What currency to bring
The national currency is the Turkmen manat. One manat is divided into100 tenge. Notes come in 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 denominations, coins in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50. You can exchange US Dollars (preferably clean undamaged banknotes printed in or after 1996) into manat at banks, and in exchange offices at major hotels, bazaars, airports and railway stations. A selection of banks and hotels in Ashgabat is also able to exchange Euros.
When entering the country all you need to do is fill in the type and amount of foreign currency you carry with you on the custom’s declaration form. Excess Turkmen currency can be exchanged for foreign currency at the currency exchange bureaus in major hotels, banks and at the international airport upon departure. When departing from the country you then fill out the custom’s declaration form with your remaining type and amount of foreign currency you have on you.
Currently credit cards can be used as mode of payment only in a small selection of five-star hotels. Inform beforehand about the possibility of using this option, and certainly do not rely on it as your only mode of payment within Turkmenistan. In Ashgabat only you can use your MasterCard or Visa to cash US dollars (during working days and office hours only).
Western Union is well represented in the six major cities of the country, and can be used to send or withdraw cash US dollars.