Should we get euros before we leave home for the Camino de Santiago?

Euros on the Camino de Santiago

The question was:

We are leaving in two weeks for St. Jean. Wanted to see what others were doing in order to prepare their money…

Rates are high here in USA to exchange before we leave and out bank charges 3.5% plus $5 per transaction. Any ideas to get a better exchange rate?

Read the good advice on getting euros before you leave or in Spain here.

  • Josh

    Most travelers recommend waiting until you get to Europe and then using an ATM. The fees that your bank and the ATM charge, are generally less than the transaction fees at local banks. Another bonus of doing this, is that you can carry less cash on you for thieves. Visa and mastercard are the most accepted cards in Europe. Check with you bank about their fees for overseas transactions.

    • Josh

      One more thing. Don’t ever follow a stranger on the streets into an alley to exchange your money. Especially if they offer you really good rates. You will be robbed, or they will trick you into thinking that they gave you the right amount. It is also a good idea to skip exchanging at the airport, and using the ATM at your hotel, since the charges will almost always be lower once you are away from the airport.

  • Luis Solla de Lacerda

    Take your CC card with you (VISA preferably) and use the many ATMs you will find along the Camiño. Pay attention that some small villages may not have an ATM so you may need to carry some cash with you. I would say that EUR40/50 (USD50/60) in EUR5 or 10 bills is enough to keep you going for 24hrs (meals and overnight at an albergue) if there is no ATM around.
    To the best of my belief ATM charges are the same throughout the country.

  • sean

    I agree with Luis, don’t expect ATM’s or credit card facilities in small villages, bars or restaraunts. I had eaten a meal in a bar , went to pay for it with Visa, but no facilities. The owner was very generous however and waived the bill.