Each year more than 70 million people visit Munich, making it one of Germany’s most popular cities. Within this yearly figure are over 6 million people visiting for the Munich Oktoberfest - the largest beer festival in the world. If you’re planning a visit to the festival, or to enjoy the city’s beauty at any other time of the year, this is your guide to the best places to exchange your money.
Being a member of the Eurozone, the currency in Germany is the Euro. When you arrive in Munich, you’ll find currency exchanges at both Munich Airport and Munich Heimeranplatz station. But you shouldn’t necessarily use the first exchange bureau you see.
An exchange rate is the value of one currency for the purpose of conversion to another. There is one baseline exchange rate which is sometimes called the interbank rate, or the mid-market exchange rate. This is the ‘truest’ exchange rate, and you should use it as a benchmark for comparing other offered rates.
The exchange rate advertised at exchange bureaus is usually lower than mid-market, as they disguise extra commission into the rate. So even if a sign claims “no commission”, be wary. Check how far their offered exchange rate deviates from the real mid-market rate. You can find this rate on Google or via our online currency converter.
Exchange rates are constantly fluctuating - they can even change from one minute to the next. The main factors affecting the current rate include interest rates, debt ratios, economic growth and relative inflation rates. It can be difficult for even the most highly-educated market analysts to predict how rates will change. However, by keeping your eye on the world market and your currency pairing, you might be able to pinpoint the most favourable time to convert your money.
Several global banks maintain a foothold in Germany; Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, and Citi, to name a few. If you’re keen on avoiding high exchange fees, check if your home bank has branches or partnerships with other banks in Munich. Partner banks might give you special treatment, in the form of waived withdrawal and foreign exchange fees.
When using an ATM overseas, always opt to be charged in the local currency. Avoid what is known as ‘dynamic currency conversion’. This is what occurs when you select to be charged in your home currency, and end up being charged more than necessary for the conversion.
For airports and hotels, the primary customer is you - the tourist. Their location offers convenience, but you’ll pay for this in higher fees. For example, some hotels have been known to charge commission fees of up to 20 percent per withdrawal.
Your hotel or airport is likely steps away from a better currency exchange option, like a bank or ATM. To avoid getting ripped off, find one of these instead.
A common mistake that tourists make is returning home with foreign currency in their pocket. If you convert it back to your home currency, you’ll be unnecessarily paying fees twice. Instead, plan ahead so that you only change the cash you’ll need. Also, be sure to keep an eye on your coins and spend them while in Munich - you’ll not be able to exchange coins when you return.
Exchange bureaus will charge you a commission for their service, whether this is quoted upfront or hidden in their exchange rate. Be sure to compare the offered rate against the current mid-market rate, to be sure you’re getting the fairest deal.
Below are a few options to check out while in Munich:
|Currency Bureau||Address||Contact Information|
|ReiseBank AG München ZOB||Hackerbrücke 4, 80335 München, Germany||+49 89 55969850|
|ReiseBank AG München Hauptbahnhof 1||Bahnhofpl. 2, 80335 München, Germany||+49 89 551080|
|Ria Money Transfer & Currency Exchange||S-Bahn Ladenpassage im UG, Arnulfstraße 1, 80335||+49 89 94397324|
|Money Exchange Deutschland GmbH||Schillerstraße 23A, 80336 München, Germany||+49 89 72632412|
|UAE Exchange UK Limited||Bayerstraße 20, 80335 München, Germany||+49 89 53886214|
Munich is a tourist city, so tourist traps exist. Advanced research will save you time and money. It also pays to know the real mid-market rate to ensure you understand which exchange deal is fairest.
You can travel to Munich knowing you’ve got options for foreign exchange. You’ll find plenty of exchange bureaus, but the best way to obtain Euros is to withdraw money via an ATM. We suggest you take out large sums of money at key points in your trip, to avoid paying frequent ATM fees.
Better yet, if either you or a friend has access to a EUR bank account in Munich, you can use TransferWise to make the transfer ahead of time. Not only does TransferWise use the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money (which almost always beat the banks), but since your currency is received and sent via local banking systems in both your home country and in Germany, all those nasty international bank fees magically disappear.
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