I've looked up 4 B&B's so far in Budapest and I'm sort of annoyed that the rates are strictly in Euros. I realize that it makes it easier for their EU guests who do use the Euro, but not everyone is from the EU. Considering they do not use the Euro in Hungary, I don't understand why they can do this. (Well, I suppose they can do whatever they want!) Considering how poor the US dollar is to the Euro, I have no interest in their price in Euros. Eastern Europe is still reasonably inexpensive for us and I was looking forward to seeing some inexpensive rates after the conversion, but instead I'm greeted with that pesky Euro! ;) Can someone explain? Am I going to have to email each and every B&B for their rates in Forint? Surely they're not allowed to actually charge in Euros, right? Thanks for any input on this!
Amy - We saw this in other non-Euro countries as well as Hungary. When we e-mailed for accomodation quotes, we were usually given quotes in both Euros and local currency (we usually got better rates or cash discounts when we e-mailed for rates rather than relying on the website information).
We saw this for everything from B&Bs to family owned shops and airport transfers. Not one of the places that quoted Euros had a problem with taking local currency. We ended up paying mostly in local currency except for one shop that gave us even better prices for paying cash in US dollars (who knows why???). Where we saw the most savings was in cash discounts for accomodations and items in family owned shops.
I also agree with Steve on the conversion - the Central European currencies aren't as much of a bargain as they used to be. I was surprised at how much accomodations cost although food and alcohol was still a bargain in the non-touristy establishments. Check the conversion rate of both currencies as it might be worth your while to pay in Euros on occasion if you have them.
Well, I guess that answers my question. I'll have to narrow down my search for accomodations and then email them for local currency. Compared to Ireland and Scotland, Eastern Europe is a steal. (We just got back 1 1/2 weeks ago from Ireland/UK.) I was glad to read today that Czech and Poland additionally won't be on the Euro until after 2011. (Which is when we're going.) Anyway, thanks for the input, guys.
Last August, I stayed at a hostel in Budapest. They only take cash. I paid in euros and got euros change in return, not even local currency as change.
But normally, I try to use local currency.
I just find that so bizarre. That would be like using pesos or Canadian Dollars here in the US because there are tourists here from those countries. Surely they couldn't require us to pay in Euros though, right? We have about 15 Euros left from our last trip, but on this upcoming trip, we will not be in a country until Slovenia that even uses Euros as official currency (which is 3/4 of the way through our trip), so we wouldn't be able to obtain Euros... So whether the exchange rate is better for Euros when we go will be irrelevant... Unless the ATMs in those countries dispense Euros in addition to the local currency. Which again I would find very odd...
I am not an economist and I don't know much about the economics of Hungary and why they are so eager to have euros. While there, I found a couple of ATM machines that will give euros, instead of the local curreny: forints. I always try to use the local currency. I paid my hostel bill in euros, because they wanted payment up front and all I had at that moment was euros, having just arrived from Vienna. I can't imagine anyone in Hungary refusing their own local currency instead of euros, but euros seem to be accepted everywhere.
We were in Budapest in July and paid with Forints from the ATM machine, and they gladly accepted it. The Euro was the quoted price in places like Prague, Krakow, and Dubrovnik. Many tourists come over from Vienna and will have Euros so the Hungarians will accept Euros or Forints. We were in Bosnia where prices were quoted in Euros but they accepted Euros, US dollars, Croatian Kunas or probably most any reasonably sound currencies. Countries dependent on tourism are more likely to be lax about exchange policies because it is in their interest to get as many tourists coming as possible and accepting various currencies is one way to do it. The Euro just happens to be the most common standard right now so that is what countries like Hungary use for a bench mark.
Thanks, Ken. I guess that sort of puts it into perspective.