The Guide to Understanding French Currency


When traveling to France, it’s essential to understand the country’s currency to avoid any financial surprises or confusion. French currency has undergone significant changes over the decades, from francs to euros. But what currency is used in France now? This guide will help you get up to speed on the currency used in France, the euro, and provide tips and tricks for those planning for a trip or doing business in the country.

Understanding French Currency: What to Know When Traveling to France
Understanding French Currency: What to Know When Traveling to France

Understanding French Currency: What to Know When Traveling to France

While the euro is the official currency used in France, you may still come across vendors and merchants who accept other forms of payment. Some places in Paris may also accept US dollars or British pounds, but it’s best to plan for euros.

When converting your local currency to euros, you should monitor the exchange rates to get the best value for your money. The exchange rate fluctuates daily and can vary between countries and exchange offices.

A helpful budgeting tip is to determine how much you’ll need for daily expenses and try to stick to that amount. ATM fees and credit card transactions can add up, so having cash on hand can help you avoid these additional costs.

Navigating Currency Exchange in France: Tips for Tourists

Once you’re out of the airport, you will come across many currency exchange offices in France, including at your hotel or hostel. However, this convenience may come at a price. Some exchange offices have high commission fees, so be sure to compare the rates before exchanging your money.

In France, you can avoid these fees by using a debit or credit card. However, you should check with your bank to ensure that your card will work before you leave the country. You may also incur an international transaction fee, so budget accordingly.

A Guide to the Euro: The Currency Used in France

Today, the euro is the currency used in France. The French franc was phased out in 2002, replaced by the euro at a rate of 1 euro to 6.55957 francs. The euro bills feature different sizes and colors, denoting their value, while the coins have various edges, textures, and sizes.

To prevent counterfeiting, the euro features intricate security features such as raised edges on coins and holograms on bills. It’s essential to look for these features when handling euros to avoid being scammed.

Money Matters: How to Spend and Save in France

France has a high standard of living, which can lead to higher than average prices for everything from food to shopping. A popular way to save money while traveling is to eat at local cafes and bistros that offer daily specials and prix fixe menus. Additionally, if you’re looking to do some shopping, it’s best to avoid tourist areas and find boutiques or markets.

Tipping in France is not mandatory, but leaving small change is customary. When purchasing anything, sales tax is included in the price, and receipts include VAT (Value Added Tax). If you’re a non-resident, you may be able to get a VAT refund from certain merchants, so be sure to ask.

From Francs to Euros: A Brief History of French Currency

The franc was first introduced in 1360, and it went through several iterations and changes until it was finally phased out in 2002. Initially, French coins featured the image of the current king or queen, and the design of the coins changed with each new monarch’s reign.

In 1865, the Latin Monetary Union was established, and several European countries adopted a standard currency equivalent to the French franc. However, after the turn of the century, many European countries, including France, sought to adopt a single currency. This led to the creation of the euro, which has since become the official currency of the European Union.

Avoiding Hidden Fees When Using Currency in France

When traveling, it’s easy to rack up credit card fees and other hidden charges. Before your trip, be sure to research your bank’s fees for withdrawing money and using your card abroad. Consider applying for a no-fee credit card, or use an ATM that doesn’t charge a fee.

When exchanging currency, be sure to research exchange rates and compare different exchange offices to ensure you get the best value for your money. Additionally, be aware of commission fees and other hidden charges that some exchange offices may charge.

French Currency: What You Need to Know for Business or Leisure

France is a popular destination for tourists and businesses alike. However, it’s important to consider the impact that exchange rates can have on your expenses. Exchange rates fluctuate daily, so it’s helpful to consult a currency exchange specialist or economist to get the most value for your money.

For businesses, it’s essential to understand how VAT works and how it affects business expenses. French VAT is higher than most other European countries and can impact the bottom line for businesses of all sizes. It’s crucial to factor in VAT when preparing financial statements or invoices.


Understanding French currency is essential for those traveling or doing business in France. From navigating currency exchange offices to understanding VAT and tipping, this guide has provided insight into the different aspects of French currency. By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can maximize your budget and minimize any additional costs that may arise while in France.

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