Istanbul Currency Guide
Istanbul uses the Turkish Lira.
There are ATMs all over Istanbul, so don’t worry about carrying too much cash around. You can use your Visa, MasterCard or any card that has a Cirrus or Maestro logo on it. Most machines have an English language option too.
You might find it difficult to exchange your Australian Dollars in Turkey, so pre-purchase Turkish Lira from Travel Money Oz before you fly. It’s also a good idea to change some Australian Dollars into Euros or US Dollars before you leave Australia as these are the most commonly accepted currencies for exchange in Turkey. Change your cash at 24-hour exchange bureaus at the airport at banks, exchange booths, hotels and some post offices in Istanbul. Keep your eye on the Turkish Lira you get back from shopkeepers, as the Yeni Turk Lirası (‘new’ Turkish Lira) used from 2005 to 2008 is no longer valid.
Plastic is widely accepted in Istanbul, and you can also use any major credit card to pay for hotels, car rental and at entertainment venues. If you don’t have a credit card, consider a debit credit card that allows you to access your savings account and the local currency from ATMs and wherever credit cards are accepted. Some places won’t accept plastic though, so make sure you carry cash for budget hotels and basic eateries.