In general, US dollars, euros, pounds sterling and Swiss francs are the most easily exchanged currencies in Europe. You lose out through commissions and customer exchange rates every time you change money, so if you only visit Hungary, for example, you may be better off buying forints straight away if your bank at home can provide them.

Nearly all European currencies are fully convertible, but you may have trouble exchanging some of the lesser known ones at small banks. The importation and exportation of certain currencies (eg Cypriot pounds) is restricted or banned entirely so get rid of any local currency before you leave the country. Also try not to have too many leftover Bulgarian leva, Estonian kroons, Serbian dinar etc, as it can be difficult to change them back into hard currency. Get rid of Scottish and Northern Irish pounds before leaving the UK; nobody outside Britain will touch them.

The Euro


Since 1 January 2002 Europe's new currency, the euro, has been legal tender – but not in all European countries .

While Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Greece and the new EU countries have not yet joined, the other 11 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Slovenia from January 2007) have one common currency, the euro.

Budget Tips

Tips to Stay on Budget

•    If you're serious about staying on budget, for every splurge expense there must be an equal and opposite money-saver. There are many free things to do in Europe, from hiking to beach bumming to loitering on a piazza. The following tips can also save you money.

World Map

View Larger Map

Eurail Specials

Get a Eurail pass

Cheapest Flights