We are taking a Danube Cruise on an Amadeus boat. Any tips for handling currency in the Czech Republic and Hungary? Is it necessary to exchange currency or will the Euro work in those non-Euro countries?
When we travel to a non Euro country rarely do we change currency if we are there only a few days. Some places may accept Euro but the exchange rate will not be favorable. We mostly use credit card - just easier
It would be easier to just get a small amount of local currency from an ATM when you leave the boat. Or use your credit card for purchases.
The Danube does not flow through the Czech Republic. Is this a side trip?
Yes, after cruise. Sorry, not clear about that.
1) Visit ATM in each country, get local currency and 2) use credit cards whenever you can.
We were in Prague for four days in the spring and never exchanged for the local currency. We either used our credit card or euros.
Ditto what Agnes and Mark advise. Using a currency foreign in a country, at best, is expensive.
We were on a Danube cruise (Viking) in May 2017. We had very few expenses at all as all meals and most other sightseeing expenses were covered in the tour fee. Tipping was the challenge. Unlike RS tours where they cover the tips for guides and drivers, it was suggested that we tip the local tour guides and the bus drivers. What we didn't know ahead of time was that it was perfectly acceptable to tip in Euro. If you can bring a handful of 1 and 2 euro coins and some 5 euro bills you will be covered, and skip a lot of the headaches we experienced. We used ATM machines to get the smallest amount of cash - but then we would have to buy something in order to get change, just to get money in hand for tips. It would have been much easier if we had known Euro were acceptable as we could have brought some. For everything other than tips, we were able to use credit cards.
We found that restaurants and the like showed prices in euros as well as forint (Hungary) or koruna (Czech) or zloty (Poland). The conversion is not in your favor but unless the amount is large it really doesn't matter. And getting local currency at ATMs means having some left over when you enter the next country, and having to convert it at a money exchange for, again, an unfavorable rate.
Like you, we were on a tour with most big costs already paid, but unlike you we were several days in each country. So we got forints from an ATM, exchanged them (loss) for korunas, then changed the korunas (loss) for zlotys, then changed the zlotys (loss) for euros at the airport heading home. (We keep some euros at home for the next trip.) The losses were minor and we could tip, buy snacks and souvenirs and such in the local currency.
EDIT -- We too were on an Amadeus boat and liked it a lot.
I suggest you just stick with euros unless you find they're not accepted, rather than spend time finding ATMs and/or exchanging small amounts. Use the credit card for anything large that the tour doesn't cover.
Thanks for the responses. We were thinking it might be a combination of euros and local money.