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I found a small amount of Albanian lekë (can you say "leks" in English?) in my wallet from last summer's visit there. Is there any place in Helsinki where I can change those back into euros? Forex, at least, doesn't list the currency on their website.

enter image description here

Or, indeed, is there any place outside Albania where you can change lekë? I noticed a comment by Hippietrail saying that

I heard that Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are inconvertible currencies [...]

Is this true? Any source for this info?

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"Leks" sounds more like a NSFW verb to me! – Andrew Grimm Mar 30 '14 at 3:24
up vote 12 down vote accepted

I have just been to two Exchange offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. I had banknotes from Serbia, Macedonia and Albania with me. They both offered to buy all three of them.

This doesn't mean you find someone who does this in Finland but it proves that both Macedonian denar and Albanian lek are indeed convertible currencies.

enter image description here

This is a sign from one of the exchange places. The rates are into Bulgarian lev.

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Thanks, good to have such rumours or outdated information cleared up! – Jonik Nov 20 '11 at 11:21
Wow those are very fair rates too! – hippietrail Nov 20 '11 at 11:22

Ok, Peter cleared up the more general doubt about exchangeability of the lek anywhere outside Albania. As to my original / more specific question:

Is there any place in Helsinki where I can change those back into euros?

Seems like no, not in Helsinki.

  • A "Money Change" booth I stumbled upon in Kamppi Centre: no (raising a suspicious eyebrow at the bills I procuced).
  • At Forex, they also said no. "Not yet, but maybe some day, if and when the currency becomes more accepted internationally." The clerk also said she doubts any banks would change leks either. (According to her, Forex has the widest selection of currencies available across any establishments that do currency exchange here.)
  • Just to make sure, I asked a friend who works in a large bank. She checked with their travel currency department, and confirmed that the Albanian lek is not accepted.

So if I really needed to get rid of the leks in Finland, I guess I should post to Pallontallaajat travellers' forum in hope of finding someone going to Albania. (Dunno about that; the amount I have is so small it doesn't warrant going to much trouble.)

Maybe we can deduce that accepting Albanian money is currently limited to countries near Albania...

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