Euros in Switzerland

We have since moved back to Texas from Switzerland. I first drafted this post before we left.

Just a quick note in the midst of our preparations to leave…

Switzerland is not part of the European Union, however they abide by certain of their laws and even accept the Euro for currency. Well, they are supposed to anyway. In the last month, I’ve been to Konstanz, Germany three times (long story), and Colmar, France once. I had leftover Euros from each trip, and while we usually just pool the leftover Euros for the next trip outside of Switzerland, we’re not going anywhere else for a while. So, I thought I’d try to spend my Euros here in Switzerland.

At first shopkeepers sigh or get a befuddled look on their face when you hand them Euros (at least in Winterthur). It seems that every last one of them is happy to take the paper currency, but no one wants to take the coins. It turns out that the banks in Switzerland are the same. No one wants Euro coinage. I wonder if any of my Swiss friends have experienced this?

So, now I have a big fist-full of coins that I’ll just have to pack in my suitcase and hold on to until our next trip to Europe (perhaps Ireland in the summer?).

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Makes Cents!

Pardon the pun. I recently saw an article about the decline of popularity of the American penny. It got me thinking about the Swiss money system. The Swiss equivalent of a cent is a rappen. You can only get rappen as small as 5. The denominations are 5, 10, 20, and 50.

Also, the Swiss Franc paper money doesn’t start until the 10 Franc note. You can only get smaller Francs as coins in denominations of 1, 2, and 5. Another interesting note (ha! full of puns today!), if you withdraw money from an ATM, you will receive the highest denominations possible, unless you select otherwise (if the option for smaller denominations is available). Heath’s eyes bugged out the first time the ATM spat out a 200 CHF note at him instead of a wad of 20’s.

All in all, I think the Swiss system is, I think. Although I did have to buy a new wallet with a coin-holder!