Money and credit cards in Tibet

What Currency Can I Use in Tibet?

Chinese RMB. Foreign currencies cannot be used directly; they have to be converted into Chinese Yuan "RMB", and people in Tibet do not use coins as the other major cities in China.

If you are traveling to the remote areas in Tibet, try and get your cash in small denominations, since RMB 100 and RMB 50 bills are sometimes difficult to get rid of in rural Tibet. 

How to Exchanging My Money in Tibet?

In Tibet, the only place to change foreign currency and travelers' checks is the Bank of China. The top end hotels in Lhasa have exchange services but they are only available for guests.

The sensible thing to do is to change as much money in Lhasa as you think you need. The only other places to change money are in Shigatse, Zhangmu and Purang (or perhaps Ali). Also notice that banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays in Tibet.

Can I Use Credit Cards in Tibet?

Visa Card

The short answer is YES.

However, credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Tibet. Flights out of Lhasa can not be paid by using a credit card.

The Lhasa branch of the Bank of China is the only bank in Tibet which provides credit card advances. Most of time you cannot get cash by ATM from small branches, usually you need to go to the main branch nearby Potala Palace. A 3% commission is usually deducted and the minimum advance is normally RMB 2,000.


Jose Antonio Panero Huerga
Jose Antonio Panero Huerga
Thu, 01/10/2019


We are a group of 4 Spanish people who are interested in doing a tour around the Tibet. We would like to start in Xining by train to Lhasa on 19th April and finishing in the Nepal border 27th April.

A friend who has travelled with you, Rita y Jose Menchen, have recommend me your services.

Could you please send us any proposal for our trip.

Yours sincerely,
Jose Antonio

Replied by
Victoria Zhu
Victoria Zhu
Thu, 01/10/2019

In reply to by Jose Antonio P… (not verified)

Hi Jose,

Thank you for your inquiry! This is Victoria Zhu, the one assisted with Jose and Rita's trip to Nepal and Tibet. I am very glad to be your trip advisor and assist you with your trip planning as well. Please kindly help me to share my special greeting to Jose and Rita.

Based on your information, I have drafted out a tour proposal with the quotation and sent it to your email, please kindly check the details and feel free to get back to me for any question that you might have. With your replies, we can adjust the proposal to meet your needs best.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon and wish you a nice day!

Best regards,

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