low denomination of euros

will ATM's give one, two, five etc or as in America give 20's. I will learn as I go using euros but will have initial experience getting train or bus from DaVinci ro down town Rome. If ATM gives large denominations how do I go about getting small bills and change? Thanks for the help. John

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2852 posts

Some ATM's give lots of 10's and 20's; others give mostly 50's. To ensure that you get at least a few small bills, ask for an "odd" amount. In other words, don't take out €450 or €500, but €430 or €480. This way, you get one €10 and one €20 for sure. €5 is the smallest euro note; there are €1 and €2 coins. Once you start spending your money, you will end up with a variety of coins and notes whether you want to or not. I do always try to use €50's for any large purchase, to break them. In other words, if an item is €34, I'll pay with a €50 rather than two €20's.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8758 posts

You can buy a chocolate bar or a cup of coffee. Or buy your ticket.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1012 posts

I'm a woman and carry a coin purse because I end up with a lot of 1 &2eu coins. The other poster is correct buy a cup of coffee. If you ask
for 60eu from the atms rather than 50 or 110 instead of a hundred, you'll end up with at least a small bill.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
10884 posts

Everyone wants to make an issue of small Euro bills. I have never found it to be a problem. Buy something for 10E, give a 50 and get change. Sometimes I will be asked for something smaller but just say no. After all, we are American tourist and what do we know? One thing you do need to do is to use coins otherwise you pick up a lot of weight. So if you have a less than a 5E purchase try to fill it with coins.

Posted by Gerard
Temora, NSW, Australia
172 posts

my experience was atms for 500e delivered 8 50E notes then either 5 20e or 4 20E and 2 10e notes, this was all over europe. I used the ticket kiosks that accepted cash and card only ticket kiosks in different cities.
Get used collecting and holding onto smaller notes. Be aware smaller stores may not have change larger stores and Supermarkets almost always had no problem with a 50e regards

Posted by Bryan
Rome, Lazio, Italy
288 posts

It depends upon the bank, but the smallest bill you will get is a 10, with most ATMs giving 50s. I regular request an "odd amount", but not all ATMs will do it, especially if they do not have 10s or 20s in them. My experience is that ATMs that distribute 10s are fairly rare. Some people (as Frank indicates above) have not had problems breaking bills, but I have regularly encountered cashiers who don't want to make change. It's not that they refuse outright (although this happens also); they just want you to make their life easier. Perhaps I encounter this because I speak to them in Italian, in many cases am a regular customer, and they think they can get away with it; who knows. So be prepared for the possibility of encountering "attitude". There is lots of complexity and drama over here. (It's funny, because I was in the States recently and immediately started trying to make exact change for something, since that is what I frequently have to do in Italy and I've gotten used to it, and someone in line behind me was annoyed that I was taking so long messing around with pocket change...) Yesterday when I was in the airport I broke a bill (buying a coke) without a problem. The stores there are more used to having to make change and so there was no problem. But if I went into a regular neighborhood convenience store here in Rome (Tabacchi) or even the local Carrefour or Despar markets, I often get hassle if I try to pay without making their life easier with some amount of more exact change. A frequent question here is, "Do you have a Euro?", "Do you have two Euros?" -- anything they can do to round off the change that they give back. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by Ron
Cesena, Italy
755 posts

As the other poster noted, if you try to pay for something with say a 20 euro note and they ask you for a smaller bill because they don't have change just tell 'em that's the smallest you have. I never had anyone fail to find the change.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3349 posts

The 50 euro note is by far the most common people have in their wallets (like the $20 in the US). Nobody will give you problems accepting them as payment because the denomination is too big. Actually I never had problems with making payments in any denomination. I paid restaurant bills or gasoline with 500 euro notes and nobody complained.

Posted by Erik
Mansfield, USA
2 posts

Can someone advise how much I can take out of an ATM at one time (with credit or debit card)? We have to make a 1000e cash deposit for our Tuscan Villa, directly to the owner....I'm trying to determine if I will need to make several transactions over 2 or 3 days....

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5770 posts

Erik, your question is being answered in the new topic that you created. No need to piggy back here.