|Euros in France|
|France uses the euro as its currency. You will too.|
The unit of currency in France is the euro, as in the other countries of the European Union.
Bills/notes are in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
Coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes, and 1 and 2 euros. They are of standard size, shape, weight and metal, but the design varies from country to country. You may find euro coins from many other European nations in your pocket or purse when you travel in France.
How to Obtain Euros
Before exchanging money, you need to know how currency exchange works and how to avoid ripoffs, which are common. More...
Visitors to France have three options for obtaining euros:
Your Home Bank Card
Use your home bank ATM/cash card to withdraw euros from French distributeurs des billets (ATMs/cashpoints) or Retrait (cash witdrawal). Check with your bank to see if this will work without problems.
Credit & Debit Cards
Use a credit card, widely used in France, but only if it is a credit card with a computer chip in it (carte à puce).
The USA is making (belatedly) the transition to chip cards. Check with your bank to assure that your card is a chip-and-PIN (preferable) or chip-and-signature card. Businesses in France may not accept the older credit cards with only a magnetic stripe on the back. More...
Bureaux de Change
Exchange your home currency (dollars, pounds, yen, etc.) for euros at a bureau de change (currency exchange office). Exchange rate spreads, commissions and service fees in France can take as much as 10% of your money for each exchange, so currency exchange may not be the thrifty option.
Count Your Change!
A good tip in Paris or anywhere: whenever you pay with cash, always count your change.