The official currency of Tanzania is the Shilling. Smaller amounts of money are usually paid in Shilling, whereas larger amounts of money are paid in US$. Money can be exchanged at the Bureaux de Change which can be found at any larger town and in the airports. Make sure that they change your money at the rate which is written in front of the bureau.
Travelers from the US are advised to bring US$ in currency; make sure that the bills you bring are dated 2003 or later, as currency dated earlier may be rejected by currency exchange places. Also we at ZARA won’t accept US$ bills which have been issued before 2003. You will get a better exchange rate for 50 and 100 dollar bills than for smaller bills. There are several banks where you can use ATMs. Visa card is the most widely accepted credit card.
Travelers from Europe are advised to bring Euros (or British Pounds, Swiss Francs). They can be changed to Shillings at all Bureaux de Change and you save the costs for changing twice – first from Euro to Dollar at your country of origin, and then from Dollar to Shilling in Tanzania. You can use international credit cards, preferably VISA card, at the ATMs of most banks. At Barclay’s bank (Moshi, Arusha, Zanzibar, Dar es salaam ) it is even possible to use your EC debit card.
Only hotels, restaurants and tourist shops of higher category accept international credit cards; when paying small amounts in US$ rather than Shilling, in most cases you get a worse exchange rate. Local shops accept Shillings only.
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