluation of the old lira, Turkey named the new lira Yeni Turk Lirasi (YTL). In 2019, they renamed the lira, and it acquired a new currency code (TRY).

The lira is currently the best currency to use in Turkey. The euro is the second-best currency to use in Turkey, and the US dollar is the third-best. It’s, however, crucial to note that not all places accept the euro in Turkey.

Having some lira on hand is a good idea, especially when paying for taxis and shopping at smaller stores. Using the lira is the best way to get the most out of your money in Turkey. It’s a good idea to have some euros on hand in case you need them.

does turkey use the euro
Does Turkey use the euro in Antalya? The good news for tourists is – yes it does!

More About Turkey’s Currency

Turkey’s central bank (TCMB), which has its headquarters in Ankara, produces Turkey’s currency. This bank produces the lira in different denominations.

  • Coin: 1 lira
  •  Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 lira.
  • Cents: 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50.

Some important abbreviations to note about Turkey’s currency are:

  • Abbreviation: TL.
  • Currency code: TRY.
  • Name: “Turk Lirasi”, Turkish Lira in English

How to Get the Best Exchange Rate in Turkey

When traveling to Turkey, it is crucial to know how to get the best exchange rates. You can do a few things to ensure you get the most out of your money.

First, you need to know what currency you will need. If you have euros, you can get a better exchange rate if you find a reputable place to do so. Many places will offer to exchange your money. But only a few of them will give you the best rate.

Note that exchanging money at an exchange office is not advised due to poor exchange rates. Euronet ATMs are not a great place for exchanging money as they charge a withdrawal fee. Their Turkish lira to euro rate is far too low.

Before leaving for Turkey, visit your bank to know the cost of using your local currency in Turkey. The exchange rate can fluctuate, so it is a good idea to check it before you travel. Alternatively, you can find the current exchange rate on Turkey’s Central Bank website.

Tips for Using Currency in Turkey

Turkey’s location is in Europe and Asia, and as such., it accepts the use of multiple currencies. Although the Turkish lira is the best currency to use, there are a few general tips you can follow as a visitor.

First, use the local currency when possible. That is especially true for small purchases, as conversion fees can add up when using other currencies. For instance, using the euro in Turkey will get you less value for your money.

The local currency will come in handy while paying for smaller purchases like local restaurants, smaller stores, taxis, and other rides.

Turkey widely accepts credit cards. Therefore, credit cards are a convenient way to make purchases. However, it is crucial to check with your bank to ensure that your card will work in Turkey.

Mastercard and Visa are the most common acceptable card networks in Turkey. Although travel cards work, they do not support the Turkish lira. If you have trouble using your card at your destination, you can withdraw money and use cash instead.

Finding debit cards that waive international ATM fees and currency conversion fees is a good idea. In areas where they accept the euro in Turkey, be sure to use it. Despite the currency, always compare offers from different sellers.

Turkey Visitor Hacks To Make The Most Of Your Money

If you love to shop, Turkey is the perfect destination, as you can find almost everything there. Most importantly, you may need to bargain to obtain desirable items at a reduced price. Note that shopping and dining at tourist attractions are costly.

Using traveler’s checks is a good option for larger purchases or emergencies. You can exchange the checks for lira at most banks in Turkey.

It is also a good idea to have cash on hand in case of emergencies. That can be in the form of liras or euros, as they all work.


Which credit card issuers does Turkey accept?

Turkey commonly accepts Visa and Mastercard. While carrying out transactions in small cities, other credit card holders, like those with the American Express credit card, may experience card acceptance issues.

This does not limit you from making purchases, as you can withdraw and use cash instead.

Can you use US dollars in Turkey?

High-end tourist destinations accept US dollars. However, Turkey residents do not widely use the US dollar as it has a low exchange rate. It is much better to use the euro in Turkey or, better still, use the local currency.

Is there a limit to how much money you can take to Turkey?

There is no limit to how much money you can take to Turkey. But you must sign a declaration form upon arrival if you have more than 10,000 euros. That applies to other currencies as well.

Since Turkey is a major tourist destination, you will need to have adequate money with you. Therefore, it is recommendable to take enough cash with you to have a lifetime’s experience.

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