Money in Georgia: A Tourist Guide to ATMs, Cards and Exchange

If you’re traveling to Georgia, the one famous for wine, cheese, and mountains in the Caucasus, not the US state, and want to be prepared for the money situation there, you’ve come to the right place.

This article has everything about withdrawing from an ATM, exchanging currency, and paying by card.

Do you want to know which ATMs don’t charge an access fee? (hint: just avoid Bank of Georgia)

Do you wonder if you can use Revolut, Wise, or Monese in Georgia? (They work like a charm)

This is the full guide to money in Georgia for tourists!

Currency in Georgia

The currency in Georgia is the Georgian Lari with code GEL.

It’s a new currency, first created in 1995. It’s been relatively stable since then and in recent years there have been moves towards further dedolarization of personal finance in Georgia. But let’s not concern ourselves with too much of the boring stuff.

Georgian Lari banknotes (the official money in Georgia) ordered in a semicircle.
The colorful Georgian Lari banknotes

The Georgian Lari is divided into 100 tetri. The coins in circulation are 5, 10, 20, and 50 tetri as well as 1 and 2 lari.

The Lari banknote denominations are 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. The biggest banknote (100 GEL) is worth around 38$ so you don’t have to carry a stack of cash like how, say, money in Uzbekistan is.

The larger denomination banknotes (20, 50, and 100) have two variants – issued in 2004 and issued in 2016. Both are equally valid and legal tender for now.

Can you use your card in Georgia?

Yes, you can use your foreign card to pay for most things in Georgia.

Foreign card payments are common and becoming increasingly more common. Most supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants will accept card payments without a fee. Even the public transport in some cities (for example Gori, the gateway to Uplistsikhe Cave Town) is payable by tapping your card inside the bus!

Smaller supermarkets, traditional open-air markets, family-run guesthouses, etc. of course still only accept cash. Imagine staying at a guesthouse on the Mestia to Ushguli trek in Svaneti and asking to pay by card – you will be washing the dishes for 3 days straight afterward!

3 debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) from Monese, Revolut and Curve
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Georgia

All kinds of cards are accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Cirrus, and American Express.

ATMs in Georgia

ATMs are abundant in the cities of Georgia but you may have some trouble finding an ATM in very remote villages.

If you’re going trekking in the Caucasus, prepare enough cash to last you until you’re back to the nearest bigger town.

Basis Bank ATM in Georgia
Basis Bank ATM – the best one for travelers in Georgia

You will find an ATM to accept almost any type of card but VISA and Mastercard are universally accepted at all ATMs.

The maximum withdrawal amount on most ATMs is 2000 GEL. It’s lower on some ATMs but you can withdraw 2 or more times consecutively.

Withdrawal Fees

Here comes the tricky part – avoiding those pesky ATM withdrawal fees. I’m not talking about the fees you get charged on your end from your bank – those you can avoid by using a FinTech solution like Revolut, Curve, or Monese.

Most ATMs in Georgia do NOT charge a withdrawal fee!

The best ATM for travelers to withdraw money in Georgia is BasisBank. It charges no fees and has a limit of 2000 GEL.

Avoid Bank of Georgia as it charges 3 GEL per withdrawal. They don’t even display the fee you will be charged, so you will get an unpleasant surprise!

ATMs without withdrawal fees

This is a list of Georgian ATMs that are confirmed to charge 0 access fee for withdrawals:

  • BasisBank
  • HalykBank
  • VTB
  • TBC (only for withdrawals in GEL)
Halyk Bank logo with the name written in Georgian.
Halyk Bank logo but written in Georgian

Never accept currency conversion offered by the ATM! Refuse and let your own bank to the exchange at a much, much better rate.

Withdrawing foreign currency in Georgia

Withdrawing foreign currency is becoming less and less common in Georgia as “Larization” efforts by the government encourage the use and saving of the Georgian Lari instead.

Nevertheless, it’s still possible to withdraw USD and EUR on some ATMs in Georgia. Look for the Dollar sign ($) or the Euro sign (€) on the ATM.

Withdrawing USD

Withdrawing USD used to be the norm in post-communist Georgia. Today, you can withdraw USD without a fee from the following ATMs:

  • Basis Bank
  • Cartu Bank
  • Halyk Bank
  • Ziraat Bank

Other banks such as Bank of Georgia, Terabank, and TBC bank will charge you a withdrawal fee (as low as 1$ sometimes but up to 3%).

Withdrawing EUR

Withdrawing Euro directly is quite uncommon in Georgia. Only these two banks allow it:

  • ProCredit Bank: Maximum 500€ withdrawal and 8€ fee
  • TBC Bank
    • up to 200: €5 fee
    • 200-599: €10 fee
    • 600-1.000: €20 fee

As you can see, withdrawing euros is costly! You’re much better off withdrawing Georgian Lari and exchanging it for euro manually.

Exchanging Money in Georgia

You don’t have to exchange money in Georgia if you have a card with low fees like Revolut. You can pay with it in many places and withdrawing without a fee is quite easy.

Nonetheless, if you prefer to carry cash and exchange inside the country, here’s how to be prepared.

What currency to bring

The US dollar and the Euro are the best currencies to carry to Georgia because the exchange spread at most places is less than 1%.

You will have no issues exchanging these currencies too:

  • British Pound
  • Turkish Lira
  • Swiss Franc
  • Russian Rouble (yes, even recent and not-so-recent events)
  • Ukrainian hryvnia
  • Emirati Dirham

If your currency is not on the list it’s a good idea to change it to something more widely accepted.

While in Georgia, I exchanged money only once – 50 euros in a bank in Kutaisi. I had to show my passport and sign a receipt and I was out within 3 minutes. The spread was only 0.5%!

Where to Exchange Money

You can exchange money in Georgia at:

  • Banks (Easiest and lowest margins. Bring your passport!)
  • Exchange bureaus in a city (Best rates)
  • Airports (worst rates)
  • Hotels (just okay)
  • Tour Agencies (bad rates considering there’s usually a bureau or a bank nearby)

Tips for Changing Money in Georgia

Most of these are common sense and not any different from other countries. Here are my top tips:

  • Higher denominations of USD usually yield higher rates;
  • Damaged banknotes = lower rates + fee (if accepted at all);
  • Don’t accept foreign banknotes with ANY damage (if changing GEL back to USD for example);

How much cash to bring to Georgia?

This depends on your way of traveling and your budget. Using your card in Georgia is pretty easy so there’s no need to go overboard with physical cash.

My advice is to have at least 200$ just in case something goes wrong with your bank cards and you need emergency cash until you sort it out.

Georgian Shoti bread
This shoti bread I bought at a traditional market in Kutaisi cost only 0.7 GEL (0.25$)!

When I went to Georgia I used my Revolut and Curve cards most of the time and only exchanged 50 euro once.

On the other hand, if you’re wondering how much money you need to travel to Georgia and how much I actually paid, you can check out my backpacker’s budget report for Georgia.

Example prices

These are price ranges from 2024:

  • Hot Georgian bread from the market: 0.7-2 GEL
  • Khinkali: 1 GEL per piece
  • Restaurant meal: 8-20 GEL
  • Beer: 2-4 GEL
  • Khachapuri from a street bakery: 2-4 GEL
  • Khachapuri in a restaurant: 7-12 GEL
  • Museums: 3-7 GEL
  • Public transportation in big cities: 0.5-1 GEL
  • Intercity marshrutkas: ~8 GEL per 100 km
  • Budget hostel: 20-40 GEL
  • Mid-range hotels – 80-200 GEL
  • Half-day group tour – 80-150 GEL;
Inside the Uplistsikhe Cave Town
Uplistsikhe Cave Town – entrance fee 15 GEL (5.7$)

See my budget report for Georgia for more details.


You will rarely have to bargain in Georgia. Most places have fixed prices already displayed and where this is not the case, vendors are usually honest and will quote the honest price.

If at a traditional market you feel something is a bit too expensive, feel free to ask for a discount but don’t push it.

This does not apply to any flea markets, for example, the Dry Bridge market in Tbilisi. There definitely do bargain.


Tipping is not mandatory in Georgia.

In restaurants there will already be a service charge of 10%, usually not listed anywhere, which will make you reconsider tipping anyway.

Tipping is very much appreciated and will bring about a few smiles your way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s answer some of your most burning questions about money in Georgia.

What is the ATM withdrawal limit in Georgia?

The highest withdrawal limit on ATMs in Georgia is 2.000 GEL (~750$).

Use Basis Bank for a withdrawal limit of 2.000 GEL. If the limit is lower, you can withdraw multiple times.

Can you use US dollars in Georgia?

No, you cannot use US dollars to pay for things in Georgia. Universally, the only accepted currency is the local Georgian Lari.

Can you use Revolut in Georgia?

Yes, Revolut cards work in Georgia. Both VISA and Mastercard work. You can withdraw from ATMs and pay on POS terminals with your Revolut card.

Similar fintech apps like Wise, Monese, Curve, N26, and Starling also work there.

If you are going to neighboring Turkey, read my guide to money in Turkey too!

Money guides for other Caucasus countries:

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