Best destinations for currency exchange rates – Europe
When the euro first came into existence on 1st January 1999 – yes, over 20 years ago, it was meant to be a great leveller across the eurozone. This never happened of course and you still pay different prices for the same things in different eurozone countries*. A McDonalds combo meal in Estonia for instance is around €6.00 (£5.14) the same as Greece, but in France it’s €7.00 (£6.00) and the same thing in Germany is €8.00 (£6.86). A local transport ticket in Estonia is €1.35 (£1.13), in Greece and France €1.40 (£1.15) and Germany it’s €2.70 (£2.30).
The project also stalled slightly when Countries that subsequently signed up to the European Union failed to adopt the euro as their currencies despite this being an understanding when joining. As a result many European countries still have their own currency. The euro is the best selling currency in the UK by far simply because so many countries use it, but if you want to get a real value for money holiday then its good to check out the eurozone countries, like Estonia, where your travel money will travel a lot further.
Interestingly, some of the cheapest European destinations are ones that have their own currency. Most of them are from the old ‘Eastern Europe’ group of countries and have emerged as fantastic tourist destinations, easy to get to by land or air, rich in culture and history but great value compared to the other European big hitters.
Bulgaria (currency the lev) One of the most interesting European destinations, Poland (zloty), Romania (leu) and Hungary (forint) are all great holiday destinations with everything to offer from beautiful beaches to ancient historical cities and everything in between. Looking at prices in Bulgaria and Poland a McDonald’s combo meal works out the equivalent of around €4.30 (£3.69) and a single ticket on public transport €0.70 (60p).
Other amazing value European countries include Ukraine (hryvnia), Czech Republic (koruna) and Croatia (kuna). You can check out the live exchange rate for each of those currencies and see what great value you can get in any of those countries.
One big advantage of European destinations of course, is the fact they are on the doorstep. Most countries are no more than a 2 or 3 hour flight away or a few hours driving or on a train. Notwithstanding transport costs there are many great value holiday destinations and some with at times, great value exchange rates. In the last year the Turkish lira has been fantastic value for Brits and has made Turkey a top destination.
If you really want to come out of your comfort zone then think about some countries you may not have ever considered, countries which are cheap to visit, will broaden your travel horizons and who’s currencies can be great value:
Tunisia (closed currency)
South Africa (rand)
So what are the best destinations for currency exchange rates? The euro rate may make the most headlines but by picking your destination according to exchange rates and value, your holiday money can go a lot further. Lots of European and Scandinavian ones have become expensive places to visit and even if you can get a great exchange rate your money won’t go far. It’s easy these days to research everything you need to know about a foreign destinations and wherever you go, the best deals on whichever currency you need can be found on our website.
*All the price comparisons above were courtesy of Numbeo, which has a lot more information about the cost of living in many other countries.