Travel

How much cash to take to Europe?

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  • Nov 9th, 2015 12:33 am
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2013
975 posts
183 upvotes
BC

How much cash to take to Europe?

Hi All,

I'll be going to Europe for about 10 days (barcelona and paris). I have Chase Amazon Visa that'd like to use whenever I can but for cabs, food eat-outs and other activities that won't accept visa, how much cash should I take with me?

Is it better to take cash out from there?

Thanks!
17 replies
Deal Guru
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Jan 10, 2008
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why carry cash , ATM's where you're going so not an issue
Newbie
Dec 24, 2011
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RICHMOND HILL
stephroll wrote: why carry cash , ATM's where you're going so not an issue
+1. I took out cash using my Amazon card regularly when I went over the summer. Its actually cheaper than exchanging cdn.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Feb 11, 2013
975 posts
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BC
skairforce wrote: +1. I took out cash using my Amazon card regularly when I went over the summer. Its actually cheaper than exchanging cdn.
Thanks. Would you pay the balance on a daily basis too? Never took out cash from a Visa before so not sure how it works.
Deal Guru
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Mar 9, 2007
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Think of the Childre…
Don't take too much cash and watch out for gypsies.

WOULD SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!
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Aug 2, 2001
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The difference in the exchange rate between taking it out here and through an ATM there is so little for the amount you are talking about, I would bring Euros from Canada since you are not gone that long. If you are someone who likes to eat street food and that, you might find yourself also spending cash on that. I am sure if you are focused on spending money with your credit card, 200 - 300 Euros would be fine. At a minimum bring enough to cover a cab ride from the airport to your hotel, plus a little extra for food. Just in case something happens and you cannot get money out at the airport or something.
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Apr 30, 2006
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Wouldnt ATM's be more considering how they charge you ATM fees on top of the exchange rate?
Whatchu know about ice cream?
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May 9, 2009
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flyingdutchman wrote: Wouldnt ATM's be more considering how they charge you ATM fees on top of the exchange rate?
Depends on your account. My banking plan has no withdrawal fees so I'd only pay the ATM's fee. Over the course of 4 weeks in Europe, I probably spent ~$30 in ATM fees.

Personally, I'd rather spend $30 in fees than constantly being paranoid and worried carrying around a few thousand euros.

OP, Paris and Barcelona are not third world cities. With the exception of street vendors, you'll be hard pressed to find places that don't take Visa.
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Oct 4, 2004
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$0.

I wouldn't stress about bringing any over any Euros and then having to carry it around with you. Credit cards are widely accepted and there's an abundance of surcharge-free ATMs in both cities. I would just take out 100 EUR on the first day and try using cash as little as possible. Burn through the rest on the final two days.

Mind you, I bank with Tangerine... so ATM withdrawals for me were just $2 or free depending on the ATM so I had the luxury of carrying as little cash as I wanted.

If you're a stickler for saving as much money as possible, exchange about 200 EUR here, carry it around with you and then burn through all of it on the last 2 days. If you need more than that, you're going to need an ATM withdrawal anyway. Just keep it safe and in separate places.
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Sr. Member
Aug 27, 2012
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Cheaper to bring cash than to take out cash there.

As for how much, it all depends on your spending. For food, I would say 40-60 euros per day, but it all depends. Some places don't accept credit/debit cards, so keep that in mind. And sometimes it's just easier to pay in cash.

Watch out for gypsies, mostly just don't act like a tourist. Be aware of your surroundings and keep a hand on your bag at all times and they won't go near you.
Member
Feb 8, 2010
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Toronto
My wife and I just got back from Barcelona and Paris among other cities. Loved Barcelona. I would budget 80 euros per day, or 800 for your trip in cash. CC for everything else. Don't carry cash all in the same place, so if some is lost/stolen, you aren't totally screwed. Never carry your wallet in your back pocket. Never rest your eyes on the Metro/subway. Always be vigilant but not to the point of ruining your trip by constantly being stressed out. Have a safe trip!
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Oct 21, 2011
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Burlington
Basically what ^ onamonapia said, it all depends on your spending habits. I can tell you that Barcelona and Paris are easily one of the more expensive European cities to be visiting overall compared let's say to Prague or Istanbul. That being said your better off having cash for taking any local transportation, food etc.

Also, as a friendly tip when traveling, if you plan on taking any excursions try booking online in advance and save a bit there.
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While in Greece I would take out $200 from the ATM each time. Not all places in Greece took credit card though, so we needed quite a bit of cash. Still, I had no interest in constantly hunting for an ATM. $200 was small enough that I wouldn't stress out too much if it went missing, but it would also last.
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Sep 19, 2015
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CuteThief wrote: Bro, with Muslims flooding Europe make sure you take a gun with you to defend yourself, not cash.
And how do you think that will play out at the airport check in?

Dumbest thing I've read all week.
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I personally just withdrew cash at ATMs whenever I needed it. I tried to withdraw around $200 at a time so the $3 fee I paid was quite insignificant in the end. It really depends on how much cash you're willing to carry. I didn't have any issues with gypsies or thefts, but that was because I kept my backpack locked up at the hostel inside their lockers and kept my wallet in my front pocket. It also depends on if you're traveling alone or with others since Europeans generally don't like to split bills (from my experience). I was with two other friends so it was just more convenient to pay in cash for most things than for us to pay with a credit card and keep track of who owes who how much. Most places do take credit cards, so I would only take out cash on an as needed basis.
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Pursuit2013 wrote: Thanks. Would you pay the balance on a daily basis too? Never took out cash from a Visa before so not sure how it works.
I'd rather take money out of my bank account using an ATM and pay the local and home country ATM fees and the exchange they charge than pay the thousands of dollars I would have to pay off my amazon.ca VISA card every day for everything I charge in Europe plus the cash advances in order to be able to not pay the 2.5% forex fee. Also, who wants to go online every day to pay off the credit card purchases so you don't pay the crazy 20% interest? Also, there is a fee to take a cash advance from amazon.ca VISA out of an ATM and it is $5 or 1% of the amount taken out whichever is greater vs my PC Financial local ATM fee of $3 plus the local ATM fee + 2.5%. I typically would only be taking out a couple hundred dollars max so with amazon.ca VISA that would be $5/$200 = 2.5%.

It's way cheaper and easier to just take a few schekels out of your Canadian bank account using an ATM and taking a slight hit on the exchange rate and charging everything to your amazon.ca VISA card than using it as a cash advance card while travelling. Of course if for some reason you might be taking out thousands of dollars in cash while travelling then using the amazon card that way might be better, but I dunno why you would be doing that.
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Apr 23, 2015
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You will need a little bit of cash but not too much. I spent 250 euros in cash and the remainder on my Amazon cc for a 12 day stay.

However, you can take out the cash while in Europe. Both Barcelona and Paris have major banks that don't charge a fee for withdrawals. I am also a TD VIP account holder so I don't pay fees on this end either. The exchange rate that I got through the Euro banks was ~1-2% better than the exchange rate that Amazon cc gave me.

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