|This page in a nutshell: Prices should be listed in the local currency, unless the local convention is to list prices in a foreign currency, and in the best-known notation for the currency. Unless there is a real risk of ambiguity, do not use the three letter ISO 4217 currency codes like "USD" or "GBP".|
There are many different currencies in the world. In an effort to ensure readability and consistency, certain style conventions are used on Wikivoyage. Ideally, we want something that is easily readable by an English speaker, conveniently short, and easy for an editor to use; of course those goals sometimes conflict.
This article describes the conventions we have adopted, which include
- symbols like $ and €
- names like "baht" (for the Thai currency)
- abbreviations like "kr" (for kronor in several Scandanavian countries).
The text should always mention the name of the currency unit, e.g. "peso" for the Philippines, since travellers will no doubt hear it. Most prices, though, should use the symbol or abbreviation, e.g. a hotel cost in a listing should be given as "₱600". A writer can also use the name in text if he or she thinks that reads better; e.g. one might say "The Channel Tunnel cost almost five million pounds."
The three letter ISO 4217 currency codes, like "PHP" for the peso or "USD" for the American dollar, should always be mentioned since travellers may need them for doing funds transfers or for checking exchange rates online. In general they should not be used either in listings or in text, but exceptions can be made as needed to avoid ambiguity.
Don't knock yourself out "correcting" for example USD27 to $27 - there is more important work to be done in plunging forward and writing an up-to-date and accurate free travel guide!
Which currency to use
In general, when writing about the price of an item in a country, stick to that country's currency. Do not switch between currencies. Doing so causes confusion and frustration. If you only know the price in dollars or euros, go to a currency conversion site and convert the number. Round off amounts appropriately.
- Right: You can buy a coffee for ₱100. A taxi ride costs ₱700
- Wrong: You can buy a coffee for ₱100. A taxi ride costs €6.70.
There are some exceptions:
In places such as Cambodia, Cuba, Myanmar and much of Africa, foreign nationals pay in hard currency (generally US dollars or euros) for some things (hotels, air and train tickets, entrance fees), but in local currency for other things (food, shopping, buses, taxis). In some places this a legal requirement, in others just a common business practice since the local currency is weak or unstable; see the country articles for details. In these cases list the price in the currency that the foreign traveller will be expected to pay, even if it means switching currencies in the body of the page.
If something falls on an international boundary, it may be necessary to indicate which currency (or currencies) are being referred to. If a seat on the next Tunnel Bus to leave Detroit is CAD4.00, say so.
Even when most expenses will be paid in local currency, if the inflation rate is high enough that information will become outdated in only two years or less, use the equivalent amount in dollars or euros. This should be consistent for all articles pertaining to the country.
Symbols and abbreviations
Prices should be generally listed with the currency notation that travellers will encounter when they arrive at the destination in question. Travellers should be able to assume that symbols used for multiple currencies (like $ or £ or ¥) apply to the local currency.
In many cases, we use currency symbols, placed before the amount, with no space:
- $100 in Australia, Brunei, Canada, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, Hong Kong, Kiribati, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and the USA, not AUD 100, S$100, 100 NZD nor 100 dollars
- ¥100 in China, not RMB 100, 100 yuan nor 100元
- €100 in the Eurozone, not EUR 100, 100€ nor 100 euros
- ₹100 in India, not INR 100, Rupees 100, nor 100 rupees
- ₪100 in Israel, not NIS 100, 100 NIS, nor 100 shekels
- ¥100 in Japan, not JPY 100, 100 yen nor 100円
- ₱100 in the Philippines, not PHP 100, 100 PHP nor 100 pesos
- R100 in South Africa, not ZAR 100, 100 R nor 100 Rand
- ₩100 in South Korea, not KRW 100, 100 KRW, nor 100 won
- £100 in the UK, not GBP 100, UK£100 nor 100 pounds
We also adopt some widely used abbreviations, with whatever formatting convention comes with them:
- in front, without a space and without a period:
- RM100 in Malaysia, not Ringgit 100, 100 RM, MYR 100 nor RM 100 (with a space before the amount)
- Rp100 in Indonesia, not Rupiah 100, 100 IDR, Rp. 100 or Rp 100
- in front, with a space but without a period:
- Rs 100 in Pakistan not Rupees 100, 100 PKR nor 100 rupaya
- kr 100 in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland, not kronor 100, 100 kronor, or NOK, SEK, DKK and ISK
- after the amount, with a space but without a period:
- 100 Kč in the Czech Republic, not Kč 100, 100 CZK nor 100 koruna
As for any abbreviation, consider spelling out the first occurrence in full (with the notation to be used in the rest of the article following immediately afterwards in parentheses), if there is a substantial risk of ambiguity or ignorance.
We often use the currency name if that is short enough to be convenient; it should come after the amount.
- 100 birr in Ethiopia
- 100 dirham in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates
- 100 kyat in Myanmar
- 100 rubles in Transnistria
- 100 dong in Vietnam
- 100 manat in Azerbaijan
In some cases we use the more readable short name even when a symbol might be an alternative:
- 100 baht in Thailand (rather than ฿100)
- 100 kip in Laos (rather than ₭100)
See the talk pages for the country articles for discussion.
If the country or article uses multiple currencies, including foreign ones, use the shortest unambiguous form for each. For US dollars, this is USD. For euros, it's €.
We also have some conventions which apply to the formatting of prices and other numbers.
Use a decimal point, "." to mark decimals and use a comma,"," to separate thousands groups. For example, a million dollars could be written as $1,000,000.00, or just as $1,000,000.
Write price ranges using a single currency symbol and a single dash with no spaces, e.g. Dinner: €10-20
Use a non-breaking space (
) for the space between the number and its currency, to avoid a line break. If you write
100 Kč it will always display as 100 Kč making sure that the numeral is never separated from its associated unit by wrapping to the next line like: 100
A billion is a thousand million (US style), not a million million (old British style).
Quantity words from other languages — such as Hindi lakh (100,000) and crore (10,000,000) or Chinese wan (10,000) — should be mentioned in the text since travellers may encounter them. However, they should generally not be used in our text, even if they are common in the local dialect of English. There may be exceptions for something like discussing employment for travellers if the ads quote salaries in lakh.