Knowing the money in Khazakstan that you must carry is a highly important step to getting ready to travel to the country. Just like having the right visa for Khazakstan, bringing the right currency for exchange or knowing if you need to pre-order a quantity of local money is essential.
This article offers a quick guide on what money to bring into the country as well as how to exchange any local money from your own country. It also explains how travelers can access their money abroad whilst in Khazakstan, as well as how to properly budget for a vacation in this glorious Central Asian country.
What is the Currency of Khazakstan
Khazakstan uses a currency called the Tenge (KZT). This has been in circulation since 1993 as a replacement to the USSR ruble following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992. As of today it is, of course, the most commonly accepted form of money across the country, however high-value purchases such as houses or cars may still be asked for in US Dollars.
Quick facts about the Khazakstan Tenge:
- Symbol: ₸ or KZT
- Date of introduction: November 15th, 1993
- Notes Available: ₸1, ₸3, ₸5, ₸10, ₸20, ₸50, ₸100, ₸200, ₸500, ₸1000, ₸2000, ₸5000, ₸10000
- Subdivisions: ₸1 = 100 tıyn
- Coins available: ₸1, ₸2, ₸5, ₸10, ₸20, ₸50, ₸100
Banks and ATMs in Khazakstan
Khazakstan is a country of amazing experiences for tourists and naturally, having enough money on hand to enjoy these sights and excursions is critical. Fortunately, the country offers tourists many different options for obtaining sufficient funds for a journey within its borders.
Using Foreign Debit and Credit Cards in Khazakstan
Credit cards are accepted in most major business establishments across the country. Like many worldwide destinations, Khazak restaurants, hotels and many chain stores and travel agencies have few if any issues in receiving payment from Visa and Mastercard holders.
Despite the relative ease of paying by card in Khazakstan, be aware that not all businesses (especially smaller stores and restaurants) will always accept cards. For those that do there is often a small surcharge added to the final cost.
Withdrawing Cash from ATMs in Khazakstan
ATMs are found almost everywhere in cities and towns across the country. They are often marked with a “Bankomat” sign and accept with few exceptions cards from Visa, Cirrus Mastercard, and Maestro.
Most cash machines around the Khazakstan only hold cash in Tenge and allow maximum withdrawals of around ₸100,000. However, a few machines in bigger cities like Astana or attached to the main banks will also allow customers to withdraw US dollars as well.
Exchanging Foreign Money in Khazakstan
Exchanging foreign money in Khazakstan is relatively easy. There are many currency conversion kiosks and stores found around the cities and towns offering very competitive exchange rates.
These exchange points will accept currencies such as US Dollars, UK Pound Sterling, Russian Roubles in almost all situations. Additionally, visitors will often find places that will accept Chinese Yuan and Kyrgyz Som for exchange into Tenge.
However, it’s important to be aware that traveler’s cheques are not commonly accepted in the country. Instead, it’s recommended that tourists either bring enough cash to cover their expenses during their visit or an accepted credit or foreign currency debit card.
Are there any Currency Restrictions in Khazakstan?
There are practically no currency restrictions in place in Khazakstan. Like most other countries around the world, any amount over $10,000 in value in any currency must be declared on arrival for tax reasons.
However, there are some currencies that will be harder to exchange into the local money than others. Travelers arriving from other Central Asian states may find currencies such as Uzbek Som, Tajik Somoni or Mongolian Tugrik very difficult to convert into Tenge.
Additionally, paying with some of the higher denomination notes can cause headaches for shopkeepers and vendors struggling with a lack of change. Try where possible to only pay with smaller units of currency or with exact change.
How Much Should Tourists Budget per Day in Khazakstan
A question many tourists ask is whether Khazakstan is expensive. The simple answer to that is no. The country is relatively cheap for those looking to travel on the tightest of shoestring budgets and reasonably affordable even for those looking for a luxury holiday in Central Asia.
Budget travelers can get by on as little as around ₸8000 (approx $20) per day. Alternatively, those visiting with mid-high range budgets won’t need to spend more than 28,000 (approx $72) per day. Depending on the individual budget, money is not a big obstacle to enjoying a vacation around the country.
Traveling with the right currency is thankfully the easy part of a vacation in the country to plan. Once in Khazakstan, visitors should encounter very few issues or restrictions to obtaining the right money or paying for services and leisure activities across the nation.
Remember, if you’re traveling from an eligible country you must travel with a Khazakstan visa. This can be acquired via a simple online application in a process that takes only minutes to complete. Once approved it will then be sent to the applicant’s email address and allow them to enter the country safely and securely.