Currency of Kyrgyzstan
National currency of Kyrgyzstan
Som is a national currency of Kyrgyzstan. One som is equal to 100 tyiyn. The Resolution on introduction of national currency som was adopted by the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan on 10 May 1993. International designation - KGS. The first emission of the banknotes in denominations of 1, 5 and 20 soms as well as subunits in denominations of 1,10 and 50 tyiyns was issued by the Bank of Kyrgyzstan in summer 1993.
Currently som is represented by nine denominations of banknotes: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000, all of them differ in colour and decorated with the images of outstanding art workers of Kyrgyzstan. The subunits, tyiyns, initially had a form of square banknotes and were represented in three denominations: 1, 10 and 50 tyiyns. However, presently, the banknotes in denomination of 1 tyiyn are not used even by banks and state organizations in Kyrgyzstan. The banknotes of 10 tyiyns are also randomly used. January 2008 marked the first emission of coins in denomination of 10 and 50 tyiyns, 1,3 and 5 soms. Recently a banknote in denomination of 5,000 soms was also issued.
Kyrgyzstan is the first CIS country (except for Russia) to introduce its own currency in the monetary circulation. Initially, one som was equal to 0.25 USD, however the inflation gradually reduced the cost of the currency. Today 1USD is approximately equal to 44 soms. Som is the only legal currency in the territory of Kyrgyzstan, however one can pay (and sometimes asked) in Russia's roubles, U.S. dollars or Euros in the hotels or for mountain climbing.
Normally, banks are open from 9.00-9.30 to 17.00-17.30, Monday to Friday, except on weekends - Saturdays and Sundays.
The currency can be exchanged in the banks or exchange offices (usually they work 24/7) and in many shops. You can exchange USD, Euro, UK pounds, Russian roubles, Kazakh tenge, Uzbek soums, the Chinese yuan and other types of currencies. It is recommended to exchange the currency in the capital – the exchange rate in the countryside is much lower. It is advised to exchange USD in newly issued banknotes since the exchange rate for earlier emissions is significantly lower even in state institutions.