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Currency Exchange

Slovakia has officially replaced its old currency (the koruna) with the Euro, and is now the 16th official member of the Eurozone. The Eurozone is not the same as the European Union, as to be a member you must use the Euro as your official currency.

Currency Exchange in Europe

If nothing else, the Euro is the smartest currency I have ever used. I don’t mean from any kind of economical standpoint, but rather from a design perspective. The Euro has a very user friendly design template. Paper Euros have color and size discrepancies. Coins, which come in denominations of €2, 1, .50, .20, .10, .5 .02 and .01 all have different weights and ridges on the side. This means that the blind can use all kinds of currency with much more ease.
euros1The €2 Euro coins are similar to what the United States did with quarters over the past 10 years, except the coins are only released in their respective countries. Each country may produce commemorative coins every year. Typically they commemorate historically relevant anniversaries or draw attention to important special events. As of 2008, fifty variations of €2 commemorative coins have been minted. The €2 coins not only make great collecting, they can teach you about history!

It’s important to keep track of the coins you have as you may end up with something worth more than €2. This is why I always keep either a fanny pack or a coin purse with me when I travel. I prefer the coin purse, as the fanny pack isn’t quite the hippest invention. Coins worth €5 and €10 are sometimes used in general transaction. Higher amounts than €10 are extremely uncommon; however some countries have minted coins worth as much as €200, so it may be worth it to double check all your coins. It would be a shame to use a €100 coin to pay a €1 toll while in your rental car in Europe!

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3 Responses to Currency Exchange

  1. Lamano Del Pro says:

    I like to keep my fanny pack full of coins from around the world. I never leave home without my fanny pack.

  2. Kat says:

    I was living in Ireland when they changed their currency over to the Euro, and it was an interesting thing to witness. For a limited amount of time after the change, one could still use Irish pound notes and coins, but then obviously you had to give them change in Euro. What a laugh we had using the calculator, trying to figure out the difference. An added plus was that with the exchange rate, you actually got back more Euro than what you paid in Irish currency, which was kind of neat! Plus, as mentioned above, as each country can produce it’s own Euro coins, there is still some national pride to be found with the currency.

    The last thing I want to mention is in reference to Hans’s suggestion to keep track of your coins! I remember one day when I had just gotten paid and ended up with loads of Euro notes, mostly 20’s. After spending a good few of them in my local pub The Foggy Dew, I decided to go shopping the following day for groceries and what not, and as it’s always easier to just pay with a note I kept on using the twenty’s I had in the various shops around town. Well, by the end of the day I can tell you I was weighed down by more that just my groceries! When I finally got home I took a moment to count all my change and, well it turns out I had spent less money than I thought as I had almost 40 Euro in 2 and 1 Euro coins!!!!

    So if you are just visitting a country with the Euro, or any other currency really, always remember to count your coins so that you can eitehr use them or exchange them before heading back to wherever you call home!

  3. Chad says:

    I typically wear my leather Jordache fanny pack while listening to my PM Dawn CD.

    I agree that the coins are beautifully designed. They do pile up quickly when purchasing things in Europe which I found to be a detriment.

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