European Currencies

Dealing with the euro—and those countries not yet in the euro zone: the British Pound, Swiss Franc, and all those Scandinavian and Eastern European currencies

The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and other currencies fluctuates constantly. Make sure you're getting a good rate (and low commission) whenever changing money.The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and other currencies fluctuates constantly. Make sure you're getting a good rate (and low commission) whenever changing money.

The short version: Most of Western Europe now uses the euro (its symbol is: €), including Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Just a few years ago, you could get a Euro for less than 90¢, but as of this writing (late 2011), the euro has been on a five-year winning streak while at the same time the U.S. dollar has slumped (which is the polite way of saying "tanked"), which means that it currently takes between $1.30 and $1.50 to buy €1 . Ouch.

(Even worse: A British Pound can cost anywhere between $1.55 and $2.10.)

Here's more on changing money.

Countries that do not use the Euro

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in November 2011.
All information was accurate at the time.


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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.