What currency am I using where in Europe?
Money! *cue that Pink Floyd song*
Since most of the EU swapped over to the euro in 2002, this naturally greatly simplifies the currency situation in Europe. I won't be changing money too too often, but I will have to now and again. Here's what money I'll be using in each European country on the itinerary…
(And here’s the handy ol currency converter to do the math for me. The list below has country first, then the name and symbol for the currency, then how many of that currency there are to US$1, and lastly how much of the currency US$1 will buy):
“Eurozone” (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain)
United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales)
(And if you’re really interested, US$1 will buy you 0.001466 of platinum. I just thought it was neat that you could check those rates too.)
Now these figures are all well and fine, but what do they really tell me?
Not much by themselves, really. What’s the buying power of a zloty, a euro and a koruna? I can see how many there are to a dollar, but what does the hostel cost? How much will that trip to the pub or the fruit shop be?
The numbers are a guide; they can help me visualize price, run a bit of mental math (I hope) to see how that bottle of wine priced in euros compares to the average price of a bottle back home. It’s more a matter of getting used to thinking of the comparison, and then just getting a feel for the local currency, than anything else. I was in the UK and Ireland long enough to have a good feel for pounds and punts – and to wince a little, considering the non-US favorable exchange rate that has seen the dollar weaken lately too. I’ll pick it up again.
(BTW, exchange rates are with the US dollar as of July 15, 2003, when I was a’draftin this up.)