Budget: Less than US$100
- Basic hotel room: US$60
- Kebab lunch: US$5
- Bus ride in Ashgabat: US$0.10
- Hotel room: US$120
- Pizza and a beer: US$8
- Taxi ride within Ashgabat: US$3
- Museum entry: US$10
- Kupe class train to Ashgabat to Dashoguz: US$15
Top end: More than US$200
- Luxury hotel room: US$200
- Dinner at hotel: US$30
- Domestic flight: US$100
Bring enough cash to cover your entire stay. ATMs are non-existent and cards rarely accepted, so keep a supply of both US dollars and manat.
The currency in Turkmenistan is the manat (M), which is made up of 100 tenne. All exchange offices change dollars at the fixed rate of 3.5M 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). There is also a black market in operation. At the time of writing, the black market exchange rate was 6M to the US dollar.
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.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com.
Cash advances on credit cards are only available at two banks in Ashgabat. 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.
Travellers cheques are not accepted anywhere. Tour agencies recommend that you bring all spending money in US dollars as relying on cards is highly risky.