Where To Exchange Money In Istanbul

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In the vibrant city of Istanbul, a fusion of east and west, old and new, money exchanges are as diverse as the city's history itself. Whether you're visiting from Canada, the United States, or elsewhere, you'll want to get the best exchange rates possible. As the Guardian of money exchange, let me guide you through the streets, bazaars, and online platforms in your quest for the best value in Istanbul.


One traditional option is to exchange your money at a bank. Most large Turkish banks, such as Türkiye İş Bankası, Akbank, and Garanti BBVA, accept foreign currencies, including the Canadian Dollar and the US Dollar. Banks typically offer relatively competitive exchange rates and are considered secure. However, banking hours might limit accessibility and transactions may include service charges.

Exchange Bureaus

The labyrinth streets of Istanbul are scattered with Döviz Bureaus (Foreign Exchange Bureaus). These are places where currency trading is as vibrant as the city's colourful mosaic tiles. Some bureaus located in tourist spots might levy higher rates, hence, taking a trip to a less touristy area could fetch you a better deal. Avoid rush hours if you're looking for a personalized and hassle-free experience.

Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest markets in the world, is a must-visit in Istanbul and offers a wide range of currency exchange options amongst its many stalls. Remember to check the current rates in the global market beforehand, and don't hesitate to negotiate - bargaining is an integral part of this market's vibrant culture.

Local Jewelers

In Istanbul, the ancient tradition of exchanging gold as currency persists. Many local jewelers in areas like the Spice Bazaar and Istinye Park Mall will exchange foreign currency at rates that often rival those of banks and bureaus.


As is true worldwide, ATMs present another convenient option for money exchange in Istanbul. Turkish banks have extensive networks of ATMs, and most machines offer the option to withdraw funds in either Turkish Lira or other major currencies. Bear in mind that transaction and conversion fees can apply when withdrawing cash overseas.

Online Currency Exchange Platforms

For those tech-savvy travelers seeking efficiency, online currency exchange platforms provide a seamless alternative. Websites and mobile applications like TransferWise, Revolut, and CurrencyFair usually offer attractive exchange rates and lower fees than traditional methods. These platforms facilitate a swift and secure money transfer mechanism to Turkish bank accounts. However, consider your internet connection stability and the time it takes for the transfer to process before you opt for this method.

Traveler’s Cheques

Although getting antiquated, Traveler’s Cheques are accepted by many banks and exchange bureaus, ensuring safety against theft or loss. However, the exchange rates for such cheques tend to be less favourable, and charges may apply.


Each option for currency exchange in Istanbul has its own merits and pitfalls—what works best for you depends on what you prioritize: convenience, rates, security, or a tradition-inspired experience. Whatever you choose, I encourage you to embrace the city’s diverse heritage and enjoy your journey through the dance of numbers and currencies in enchanting Istanbul.