Eurozone (light-blue unilaterally adopted the euro)
The (Symbol: ?; ISO 4217 code EUR) is the common currency of many countries of the European Union. One euro equals 100 cents; sometimes referred to as 'euro cents' to differentiate them from their US and other counterparts. Established in 1999 and introduced in cash form on January 1st, 2002, the euro removes the need for money exchange. As such it is not only a boon to pan-European business, but of course also to travellers.
It is interesting that each member nation has a unique design at the back of the euro coins minted in their country. Rest assured that regardless of the origin of the designs at the back, the euro coins are legal tender anywhere throughout the euro zone.
The euro has not been adopted by all EU countries. Those countries which have replaced their own national currencies are commonly called the Eurozone. By law, all EU countries (except Denmark and the United Kingdom) have to eventually adopt the euro.
Outside the EU, Kosovo and Montenegro have unilaterally adopted the euro, but all other countries still retain their own currencies. Euros are widely accepted in European countries outside the Eurozone, but not universally, and at shops and restaurants the exchange rate is rarely in your favor. (Many hotels, though, price and accept payment in euros.) Money changers will generally give good to excellent exchange rates for the euro, and in a pinch they will be accepted by nearly everybody.
Do not accept any of the obsolete currencies. While several countries' banks will still change them into euros, it's a lot of hassle and there is no guarantee that this will be possible everywhere or on short notice. You should also expect to leave your personal information with the bank as a precaution against money laundering.
The Most Frequently Asked Travel Questions about Europe
Where To Stay & Best Hotels in Europe - updated Feb 2024
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