Currency in Turkey - A Full Guide 2024

Claire Millard
Şeyma Mektepli
Last updated
12 April 2024

Planning a trip to Turkey? Whether you’re heading there for work or pleasure, you’ll need to know how to pay your way as you travel.

This guide covers all you’ll need to know about the official currency in Turkey, where to get it and how to keep your costs down during your trip.

What is the currency in Turkey?

The official currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira, which is issued and overseen by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey . If you’re buying your travel money online you may also see the official code being shown - TRY. In stores and restaurants, Turkish Lira prices are likely to use the currency symbol ₺.

Once you’re in Turkey you’ll see costs of items shown in TRY and you’ll need to start paying for things in local coins and notes which are often found in the following denominations:

banknotes - 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 TRY and coins - 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 Kuruş; 1 TRY.

Can you officially pay in MYR when you are in Turkey?

You’re unlikely to be able to officially transact in MYR in Turkey, which is why it’s time to start getting used to TRY and learning more about the currency exchange rates so you’ll know what you’re spending on your trip.

This guide will walk through all you need to know, including Malaysian ringgit/Turkish Lira rates and where best to get your travel money from.

Turkish Lira
Currency nameTurkish Lira
Central BankCentral Bank of the Republic of Turkey
Best travel cards to take to TurkeyWise

TRY coins and banknotes

Here’s a full rundown of the TRY coins and banknotes you’ll need to be familiar with when you’re in Turkey.

TRY banknotesTRY coins
banknotes - 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 TRYcoins - 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 Kuruş; 1 TRY

History of Turkish Lira currency

The Turkish Lira (TRY) has its roots in the Ottoman lira and was introduced in 1923 after the Republic of Turkey was established. The currency underwent severe devaluation over the decades, leading to a massive redenomination in 2005 to curb inflation by slashing six zeros from the old currency. The new series of banknotes and coins were called 'New Turkish Lira'. In 2009, the 'new' was dropped, and it reverted to the Turkish Lira.

Is MYR accepted in Turkey?

As we’ve seen, the official currency in Turkey is TRY. If you carry MYR with you on your trip, you’ll probably need to exchange it before you can spend.

Sometimes when you’re away on a trip abroad you’ll find that merchants will take payments in a selection of major foreign currencies. However, the chances are that where this is offered, you won’t get a good exchange rate for your MYR. Planning smart and convenient ways to spend in TRY when you’re away is likely to mean you save on costs in the end.

Usually, having a few different ways to pay and get cash is the best option for travelers and tourists. That’s because you’ll have a back up plan in case one payment method isn’t accepted for any reason, and you can pick the method that’s best suited to the specific transaction. Having a multi-currency card from a provider like Wise, plus your normal bank debit card, and some local cash in TRY should mean you’ve always got options. You can use your cash for small purchases and tipping, and make low cost payments and cash withdrawals with your multi-currency card, while keeping your bank card in reserve for emergencies.

Use a travel card on your next trip to Turkey

Using a travel debit card in Turkey is usually cheap, safe and convenient. A few providers in New Zealand offer multi-currency cards which come with a linked payment account that lets you convert, hold and spend in TRY. That allows you to add a balance in MYR and switch over to TRY to lock in the exchange rate and set your travel budget.

Once you have TRY in your account there are no extra fees to make payments, and you’ll not have foreign transaction charges to worry about, either.

Here’s a quick overview of a couple of handy travel debit cards you may want to order and use in Turkey.

Wise travel card

Order a Wise travel card online or in the Wise app, to hold and exchange 40+ currencies and manage your money from your phone. You’ll be able to spend conveniently in TRY - and all currency exchange uses the mid-market rate with no markup.

Card holders get some free ATM withdrawals available every month, and there’s no annual or monthly fees to pay, and no minimum balance requirement.

Read a full Wise review here

Go to Wise
Wise prosWise cons

✅ Currency exchange uses the mid-market rate

✅ No foreign transaction fees apply

✅ Free to hold and spend 40+ currencies

✅ Receive payments to your Wise account in a selection of global currencies

✅ No minimum balance or ongoing fees

❌ Card order fee applies

❌ ATM fees apply once you’ve exhausted your free monthly withdrawals 

What is the currency exchange rate for MYR 1 MYR/TRY?

It’s helpful to get to know the live MYR/TRY rate so you can easily calculate how much things are costing you while you’re on your trip abroad. The rate you need to focus on is the mid market rate, which is the one banks and major currency services get when buying and selling currencies. This rate isn’t always passed on to customers. Instead you may find that the MYR/TRY rate you get when exchanging travel cash includes a markup - an extra fee.

Find the MYR/TRY mid-market rate from a currency conversion site or a website like this, so you can keep an eye on the market and compare the rates you’re offered as you travel against the mid-market rate easily. Right now, the mid-market rate for 1 Malaysian Ringgit to TRY is 0.19656.

Should I exchange MYR to TRY before traveling to Turkey?

It’s a good idea to exchange MYR to TRY before you head off to Turkey, as you can often find a better exchange rate and lower overall costs before you travel.

When you’re in Turkey you’re going to need TRY in cash for some of your spending - particularly when tipping or making smaller value purchases. Buying your TRY travel money in advance can get you better MYR/TRY exchange rates, and saves you wasting precious time shopping around for a good deal once you arrive in Turkey.

Tips for exchanging money in Turkey

There’s a good network of ATMs across Turkey, and card payments are also widely accepted. Always pay in MYR to avoid sneaky extra dynamic currency conversion costs and to make sure your money goes further.

2)Avoid using exchange providers at airports or hotels in Turkey as they usually offer pretty poor exchange rates because they have a captive market and little competition nearby

3)Today’s mid market exchange rate for MYR/TRY is 0.19656 - look for this or as close as possible to it when you exchange your travel money

4)Use a travel debit card like the Wise card while you’re in Turkey for fast and cheap conversion between currencies and easy ways to manage your money from your phone

Best place to exchange currency in Turkey

You can get your TRY in Turkey in a couple of ways.

You’ll be able to use a travel debit card from a provider like Wise to make convenient payments and cash withdrawals and to convert funds online.

Or if you prefer an offline solution you can carry some cash in MYR to exchange when you arrive. Currency exchange providers are often in airports and hotels, although the exchange shops in a city center are likely to be cheaper overall.

How to pay in Turkey?

You’ll need to have TRY to spend in Turkey. However, generally having a few different payment methods is a good plan. That means that if a merchant won't accept one, you’ve got a back up. It’s also reassuring to know you have a different way to pay if you were unlucky enough to have a card or some travel cash stolen. Here are your key payment options in Turkey.

1. Debit or credit card

Card payments can be helpful in shops, restaurants and hotels but there will be places where cash is also important. Order a travel card from a provider like Wise for cheap and fast transactions, including card payments and cash withdrawals as and when you need travel money in TRY.

2. TRY cash

  • Cash is widely used in Turkey, so it’s worth having some with you at all times. You may want to exchange money to TRY before you leave, but it’s also usually convenient to make ATM withdrawals locally once you arrive in Turkey.

  • You’ll usually find you can use a card to make payments in Turkey, but carrying some cash in TRY is also reassuring. It’s often easier for tipping and making smaller purchases, plus you’ve got a nice backup if your card is ever out of action for some reason.

  • It’s a smart idea to have both a card and some cash in TRY when you’re in Turkey. Some merchants will prefer cash, but having a card for higher value payments and in busier more tourist places is also convenient. Consider using a travel card from a provider like Wise or Revolut alongside your cash for flexibility.

Paying for the trip in MYR

If you’re paying for things in Turkey with a MYR bank card you might find a foreign transaction fee is added. This pushes up your costs when you spend in a foreign currency, and can be tricky to calculate.

Travel debit cards don’t always work this way. When you make purchases in Turkey using the Wise card you can either choose to convert your account balance to TRY in advance in the Wise app, or just leave your balance in MYR and let the card handle the transaction when you pay. You’ll always get the lowest available fee and there are no extra foreign transaction charges.

Conclusion - Currency in Turkey

You won’t be able to pay in MYR when you visit Turkey - so learning about the currency you need is essential. Whether you decide to use a travel debit card from a service like Wise , or stock up on TRY in cash in advance, knowing the mid-market exchange rate can help you get the best available deal. Use this guide to learn all you need to know about the options, rates and fees for exchanging MYR to TRY, and make your money go further while you’re away.

The official currency in Turkey is TRY. You can’t usually pay in MYR in Turkey, so you’ll need to plan in advance to get your travel money sorted. Consider ordering a travel debit card from a service like Wise, for low cost conversions to TRY and convenient spending and withdrawals - and remember that knowing the MYR to TRY mid-market exchange rate is essential to check you’re getting a fair deal on currency exchange.

FAQ - Currency in Turkey

What is the currency in Turkey called?

The official currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira. You may also see the code TRY and the currency symbol ₺.

What's the currency in Ankara?

The official currency in Ankara is the Turkish Lira. You’ll only be able to spend in TRY while you’re there.

What is the old Turkey currency?

Today the currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira. If you’re worried about currencies changing, why not get a travel debit card from a service like Wise which will automatically pick the currency needed in your destination when making a payment - with no penalties or inflated fees.

What is the best currency to take to Turkey?

You’ll only be able to spend in TRY while you’re in Turkey. Carrying some money in cash and using a travel debit card from a service like Wise is usually the best way to spend while you’re away from home.