Can you spend euros in Switzerland?

Most places in Switzerland will accept euros, but it's an expensive way to pay. You're better off taking the local currency instead

Switzerland is part of the European Union and most places will accept euros as payment, but paying in euros can be expensive because the official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc. If you want the best and cheapest way of spending in Switzerland, I recommend you buy Swiss francs instead.

Like most cities in Europe including London small items such as coke bottles, newspapers, sandwiches, coffee, pastries etc can be paid for in Euros, but this will be a very expensive solution to your currency options. When visiting a European country where Euros are not the main currency this can often be the worst way to pay for things.

Not all local vendors and traders will accept Euros as payment for goods and services in Switzerland and if they do they are likely to charge you extremely unfair and inflated exchange rates which can result in you paying over the odds for small items and if they do not accept payment in Euros then you will be forced to use other payment options such as Credit Cards which can also be expensive.

For example, we have a story of someone who had an experience of paying 12 GBP for a coffee and a pastry whilst in Switzerland when paying using Euros when it should have cost in the region of 7 CHF. This is almost 150% more than it normally have cost.

When travelling and buying currency you will find that when you visit any country around the world it is often best to pay for goods and services using the local currency where possible. When vendors and traders offer payment in other major currencies such as Euros or US Dollars you will always find that they will need to inflate exchange rates in order to cover the bank charges that they incur when they bank the takings at the end of the day and of course to earn a little extra for offering the service in the first place.

Sometimes when paying for goods or services using these major currencies vendors or traders will actually give you change in the local currency as they may not hold the correct denominations to supply you with the change in Euros or US Dollars.

At we always advise people to take Swiss francs as this will give you the best value when paying for things locally in the country. When buying currency we always advise customers to shop and compare online to help you find the best deal and to never leave it to the last minute as Airport Exchange Bureaus or High Street Banks will charge you at least 10% more compared to online currency suppliers.

Adam Silveston

Adam is a writer for Compare Holiday Money.

Published on 14 January 2014
Switzerland, Euros, Swiss Francs, Chf

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