Europe Travel Money Guide

A European holiday is a classic trip for many Australians. It offers history, epic architecture, beaches, mountains, food, culture, and art. While the euro (EUR) is the dominant currency in Europe, not every country in the continent uses it. This means that things can get a little confusing when it comes to money matters.

The currency used in the majority of Europe is known as the euro. It is also abbreviated as € or EUR.

The euro was first launched in 1999 and aimed to unify countries in the European Union both monetarily and economically. The second phase of the euro adoption occurred in 2002, when euro coins and banknotes were created and distributed. This meant that the euro replaced national currencies such as French francs, Italian lira, Deutsche marks, and Dutch guilders.

The euro single currency is managed by the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which also coordinates Europe’s economic and fiscal policies.




If you’re planning to travel to Europe and need some inspiration, check out our guides for Europe, France and Spain here.


sporting crowds in a stadium

If you are heading to Europe for one of the many sporting events taking place in summer, plan ahead by ordering euros online and get our best AUD to EUR rates when ordering over $2,000 online. If your itinerary includes countries outside of the eurozone, you can choose from 50+ cash currencies.

Buy before you fly and collect in-store or get free home delivery (Travelex Money Card only). For more tips on managing your travel money, check out our Europe travel money guide and costs to go to Paris this summer.

Whether you’re going for gold medals or winning goals, don’t miss out on witnessing the world’s top athletes in Europe this year.


  • Currency: euro
  • Currency code: EUR
  • Central Bank: European Central Bank
  • Currency symbol: € (euro)
  • Currency sub unit: c (cent)
  • Bank notes: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500
  • Coins: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2

The euro is commonly represented by its currency code (EUR) and in its symbol form (€). You will need to have euros on hand if you are travelling to one of the many countries in Europe which use the euro as legal tender.

In total, there are 19 EU member countries who have adopted the Euro as their official currency.

The most commonly used notes in euros are the €5, €10, €20, €50, and €100 bills. There are also €200 and €500 notes, but these are not used as often because of their high value.



Denominations of euro


Having a rough idea of the currency appearances and value separations can come in handy when travelling through various European countries. Euros come in both banknotes and coins.



euro bank notes

Euro Notes


5 - these are grey

10 - these are red

20 - these are blue

50 - these are orange

100 - these are green

200 - these are yellow/brown

500 - these are purple

European banknotes are often used in everyday purchases as well as to pay for bigger sums, from groceries to movie tickets to high-end restaurant meals.



Euro Coins


Euro coins come in eight different denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent, €1 and €2. Coins all have one common side representing the European Union. They also have a national side, which changes based on the European country of issue. The coin sizes increase with their value.

Euro coins are usually used as loose change or when purchasing public transport tickets.

euro coins

person taking euros out of their purse

Payment options in Europe can vary greatly depending on which country you visit. In general, credit cards and travel cards are widely accepted, however, having cash on hand may also be required. There are ATMs all over central city areas in Europe which you can use during your travels to obtain cash.



European Coins and Notes


Cash in the form of euro notes and coins can be useful to have when travelling around Europe, especially in more rural areas. Rural European districts such as Aurich in Germany and Metsovo in Greece are still largely cash-based with few card or online payment options.

As a result, it’s always good to be prepared and have cash on hand, especially if you are planning on visiting the European countryside, where establishments only accept payment in cash. You can obtain cash by visiting an international ATM in any major European city and using the Travelex Travel Money Card to withdraw coins and notes.



Best Travel Cards for Europe


Having a travel money card makes exploring Europe easy and convenient. Not only will you have access to money 24/7, but you can also exchange currency whenever you like. If you are visiting major European cities such as Paris, Rome, and Berlin, you can use the Travelex Travel Money Card to pay for most, if not all, of your purchases.

The Travelex Travel Money Card is an award-winning global currency card designed for the savvy traveller. It can store multiple foreign currencies at once, including the euro, and can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted.

For extra convenience during your travels, you can also keep track of the euro exchange rate with the Travelex currency converter or travel rate checker. The currency converter allows you to find the live euro rate and compare it with past rates against another common currency.


European flag

The cost of a trip to Europe from Australia largely depends on the countries in the euro area you’re planning on visiting, the experiences you’re willing to pay for, and your budget limits. To help you better budget for your trip is our compilation of the most common costs you’ll come across during our travels around countries in Europe. Get further information below.




How much does it cost to travel in Europe?


Your spending money in Europe will likely be used on food, transport, and tourist entertainment or packages. Keep in mind that our guide low assumes euro as the sole currency you will need during your trip to Europe.



selection of italian dishes
Europe food costs

Prices of food in Europe will vary depending on the country you visit. Countries like Portugal and Italy usually have a lower average cost for food than countries like Luxembourg and France, which have higher prices. Our guide takes this range into account.

Foods in Europe Average Cost in EUR
Standard meal € 9.00 - 18.00
2-person three course meal € 40.00 - 72.20
Coffee € 1.45 - 3.55
Beer € 2.00 - 5.00


Europe transport costs

Both private and public transport costs in Europe will vary between EU members. Below is the price range you can expect for various transport costs in Europe.

Transport in Europe Average Cost in EUR
One-way public transport ticket € 1.70 - 3.00
Monthly public transport pass € 40.00 - 75.00
Taxi (per 1km) € 0.80 - 2.90
Car hire (per day) € 7.00 - 40.00
passengers boarding a European train


One of the many cathedrals in Europe
Activity prices in Europe

If you’re not into Europe tourist packages and want to tailor the activities you partake in during your Europe trip, it may be useful knowing how much typical activities in the region cost. Below is a rough guide.

Entertainment Activities in Europe Average Cost in euro
Museum admission € 25.00 – 50.00
Hot air balloon ride € 171.00 - 250.00
Water taxi € 100.00+

Another cost to bear in mind when travelling around Europe is cellular connection cost. Although you may find free-wifi connection spots in common establishments around major European cities, you may feel more secure with permanent data access during your Europe travels. Travelex partners with SimsDirect to offer International SIMs for great value.




Europe visa costs


A travel visa to Europe is called a Schengen visa. You will only need a Schengen visa if you’re visiting for more than 90 days in any 180 day period.
Visa costs depend on the applicant’s age and are as follows:

  • Adult: € 80.00
  • Children between 6 - 12 years: € 40.00
  • Children younger than 6 years: free




euro notes and coins left at a cafe

Europe is made up of many countries and cultures, and monetary customs can change from country to country. Keep the following customs in mind on your travels for smooth sailing:

While tipping is generally appreciated in most of Europe, services are included in the bill in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark.

If you’re travelling to destinations like Greece and plan on buying small souvenirs make sure you keep smaller denominations on hand, as store holders often do not have change for larger notes.

When using your ATM card in Europe, you will be required to know your 4-digit pin code.

You may find that some countries that do not officially use the euro still accept it in touristy areas. This includes Albania, Poland and in the Czech Republic, however it is recommended that you take local currency with you.

American Express cards may not be as readily accepted in stores throughout Europe due to their high merchant charges.

Don’t forget to consult our Europe Travel Checklist for some more extra tips before you depart!



European Countries and the Euro


Non-EU members that use the euro:
Andorra Monaco San Marino
Kosovo Montnegro Vatican City

EU members that do not use the euro:
Bulgaria Denmark Sweden
Hungary Czek Republic Poland


image of two Travelex money cards

  • Holds up to 10 available currencies
  • Use your card globally wherever Mastercard is accepted
  • Buy online and collect in-store or get delivered to your home
  • A multi-award winning travel card | 5☆ Canstar rating for Best Value 2016 - 2020
    and Mozo Best Prepaid Travel Card 2022 & 2023



Yes, it is always helpful to carry cash when travelling around Europe, especially in rural areas. You can visit any international ATM in any major European city to withdraw notes and coins.

How much spending money you need in Europe depends on your travel budget as well as the specific country or countries you’re looking to visit - as each has varying standard costs of living. Our Europe Travel Money Guide can give you a rough idea of how much money you may need during your travels in Europe.

While best-practice differs from country to country, generally tipping is appreciated in Europe. You can tip anywhere between 5% and 10%, and usually will need cash to do so.

Travellers Cheques are not generally accepted in Europe, and are becoming increasingly harder to cash. Instead consider taking a travel money card.

Euro is generally not accepted in countries that do not use it as their official currency. If you are travelling between countries that use the euro and ones that don’t, you will need to change cash before you enter.

Travel to Europe FAQ

Do I need cash in Europe?

Yes, it is always helpful to carry cash when travelling around Europe, especially in rural areas. You can visit any international ATM in any major European city to withdraw notes and coins.

How much spending money do I need for Europe?

How much spending money you need in Europe depends on your travel budget as well as the specific country or countries you’re looking to visit - as each has varying standard costs of living. Our Europe Travel Money Guide can give you a rough idea of how much money you may need during your travels in Europe.

Do I have to tip in Europe?

While best-practice differs from country to country, generally tipping is appreciated in Europe. You can tip anywhere between 5% and 10%, and usually will need cash to do so.

Can I use Travellers Cheques in Europe?

Travellers Cheques are not generally accepted in Europe, and are becoming increasingly harder to cash. Instead consider taking a travel money card.

Can I still use the euro in European countries that do not use it?

Euro is generally not accepted in countries that do not use it as their official currency. If you are travelling between countries that use the euro and ones that don’t, you will need to change cash before you enter.