Money & costs
Visitors to the Seychelles on a tight budget will struggle to get by on less than €70 per person per day (on the basis of two people sharing a room in a guesthouse or self-contained bungalow). A more realistic budget, allowing you to stay at a moderately priced hotel and treat yourself to a few good restaurants, will come in at around €100 to €150 per person per day. Living it up in a top-end resort will usually cost at least €250 per person per day, but will shoot up very quickly with meals and activities. Island hopping and indulging in excursions and other activities also jacks costs up considerably.
The unit of currency is the Seychelles rupee (Rs), which is divided into 100 cents (¢). Bank notes come in denominations of Rs 10, Rs 25, Rs 50, Rs 100 and Rs 500; there are coins of Rs 1, Rs 5, 1¢, 5¢, 10¢and 25¢.
There are some complex rules governing foreign exchange in the Seychelles. By law visitors must pay for all accommodation (including meals and drinks at hotels), excursions, marine park fees, diving, car hire and transport in a major foreign currency (euros are the best currency to carry), either in cash or by credit card. Prices for these services are therefore nearly always quoted in euros (and less frequently in US dollars).
When changing travellers cheques or withdrawing money from an ATM, however, you will receive the money in rupees, not in foreign currency. Even when you pay for something in foreign currency, you will often receive the change in rupees. You can use rupees in shops, cafés and restaurants outside the hotels and for taxi and bus fares, but they can be quite hard to spend otherwise, so only change small amounts at a time.
If you pay cash in euros at guesthouses, small hotels or for car rentals, you’ll be in a position to negotiate a discount (up to 20% if it’s slack). Our tip: bring plenty of cash with you, and use a credit card as a backup.
If you want to change rupees back into foreign currency at the end of your stay, you must go back to the same bank (not necessarily the same branch, but it doesn’t hurt) with the original exchange receipt or ATM slip. The maximum you can convert is Rs 800 and it is illegal to take more than Rs 2000 out of the country. If possible, do it in Victoria rather than at the airport.
Major credit cards, including Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and tourist shops.
The four main banks are Barclays Bank, Seychelles Savings Bank, Nouvobanq and Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB). All have branches in Victoria while Barclays Bank and Nouvobanq have desks at the airport that are open for all flights – in theory at least. There are also banks on Praslin and La Digue. None of the banks charges commission for changing cash but some do so for travellers cheques, generally a flat rate of Rs 25.