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Buy in Kyrgyzstan

Posted by in on 6-5-13

Cash

The official currency in Kyrgyzstan is the som (written as ‘сом’ or abbreviated as ‘с’ in Cyrillic), divided into 100 tyin. Notes are available in 10 tyin, 50 tyin, 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, and 5000 som denominations. Coins are available in 10 tyin, 50 tyin, 1 som, 3 som, 5 som and 10 som denominations.

Changing money is relatively straightforward. Banks will accept a variety of major currencies, while the money-changing booths that are ubiquitous in urban areas will typically only deal with US dollars, British pounds, euros, Russian rubles, and Kazakh tenges. Note that neither banks nor money changers will accept any foreign currency that is torn, marked, excessively crumpled, or defaced in any way, so be sure to carefully check any notes you intend to bring into the country for defects.

 Credit Cards & ATMs

Like other countries in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan is overwhelmingly a cash economy. Credit cards are rarely used.

ATMs are common in Bishkek, and there are a scattering of ATMs in other towns. Many accept Visa – only Kazkommerts bank accepts Mastercard / Maestro / Cirrus, and their ATMs are few are far between. You can withdraw US Dollars or Kyrgyz som at many ATMs.

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