A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to the Aaland Islands
What's in this Aaland Islands currency guide:
The official currency of the Aaland Islands is the euro, with symbol € and currency code EUR.
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.
The European Central Bank surprised markets mid July when it increased interest rates by a half a percent, the first rise in over a decade.
The euro earlier had hit parity against the greenback over the impact of Russian oil and gas threats plus uncertainty over ECB interest rate plans.
The euro fell to a multi-year low around parity to the US dollar and as winter approaches the short term news for the single currency is all negative.
27 Jul 2022
12 May 2022
10 Aug 2021
11 Aug 2017
12 Aug 2012
15 Aug 2002
The below comparison table makes it easy to find the best exchange rates and lowest fees when you want to make a Transfer or Spend Euro.
Aaland or Aland is the smallest of the three Nordic autonomous territories situated midway between Sweden and Finland. It is a bit of an anomaly as it’s officially part of the Republic of Finland, but people there speak Swedish, and it flies its own flag; issues its own stamps; and uses its own web suffix: ‘.ax’. It also has a special relationship with the EU whereby it can sell duty-free and construct its own gambling laws. The currency is the Euro though during peak tourism season Swedish krona is usually accepted in shops and restaurants. Don’t be too optimistic about the exchange rate for the Swedish krona as it’s typically not very good.
Just like in Finland, you can use your euros to pay in Åland. Prices can be compared to The Netherlands (where I live), though sometimes it’s a tiny bit more expensive. It’s a lot cheaper than Norway though.
Ro-No Rent has bicycles available near Mariehamn harbour. Many campgrounds and guest harbours also have bike hire. Green-and-white signs trace cycling routes through the islands. Routes generally follow smaller, less busy roads; dedicated bicycle paths run parallel to some main roads.
Three kinds of inter-island ferry serve the islands. For short trips, free vehicle ferries sail nonstop. There’s also one private summer bicycle ferry running between Hammarland and Geta. For longer routes – namely to the outer islands – ferries run to a schedule, which is available on the Ålandstrafiken website. These ferries are generally free for foot passengers, but you must buy tickets for bicycles or cars.
Most visitors travel with the major ferry companies directly to Åland’s mainland, but it’s possible to use the scheduled inter-island ferries between Åland and mainland Finland via the northern and southern archipelagos. The northern route from Osnäs harbour, near Kustavi, 68km northwest of Turku, is via Brändö and Kumlinge. The southern route from Galtby harbour, Korpo, in the Turku Archipelago, is via the islands of Kökar and Föglö.
The official language of Åland is Swedish, both on the streets and in the official communication with the Finnish government. It’s an autonomous region with its own parliament, flag and anthem, but it’s still part of Finland. Because of it’s southern location, Åland has the warmest climate of all of Finland (it’s about two degrees warmer than Helsinki). During winter it’s cold, during summer it’s warm.
Because there’s so little traffic on the island, it’s a perfect place to go cycling. And you’ll see some stunning views with those lakes right next to the road. If you’re into more active cycling, then there’s a few good mountain bike trails you can go on.