Guyana is home to many markets and, more recently, shopping centres. The Stabroek Market is a picturesque market in Georgetown. For tourists, it is best to go to the market in a group or with a local you feel comfortable with. Flights are possible, but infrequent.
On the esplanade opposite the Central Post Office, near the National Museum, in downtown Georgetown, you can buy a variety of local handicrafts, from paintings and sculptures to handbags, satchels and leather purses; hand-painted, dyed fabrics and batiks, pressed flowers, sun hats, semi-precious stones and costume jewellery handmade from local materials. Ask around and you’ll find shops and galleries selling crafts and gifts.
Guyana is also known for its exceptional gold jewellery.
The local currency is the Guyanese dollar (international currency code ISO 4217: GYD). You will see the symbols “$” and “G$” locally. The currency is freely convertible but it is almost impossible to get rid of it outside Guyana, neighbouring countries and a bureau de change at London Gatwick Airport. In September 2013, the exchange rate was approximately 1 USD = 204 GYD.
Banknotes are issued in GYD20, 100, 500 and 1,000 and there are GYD1, GYD5 and GYD10 coins. The GYD500, GYD1,000 and GYD5,000 notes have a holographic stripe depicting a coloured macaw.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Guyana is relatively high as most basic necessities are imported and transport costs are high. The monopoly in some industries also leads to higher profits and further price increases. For example (as of January 2010), the approximate price of petrol is USD 1.10 per litre, while the price of electricity is USD 0.33 per unit. A bottle of domestic gas costs over USD 20. The rent for an average family dwelling is USD 500 per month in the safest urban areas and the personal income tax, which is 33.33% of total taxable income, makes the cost of living even higher.