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Exchanging $$$ for Euros.

Arriving at the airport and need Euros on arrival. Where can you find the best exchange rates for $$$ to Euros. Is there a listing anywhere for Paris banks that can be used for an exchange. I used the sidewalk vendors a couple times in Italy last year the exchange rates are prohibitive ( more like loan shark rates).. anyway in Paris for 5 days and rest of France for the following 10 days so will need to exchange more than once. Have had good experiences with local banks in the past in other countries. I was just wondering if there were local banks with good locations in Paris good for exchanging the currency.

Posted by
11450 posts

No French banks will not help you.
They rarely deal with anyone who is not their customer.

You are see on taking cash to exchange?

Using a debit card is eat way to obtain euros from an ATM.

Posted by
6626 posts

Get 100 Euro from your local bank before you travel if you feel a need as many do to have a few Euros in hand on arrival.

In Europe, use ATMs. Exchanging dollars will always be a poor exchange and have huge fees. Get a US bank that doesn't add the 2% extra exchange fee that the big banks do (because they can). While you are at it, get a credit card that also doesn't add this 2% bit of usury. European banks do not do business with tourists, particularly they don't change money.

Posted by
8293 posts

Do not take dollars to France. Leave them in your bank account and withdraw euros as you need them from "bancomats", that is , ATMs.

Posted by
9363 posts

ATMs are the way to go. Just make sure your bank knows when you will be traveling so they won't block your card.

Posted by
1217 posts

There are a bunch of exchange desks on the Arc de Triumphe side of the Champs Eylsses. And all offer far worse rates than the BNP Paribas ATMs just a little bit further down the road.

Posted by
66 posts

I agree re using the ATMs and I take out the max as I do get charged by my bank. I also always take a few euros with me from the US for incidentals before I get to an ATM in town or near my hotel.

Posted by
16883 posts

ATMs operated by banks in Europe generally give you the best exchange rates. Machines that take debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard or Plus logos are all over. I bring about $200 US cash for back-up, only in case of emergencies like if the machines aren't working, in which case I would not expect to get a good exchange rate. If there's no emergency, those dollars are still in my money belt when I get home. See more tips at