A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to the Eurozone
What's in this Eurozone currency guide:
The official currency of the Eurozone 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.
No destination holds as much variety and cultural difference as Europe. From the sunny south to the snowy north there is no shortage of places to see here. When arriving at any new destination for first time visitors it cant hurt to stop by the Tourist Point to get any free maps, discounts, and cost free events. Most decent hotels have free WiFi so try using this to avoid any suprise Roaming fees on your phone when you get back home. ATM and credit card use varies greatly between countries so purchasing a Pre-paid Travel Card before leaving for your travels can save time and hassle.
If you would like to travel by train and can book a fare way in advance you can save money by getting a pass for Europe’s extensive train system that goes pretty much everywhere. You can check prices at sites like RailEurope. To save a lot of travel time and money you can book a sleeper cabin on an overnight train. While travelling across Europe by bus used to be uncomfortable there are now low cost luxury buses available. And now to save even more time at your locations instead of travelling to them, costs for flights have greatly reduced in recent years making it a very affordable and very fast way to get around. Depends on your preference.
The Euro currency is widely used across most of Europe which makes it very convenient, so if you plan to spend most your travel time in Europe try to convert a chunk of currency before you go to get the best rates. It’s a little known fact that the closer you get to the departure gates in any country the worst the currency exchange rates get! In fact travellers can end up paying more than 10% extra if you load up on your overseas currency at airport bureau de change outlets.
If you end up buying your travel money on depature day without pre-ordering online you are most likely wasting some of your money.
You can read about the best providers and compare the latest deals for international money transfers to the Eurozone in our Send Money to Europe guide.