Need to Know

Everything You Must Know About The Currencies Before You Visit Istanbul

In this article, you can find everything you need to know about Turkish currency, what currency to choose, how to exchange and more.

1. TL Denominated Banknotes

There are 6 banknotes in Turkish Lira. The highest value banknote is 200 TL. The lowest value banknote is 5 TL.

200 TL

Dimensions: 72 x 160 mm
The main color of the banknote is purple.

100 TL

Dimensions: 72 x 154 mm
The main color of the banknote is blue.

50 TL

Dimensions: 68 x 148 mm
The main color of the banknote is orange.

20 TL

Dimensions: 68 x 142 mm
The main color of the banknote is green.

10 TL

Dimensions: 64 x 136 mm
The main color of the banknote is red.

5 TL

Dimensions: 64 x 130 mm
The main color of the banknote is purple.


2. Coins

1 TL

Diameter: 26.15 mm, Thickness: 1.9 mm and Weight: 8.2 g

50 Kurus

Diameter: 23.85 mm, Thickness: 1.9 mm and Weight: 6.8 g

25 Kurus

Diameter: 20.5 mm, Thickness: 1.65 mm and Weight: 4 g

10 Kurus

Diameter: 18.5mm, Thickness: 1.65mm and Weight: 3.15g

5 Kurus

Diameter: 17.5 mm, Thickness: 1.65 mm and Weight: 2.9 g

1 Kurus

Diameter: 16.5 mm, Thickness: 1.35 mm and Weight: 2.2 g

2 x 50 Kurus = 4 x 25 Kurus = 1 TL.

3. Security Measures in Banknotes

There are many security measures in banknotes. Take the banknote in your hand, and put it on a flat surface. Look at the banknote from different angles. There is a holographic that gives colorful and bright reflections. Here, there is the TL letter in a rectangular shape, and when you look at the banknote from different angles, the letters of TL become the value of the banknote. When you hold the banknote to light, you can see the safety strip embedded in the paper. When you look at the banknote with the eye at the horizontal level, the TL value of the banknote appears as a number in the heptagon shape in the bottom right corner of the Atatürk portrait. When you put the banknote in the light, you can see the numbers written by the Atatürk watermark and the banknote value. The banknote paper does not shine under blue light. But you can see the capillary fibers shining blue and red on the paper. On the Atatürk portrait, the value of the banknote in TL appears as a number. The red serial number shines, and the black serial number shines yellowish green. If you suspect that the banknote you have is fake, you can make an inquiry here. You can query your banknote by entering the currency (TL / YTL), the value of the banknote, the serial and the order number of the banknote.

4. Traveling with Various Budgets in Istanbul

It doesn’t matter if you visit Istanbul with a low budget or higher, there are always options for everyone of any kind!


There are hostels as well as hotels in Istanbul. In Fatih or Beyoğlu, you can stay in a room with a double bed to keep it cheap. Moreover, these hotels are highly rated by those who have stayed before. In addition, there are hostels in many parts of Istanbul. You can also stay in hostels in Sultanahmet, Taksim, Kadıköy or Beşiktaş.

If you are looking for luxury options, check out the hotels nearby Bosphorus. This way, you can enjoy the magnificent view as well!


If you want to shop, visit the district bazaar before visiting the malls. If you want to buy clothes, you can find many kinds of products cheaply at Beyoğlu Business Center on Istiklal Avenue, Terkos Passage, Beşiktaş Çarşı Sinanpaşa Business Center in Beşiktaş and Opera Onur Passage in Kadıköy.

There are also shopping malls including luxury brands in concept stores. You can spend the whole day shopping in the shopping malls such as Bağdat Caddesi, Zorlu Center, Galataport, City’s Nişantaşı, Emaar, Vadistanbul and İstinyePark, which also include luxury brands. In addition, the Grand Bazaar is suitable for gold, precious stones and jewelry.

Museums in Istanbul

Many museums in Istanbul can be visited with a museum pass card. If you get a museum pass card as soon as you arrive in Istanbul, your museum trips will be free. You can find out which museums you can visit with the museum pass.


There are many beautiful parks to visit in Istanbul. Ideal places to spend time and chat. One of them is Emirgan Grove. Especially the tulip time, the view is amazing. If you switch to Moda on the Kadıköy side, you can walk by the sea and have a picnic sitting on the grass. Other famous green areas are Gülhane Park, Otağtepe Grove, Fethipaşa Grove, etc.

Nostalgic Places

Some places in Istanbul are like free open-air museums. In places like Balat and Kuzguncuk, you can wander the streets and breathe the nostalgic atmosphere. You can sit by the sea in Salacak and watch the Maiden Tower. Ideal for visiting the Old City and Grand Bazaar.

Bosphorus Tour

When it comes to Istanbul, buy an Istanbul Card which is used for transportation. You need to load money after purchasing. You should definitely take a Bosphorus tour after receiving your Istanbulkart. Jump on the city lines ferry, and take a round trip or a one-way trip. You can do these tours at night. The Bosphorus tour is called the Moonlight Tour.

Old City Tour

The region, where the museums and historical buildings of Istanbul are located, is the golden horn region. This place is known as Old City for Istanbul. You can visit Sultanahmet, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Museum, Hagia Sophia and all the historical monuments in the surrounding area. While a Museum pass card is enough for some, you may need to pay extra for some places (such as Basilica Cistern). You can crown your all-day excursion with the excellent meatballs you will eat at Sultanahmet Koftecisi.

Also, with a walking tour, you can explore Taksim – Beşiktaş areas together! Just to be sure, do not forget that it is impossible to visit all of the places in these two areas, only most of the historical ones if you have enough energy 😉

Rent a Boat

Rent a boat for a wonderful day on the Bosphorus. You can only rent hourly for the Bosphorus tour, or you can rent a Bosphorus and islands tour and rent it daily to swim in the sea. If you want entertainment on the sea at night, book a boat restaurant.

5. Bargaining

Bargaining is almost a rule in Istanbul, especially in shopping in Old City. Everything you buy from the Grand Bazaar and Sultanahmet (including carpets and rugs – especially them) is subject to bargaining. The important thing is when you bargained. For example, you can ask the account that came after eating at the restaurant in detail and check what you have eaten. However, if you try to bargain on the account after eating, the waiter and everyone working there may perceive it as an insult. Usually, bargaining is not done in department stores (in chain brands like IKEA), restaurants, and so on. Apart from that, it is important to negotiate in small stores, small shops, souvenir shops before finishing shopping.

6. ATMs

You can find the ATMs of the bank you are working with by downloading the bank’s application to your phone. If you do not want to download applications, you can also find them from Google Maps. If you can not find an ATM around you, you can definitely find one in the shopping malls and metro stations. The bank you work in your country, a bank that will certainly cooperate in Türkiye. In addition, it is possible to withdraw cash from all ATMs by paying costs. If you want to withdraw Euros or Dollars, you have to look for signs (Euro, Dollar, GBP) on ATMs. If you want to withdraw the foreign currency in your account by converting it to Turkish Lira, you will suffer losses because it converts at a lower exchange rate than foreign exchange offices. For this reason, you should make the right decision by comparing the interbank commission and the exchange rate. It takes too long to tell, once you do it, you get used to it.

7. Currency

Exchange rates in Türkiye are in three ways: the exchange rate set by the Central Bank, foreign currency exchange rates determined by the free market, and the financial institutions. There are slight numerical differences in each system. You can use foreign currency branches while you exchange foreign currency. Foreign exchange offices in the country start working at 09.00 in the morning and finish working at 19.00. Exchange offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday. However, exchange offices at airports are open 24/7.

8. Tip

Tipping, as it is anywhere in the world means thank you in Türkiye. If there was a service that you enjoyed a lot, you would like to thank for leaving a tip before leaving the restaurant. The tip is given in return for many services. Especially in restaurants, it will be enough to tip 10% of the account. No tip is required to take away, street vendors or fast food.

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Dogus Gulyuva

Born and raised Istanbulite. Keeping an eye on the opportunity to explore this ancient city even more. Trying to do the best for nature.
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