How do you get the best exchange rates on euros? Here’s our guide.

How do exchange rates work?

An exchange rate is simply how much of one currency you’ll get in exchange for another. There’s a different rate for every currency.

You’ll see the exchange rate presented as a number. Right now, the euro exchange rate is around 1.1. That means for every pound you exchange you’ll get 1 euro and 10 cents in return.

The differences in rates offered by currency exchange companies can seem tiny – there’s often less than a cent between them – but the differences can add up, especially if you’re exchanging a lot of money.

What is the pound euro exchange rate?

You’ll find the latest rates (and be able to compare the best exchange rates) above. They change constantly, so if you’re not buying now, don’t expect the figure to be exactly the same when you check back later.

Why does the exchange rate change?

Last week when you looked at the gpb to euro exchange rate, things looked rosy. This week, you’re getting far less (or far more) for your pound. Why is that?

The reason is that exchange rates aren’t fixed. They change constantly based on supply and demand and the way currencies are traded around the world. If you’re planning to travel to Europe, it can be worth tracking the progress of the euro a few weeks ahead of your journey. With a little luck, that should help you exchange your travel money when the rate is at its best.

Should I buy euros before I go on holiday?

You don’t have to – although you’ll almost always get more € for your £ when you do.

Every airport has a currency exchange desk (although exchanging your gbp for euros at the airport is often a very expensive way of doing it). And if you want to go for the really low effort approach, your debit or credit card will be accepted at virtually any ATM across Europe so you can simply withdraw cash as you need it. BUT these are rarely the best places to ‘buy’ euros as the euro exchange rate you’ll be offered by your card company will usually be poorer than you’ll get from shopping around before you travel – especially if the pound has been performing well against the euro in the weeks before your trip.

How to get the best euro exchange rate on the high street

You can’t beat a little research. Compare euro exchange rates on this page to find the best way of buying euros for you. Remember, it’s not just the exchange rate that matters:

  • Some companies charge a commission. This might be a flat fee per transaction or a percentage of the amount you exchange – you’ll need to factor that in to work out whether your euro exchange rate is still the best available.
  • Some companies charge for delivery
  • Some companies offer free delivery when you exchange a certain amount of £ to €.
  • You may be offered a better euro exchange rate if you exchange more money.
  • You may face a small additional charge for multiple transactions.
  • Remember if you’re buying euros using a credit card, you’ll pay interest if you don’t pay off the balance within 1 month, so factor that into your costs.

Online or high street – who gives the best exchange rates?

It pays to shop around, so for your own peace of mind you might want to check your local post office exchange rate, but online exchange rates are often better than you’ll find on the high street.

I wanted to exchange £300 to euros. Why did it cost me more/less?

When you exchange pounds to euros the money exchange company you use will only be able to offer you euro notes, not coins. The means they’ll need to round up or down to the nearest note, and that could mean you’ll need to pay (very slightly) more or less than the round number you’d planned.

How many euros can you buy?

It varies between currency exchange companies. Some will have a maximum limit of £2,500 per transaction, although there’s nothing to stop you exchanging more in multiple transactions. Others may have a much higher limit.

How many euros can you travel with?

The rules for taking cash from the UK into the EU vary depending on which EU country you’re visiting. Generally, you can take up to €10,000 without declaring it – but some countries do have lower limits so you should always check before you travel.

If you’re travelling back to the UK from an EU country carrying any amount of cash, you don’t need to declare it.

From 3 June 2021 the EU introduces new cash controls meaning everyone travelling from outside the EU will need to declare €10,000 or more.

At time of writing, the UK is still negotiating post-Brexit arrangements to take affect from the start of 2021 and it’s possible an agreement may be reached which changes the above details, so do check what arrangements apply before you travel.

Which European countries use the euro?

If you’re heading to any of these 19 destinations you’ll need to convert your pounds to euros:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Cyprus
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain

In reality however, euros are used even more widely than that, because many of the above countries have special territories overseas. As a result, you’ll also need to convert your sterling to euros when you visit  Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion (all overseas departments of France); Madeira and the Azores (all Portuguese islands) and the Spanish Canary Islands.

The European Commission also notes that the euro is the official currency of the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of San Marino, the Vatican City State the Principality of Andorra. And despite not yet being full members of the EU, Montenegro (which is in the process of integrating EU legislation into domestic law) and Kosovo (which holds the position of ‘potential candidate’) both have the euro as their de facto currency. Finally, although it’s not the official currency, you will find euros are generally accepted in Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe – although they won’t be accepted everywhere.

So you may need to exchange your £ to € even when visiting some non-EU member states – and sometimes even when not in Europe.

Which countries don’t use the euro?

If you’re reading this in the UK it will come as no surprise that not all countries in Europe use the euro – because we’re one of the ones that don’t. We are, however, far from the only destination where you’ll need to convert your pound into something other than a euro:

  • Albania – lek
  • Armenia – dram
  • Azerbaijan – manat
  • Belarus – Belarusian rouble
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – convertible marks
  • Bulgaria – lev
  • Croatia – kuna
  • Czech Republic – koruna
  • Denmark – krone
  • Georgia – lari
  • Hungary – forint
  • Iceland – króna
  • Liechtenstein – Swiss franc
  • Republic of Macedonia – denar
  • Moldova – Moldovan leu
  • Norway – Norwegian krone
  • Poland – zloty
  • Romania – Romanian leu
  • Russia – Russian rouble
  • Serbia – dinar
  • Sweden – Swedish krona
  • Switzerland – Swiss franc
  • Turkey – Turkish lira
  • Ukraine – hryvnia

Compare euro exchange rate now

Find the best exchange rate for you now and get more holiday for your money.