Skip to content

Which European countries don't use the euro currency and why?

June 20, 2020
5 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you've traveled to mainland Europe in the past two decades, depending on your destination, you may have used the euro currency. If you are a regular traveler, you may even keep some spare euro currency at home for your next trip. Or, if you're like me and don't carry cash around, you may be more likely to have euros in your wallet than dollars.

A total of 19 of the 28 members of the European Union have adopted the euro as their official and sole currency, creating the 'eurozone' or 'euro area'. These countries are:

  • Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

In addition to these members of the eurozone, the following non-EU members have also adopted the euro as their official currency:

Sign up for our daily newsletter
  • Andorra, Kosovo, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino and Vatican City

So while that covers a large part of Europe, which countries in the region do not use the euro and what will you have to use instead?

Denmark

Denmark signed the Maastricht Treaty, which provides special conditions where it does not have to adopt the euro currency despite being a member state of the European Union (the United Kingdom also had signed this agreement, prior to leaving the EU in January 2020).

Denmark uses Danish krone currency (1 DKK = .15 USD).

Sweden

While not a signatory to the Maastricht Treaty, Sweden has retained its Swedish krona currency following a 2003 referendum in Sweden where the public voted not to adopt the euro. Currently, 1 SEK = .11 USD.

Image by Getty Images.

Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania

These three countries are working through the fulfillment of their various 'nominal euro convergence criteria' as specified by the European Union to join the eurozone. They intend to adopt the euro currency, though this will still be several years away. For Bulgaria, that's currently estimated to be 2022, for Croatia, 2023 and for Romania, 2024.

Until then, these countries retain their existing currencies:

  • Bulgarian lev (1 BGN = .57 USD)
  • Croatian kuna (1 HRK = .15 USD)
  • Romanian leu (1 ROM = .23 USD)

Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland

While each of these countries should adopt the euro currency as member states of the European Union once they have fulfilled certain economic obligations, all three say they have no immediate plans to do so. The populations of these three countries overwhelmingly do not wish to adopt the euro currency.

So for the time being, these countries retain their existing currencies:

  • Czech koruna (1 CZK = .04 USD)
  • Hungarian forint (1 HUF = .003 USD)
  • Polish zloty (1 PLN = .25 USD)
Tourists enjoy the Christmas lights at the St Steven Basilica in Budapest, Hungary. This traditional Christmas fair attracts abut 700,000 visitors each year. (budapest christmas market_photo via shutterstock)
Photo via Shutterstock.

What about other countries geographically in Europe, but not members of the European Union? As nonmembers, they do not have the right to adopt it as their official currency. Here's what they do instead.

  • Albania — The official currency is the Albanian lek, though euros are widely accepted. 1 LEK = .009 USD.
  • Belarus — The currency in Belarus is the Belarusian ruble. Some places accept euros or US dollars. 1 BYN = .42 USD.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina — This country uses its own Bosnian convertible mark currency, though euros are widely accepted. 1 BAM = .58 USD.
  • Iceland — Independent Iceland maintains its own krona currency. Though you'll receive plenty of krona for your euros or pounds, expect to see some very high price tags in this expensive destination. 1 ISK = .007 USD.
  • Liechtenstein — As one of the smallest countries in the world, it does not have its own currency, instead using the Swiss franc (see below). Euros are not accepted.
  • Moldova — Moldova uses its own leu currency though euros and US dollars are widely accepted. 1 MDL = .58 USD.
  • North Macedonia — Here you will find the local dinar currency. You may be able to use euros but expect the exchange rate to be poor. 1 MKD = .018 USD.
  • Norway — Norway uses the krone, and euros are not accepted. 1 NOK = .10 USD.
  • Russia — Russia uses its own rubles currency and it is technically illegal to use other currencies for payment. 1 RRB = .014 USD.
  • Serbia — The dinar, and you will struggle to use euros here without changing them to dinars first. 1 RSD = .0094 USD.
  • Switzerland — Despite neighboring countries like Germany, Italy, France and Austria using the euro, the only legal currency in Switzerland is the Swiss franc. 1 CHF = 1.05 USD.
  • Ukraine — A bit of a mouthful to pronounce, Ukraine uses the hryvnia and euros are not accepted for payment. 1 UAH = 28 USD.

If you are traveling to these countries and don't want to remember all these different currencies, consider a travel debit card with no foreign exchange fees.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases