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Currency - Trip to Croatia, Slovenia , Austria

Hi

We are heading to Croatia, Slovenia, Austria next month, whilst i will be converting our money to Euros, is it worth / do i need to convert some money to the Croatian Kuna , also will this be accepted in Slovenia ?

Thank you.

Melissa

Posted by
3205 posts

Our trip to Croatia/Slovenia was way back in 2004, before Slovenia adopted the Euro, so we were pulling different money from ATM’s as we traveled, finishing up in Italy. I don’t know for sure, but I’d imagine that merchants in Slovenia aren’t taking Kuna any more than they would US or Canadian Dollars, or Japanese Yen.

You mention converting money - are you thinking about going into a bank, either at home or abroad, and actually converting one type of currency to another? Or using your ATM card to just withdraw some local currency once you get to your destination. ATM’s are the easiest, cheapest way to get foreign currency. We actually use credit cards whenever possible, but having some local cash is also helpful for when a card isn’t practical. It helps to have a credit card, though, that charges minimal fees for foreign transactions, and whether it’s a credit or ATM debit card, be sure to let your bank know that you’ll be using It in Austria/CroatiaSlovenia, and when, so they don’t block your card, thinking a thief is using it over there.

Posted by
4073 posts

Best practice is to withdraw local currency from ATMs. Worst practice is to exchange money at home before travel.

In Slovenia, you use Euro. Kuna will not be accepted.

Posted by
1919 posts

Locals can suprisingly flexible about currency. We were riding the train from Croatia to Serbia. A guy was selling coffee for dinars (Serbia), but we had no dinars. We had kuna. He took our kuna, charged us 10 Kn for each coffee ($1.45 or so), and gave us change in dinars which was a huge help. He gave us pretty close to the going rate for the conversion too.

In his case, since he probably worked the train back and forth, he would have plenty of opportunity to use kuna or dinars.

Posted by
16769 posts

That's a common situation on cross-border transportation. I've seen it on ferries, too. Shops right near the border where public buses often take comfort breaks usually will also deal in both currencies. The exchange rate may not necessarily be great (I once paid nearly double to a toilet attendant), but for small purchases it really amounts to almost nothing, and it's reasonable as a convenience fee. If you're well and truly inside the second country at a restaurant or tourist attreaction, it's risky to assume you'll get a decent deal on the exchange rate. Sights that are government-operated seem, on average, less willing to accept anything other than the currency of the country (plus usualliy credit cards).

Posted by
5 posts

We just came back in May from visiting all three countries. You will use Euros in Austria and Slovenia, and Kuna in Croatia. We took euros with us as we had some left from an earlier European vacation. We found it very easy to get Kuna at an ATM. Although it was even simpler to use our credit card everywhere (we have one without foreign transaction fees). The US chip and signature cards are accepted everywhere you interact with a person; you can't use them at unmanned locations (some gas stations, some train stations). For those we use cash, or now take our bank debit card as it is a chip and pin# card. Our bank assures us that in a couple of years, the US will finally catch up with the rest of the world and have true chip and pin# credit cards.

Posted by
55 posts

ATMs give you the best conversion rate. They are plentiful in Croatia and Slovenia. We used Kuna in Croatia and Euros in Slovenia. I was told that many Croatian merchants will take Euros but you won't get a good rate if they do it.

Posted by
17 posts

I just returned from Croatia a few weeks ago and I found Croatia to be very strict about only accepting Kuna. And I was surprised that many places accepted cash only! No credit card! I took out $500 before we left and had to pull more from an ATM. I found the bank ATMs to have the best withdrawal fee. Also I was able to get Kuna from my bank and only had to pay a courier fee. Way cheaper than going to a kiosk at the airport. Check with your local bank branch to see if they offer that service

Posted by
16769 posts

I would not count on getting foreign currency in the US at a good conversion rate. Bank employees say all kinds of things, but all too often they don't know what they are talking about. It's common for the conversion rate to be 5% or 7% worse than what you are charged when you withdraw funds overseas from a bank ATM and conduct the transaction in the local curency (which is always the way to go). Then there may also be a delivery fee or service charge of some kind.

Because the conversion rate is so poor, it is virtually always a bad idea to obtain a substantial amount of foreign currency in advance in the US. It will usually cost considerably less to obtain just a small amount of first-day emergency money (perhaps $50 or $100 worth) before leaving home and the rest from an ATM at the destination. I don't even attempt to get obscure currencies at home. I always have a modest amount of US dollars with me--enough for the long taxi ride home if I can't take the bus for some reason. If there is a catastrophic ATM problem at my destination, I would change some of the US currency at a foreign-exchange booth. That would be costly, but the situation is so unlikely to occur that I don't worry about the potential cost. Buying foreign currency from a US bank is--based on all information I have encountered--100% certain to cost me a considerable amount.

Based on posts on this forum, I have a feeling the situation may be different in Canada, with foreign currency being available at lower cost.

Posted by
569 posts

Jenn, we will be in Croatia and Slovenia in September. Can you tell me what kinds of places only accepted cash? Typically were they restaurants, shops, etc.?
Thank you!