Since the creation of the single currency in the European Union on 1st January 2002, the Euro has become the local monetary unit. Its introduction was simultaneous in Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal.
Exchanging foreign currency
Foreign currency can be exchanged in all banks and savings banks. In addition to this, in city centres and at the main points of tourist interest there are bureaux de change which are open every day.
When passing through Customs controls, citizens of countries that do not belong to the European Union must declare all articles constituting gifts or personal possessions the value of which is greater than 175 euros.
Tax Free Shopping
Citizens who are not residents of the European Union have the right to claim reimbursement of the value added tax (VAT) for any purchase of greater than 90 Euros. This reimbursement is put into effect in shops with the sign Tax Free Shopping.
It is very normal to use a credit card to pay for purchases. The most common cards and those which are the best-known internationally are accepted in most shops, shopping centres and department stores, as well as in tourist establishments.