The Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) hasn’t its own currency. On the territory of NKR the currency of Armenia is used and the fixed monetary unit is Armenian dram (AMD), or just “dram”, in plural – “drams”. Each dram is equal to 100 lumas (in singular – luma), however, while paying in cash lumas are not used, though in bank calculations they still figure.
Nowadays bank notes with tenors of 1000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000 and 100 000 drams, as well as bits with tenors of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 drams circulate in Artsakh. The rate of Armenian currency fluctuates within the limits of 400 AMD for one American dollar.
It is allowed to import to Artsakh unlimited sum of money in cash, either in local or in foreign currency, international credit cards (“VISA”, “MASTERCARD”, and “MAESTRO”). Any easy convertable currency can be changed into Armenian drams on one’s arrival in Artsakh in banks, in most hotels or in certificated exchange offices situated in Stepanakert and in regional centers. Tariffs for currency change differ slightly. One can check the daily updated rate of exchange on the site www.cba.am
The holders of international credit cards “VISA”, “MASTERCARD”, and “MAESTRO” can receive cash in local or foreign currency in banks working with their credit companies. ATMs are placed at the entrance to banks or in supermarkets.
According to the existing legislation only Armenian drams are to be paid for purchases or services. All the payments are done taking into account taxes. Shopmen and suppliers of goods and service providers have no right to accept payments or give change in foreign currency.
Tipping is customary in Artsakh, mainly in restaurants, cafés, as well as for other services such as taxi service, luggage delivery. In hotels one should give little tip to porters, chambermaids or other attendants. Bargaining in shops and service offices is out of place, though one shouldn’t hesitate to bargain in markets – it is a traditional part of purchase and sale.
In the capital of Artsakh, as well as in other cities of the republic, there are different branches of banks. Generally, branches of banks work from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 16:00 or 17:00 with one hour break from 13:00 to 14:00. On Saturdays and Sundays almost all the banks are closed.
The list of functioning in NKR banks and their contacts.
Artsakhbank.25, Knounyantsneri Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 34 12. Web-site: www.ab.am
Ardshininvestbank.1, M. Mashtots Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 15 39.
Armeconombank.21, Azatamartikneri Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 07 38.
Araratbank.1a, M. Mashtots Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 79 35.
Unibank.9, Azatamartikneri Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 92 17.
Ameria bank.21, V. Sargsyan Str., Stepanakert. Phone: (+374 47) 94 52 96, (+374 47) 97 12 40.