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Old 22.08.2012, 09:07
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Currency Conversion - here or abroad

We are going for our holidays to Istanbul and wondering if we should convert the swiss francs at a bank here, at the airport or wait until we get there. What do you normally do? Do you get a better rate at the airport abroad than here?
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Old 22.08.2012, 09:57
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

Never been to Turkey, but I would say change at the bank here or at a bank in Turkey. NEVER EVER AT AN AIRPORT!

Try not to get screwed on the exchange, looking at the current market rate it seems you get 1.8622 Lira for every Swiss frank, the bank will probably only give you 1.83, and the airport probably as little as 1.8 or even 1.75

If you know anyone Turkish who may need Euros/CHF you might want to exchange privately, otherwise there aren't a lot of alternatives for travel money exchanges.
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:10
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

I always withdraw it from the ATM in Istanbul, usually works out quite cheaply and I do not have to carry a lot of cash with me. I still have some Liras, but I am going to Istanbul myself at the end of September

Have fun!
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:20
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

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We are going for our holidays to Istanbul and wondering if we should convert the swiss francs at a bank here, at the airport or wait until we get there. What do you normally do? Do you get a better rate at the airport abroad than here?
I never use official exchange folks. ATM does the job.

Agree with TLD about exchanging at airports - they will be paying more for the rental of the booth, so will be charging tourists who make the exchange there.

However, re: Try not to get screwed on the exchange...

TBH, they are going to get you somewhere. Hence I don't waste too much time worrying about it. Unless you really do exchange in a tourist trap (i.e. at the airport or an official exchange place ) it'll all be swings and roundabouts.

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I always withdraw it from the ATM in Istanbul, usually works out quite cheaply and I do not have to carry a lot of cash with me. I still have some Liras, but I am going to Istanbul myself at the end of September

Have fun!
+1

Oh, and don't forget, depending on your nationality you may need to buy an entry visa. Really important to have some spare cash with you. Can't remember how much is was last time, but a figure of 30 Euro per person springs to mind.

As I say, move quickly, have the cash with you and hope that a 747 didn't just land ahead of you.
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:32
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

If you have a Swiss passport the tourist visa is free, otherwise the visa costs about €15 and you MUST pay in cash, but NOT Turkish Lira!

When I was there about 3 years ago, everyone wanted Euros, but then this might have changed!

http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa

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Last edited by Sbrinz; 22.08.2012 at 10:53.
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:39
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

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TBH, they are going to get you somewhere. Hence I don't waste too much time worrying about it. Unless you really do exchange in a tourist trap (i.e. at the airport or an official exchange place ) it'll all be swings and roundabouts.
Agreed for small amounts it's not worth worrying about. CHF500 @ 1.85 or @ 1.75, the difference is 50 lira or CHF27.-

But I'd rather not give someone CHF27 to change such a small amount , the reason why this travel exchange business is so uncompetitive is because of people's lazy attitude to getting the best deal when changing money for holidays, because they are either in a hurry or are just so happy they're going on holiday they don't wanna deal with the stress of finding a good deal.

Hell I'm gonna set up a money exchange site or thread, I'd make a killing!
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:47
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

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Oh, and don't forget, depending on your nationality you may need to buy an entry visa. Really important to have some spare cash with you. Can't remember how much is was last time, but a figure of 30 Euro per person springs to mind.
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I think if you have a Swiss passport it's free, otherwise the visa costs about €10
The two in my passport (2009/2010) have got £10 printed on them. Whether this refers to pounds sterling (odd, but possible as we have UK passports) or the Turkish Lira, which I think used to use that symbol too, I don't recall.
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Old 22.08.2012, 10:51
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

thanks for the tips, I will check re visa(for UK passports)..Did not know that there could be a limitation of bringing lira to Turkey as well??...need to check that up..thanks
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:46
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Re: Currency Conversion - here or abroad

Hi, I am back after the trip, so thought I shall update on what I found..
The rate was best in one of the exchange places inside grand bazar(from the ones I checked). Most of the exchange places in the city give better rates than ATM withdrawal(I did that and checked the rate), but you have to haggle. In all the exchange places I went to, I got a better price than what was displayed on the board, so be aware.
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