Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What's best to take cash to Turkey - sterling or Turkish lira?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Friday 12 July 2013
Q I saw you on a TV programme a while ago, advising on best ways of exchanging currencies. I am going to Marmaris in Turkey in September and I seem to remember you saying - right at the end of the programme - "If you are going to Turkey, best take cash". Did you mean sterling or Turkish lira?
David Humphrey, York
A Very good timing, if I may say so, to visit Turkey; the country will be cooling off nicely in September, yet the sea will be at its warmest. Marmaris is a lovely destination in its own right, but also well placed for exploring deeper into Turkey.
Take cash in sterling. If you want to be sure that you have a bit of local currency to get from the airport to your destination, take £10 or £20 to your post office and ask for Turkish lira - the commission-free offer is well worthwhile for small transactions. But you will get a much better rate for sterling at bureaux de change in the centre of Marmaris (and other cities and resorts) than you will in Britain.
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