Planning a European trip: cash tips

Let us help you understand a little about the currency when planning your trip to Europe.

Young woman on overseas holiday

Whether you are chasing a white Christmas, or a mid-year summer, it pays to understand a little about the currency when planning your trip to Europe.

While it’s important to consider travelling with both cash and card on holidays, cash is particularly helpful at certain times and places in Europe. Having cash before you set off can also prevent you having to find an ATM should a merchant not accept card transactions. It is also a great back up should something unforeseen happen to your card/s. Payment options can vary depending on which country you visit although, in general, credit cards and travel cards are widely accepted in Europe.

Which currency is used in Europe?

The currency used in the majority of Europe is the euro. However, not all countries in the European Union use the euro, making it less than straight-forward when it comes to carrying cash. To help make planning for your travel cash easier we’ve put together some information outlining which countries use the euro and which don’t.

The most commonly used notes in euros are the 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 bills. There are also 200 and 500 notes. However, it is recommended to travel with smaller denominations to help ensure merchants have enough change to give you. For example, merchants in destinations such as Greece and Portugal may not carry large change for things such as small souvenirs and gifts.

 Which countries use euros?

While some countries do not officially use the euro you may find they accept it in touristy areas. Albania, Poland and the Czech Republic are examples. However, you may want to consider taking local currency with you to be sure.

Members of the European Union that use euros*


Belgium  Cyprus Estonia
 Finland France Germany Greece
 Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania
Luxembourg  Malta The Netherlands Portugal
Slovakia  Slovenia Spain   

Non-members of the European Union who use euros*

Andorra Monaco San Marino
Vatican City Kosovo Montenegro

Members of the European Union that do not use euros*

Bulgaria Hungary Czech Republic Lithuania
Poland  Romania United Kingdom Croatia
 Denmark Sweden    

The following countries are not part of the European Union and do not use euros*

Albania Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia Herzegovina
 Georgia Iceland Kazakhstan Liechtenstein Republic of Macedonia
 Moldova Norway Russia Serbia Switzerland
 Turkey Ukraine      

*Current as at 5 December 2019 and subject to change.

When should I organise my foreign cash?

Keep an eye on exchange rates for the euro and any other currency you need for your trip. You can order and have your foreign cash delivered to your local Heritage branch within 48-72 hours – depending on your location. 

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