Best places to exchange currency in Paris

27.03.17
4 minute read
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The bohemian atmosphere of Paris has inspired hundreds of writers, artists and great romances. The city of love’s allure continues to draw tourists from all over the world. There are many ways to discover the heart of the city which are free, but for a fully immersive experience and for day-to-day needs, you’ll be requiring some euros. This is your guide to finding the best places to convert your money in Paris.

Things to know before exchanging your money

Know the actual exchange rate

In preparation for your trip to Paris, take the time to understand how exchange rates work. You may notice that the rate offered can vary between different exchange. This is because each service applies their own amount of commission to the real rate. Even if ‘zero commission’ is advertised, you can be sure they’re hiding this in the exchange rate offered. The pure rate underlying the tourist rates is called the interbank or mid-market exchange rate. Use this rate as a benchmark to calculate how fair the tourist rates are. Be sure also to take into consideration any upfront fees charged. The live mid-market rate can be checked using our handy online currency converter.

Remember - exchange rates always change

The value of currency fluctuates daily and many factors can affect an exchange rate, such as political decisions, economic and external events. Unless you're aware of a major economic event, the rate should not change dramatically during your stay in Paris. Remember you can use our currency converter to keep track of changes in the exchange rate.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

Before leaving for your trip, check whether your bank has any international partners in Paris. If they do, you may be able to use the partner bank’s ATMs to withdraw money for free or at a reduced fee. While in contact with your bank, notify them of your plans to use your card in another country to ensure your card won’t be blocked.  

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

When withdrawing cash from an ATM, make sure that you’re charged in the local currency. Allowing the ATM to charge you in your home currency, or apply a conversion to the transaction, is not the best option. In this case, they’ll apply their own conversion rate, which is usually poorer, and charge an extra fee for the service. So opt instead to have your card charged in euros.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

Airports and hotel cater to a captive audience. Their exchange services will reflect this in their higher fees and poorer rates. If you’re in desperate need of cash at the airport or hotel, change the minimum amount you need to get by until you find a more centrally located exchange booth. For an easy and usually cheaper option, withdraw cash directly from an ATM.

Spend your money before leaving

Plan ahead so you can calculate how many euros you’re likely to spend in Paris. Changing leftover cash back to your home currency at the end of your trip will mean you’re paying conversion fees twice on the same money. Spend the money on yourself instead, or put the euros aside for the next time you visit a country supporting EUR.

Where to exchange money in Paris

All currency exchanges will charge you fees either upfront or hidden in the exchange rate. Be sure to check their offered rate against the mid-market rate to determine the fairest deal. Below is a list of in-person exchange offices to get you started.

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
Multi-change 4 Rue de Tilsitt, 75008 Paris, France +33 1 42 25 05 55
International Currency Exchange 9 Rue Berger, 75001 Paris +33 1 42 36 08 77
Cen-Change 70 Boulevard de Strasbourg, 75010 +33 1 40 05 07 11
The Change Group France 150 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris +33 1 45 61 03 46

The bottom line

Paris can be a tricky city to navigate and prices are variable. An understanding of exchange rates will help you to find the fairest conversion deal. If you’ll be converting cash, be sure to compare the offered tourist rates with the live mid-market rate. Taking into consideration any upfront fees charged, you’ll then be able to calculate which service is cheapest. Withdrawing money directly from an ATM will usually result in a fairer exchange rate. And if you can use the ATM of a bank in partnership with your home bank, you may avoid the withdrawal fee.

Better yet, if either you or a friend have access to a EUR bank account in Paris, use TransferWise and 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 France, all those nasty international bank fees magically disappear.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more