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Opening a bank account in Germany question

My husband and I are planning a trip to Germany next month to explore our family roots and have some fun exploring Europe. The other day my husband came up with an idea, why don't we just open a bank account when we get to Germany and transfer our vacation funds to it. We figure it would be easier to track expenses in Euros than try to figure out exchange rates between Canadian dollars and Euros for every purchase.

We plan to be out there for about 6 weeks and figure just open an account and at the end of the trip, cancel it. I figure it seems kind of unethical to use a bank like that, but my husband figures we will be spending the funds in Europe so we will be giving back to the European community. Besides, we figure it might be cheaper than incurring international service charges ever-time we use an ATM.

Has anybody ever thought of doing this? or has done it? Were kind of clueless when it comes to international banking, were not even sure if foreign tourists can open bank accounts in Germany.

Dwayne and Jen

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31473 posts

I don't think it's very practical to try and open an account just for six weeks. As you noted, foreigners likely aren't permitted to open bank accounts unless they're living in the country and have a fixed address.

I'm not sure why it would be necessary to track exchange rates on every purchase? The conversion will be done by your existing Bank, whether you're paying by credit card or withdrawing cash at ATM's. You can check your statements when you get home, and sort out the details then. If necessary, you could record purchase amounts in a small notebook, or perhaps just keep the receipts.