What is the currency used in Germany?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

Germany is a popular tourist destination, and many visitors may find themselves wondering what currency is used in the country. As a member of the European Union, Germany uses the Euro as its official currency. It is one of 19 EU member states that have adopted this common currency, which has simplified travel and commerce across borders.

The Euro

The Euro is the currency used by 19 of the 27 European Union member states, with Germany being one of them. It was introduced in 1999 and became the official currency of Germany on January 1, 2002. The Euro is abbreviated as EUR and is divided into 100 cents. The currency is managed by the European Central Bank, which sets monetary policy for the Eurozone countries.

History of currency in Germany

Before the adoption of the Euro, Germany’s currency was the Deutsche Mark (DM), which was introduced in 1948 after World War II. The currency underwent several reforms, including a conversion from the Reichsmark to the Deutsche Mark, which helped stabilize Germany’s economy after the war. The Deutsche Mark was in use until the Euro was introduced in 1999, and the last DM notes and coins were demonetized in 2002.

Adoption of the Euro

Germany was one of the first countries to adopt the Euro, which was introduced as an electronic currency in 1999. The Euro was initially used for non-cash transactions, such as bank transfers and credit card payments. In 2002, banknotes and coins in Euro denominations were introduced, and the Deutsche Mark was phased out. Since then, the Euro has become the sole currency used in Germany and is widely accepted across the country.

Banknotes and coins

The Euro comes in seven different banknote denominations, ranging from €5 to €500. Each denomination has a different color and features a different architectural style from various periods in European history. There are also eight different coins, ranging in value from 1 cent to 2 euros. The coins feature various designs, including European landmarks and national symbols.

Security features

To prevent counterfeiting, Euro banknotes and coins feature several security features. Banknotes have a hologram strip, raised print, and watermark that can be seen when held up to the light. The coins have raised edges and intricate designs that are difficult to reproduce. Additionally, merchants are trained to recognize counterfeit currency, and individuals can check banknotes with a special marker that detects fake bills.

Exchange rates

Exchange rates for the Euro can vary depending on the country and the exchange service used. It is important to check current exchange rates before traveling to Germany to ensure that you are getting a fair rate. Additionally, some exchange services may charge fees for currency exchange, so it is essential to factor this into your budget.

Where to exchange currency

Currency exchange services can be found at international airports, banks, and some hotels. It is essential to compare exchange rates and fees before committing to an exchange service. Some banks may require identification and may have limited hours of operation, so it is important to plan ahead.

Using credit cards and ATMs

Credit cards are widely accepted in Germany, especially in larger cities and tourist areas. However, it is important to notify your bank before traveling to Germany to prevent your card from being flagged for fraud. ATMs are also widely available and can be used to withdraw Euro currency. However, some ATMs may charge fees for transactions, so it is important to check before using them.

Tips for handling currency in Germany

When visiting Germany, it is important to carry small denominations of cash for small purchases, such as snacks or public transportation. It is also essential to pay attention to the amount of change received after a transaction to prevent being short-changed. Additionally, it is customary to leave a small tip in restaurants and cafes, usually between 5-10% of the total bill.

Currency scams to be aware of

Like any country, there are currency scams to be aware of in Germany. These may include fake banknotes and coins, rigged ATMs, and unauthorized currency exchange services. It is important to be vigilant and double-check all currency transactions, especially if they seem too good to be true.


Germany uses the Euro as its official currency, which has simplified travel and commerce across the European Union. Euro banknotes and coins feature several security features to prevent counterfeiting, and exchange rates and fees can vary depending on the exchange service used. By being aware of the currency used in Germany and taking necessary precautions, visitors can have a safe and enjoyable experience in this vibrant country.

Photo of author

Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

Leave a Comment