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Foreign Exchange Guide to Greece

Latest market mid-rate: 1.0 =

Country Code:
GR
Domestic Currency:
Euro
Symbol - Code:
€ EUR
Telephone Prefix:
+30

In this guide we review :

  1. Euro info - general info about the Euro
  2. Euro in the markets - recent EUR moves and predictions from the FX markets
  3. Travelling in Greece - currency & money saving tips
  4. Buying Euro cash online - travel money for Greece
  5. Sending money to Greece - save on Euro bank transfers to Greece
  6. Euro exchange rates - latest info & charts.

Euro (EUR) general currency information

The three letter currency code for the Euro is EUR and the symbol is . It is the domestic currency in Eurozone, Aaland Islands, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guinea, French Southern Territories, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Vatican City, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Portugal, Reunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre And Miquelon, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

The euro (ISO: EUR) is involved in slightly more than 30% of all foreign exchange deals, and as such, is the world’s second most traded currency, behind the US dollar.

The euro is the currency of the eurozone (officially called the ‘euro area’), which consists of 19 of the 28 member states of the European Union, and is used by almost 350 million Europeans. It was introduced in January 1999.

Of all the thousands of exchange rates that exist in the world, the euro-to-US dollar exchange rate is the most actively traded, or most ‘liquid’.

Since its introduction, the euro’s lowest value against the dollar came in October 2000 when EUR/USD hit lows of 0.8231. The currency was strongest in July 2008, shortly before the worst stage of the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when EUR/USD reached 1.6038.

There are currently more than twenty nations and territories which peg their currencies to the euro, the largest of which is Denmark.


Euro (EUR) in the markets

The euro was the best performing major international currency in 2017 and it entered 2018 in equally good form. By mid-January, the euro was at three-year highs against the dollar above $1.22. It was stable against the British pound, at rates close to £0.89.

In early 2018, two pieces of bullish news fuelled widespread euro buying.

First, news that Angela Merkel’s CDU-CSU party bloc had achieved a breakthrough in coalition talks with the Social Democrats reduced political uncertainty in Europe’s largest economy.

Secondly, more hawkish-than-expected December meeting minutes from the ECB. At the meeting, policymakers discussed whether the bank would need to change its communication in 2018, which traders took to mean a potential upcoming signal for a further reduction in monthly asset purchases (akin to tighter monetary policy).

2018 Forecasts: European banks disagree on the outlook for the euro. While Danske Bank believes that a continuation of euro strength is likely – the bank sees EUR/USD at 1.25 at 2018 year-end – the team at ABN Amro believes the euro’s “resilience will be tested.” ABN predicts a EUR/USD rate of 1.15.

Danske sees EUR/GBP a little lower in 12 months’ time, at 0.86, from December ’17 rates near 0.887, but UBS forecast a much higher rate, at 0.95.


Greece currency and money saving tips

Although the news has been full of negative stories about the financial and immigrant crises which have engulfed Greece in recent years, there are still many reasons to visit this delightful country. From its stunning beaches and superb mountain scenery to great food, astounding history and, above all, it's warm Hellenic welcome. It is also a very affordable country to travel in. As one of the continent’s most popular destinations during the summer times, people from around the world  flock to its famous islands for the sun, and to the cities for the history.

Greece is known for its food. Restaurants will cost about 20 EUR for a nice dinner, even in the tourist area. If you add wine, expect to pay about 30 EUR. A meal at a very luxurious restaurant will begin at 30 EUR.

Because Greece has a lot of islands, you will be dealing with lots ferries and boats. Expect to spend an average of 36 EUR per a trip, though you could spend as little as 12 EUR if the islands are really close together. From Athens, most ferries to the islands costs around 60 EUR. Slow, overnight island ferries begin at 13 EUR. Buses and trains around the mainland are around 20 EUR. It’s 1.20 EUR for a single ride on the Athens train system. Many people go to Greece for the islands but the mainland has a great deal to offer, from the imposing Pindos mountain range in the north to the empty golden beaches of the western Peloponnese. It also boasts the greatest number of archaeological sites.Travelling between the main towns is easy on the comprehensive KTEL bus network, with local services radiating out to villages.You can also make use of the limited but extremely cheap national rail service for a number of key destinations. Greece is a cheap country and even cheaper when you get out of the touristy Greek islands or popular destinations. Head off the beaten path and you will usually see prices drop by 30% or more.

Eating is casual in Greece. Look for restaurants where the locals are eating, as the food will be much better. Just remember that Greeks eat late, often after 10pm. Always ask for local barrelled wine, which is cheaper than bottled, or try a fiery spirit such as ouzo or tsipouro. Likewise, don’t be fobbed off with bottled water, as what comes out of the tap is perfectly drinkable. Punctuality is not considered a big issue in Greece. There is a healthy Mediterranean belief that most things can be put off and nothing needs to be done in a hurry. So don’t expect service in a restaurant to be too snappy or transportation always to run like clockwork.



Greece Trip Checklist   

  1. Compare EUR travel cash rates - probably why you are here!
  2. Hotel deals - Save on your accomodation in Greece
  3. Travel insurance - for those unexpected travel adventures...
  4. Lonely Planet - world's best travel guide (coupon and deals)

Travel money for Greece

Save money and time by Ordering your Euro online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the EUR cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.

Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.

For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Euro otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.



Sending money to Greece

When sending money to Greece it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :

  1. Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
  2. You specify the local or Euro amount you want to transfer
  3. Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
  4. Once your funds are received by the provider the converted EUR amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Greece.

By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Euro deposited into the recipient bank account in Greece and less margins and fees kept by the banks!


Euro - exchange rates

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