Back to category Published: 19 november 2022 Author: Галина

National Currency and Pricing in Kazakhstan


Currency exchange is one of the most crucial aspects of any successful trip abroad. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time tourist, exchanging currency is a necessary step in making the most of your trip. Kazakhstani currency is called tenge [tɛŋˈɡeɪ]. 

Basic information about tenge

The currency code for the Kazakhstani tenge is KZT, with the digital code 398 and the symbol ₸. The tenge was introduced on November 15, 1993, and has been celebrated as the Day of the National Currency ever since. Kazakhstani coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 tenge, while banknotes are available in 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 20,000 tenge. The Kazakh tiyn (an equivalent to a penny or cent) went out of circulation almost immediately.

The design of Kazakhstani banknotes features national symbols of the state or notable landmarks, such as the Independence Monument, the Akorda Residence, Baiterek Monument, or Mount Bokty. One of the unique features of the Kazakhstani tenge is that it is the only currency in the world with bilingual text on its banknotes (Kazakh and Russian), due to the state's official bilingualism. The tenge is also considered one of the most secure currencies in the world, with 18 security levels on its banknotes.

The country produces commemorative coins, which are often used in circulation, but also serve a cultural and educational purpose. These coins are highly valued by numismatists and collectors.

Exchange of foreign currency

It is important to note that all purchases of goods and services must be made using the local currency. This means that if you are visiting the country and do not have access to tenge, you may face difficulties when shopping or enjoying leisure activities. While banking terminals accepting international payment cards are widely available in large cities, smaller shops and establishments may not accept them. Similarly, payment in other currencies is unlikely to be accepted.

To obtain tenge, you can withdraw money from ATMs at local or international banks, exchange money at official financial institutions or exchange offices, which can be found in large numbers in both large cities and small towns. Most banks are open until 6:00 PM, but branches located in shopping and entertainment centers may stay open until 10:00 PM, seven days a week. However, private exchange offices have been limited to operating between 9:00 AM and 8:00 PM since February 2020. As such, it is advisable to exchange your money in advance. The only exception to this is exchange offices located at airports, railway stations, or close to automobile border checkpoints. Additionally, since 2020, presenting an ID card or passport has become a requirement for every exchange operation.

While we have not observed any cases of deliberate deception, theft, or fraud in the currency exchange process, it is still important to be cautious and count your money immediately after receiving it. Asking for a fiscal receipt when exchanging currency can serve as a guarantee that exchange office employees will not be tempted to cheat you.

Exchange rates in both official and private exchange offices are good, with a minimal difference between the purchase and sale prices, which some may even consider profitable when compared to other countries. There are no additional commissions for exchange operations, and there are no restrictions on the amount of exchange. The most commonly exchanged foreign currencies for tenge are the American dollar (USD), euro (EUR), and Russian ruble (RUB), though some exchange offices may also accept other currencies such as the Chinese yuan (CNY), Kyrgyz som (KGS), Uzbek sum (UZS), British pound (GBP), and more.

Kazakhstan National Currency Rate Converter (KZT). The exchange rate is calculated based on official data provided by the National Bank of the Republic of Kazakhstan:

Последнее обновление: 29.05.2023 01:00

Prices, salaries, and statistics

Many visitors often have questions about the cost of living in Kazakhstan. It's natural for people to want to compare prices and understand how much they might need to spend during their visit. According to official statistics from early 2023, the average salary in Kazakhstan is 300,000 tenge (equivalent to 670 US dollars). However, it's worth noting that the average salary in the major cities of Almaty and Astana is approximately 20% higher than the national average.

The table below provides answers to the most common price questions asked by tourists. The prices shown are approximate and average and may vary greatly due to several factors. The data was updated in February 2023.

  Loaf of bread Meat, 1 kg. Lunch in a restaurant, per 1 person AI-92 gasoline. 1l. Car price Toyota Camry 40 Rent of a 1-room apartment per month Purchase price of 1 square meter of housing
KZT 200 3000 4000-20000 185 from 15,000,000 100,000-500,000 400,000-900,000
RUB 34 507 680-3400 31 from 2,500,000 17,000-85,000 67,000-150,000
USD 0,45 6.7 9-45 0,41 from 33,500 220-1115 900-2000
EUR 0,42 6,3 8-42 0,39 from 31,500 210-1050 840-1900

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