The currency used in Turkmenistan is the Turkmen Manat and it is the only country where this currency is used. The currency code is TMT, but it is often abbreviated as “M”, for example 20 M, which would be 20 Manat. “
The Manat was introduced in 1993 to replace the Soviet Rouble. The currency was redenominated in 2005 due to hyperinflation at a rate of 5,000 to 1, before introducing the “New Manat” in 2009, and now the exchange rate is artificially stabilised. For several years the rate was USD1 = TMT 2.8, then in 2015 it was increased to USD 1 = TMT 3.5.
The word Manat comes from the Persian word “Munat”, meaning “coin”.
Notes of Turkmenistan
Notes of the Turkmen Manat come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100.
There is also a 500 Manat note with a picture of Turkmenbashy on it, but it’s not in circulation.
Coins of Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s Manat is divided into 100 Tenge (the same name as the currency of Kazakhstan). There are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Tenge coins.
There are also 1 and 2 Manat coins. Despite the fluctuating exchange rate, coins are still relatively common.
ATMs are rare in Turkmenistan, and when you do come across one it’s unlikely it will accept your foreign card. If it does accept your foreign card, it’s unlikely that it has any money in it, and if it does have money in it, you’ll be charged the official exchange rate, thus losing a significant amount of your money.
You should absolutely bring all your spending money in cash!
The black market is how all exchange is done in Turkmenistan. We will attempt to get the black market rate for you when possible, but the situation isn't as easy and open as it was for many years in neighbouring Uzbekistan, with regular crack-downs and undercover police presence. So whilst we will try our best to get you the best possible exchange rates for your money, our priority is not to be putting you, ourselves or our local contacts in any situation which we're not 100% sure about. We will let you know on the tour whether it's possible to get a black market rate at the time. But to put it in context, most of your expenses while you're there will be pretty cheap anyway – a bottle of water will be about $0.40 for example, or most meals you'll be looking at spending about $5.
Can you use foreign currencies in Turkmenistan?
There are plenty of things you will pay for in USD. For example your tour. If you want to buy carpets, or any other large items like that, the price will be in USD. Anything you buy at the hotel will be able to be paid for in USD, including in the restaurant and souvenir shops.
However, you can’t pay for normal day to day items in anything other than Manat. For example if you buy a drink in a supermarket, or a meal in a restaurant, you will have to pay in local money.
The official exchange is 3.5 Turkmenistan Manat to 1 US dollar. However, there is a black market which can fluctuate quite a bit. For the most recently black market rate please get in contact with us .