On our trip to Europe last year, we visited a lot of countries. We started in England, went to Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, then back up towards Scotland and finished back in England. During that time we used three (four if you count the Pounds from the Bank of Scotland separately from the ones from the Bank of England) different currencies. We had the two Pounds, the Euro, and the Swiss Franc, when we discovered ourselves “stranded” in Montreux, Switzerland.
I had, as an ignorant tourist would, assumed that all the countries in Europe would be using the Euro. We knew that England kept the Pound Sterling and were aware that the Euro was in use in Ireland, Germany, and Italy. We were only a little miffed to discover Switzerland, who never joins anything, kept the Swiss Franc because we only stayed one night and it was unscheduled. The night was a lot of fun, Montreux is gorgeous, and exciting but we leaned heavily on credit cards so we wouldn’t be left with money we couldn’t use elsewhere.
So, in the hopes that you don’t make the same error we do, here are the countries in Europe that use the Euro as their official currency:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
If your travel plans take you to a country not on the list, be prepared to use your credit card or convert a little cash. Some of the places will accept the Euro (the train station in Switzerland would take them, at a hefty conversion markup), so that’s an option if you’re just topping by, but it’s best to convert if you are spending more than a day there.