Closed Currencies List

What is a Closed Currency?

A closed currency is a currency that is only available in the country of origin and not freely available in other countries. A closed currency is only available in the country of origin, and it is illegal to travel out of that country with the currency. When you arrive in that country, you need to exchange your local currency to that particular currency. Furthermore, while departing from the country, you need to change that closed currency to your preferred currency.

People travel around the world and they need money for their day-to-day activities. When you change the currency to that one used in that particular country, it will save you the cost since you would rather not pay conversion fees for purchases you make. Therefore, you can exchange your currency when you arrive at the airport in that country with a closed currency.

Countries with Closed Currency 2023

The following is a list of closed currency countries across the globe.

North KoreaKPW
Sri LankaLKR
closed currency
The Bahamas, one of popular travel destination in the world, is one of the countries with closed currencies. Thankfully, the US Dollar is widely accepted at most shops and restaurants and its exchange rate is set on 1:1 with the Bahama Dollar.

Travel Tips to Countries with Closed Currencies

You need to be careful while traveling to countries with closed currencies. For instance, make sure to exchange the closed currency to your home country currency before departing that country. Closed currencies are not freely available in other countries, and this may give you difficulties when exchanging it in your home country. The following are some tips.

  • Retain the money exchange receipts, just in case you may need to use them as a proof that you obtained the money in the right channels.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of foreign currencies, since they are usually in high demand. For instance, Euros, USD and GBP.
  • Use travel cards, debit, or credit cards when you travel. They charge fair fees at the ATMs and have high exchange rates.
  • It is illegal to transact with some currencies in some countries. Therefore, make sure to research about the currency of the country you are traveling to before departing your home country.
  • Estimate the amount of money you need during your stay in that particular country so that you do not have to exchange it back before departing.
  • If you are not sure about the currency of the country you are traveling, contact the relevant embassy before traveling.
  • In many countries with closed currencies, there are black markets that offer higher exchange rates. Don’t get tempted to use these black markets because of their higher rates. If you are caught, you will face the authorities of that particular country, something you might not want to happen to you.

How to Access Closed Currency

To exchange your currency to the closed currency, you must do it in the bureau de change or banks. Make sure to do so immediately you arrive in the country to avoid the costs of converting the currency when making every transaction. Many countries have their bureau de change in the airport. If you have a credit, debit or travel card, you can use it to withdraw cash from any ATM.

Luckily, some travel cards do not charge ATM fees, such as the Travelex Money Card Platinum. Make sure that the card is loaded with different currencies so that you can convert from one currency to another using the ATM. Make sure you are aware of the exchange rates. Alternatively, you can carry cash or travel cheques to exchange when you arrive. Damaged, torn and new denominations not yet recognize are not accepted.

closed currencies

Relationship between Closed and Restricted Currency

A closed currency is related to a restricted currency in that both cannot be used outside the country of use. In most cases, countries with currency restriction or closed currency have had a history of protectionism or economic policy. Most countries with closed currencies are the same ones that have restricted currencies.


Make sure you do a background check of the currency of the country you are traveling to. This will help you to know if it has a closed currency. Make sure not to depart that particular country with the restricted currency. Change it to your home country currency or send it all.

Vincent is a writer and researcher with an interest in finance, banking, startups, and remittance. He holds a Bachelors degree in Applied Statistics with computing. He founded Nexin Startups, an online platform offering startup advice to investors and entrepreneurs. Read more about us and our authors.