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Money and costs

The currency in Turkmenistan is the manat (M), which is made up of 100 tenne. There is no longer a black-market currency exchange, which has made everything far more expensive for visitors. All exchange offices change dollars at the fixed rate of 2.84M to the US dollar. Exchange offices are everywhere, take no commission, and will freely exchange US dollars and euros back and forth (you don’t need to worry about having official certificates in order to change your money back when you leave the country, for example). US dollars remain the currency of choice for Turkmenistan, and it’s best to bring them in various denominations. Notes often need to be in very good condition to be accepted. Euro are also generally easy to change, though less so outside Ashgabat. Don’t bring other currencies.

Everything bought in Turkmenistan will be paid for in manats, but travel agencies and hotels still usually require payment in US dollars, so it’s best to keep a supply of both currencies with you on the road.

Cash advances on credit cards are only available in Ashgabat at banks and, if you’re lucky, at the few functioning ATMs taking international cards (the only reliable one we found was in the Sofitel Ashgabat Oguzkent Hotel, and dispensed only manats). Outside Ashgabat, emergency money can be wired through Western Union only. Credit cards are accepted by a few luxury hotels in Ashgabat but by few other places, and you’d be ill advised to rely on them anywhere. Travellers cheques are not accepted anywhere.