The currency of Mozambique is the new Metical Meticais Nova Família, MZN, plural meticais Mts, pronounced 'meta-caysh', divided into 100 centavos. As of September 2014, one US Dollar is worth about 30.35 meticais, one Euro is worth about 39.27 meticais, and one GB Pound is worth about 49.62 meticais.
Three zeroes were dropped from the currency in 2006. Old currency could have been exchanged at banks up to the end of December 2012. People will occasionally still refer to the old currency, so if someone asks for "1 million", they generally mean one thousand new meticais.
Note that many businesses in the tourist centers are run by South Africans and prices are often quoted in Rand for which the usual abbreviation is ZAR. In this guide we've also quoted in Rand when applicable.
US$, ZAR, British pounds and Euros are freely convertible at commercial rates at any bank or exchange. Other currencies such as Canadian or Australian dollars or Japanese Yen, are not accepted anywhere, even at official banks and exchanges.
There is very little black market currency exchange, since the commercial exchanges offer the best market rate. You cannot exchange meticais outside Mozambique, but you can convert them back at exchanges prior to leaving the country. Also you cannot buy meticais outside Moçambique.
ATMs are present throughout the country; Standard, Millennium Bim, BCI, ProCredit and Barclays are the brands you are most likely to run in to. Standard accepts Visa & Mastercard, Millennium accepts all international cards including Maestro/Cirrus cards while Barclays doesn't seem to accept any cards with great regularity. ATMs have transaction limits on withdrawals, which vary with the bank. Millennium Bim limits withdrawals to 3,000 Mts, BCI to 5,000 and Standard Bank to 10,000; you can always insert your card again to withdraw more money.
Everything in Mozambique that does not have a price attached can be bargained down to whatever you consider a reasonable price to be. Remember that while laughing when they give you an insane price is perfectly OK you should not get outwardly angry or hostile, you will be unlikely to get a reasonable price if you do. If in doubt about what a fair price is ask your hotel.
No one in Mozambique, including often backpacker lodges, have change. The 1000Mzn and 500Mzn are almost impossible to use day to day, so change them down in to more manageable notes in any bank. The one exception to this rule is chapa drivers, if you find yourself running low on small bills pay for your 15Mzn fare with a 100Mzn note.
Maputo is the metropolitan area in Mozambique and you will find many shops/restaurants open on weekends. However, outside the capital, most of these will close at noon on Saturday, only to open on Monday at 8 am. It can be quite inconvenient to shop after business hours as shops remain open only from 0800 to noon and then 1400-1730 hours, closing during lunch hours and afterwards. The exception to this is beer, you can buy beer anywhere and at anytime. Just listen to loud music blaring and follow it to find Mozambicans enjoying the brew and dancing.
It is very difficult to find 3-pin sockets for electrical appliances including travel gear, laptops etc. A 2-pin hole-in-the-wall electric connection is the standard around Mozambique. Make sure you carry a 3-pin to a 2-pin converter for your electronic items. You will find converters of poor quality and high price in some markets, and only in the official hours. Almost all of the lodges/hotels have no 3-pin appliance support.