Exchanging currency for Italy trip

Joined Oct 28, 1999
Well, after 2 years of planning, I am on my way to Italy. One question, though, is what to do about exchanging currency. I am sure that I will need cash (versus using a credit card) for some items. Any ideas on converting? Specifically, where will I get the best exchange... buying Euros in the US? Taking American dollars there and converting?

Any help is appreciated! Thanks!
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Check with your bank and see what rates they offer on ATM transactions outside the US.  They may be high so be aware of that.  We usually do a combination of bringing euros, travelers checks, using credit cards, and withdrawing from ATMs but that's because we go for extended stays to Europe.  We're actually leaving this weekend for 2 months.  If we were going for only a couple of weeks we would exchange for euros at our bank which is the cheapest option.


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
Using your credit card can get way expensive. There are so many exchange fees that one trip cost us close to 90.00 in fees because we used our credit card so much. After that I do the following.

First, I exchange a decent amount of money so I have some cash when I land. You buy currency online through Triple AAA or your can use EZForex to buy euros. 500 - 1,000 is a good amount to purchase. The currency is sent to you in the mail and it is insured. I have never had a problem and always get cash.

Second, we use the atm. Most US banks have affliate banks in europe that allow you to use their atms. I believe though you still get hit with the exchange fee. That being said we limit the number of atm trips we take.Don't worry about using the atms. Just like here they offer a language menu that allows you to select English. Very straight forward and easy to use. We have used ATMs in Ireland, Paris, Greece and had no problems at all.

Hope that helps. 
Joined Mar 12, 2005
Beware, I know a lot of people who were pick pocketed in Italy, you should have one of those zippered pockets that attach to your belt and go inside between your pants and hip/thigh.

I would have the currency before you go, get an assortment of bills 10's 20's 50's

Ezforex looks high on the exchange rate, if you check your local banks, you should find one who can do 3% or less.

The Euro is real low right now, I'm thinking of buying a bunch just to have for future trips to Europe.
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Thank you for the feedback. I leave Friday, so I was able to order currency through the bank. My contact in Italy cautioned about converting there, as we would get stung by fees targeting the summer travelers.

Thanks, again!
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