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Coins for Public Restrooms in Europe (Budapest, Austria, Germany)

I have heard from other travelers that most public restrooms in Europe require that you pay to get in and there are attendants who monitor the restrooms. Does anyone know what the typical amount would be in Euros and Forints. I understand that you need to have the exact amount.
Thank you!

Posted by
23972 posts

change will be available.

every location is different, figure anywhere from €0.40 to €0.50 or local equivalent, give or take.

Posted by
5552 posts

Some of the German autobahn service center toilets had coin opened turnstiles. Something like 0.7 or 0.75 EUR to enter. But the machine spit out a receipt that was a voucher (something like 0.5 EUR) that could be used for items purchased at the service center.

Posted by
12139 posts

Hi,

In Germany at the train stations the WC cost one Euro. In numerous Hauptbahnhöfen the WC facility is operated by Rail and Fresh...Munich, Berlin Ostbahnhof, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Osnabrück, etc. No, you don't need the exact amount, there are change machines for bills and coins and also an ATM.

It's also where you go to if you need coins for the coin operated lockers in the station since the locker area has no change machines. Keep in mind if the price to use the WC is one Euro, only certain coin denominations are accepted, aside from the obvious one Euro coin.

Posted by
4657 posts

Similarly, at German stations the Rail and Fresh toilets may give you a voucher for money off food and drink at the station.

Posted by
2109 posts

I was just in Budapest and paid 250 HUF to use WC at the Castle Hill area. They will make change for you, and the restrooms, typically, are kept very clean and well-stocked. On May Day I went to the big festival in City Park and there were porta-potties; no charge to use but an enterprising person had removed all the paper products from them and was charging for paper. Not sure how much because I am Miss Prepared Traveler and had paper towels in my purse already.

In Vienna there is a particularly charming pay WC at the Karlsplatz metro station near the Opera exit--lovely Strauss music plays and it's decorated to resemble a theatre's WC. Spotlessly clean, and I think maybe 1 or 2 euro.

Just keep a few 1, 2 and 50 euro cent coins, or 100, 200 and 50 HUF coins on you and you'll be fine. I never pass up a chance to use a toilet in a museum, restaurant or duck into a McDonald's, rarely have I ended up paying, mainly at train stations.

Posted by
169 posts

This is soooo helpful, thank you very much. We are definitely at that age where we don't pass up an opportunity to use the WC! With all these tips we can be prepared and not worry about it!

Posted by
12139 posts

Hi,

That WC where you hear J. Strauss waltzes loud and clear at Karlsplatz in Vienna is located close to the staircase coming down to the Karlsplatz station. The WC is to your right.

Posted by
663 posts

As the others said, those machines usually provide change, but I'd like to add something else: In Germany at least, there are many public restrooms without a machine but with an attendant who will expect a tip. € 0.50 would usually be appropriate in those places. Asking for change in those places might be kind of awkward because you would usually just drop the coin on a little plate as you leave the bathroom.

/personal rant/

That said, I personally hate this tradition of having to pay for using a restroom, but of course I can't take it out on the attendants who often have very bad contracts (false self-employment).

Restaurants are legally required to provide restrooms for their customers anyway, and I personally think big stores where I just spent a lot of money should also offer that for free, and employ those attendants in a decent way.

/end of personal rant/

Posted by
8889 posts

Yes, in Germany 30 or 50 Eurocents. This is often a dish to put the coins, so if you only have €1 or €2 coins, you can take back change.
A restaurant must have toilets for customers, but they are not obliged to provide one for non-customers. Many have signs "nur für Kunde" (customers only). In fast food and counter service places there is sometimes a numeric keypad to enter in order to open the door, and you have to go to the cash desk to ask for the number.
If a department store has a restaurant of café (common, often on the top floor) then it will have a toilet. Useful to know in you are in a city centre, but still expect to pay 30-50 Eurocents.
Swiss railway stations have very upmarket toilets. CHF 1.50 for a "pissoir" (that is the word it says on them), CHF 2.50 for the full deal. Showers are also available.

That said, I personally hate this tradition of having to pay for using a restroom. . . .

That comment rubs me up the wrong. Why do US-Americans object to paying for a service when they are not customers, but insist on bribing the staff of a restaurant to provide them with preferential service when they are customers and are already paying for everything in the bill (aka tipping).

Posted by
663 posts

@Chris F: I am not American, I am German. (Just added my location to my profile, sorry it wasn't there before.)

That said, I do also prefer a system where the restaurant staff gets paid fairly and does not have to rely on tips for their income, but that is another issue.

And I am not talking about free restroom use in places where you are not a customer. That, obviously, is not anything one can expect in all fairness. I was explicitly talking about restaurants or stores where you have already spent a considerable amount of money.

Posted by
12139 posts

I am in Germany now (Berlin for two weeks at the Pension) after two weeks in Vienna. The WC have been taken over by Sanifare at train stations, cost one Euro to go through the turnstile. In Vienna the cost was 50 cents to do that. No more Klofrauen and dishes to put the amount in , be it one Euro or 50cents. Not correct... You don't need exact change either, drop in a 2 Euro coin, the change is there.

Posted by
12139 posts

In Austria the WC for men will say "Pissoir" (considered vulgar en francais) to indicate urinals....saw several examples of that usage. Not so in Germany for the men WC.