Summer in Europe

Summer in Europe

Attention: open in a new window. Print

Friday 6th May 2019

Plenty of Australians decide to skip the winter chill and head abroad for some relaxing sunshine. So with the Northern Hemisphere summer fast approaching, you may be planning a trip to the UK and Continental Europe.

While it’s great to have the freedom of credit, debit and travel money cards, we generally recommend you also take some local currency for your overseas travels. You never know when you might need cash, and it will give you peace of mind when you arrive at your destination. After a long-haul flight you won’t have to immediately find an ATM – simply use your local cash to pay for taxis, public transport and tips. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about card skimming or fraud.

What currencies do you need?

Most of mainland Europe uses the euro, which makes paying for things while travelling around the continent hassle-free. There are a few exceptions, though, with Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and the Scandinavian countries using their own currencies. Also be aware that high-value euro notes (€200 and €500) can sometimes be difficult to use due to concerns about forgeries – it’s best to stick to the smaller notes.

If you plan to spend time in the UK, they still use the pound sterling (£). Somewhat confusingly, both Scottish and Northern Irish banks produce their own design of the pound banknote – thankfully, the value is the same across all UK countries.

How to get your hands on foreign currency

In partnership with Travelex, Bank of Sydney offers Euros and Pounds Sterling at very competitive rates.For added convenience, a choice of denominations is normally available.

If your departure date isn’t far away, place your currency orders today – they will usually be delivered to your local Bank of Sydney branch within 48–72 hours (subject to location). And when you return home, we can exchange any unused foreign banknotes back into Australian dollars for you (subject to acceptability).