How to make the most of your France Currency
Given the current state of the global financial markets, it has become more important than ever to make the most of every holiday euro we have – and this includes knowing how and where to find the best exchange rates.
France Currency Exchange – Current Rates
Here’s a handy currency converter you can use to see what current rates are:
The official France currency is the euro (EUR), and has been since 2002, along with other countries in the “Eurozone” including Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and €1 and €2. One euro is worth 100 cents (centimes).
Bills are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 (although anything over €100 isn’t really that common.)
Currency in France…When and How?
It’s not essential to stock up on euros before you go, but having some of the local currency when you first arrive can save you the worry of having to look for a foreign exchange straight away.
Once you’re actually in France, you can exchange currency in banks, bureaux de change (foreign exchange), some hotels and a few train stations.
Banks are generally open from Tuesday through to Saturday (and will close at lunchtime, between 12 and 2pm). Banks tend to be closed on Mondays, public holidays and sometimes the day before and after a public holiday, too.
So…we’d highly recommend having enough cash on Friday to last until Tuesday, and to check beforehand if there are any public holidays coming up. The safest solution is to bring a combination of payment options with you (our France Money Guide also has a some tips on how to budget for your trip.)
Hotels may be able to change money for you, and can be a convenient (but more expensive) option if you need cash on the weekends and evenings when banks are shut.
You can often get better rates if you withdraw directly from ATMs (known as DABs in France) which usually accept major credit and bank cards. You’ll also need your card PIN number (check with your bank that both your card and PIN will be accepted in France)
Travellers cheques can also have a better exchange rate than cash. Some post offices can exchange travellers cheques and may have a good rate.