706-546-6639 or 800-417-6639







(Last updated on January 6, 2015)





                   There are 27 member countries of the European Union (the “EU”). 18 of them use the EU’s currency, the EURO.  These 18 countries are:





















(other than Northern Ireland)


              Additionally, the EURO can be used in Andorra, Kosovo, Lithuania, Montenegro, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City as of January 1, 2015.


               There are seven EURO banknotes – 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 EUROS each. There are coins for one and two EUROS as well as smaller coins.




                    English notes are issued in 5, 10, 20 and 50 pound banknotes. There are also one pound coins.




                   The Republic of Ireland, with cities such as Dublin and Waterford, uses the EURO; Northern Ireland, which includes the city of Belfast, uses the English pound sterling.




                  Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom but also has its own currency, the Scottish pound. Scottish pounds have the same value as English pounds sterling. Scottish pounds are issued by several Scottish banks. Both the English pound and the Scottish pound can be used in Scotland; however, it has been reported that some problems have been encountered outside of Scotland in using Scottish pounds elsewhere in the United Kingdom. Checks issued by Scottish banks are difficult to exchange outside of Scotland.        




                   Russia has its own currency – the ruble; however, we have heard from several customers that both EUROS and U.S. dollars can be exchanged for Russian currency in Russian banks. We understand they will only accept currency with no tears, writing, or extraneous marks on them.




                   Both U.S. dollars and EUROS can be exchanged in Serbia; in Kosovo, the EURO is used principally but the U.S. dollar and Swiss francs are also used.




                   Western tourists in Cuba use a currency called Convertible Pesos. U.S. dollars can be exchanged for Convertible Pesos but the Cuban government charges a 10% tax. Canada dollars and Euros can be exchanged for convertible pesos without the tax; however, our understanding is that the Cuban government is extremely picky about the currency they receive: there can be no tears, major creases, writing or extraneous marks on the currency they receive. Bills with tears, etc. will be rejected. We can calculate which currency - Euro or Canadian dollar - will buy the most Cuban convertibles - Contact Us





Many visitors to Greece also travel to its close neighbor - Turkey.

Be aware that Turkey has its own currency - the Lira, although many vendors, including some international hotels, require payment in Euros. In January, 2004, Turkey had a 1,000,000-to-1 devaluation of the Lira and issued banknotes called the “new” Lira; in 2007 the “new” Lira was replaced with a banknote of a different design which omits the Turkish word for “new”, and this is the currency that is currently in use. The 2004 “new” lira can be exchanged for the current issue but only in person and at the Turkish Central Bank. The largest Turkish Lira that is in current use is for 200 Liras. Therefore, careful attention should be paid to any currency received within the country.




              It is the custom in many parts of Europe for dining out to be a leisurely experience. Therefore many establishments take advantage of this by having one price level for, say, standing at a bar, with higher prices for sitting at a table or perhaps for sitting outside on a Paris street in April, etc. Those unfamiliar with this perfectly legal pricing arrangement might find themselves quite surprised after doing a cursory review of pricing when the final check arrives and the bill is much higher than anticipated. We have heard stories from our customers who did not check the prices or were given verbal “standing” prices and were charged 30 Euros for a soft drink and a cup of coffee or 100 Euros for a couple of sandwiches and beverages. Therefore, the only way to be protected from this happening is to order only from a printed menu which has prices posted.


                    Most American credit cards add a conversion fee when their card is used overseas and the fee is a percentage of the amount charged. The percentage of the fee depends on the bank that issues the credit card. However, as pointed out in a 2006 Wall Street Journal article, some overseas merchants will present their bills already converted into U.S. dollars and in doing so may add 2% to 5% to the international conversion rate. Thus, the traveler ends up paying two fees – one to the credit card company and the other as a result of the immediate conversion to U.S. dollars. Therefore, it is preferable for the traveler to be invoiced only in the currency that is in use in the particular country.



*       *        *        *        *        *


Note: Georgian Financial Services of Athens makes every effort to provide accurate information on this page, but does not guarantee it. Particular care should be taken in using this information beyond the last update.



Rev. 1/6/2015