Currency of France

Currency of France

The national currency in France, as in the most European Union member states, is the Euro since 1999 (in full circulation in 2002). The French Franc is no longer used as France has switched over to the Euro monetary system. Some of the banknotes can still be exchanged for Euro in a Banque de France (Bank of France). However they are all being removed as legal tender of a time period. So if you have any in your wallet, make sure you change them to Euro soon or just keep them for a collection. As it is no longer accepted, however, you may see that some price tags in France give the price both in Euro and in francs, to help those who still think in terms of francs.

Dollars in France

U.S. dollars are not accepted in most establishments. Nevertheless, some hotels, shops and restaurants  may accept your U.S. dollars at an agreed upon exchange rate.

Currency exchange

Currency exchange can be made in most banks (look for a sign indicating Change) and post offices as well as in some large stores, train stations, airports and exchange offices near major tourist sites. Remember that even though exchange rates are fixed, agent commissions vary: they must be clearly displayed. Exchange rates vary from bank to bank in the U.S. and France. Large cities in the U.S. generally have banks specialized in foreign exchange with lower exchange rates. The same applies in France. If only a small amount of money is being exchanged, the hotel’s money exchange rate may be adequate. Traveler’s checks in U.S. dollars should be exchanged in banks or exchange offices because very few businesses will accept them. Traveler’s checks in French currency can be purchased in the U.S. from specialized banks or in any major banks in France. They offer a safe means of traveling with ready cash.

Banking hours

Banking hours in Paris are usually from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday through Friday. Throughout the rest of France, banks are usually open from 10 am to 1pm, and 3pm to 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Keep in mind that banks often close earlier the day before a public holiday.

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