There was the time when traveling through Europe one needed a separate currency for every country. That meant exchanging your US dollars or leftover money from other countries, to the current country’s money. Every time you exchange those currencies you lost value with service and transaction fees. As well as exchange services in tourists areas that give you a de-valued exchange rate on top of their additional fees.
That is no longer the situation as many countries have adopted a common currency called the Euro. Now 18 countries have the Euro as their official currency, making life a whole lot easier for us travelers. You can literally travel through multiple countries using just one currency.
WRITTEN U.S. CURRENCY VS. EUROPEAN CURRENCY
Currency Values written in Europe use the comma in place of the decimal point and a period is used to separate the thousandth digit from the hundredth. So it’s just reversed from what we use in the US. Your dinner bill was 43 Euros not 43 thousand. So be careful when shopping and looking at price tags, that item you want to buy may not be as expensive as you think.
$2.50 = €2,50 $1,350.75 = €1.350.75
So be careful when shopping and looking at price tags, that item you want to buy may not be as expensive as you think.
Reading Numbers in Europe…Some numerals are written a little little differently to the way they are written in the U.S. Watch closely for these on price tags and receipts. Ones are written with little upswing before they come straight down and can be confused with the way we write 7’s. They draw a line through the middle of their 7’s setting them apart from their 1’s. 4’s can be written like a lighting bolt otherwise, most numerals appear much like they do in the U.S.
One of the challenges when traveling to foreign countries is converting US currency to that countries currency. After visiting multiple countries you could end up having 4 to 5 different currencies of unused pocket change. The best thing about Europe these days is more and more of the countries are using the Euro for their currency. In 1992 the Maastricht Treaty adopted provisions for one standard currency and over the last decade more countries have adopted the Euro currency. That means when you leave one country you probably won’t need to get cash in another currency. This is a blessing for travelers as one can use the same currency in multiple countries. Countries that use the euro are considered in the Eurozone and it is currently being used by 18 of the 28 members states of the European Union. Currently 5 other European and some African countries will accept the Euro as well as their own for currency. It is the second largest traded currency in the world behind the US dollar.
Subunit 1/100 Cent/Cents
Code: (EUR) #978
Shortly after your arrival at your final destination, you will need local currency. You have several options to either get local currency from your bank before you depart or upon arrival. Check with your local bank about their currency rates and foreign transaction fees. If you wait until you arrive at the airport you may use an ATM or or Currency Exchange booth. For information on ATM’s go to our ➾ Credit and Debit Card page. You can locate ATM’s and Currency Exchanges at airports by going to our ➾ Airports in Europe page and click on the country and city airport to open their web page. Open terminal maps where you’ll find the locations for all these services.
You’ll may also find currency locations in train stations and around high tourists areas. Be careful of the advertise low exchange rates, it may look like your getting more for your US dollar but, they can tack on services fees to make up for the good exchange rate. You may also buy foreign currency prior to you departure online at websites.
Currency Denominations by Country…
1 – Danish Krone – is official currency in Denmark, Faroe Islands & Greenland
2 – The Euro Zone is composed of countries that use the Euro as their official currency. The Euro Zone Countries are; Åland Islands, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
3 – Norwegian Krone – is official currency in Norway, Svalbard Islands, Jan Mayen & Bouvet Island
4 – Swiss Franc – is official currency in Switzerland & Liechtenstein
5 – British Pound Sterling is official currency in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar & British overseas territories.
Banking in Europe…
You will not find American banks located in Europe so if you need bank services, whether just an ATM, exchanging currencies or other services, use a reputable local bank. Below are some of Europe’s largest banks by country. Some also operate in the US so a few names may be familiar.
Indicates American based banks with locations in these countries
BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA
Bank of America
Landesbank Heesen-Thuringer (Helaba)
Norddeutsche Landesbank (NORD/LB)
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)
Banco de Sabadell
Bank of America
BFA Banco Societdad Tenedora
The UK consists of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales & the Isle of Man
Bank of America
Lloyds Banking Group – Bank of Scotland, Halifax
Nationwide Building Society NBS
NatWest Group – Royal Bank of Scotland Group & National Westminster Bank
Northern Bank, T/A Danske Bank
Santander UK, part of Banco Santander,
Virgin Money UK – Cyldesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank
Wells Fargo Bank