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France Money

The currency of France is Euro. The banking code is EUR. Euro was introduced in the world financial markets as a non-cash monetary unit in 1999. Apart from France, it is the sole currency of the European Union member states namely Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. These twelve countries are collectively referred to as the Eurozone. Euro is also a legal currency in the Eurozone overseas territories of French Guiana, Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon.

France is surrounded by countries that participate in the Euro zone: Italy, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. The national side of the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins from France features Young Marianne, standing for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. It was designed by the engraver of the Paris Mint Fabienne Courtiade. On the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, France has a picture of the Sower, the traditional French coin theme. On the 1 and 2 euro coins there is a tree symbolizing life, growth and continuity. Thus the French euro coins feature three different designs for three series of coins. All the designs share the 12 stars of the EU and the year imprint as well as the letters RF standing for the Republic of France.

Each denomination in the series of the euro banknotes has a dominant colour, which enables it to be easily differentiated from the other denominations. The spectrum of colours is similar to that of the rainbow but not identical since the indigo colour was replaced by gray to avoid any confusion with the blue colour. Primary colours as green, red and blue have been selected for the widely used banknotes, because they are the most easily distinguishable. Gray was selected for the 5 euro banknote, which is the most widely used. The twelve stars of the European flag appear on the front of the banknotes. The whole flag features on the reverse side. It was also depicted by many experts that the Euro over the years could give a tough competition to dollar as an international currency.

Bank Opening Hours

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

Currency exchange

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. In general, it is best to find a larger bank or exchange office in the center of town or in a financial area. 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. Very roughly 1.4Euros = £1. Debit cards can often be used - HSBC debit (switch) cards will work in any ATM showing the “Maestro” sign.  You need to know your pin.  Your account will be debited immediately and you will be charged a handling fee and possibly a commission.

Credit Cards

They are accepted in a large number of shops, hotels and restaurants. Shopkeepers often state a minimum amount required to be spent.

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