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The Euro is the new European Economic Union currency.  Read our article to find out what you need to know about the Euro and how it will simplify travel for many of us.


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Travel Advice -The Euro

One of the most confusing aspects of traveling in foreign countries is the need to exchange (sell) dollars for the currency in one country and, then, sell that currency for money in the next country you will visit. One major change in the area of currency transactions is the rollout of the Euro. The Euro has been adopted for use by the member countries of the European Union who have agreed to participate in the European Economic Union [EEU].

In the article that follows, we provide you with a summary of what you need to know about the Euro while traveling in the countries where the Euro is the official currency.

The concept behind the Euro is to allow the citizens of the member countries of the European Economic Union to participate in the benefits of a unified community banded together under common economic interest. The Euro is designed to fill the same role for the EEU that the dollar provides for the US. Instead of a myriad of different currencies, the EU member countries who have agreed to join the EEU use one unified currency [Euro].


On January 1, 2002, the Euro began to replace the local currencies of twelve European Union (EU) member nations who have, also, joined the European Economic Union [EEU]

Using the Euro, today, are the following EU [European Union] member countries: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.

  • Denmark, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have either decided not convert their national currencies to the Euro or have not yet converted to the Euro.
  • The Danish Crown [Krone], the Swedish Crown [Krona] and the English Pound Sterling remain in use in their respective countries and will continue in use for the near future.
  • These three countries are the only members of the European Union (EU) that opted not to join the European Economic Union.
  • Most of the countries that have joined the EU after 2004, have not yet qualified for membership in the European Economic Union and do not officially use the Euro.
  • Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City, Montenegro and Kosovo, also use the Euro.

Euro Denominations

There are seven Euro notes and eight Euro coins.

  • The notes are: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 Euro.
  • The coins are: 2 Euro, 1 Euro, 50 Euro cent, 20 Euro cent, 10 Euro cent, 5 Euro cent, 2 Euro cent, and 1 Euro cent.
  • The official abbreviation for the Euro is ’EUR’.

The EEU is not only a historically significant action but also one that is viewed with pride by the populations of most member countries. The Euro is not the “Euro Dollar”, a term used by some insensitive travelers, and you will save yourself a lot of grief by calling the currency by its proper name [Euro].

How Does the Euro affect the traveler?

One significant benefit of the use of the Euro is that calculating price comparisons is easier across Europe as the goods in all EEU participating countries are based on the same currency.

There is no longer an intra-European currency exchange in the traditional sense (e.g. changing French Francs to German  Marks).   If you change your dollars for Euros in France, you can use the same Euros in any of the countries belonging to the European Economic Union. While it is true that each country will mint its own Euros, these coins can be used in any of the countries that have adapted the Euro (and several non-member nations who also use the currency).

The Euro has become the preferred “non-official” currency in several Eastern European countries that are not members of the EU. American dollars formerly were accepted without question. Today, vendors will ask you to pay in Euros rather than with local currency or dollars.

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