What is the currency used in the Netherlands?

The currency used in the Netherlands is the Euro.

Money in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is part of the Eurozone in the European Union, which means since January 1st, 2002, the legal and official currency in the Netherlands is the Euro. 

The answer to the question: "Is the Netherlands on the euro?" is yes.

Euro banknotes and coins.

Euro banknotes and coins are used in the Netherlands. Photo by verke.org - CC BY-SA 2.0

One hundred cents make one Euro, just like the Dollar.

Exchange rates are volatile in this day and age. Use the currency converter below to check the current exchange rate between the Euro and your currency. The symbol for the Euro is €, and its shortcode is EUR.

Euro Banknotes

There are banknotes of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euro. In daily life, the 5, 10, and 20 euro banknotes are mostly used.

Cash machines (ATMs) very often will dispense 50 euro notes. Shops will take them, but will always ask if you have nothing smaller. If you can avoid receiving them, do. For example, many ATMs give you the option to choose the denomination of your bills. Choose smaller bills.

The best way to guarantee you'll get some smaller notes from the ATM is to take out an unrounded amount. Like €290 instead of €300, for example. Then you know for sure you'll get at least two twenties in the mix instead of six 50 notes.

If you do have a 50 note, try to use them at supermarkets, for larger ticket items or at the bigger chain stores. Smaller stores try to avoid them when possible. If you buy something small to break up your bill, they may tell you they don't have enough change, and they'll ask you to pay by card instead.

If you do buy cash Euro before you leave home, or you exchange your money at an exchange office, refuse 100, 200, or 500 euro notes at all times.

Why refuse large bills? Most stores will reject them. It will be challenging to spend them. And since bank offices do not have cash anymore, it will practically be impossible to break them up.

There are two designs of Euro Banknotes in circulation

There are two designs of Euro banknotes currently in circulation. The original notes were introduced in 2002. And in the past few years, a new model has been gradually introduced. The new €5 note is around since 2013, and the €200 bill has been replaced last in 2019. The €500 banknote will disappear from circulation.

Euro banknotes both the old and the new versions.

Euro banknotes both the old and the new versions. CC BY-SA 4.0

Both versions of each note are legal tender in all Euro countries, do not worry about receiving either of the two.

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How to check if your Euro banknotes are real or fake?

There are three simple, fast tricks to check if your banknotes are real or fake:

  1. Hold your note to the light > do you see a watermark?
  2. Feel the ink. The ink is raised on the sides of the notes. You should be able to feel that.
  3. Tilt your banknote, and the emerald green number should go up and down (reflect).

Counterfeit notes usually have no watermark, are smooth, and the emerald green number is not changing colors. Just remember to look-feel-tilt.

If in doubt, refuse the note. Counterfeit money in the Netherlands is not a big problem, but it can still occur.

As general advice, if you buy from a street vendor in very touristy areas, be extra vigilant even more so in other Southern or Eastern European countries than in the Netherlands.

Euro coins

There are euro coins of 2 euro, 1 euro, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents, and 1 cent.

Euro coins.

Euro coins. CC0 1.0

We don't use the 2 and 1 cent coins in the Netherlands. Instead, we round the amount due up or down to 5 cents if you pay cash.

Example: when you have to pay €12.97 you'll pay €12.95, and if you have to pay €12.98, you'll pay €13.

If you pay by card, you'll pay the exact amount due with no rounding.

Some countries like Germany do still use the 2 and 1 cent coins. Be aware that these coins are refused in the Netherlands even if you can combine them to 5 cents. Stores won't take them. Either keep them as a souvenir or spend them immediately again in the country where you got them.

Can you use US dollars in the Netherlands?

The short answer is: no, you can not. The Euro is the sole currency in the Netherlands. You have to change your Dollars (or Pounds or any other currency for that matter) into Euro. We wrote a separate post on the best ways to exchange your money into Euro the most cost-effective way.

Can I use my Visa®️ debit card in the Netherlands (or another debit/credit card)?

Yes, you can use your Visa® debit card and other debit and credit cards. But be mindful not as readily as in other countries, like the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, et cetera.

The Dutch prefer to use their bank debit cards, which are not affiliated with Visa® or MasterCard®.  Instead, they are part of the Maestro® network. It's called PIN.

You'll see PIN signs everywhere. Often shops take PIN (Maestro®) but no credit cards. Make sure to have a Maestro® debit card with an active 4 digit PIN. Or have some backup cash next to your Visa® or MasterCard® debit/credit cards.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Amsterdam and elsewhere in the Netherlands?

Yes, but just like we said above, it varies greatly where they are accepted and where they're not.

In general, you'll be fine at most restaurants, museums, tourist attractions, many larger shops, theaters, hotels, taxis, gas stations, car rental places, et cetera. Even nowadays, you can use a Visa® or MasterCard® to buy a train ticket.

Please be aware that you always need a credit card with a chip on the front and a PIN (that you remember). For security, a signature will not suffice nine out of ten times. For that reason, you'll need a PIN. And you need a chip because we don't swipe cards either for the same reason.

If you don't have a bank card with a chip or you don't remember your PIN, you have to contact your bank or card issuer well before you leave.

Smaller shops and, most notably, the supermarket chain Albert Heijn will not accept debit and credit cards from Visa® or MasterCard®. Lidl supermarkets do.

American Express® is only accepted at higher-end places. The card is not as widely accepted as Visa® or MasterCard®. If your preferred card is American Express, try to use it first, but make sure you have a backup credit card from a different brand.

You can use Discover cards and Asian credit cards at the airport and some tourist places only.

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What is the currency used in Amsterdam?

You might chuckle at this question, or you have this question yourself. We see this question quite a lot.

Amsterdam and the Netherlands are not two separate places. Amsterdam is the capital city in the Netherlands (the country). So the currency used in Amsterdam is the same as in the Netherlands: the Euro. Amsterdam is just one city in the country.

What is the currency used in Holland?

The answer is the same as above. Holland and the Netherlands are not two different places. These two names are nowadays used interchangeably internationally to address the same country. 

Technically this is incorrect. Since Holland are just two provinces of the Netherlands. However, Holland is very commonly used in other countries to address this country. Hence look at our blog name. It's fine. The Netherlands is the proper name, however. 

The answer to the question is: The currency used in Holland is the Euro ;-).

Can I still exchange the Guilder?

The guilder was the official currency in the Netherlands before the Euro was adopted in 2002. If you still have guilders at home, and you wonder: "Can I still use guilders in the Netherlands?" The answer is no.

But, you can still exchange the banknotes for Euro at the Dutch central bank (DNB) in Amsterdam in person. Coins are now just souvenirs.

Dutch Guilder banknotes and coins.

Dutch Guilder banknotes and coins / Photographer: Paul Downey - CC BY-SA 2.0

If you still have banknotes, the official rate of exchange is €1 = 2.20371 NLG. More information about what notes can be exchanged, the date of expiry, and the procedure can be found on the website of the DNB.

Note: you'll need a European bank account number to receive the money. The DNB will not change your guilders on the spot for cash. If you don't have an IBAN bank account number in Euro, there is little you can do.

If you have family or friends in Europe, you can ask them to have the money deposited in their account, and they can then withdraw it for you.

Can I use the Euro in every European country?

In many countries, you can, but not in all. The most helpful thing about the Euro for you as a visitor is that since 2002 you don't have to exchange currency for every European country you're visiting. That is saving you a lot of money, confusion, and time. 

The 19 countries where you can use the Euro are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

Map of countries that use the Euro.

Map of countries that use the Euro. CC BY-SA 4.0

Outside the EU, the Euro is also the currency of Montenegro and Kosovo and several European microstates (Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City).

Since the Euro is not adopted in all European countries you'll still need to exchange your money when you visit them. Read our post about the best ways of exchanging currency here.

The United Kingdom kept using the Pound. In Denmark, they have Danish Kronor. In Sweden, it's the Swedish Kronor. And in Norway, they'll use the Norwegian kronor. In Switzerland, you'll need to get Swiss Francs.

Symbol of the Euro

The symbol for the Euro is €. In some countries, the € symbol is shown after the amount and in other countries before the amount. In the Netherlands, we place the Euro symbol before the amount like € 5.

In other countries like in Belgium or France, you see the symbol behind the amount as in 5 €. There is no difference in meaning. It's all the same.

Ps fun fact: did you know that all Euro banknotes are the same in all countries but that each country does issue its specific coins. The Euro coins are the same on one side but different on the other side.

You can spend them in any Euro country interchangeably so do not need to worry that you can not use a German coin in the Netherlands, you can. But it's fun to know if you want to collect different designs to keep, some are quite nice!

Tips for exchanging your money

We've written a separate post on the best ways to exchange your currency. You'll learn how to exchange currency most cost-effectively, so you have more to spend during your trip.

Thank you for reading this post. We hope it helped you answer the question what currency we use in the Netherlands and how to use it.

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