28 August, 2018

Exchange money in Tbilisi, Georgia

Category: Information
exchange money in tbilisi ვალუტის გაცვლა

Georgian Lari is a currency used in Georgia. It's almost impossible to find this currency in your country, so you need to exchange money in Georgia. The most common currencies in Georgia are US Dollar, Euro, British Pound and Russian Ruble. You can easily exchange this currencies almost everywhere in the streets of Tbilisi. Other currencies can be accepted in banks. You can check out latest currency rates on this link (TBC Bank):
http://www.tbcbank.ge/web/en/web/guest/exchange-rates 

You may wonder, which is better place for currency exchange? Is it safe to exchange money in the street or should we use bank? Let's dive deeper and talk about rates at first. There is an example of currency rates for today (TBC Bank):

gel-usd


This rate is for Georgian Lari to US Dollars. In the "Sell" column, you can see how much Georgian Lari will you get for one US Dollar. In the "Buy" column, you can see how much Georgian Lari do you need to buy one US Dollar. Official rate is announced by National Bank of Georgia and it's a template for every currency exchange spot in Georgia. In this case, it means that no one can sell US Dollar cheaper than 2.4415 and also no one will give you more than 2.4415 Georgian Lari for one US Dollar. So only way to get most profit from currency exchange is to find a place where difference between sell and buy rates are smallest. For example, you can find GEL to USD rates where difference between sell and buy options is as small as 0.01 and it's a good rate. But you can't find this rate in banks, because banks always have bigger gaps between sell and buy options because they exchange very large amount of money everyday and they don't want to risk anything as currency rates are variable every day.

So best places to exchange money in Tbilisi is to find private companies in the streets but you may wonder, is it safe to exchange money in the street? Yes, it's totally safe to exchange money in the streets of Tbilisi. But there is a tricky part, some companies recently started to get rich from tourists who does not care about currency rates. So they have very bad rate with gap as high as 1.0 between sell and buy options. But this places are only in the touristic places, so be careful and avoid exchanging money in very touristic places such as Freedom Square, Old Town and etc. Or simply look at the rates and try to find place with smallest gap between sell and buy options. Also there is one more trick to cheat tourists, some companies havecommission fee as high as 28%. Before you exchange currency in Georgia, make sure that company does not have any commission fee. Most of currency exchange companies in Georgia does not have a commission fee.

If you are afraid of fake banknotes, I'm glad to tell you that it's not happening in Georgia. But anyway, you have to avoid exchanging money with some stranger in the street. There are so many companies, offering currency exchange. This companies can be easily recognised in the streets by their advertisement boards, showing rates of currencies (See the picture below):

IMG_1841.CR2



I would like to tell you more about rates. As we said, it's better to find smallest gap between sell and buy rates for highest profit, but this gap depends on currency itself. If currency is in high demand you can find better rates, but for currencies like GBP gap could be 0.06 when it's 0.01 for USD.

Let's talk about places outside Tbilisi. It's impossible to find exchange companies in the villages. So always exchange money before you leave city. If you are in small towns you may use banks, as there are not so many options for exchange.

You can read more information about Currency in Georgia here:
https://georgiantravelguide.com/en/articles/currency-in-georgia/
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