What currency to take to Side Turkey

Hello me and the better half are going to Side in Turkey soon. What is the best currency to bring I keep seeing different reports that the euro is better than the Turkish lira or even the pound. Any advice would be appreciated. TY
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  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,219
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    Touristy places have menus and price lists in Euro, but of course you can pay in Turkish lira (you may need to negotiate the exchange rate). It is easy to exchange cash (sterling or anything else) into lira, at far better rates than you would find in the UK. And there are plenty of ATMs but check carefully whether they charge a fee (most do but there are plenty that are free to use).

    Inflation in Turkey is very high, so even during your stay the exchange rate will improve. Therefore, do not exchange more than a day or so before you will be spending the money. And many restaurants and so forth no longer use menus with printed prices because they change so rapidly. This means that you have to ask, and again be prepared to negotiate.
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,231
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    We haven't been to Turkey for several years but even then inflation was high.  Although they often price their menus in Sterling I never saw them adjusting the prices to reflect the exchange rate.  I would want to pay in the local currency, and expect the menus to show local currency.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,219
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    TELLIT01 said:
    We haven't been to Turkey for several years but even then inflation was high.  Although they often price their menus in Sterling I never saw them adjusting the prices to reflect the exchange rate.  I would want to pay in the local currency, and expect the menus to show local currency.
    You can expect what you like, but most restaurants that serve mainly tourists will have restaurant prices in Euro only. Those prices should not change, whereas the price in lira could change almost from one day to the next.

    The absolute worst was a restaurant in Istanbul where they tried to tell me that because of inflation, the prices in lira shown on the menu were out of date and so when I came to pay the bill they wanted about ten times as much as the amounts I had agreed to pay when I placed the order! My companion was Turkish and they even tried it on with her! 
  • TELLIT01
    TELLIT01 Posts: 16,231
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    TELLIT01 said:
    We haven't been to Turkey for several years but even then inflation was high.  Although they often price their menus in Sterling I never saw them adjusting the prices to reflect the exchange rate.  I would want to pay in the local currency, and expect the menus to show local currency.
    You can expect what you like, but most restaurants that serve mainly tourists will have restaurant prices in Euro only. Those prices should not change, whereas the price in lira could change almost from one day to the next.

    The absolute worst was a restaurant in Istanbul where they tried to tell me that because of inflation, the prices in lira shown on the menu were out of date and so when I came to pay the bill they wanted about ten times as much as the amounts I had agreed to pay when I placed the order! My companion was Turkish and they even tried it on with her! 
    When we were out there many menus were priced in Sterling and no other currency.  Presumably they had other versions of the menu for locals.

  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,219
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    TELLIT01 said:
    TELLIT01 said:
    We haven't been to Turkey for several years but even then inflation was high.  Although they often price their menus in Sterling I never saw them adjusting the prices to reflect the exchange rate.  I would want to pay in the local currency, and expect the menus to show local currency.
    You can expect what you like, but most restaurants that serve mainly tourists will have restaurant prices in Euro only. Those prices should not change, whereas the price in lira could change almost from one day to the next.

    The absolute worst was a restaurant in Istanbul where they tried to tell me that because of inflation, the prices in lira shown on the menu were out of date and so when I came to pay the bill they wanted about ten times as much as the amounts I had agreed to pay when I placed the order! My companion was Turkish and they even tried it on with her! 
    When we were out there many menus were priced in Sterling and no other currency.  Presumably they had other versions of the menu for locals.

    I doubt it... any local customers would have negotiated a price in lire, or simply used card currency. (I think that Turkish people keep their savings in Euro because of the inflation.)
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,172
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    edited 17 January at 5:08PM
    Touristy places have menus and price lists in Euro, but of course you can pay in Turkish lira (you may need to negotiate the exchange rate). It is easy to exchange cash (sterling or anything else) into lira, at far better rates than you would find in the UK. And there are plenty of ATMs but check carefully whether they charge a fee (most do but there are plenty that are free to use).

    Inflation in Turkey is very high, so even during your stay the exchange rate will improve. Therefore, do not exchange more than a day or so before you will be spending the money. And many restaurants and so forth no longer use menus with printed prices because they change so rapidly. This means that you have to ask, and again be prepared to negotiate.
    You don't need to be too concerned about inflation over a few days - the current inflation rate is 65% which is less than 1% a week. Obviously don't exchange any before you so, that would be silly, but withdrawing a week's worth of cash could be better than withdrawing every couple of days if ATM fees are flat (IIRC they are). 
    Don't take EUR (unless you happen to have some spare) - GBP is as widely accepted IME. Definitely not worth buying EUR before going.

  • Ganga
    Ganga Posts: 4,022
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    edited 17 January at 6:04PM
    Last time i was in Turkey i had to go too the local shops to buy a hat as i had burnt the top of my head ,strong sunshine and a lot less hair now ,went into one that had hats and asked the owner what currency he accepted ,he said UK pounds ,Euros, Turkish Lira and US dollars. think he would have taken Monopoly Money if it had been legal tender  :)
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,219
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    zagfles said:
    Touristy places have menus and price lists in Euro, but of course you can pay in Turkish lira (you may need to negotiate the exchange rate). It is easy to exchange cash (sterling or anything else) into lira, at far better rates than you would find in the UK. And there are plenty of ATMs but check carefully whether they charge a fee (most do but there are plenty that are free to use).

    Inflation in Turkey is very high, so even during your stay the exchange rate will improve. Therefore, do not exchange more than a day or so before you will be spending the money. And many restaurants and so forth no longer use menus with printed prices because they change so rapidly. This means that you have to ask, and again be prepared to negotiate.
    You don't need to be too concerned about inflation over a few days - the current inflation rate is 65% which is less than 1% a week. Obviously don't exchange any before you so, that would be silly, but withdrawing a week's worth of cash could be better than withdrawing every couple of days if ATM fees are flat (IIRC they are). 
    Don't take EUR (unless you happen to have some spare) - GBP is as widely accepted IME. Definitely not worth buying EUR before going.

    The official figure is 65 per cent, but more realistic estimates are in excess of 100 per cent. Over the course of a week you will find the exchange rate creeping up in your favour: last time I was there it went from about 30 to the pound to about 33 to the pound during my one-week stay.

    ATM fees are of course more significant than minor changes in the exchange rate. The worst ATMs charge both a fixed amount and a percentage, but usually after trying for a bit I could find a fee-free ATM.
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,172
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    edited 17 January at 10:34PM
    zagfles said:
    Touristy places have menus and price lists in Euro, but of course you can pay in Turkish lira (you may need to negotiate the exchange rate). It is easy to exchange cash (sterling or anything else) into lira, at far better rates than you would find in the UK. And there are plenty of ATMs but check carefully whether they charge a fee (most do but there are plenty that are free to use).

    Inflation in Turkey is very high, so even during your stay the exchange rate will improve. Therefore, do not exchange more than a day or so before you will be spending the money. And many restaurants and so forth no longer use menus with printed prices because they change so rapidly. This means that you have to ask, and again be prepared to negotiate.
    You don't need to be too concerned about inflation over a few days - the current inflation rate is 65% which is less than 1% a week. Obviously don't exchange any before you so, that would be silly, but withdrawing a week's worth of cash could be better than withdrawing every couple of days if ATM fees are flat (IIRC they are). 
    Don't take EUR (unless you happen to have some spare) - GBP is as widely accepted IME. Definitely not worth buying EUR before going.

    The official figure is 65 per cent, but more realistic estimates are in excess of 100 per cent. Over the course of a week you will find the exchange rate creeping up in your favour: last time I was there it went from about 30 to the pound to about 33 to the pound during my one-week stay.

    ATM fees are of course more significant than minor changes in the exchange rate. The worst ATMs charge both a fixed amount and a percentage, but usually after trying for a bit I could find a fee-free ATM.
    There was a spike in the exchange rate in June last year, but that's obviously not typical - the GBP/TRY rate is now 38.2, a year ago it was 23.06. That's 65% over a year, which is less than 1% change a week on average. If you went in August you could have seen a fall in the exchange rate.
    If a 10% movement in the exchange rate in a week was typical, that would be over 14,000% pa inflation! It might be high in Turkey but it's not that high :D
    So I'd always go with minimising ATM charges over worrying about exchange rate movements for a week or two's holiday. That usually means making fewer withdrawals.

  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,219
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    zagfles said:
    There was a spike in the exchange rate in June last year, but that's obviously not typical - the GBP/TRY rate is now 38.2, a year ago it was 23.06. That's 65% over a year, which is less than 1% change a week on average. If you went in August you could have seen a fall in the exchange rate.
    If a 10% movement in the exchange rate in a week was typical, that would be over 14,000% pa inflation! It might be high in Turkey but it's not that high :D
    So I'd always go with minimising ATM charges over worrying about exchange rate movements for a week or two's holiday. That usually means making fewer withdrawals.

    Remember that the inflation rate refers to prices within Turkey, and this is not the same as the exchange rate. If you talk to any Turkish people they will laugh at the suggestion that the inflation rate is 'only' 65 per cent: that is not what is happening to the prices they pay when they buy groceries and generally get on with life.

    As you point out, a ten per cent weekly change in the exchange rate is unlikely to be sustained in the long term, but that is certainly what I experienced. If ATM charges are zero then waiting to withdraw money might make sense. Otherwise, we can agree that minimising ATM charges is the highest priority (apart from possible security worries about carrying lots of cash).
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