Best places to exchange currency in Dublin

10.04.17
4 minute read
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While it may not be one of the largest capital cities around, Dublin still has a lot to offer. Vibrant, friendly and full of personality, it’s also the European home of some of the best-known companies around.

Are you thinking about visiting the Fair City for business or pleasure?

Read this guide to see how you can get the best deal on Euros to fund your trip.

Things to know before exchanging currency

It’s worth taking the time to learn how exchange rates work and where you’ll find the fairest deals in Dublin. Here are a few facts you can keep in mind when exchanging your currency.

The Euro is a floating currency

As a floating currency, the Euro’s value tends to go up or down depending on supply and demand.

Many other factors can affect exchange rates, such as inflation, interest rates, economic and political events. To keep updated on the fluctuating exchange rate, you can sign up for exchange rate alerts to receive notifications when the rate changes.

Know the actual exchange rate

If you want to get the best deal when buying Euros, you should keep in mind the mid-market rate. This is also known as the spot rate or interbank rate. This is the fairest possible exchange rate you can find.

Unfortunately, currency exchange services will not offer you the mid-market rate. They’ll instead advertise a rate lower than mid-market, the difference being due to the commission they’re adding in. So discredit any claims of ‘zero commission’, as this extra charge is being disguised in their exchange rate.

To help ensure you receive the best exchange rate in Dublin, you can keep a close eye on the rates by checking an online currency converter.

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

While it’s never advisable to exchange your currency at a hotel or airport, there are places in Dublin where you can do this if absolutely necessary. Dublin’s international airport is served by foreign exchange kiosks placed in various locations in and around terminals 1 and 2. You can find the exact locations and opening hours for each kiosk here. You may also find a foreign exchange kiosk in the reception area at your hotel.

Exchanging currency at the airport or hotel is convenient, but that convenience comes at a price. Because they’re often a last resort, kiosks at hotels and airports offer unfavourable exchange rates and higher fees, thus making it very unlikely you’ll get a fair deal.

ATM withdrawals

If you’ve come to Dublin from anywhere in the Eurozone, ATM withdrawals are probably the cheapest and easiest way to get more Euros. Most Irish ATMs accept both Visa and MasterCard, so it’s simply a question of using your credit or debit card to make a withdrawal.

Do keep in mind though that you may be charged a fee for using the ATM. It’s best to always check with your bank back home to see whether they charge any fees for using foreign ATMs, even within the EU.

Even if your home currency isn’t the Euro, you may get a favourable exchange rate from ATMs. Ask your bank back home whether they've an arrangement for fee-free withdrawals with an Irish bank, or simply confirm what fees they charge.

In addition, HSBC has a large presence in Ireland. If you’re an Advance or Premier customer back home, you can make fee-free withdrawals from HSBC’s ATM network worldwide.

While ATMs can be great places to exchange currency, they can also be a  very bad deal if you’re not careful.

Some ATMs will offer to charge you in your home currency. This sounds nice in theory, but is actually a bad idea. If you agree to be charged in your home currency, you’re effectively asking the ATM to make up an exchange rate for you. When in Dublin, always perform ATM transactions in Euros. Otherwise, the ATM’s bank will assign its own (usually poorer) exchange rate to the conversion and charge an extra fee for the service.

Don’t buy back your home currency

While it may be tempting to exchange your Euros back to your local currency, this is rarely a good idea.

Converting cash back means you’ll be paying conversion fees twice on the same money. Instead, try budgeting so you don’t have any money left over after your trip, or spend your leftover cash. You could even save the euros for a trip in the future or sell them to a friend at the rate you bought them.

Where to exchange money in Dublin

There are quite a few places where you can exchange foreign currency while in Dublin. These include No 1 Currency Exchange and the Post Office, the details of which are listed below.

Remember there’s no such thing as fee-free or 0% commission foreign exchange transactions. So, always check the mid-market rate before accepting a given rate.

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
No 1 Currency Exchange 1 Westmoreland St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 +353 1 670 6724
Foreign Currency Exchange International 18 Grafton Street, Dublin 2 +353 1 675 0898
Arc Services ILAC Shopping Centre, Henry Street, Dublin 1 +353 1 873 5821
Post Office There are more than 25 post offices in and around Dublin. You can find the one closest to you here. Varies by branch. You can find individual numbers by hovering on individual branches when using the Post Office website’s branch locator.

The bottom line

While it’s possible to get good rates at foreign exchange bureaus around Dublin, making an ATM withdrawal will usually ensure a fairer deal. Never agree to be charged in your home currency, however, since the exchange rate will be unfavourable. Always check whether any fees apply and compare the exchange rate to the mid-market rate.

Alternatively, if you or a friend have access to an Irish Bank Account, just use TransferWise to transfer your money securely and at the fairest exchange rate possible. Not only does TransferWise use the real mid-market exchange rate to convert your money (which almost always beat the banks), your money will also be sent and received using local banks, thus bypassing those nasty international banking fees.

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

Find out more