A practical foreign exchange and currency guide to Germany
What’s in this Germany currency guide:
The official currency of Germany 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.
As the tragic Ukraine war continues USD/EUR is near 0.95, a 5 year high.
Due to the Eurozone’s reliance on gas from Russia, the euro is very vulnerable to the events in Ukraine with EUR/USD dropping to around 1.06 by the end of April whereas it had been approaching 1.15 in early February.
At the start of the tragic Russian invasion of Ukraine the euro sank to parity against the safe-haven Swiss franc hitting 0.9985 francs per euro on March 7th, the lowest since January 2015.
By the end of April the euro fell to a 5-Year low around 1.05 against the US dollar and the short term news for the single currency is all negative. Global bans against Russian oil and gas and uncertainty over ECB interest rate plans have prompted predictions in the currency markets for parity for the euro against the greenback this year.
13 May 2022
26 Feb 2022
27 May 2021
28 May 2017
29 May 2012
01 Jun 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.
Accommodation and food are quite cheap in Germany compared the neighbouring countries. Interestingly, of the Eurozone countries, Germans top the list for keeping the most cash in their wallets. It is not uncommon in Germany for restaurants to only accept cash, so make sure you have some euros before visiting.
High speed transport by train (Deutsche Bahn) is expensive however, but is very fast and efficient. But if on a budget one can try using the much cheaper, and much slower trains. Which may be fine if you enjoy the journey as much as the destination when travelling. ATMs and banks are easily available everywhere, and all major credits cards are accepted.
The bus and local train network are both extensive and not too expensive, though to get to smaller towns you may have to bus to a nearby big city then take another bus to your destination. Also another popular way to get around Germany is by car, which is flexible and easy and you get to experience the famous Autobahn on which there is no speed limit.
Alternatively cheapest flights are now available to get around Germany and are a good way to save time on your travels if you don’t mind missing seeing the landscape while you travel.