Best places to exchange currency in Rome

TransferWise content team
03.04.17
4 minute read

There’s so much to see and buy in Rome. Fendi, Bottega, Veneta and Prada, among other local brands. There’s also culture to consume and architectural beauty to behold. The Vatican, the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and St. Peter's Basilica are just a few of the must-see sites.

Whether on a shoestring or luxury budget, you’ll want to save your money for all Rome has to offer. The best way to watch your budget? Make sure you get the best exchange rate for all transactions. Use our guide to find the best places to convert your currency in Rome.

Things to know before exchanging your money

Know the actual exchange rate

You’ll notice, on your search for the best exchange rate, that different services offer varying rates. Don’t let this put you off. There’s only one true rate, which is the mid-market exchange rate. This is also known as the interbank rate, and it’s the one banks use to trade large volumes of currency between themselves. Use this rate as your guide to calculate how fair the rates advertised in money exchange stores are. You can access the live mid-market rate using our online currency converter. Be sure to also add any upfront commission fees to your calculation.

Remember - exchange rates always change

Exchange rates change, and this can be an important variable in planning your trip. Factors which affect an exchange rate include public debt, inflation and trade agreements. Sudden disasters or political instability in any country may also affect exchange rates all over the globe. You can keep updated on changes in the exchange rate by signing up to our rate tracker tool.

Research your home bank’s partnerships before you leave

If your home bank has partner banks in Rome, then this is good news for you. You may be able to withdraw cash from the partner bank’s ATMs for free or at a reduced charge. Check with your home bank whether any such partnerships exist before you depart for Rome. Also let them know you’ll be using your card in another country, to avoid having the card blocked for suspected fraud.

Always choose to be charged in the local currency

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Always make sure to do all financial transactions in the local currency. This is the best way to avoid bad exchange rates and extra transaction fees. You can get the best exchange rate by using a bank-operated ATM, but don’t allow the ATM to do the conversion for you. Remember the golden rule, which is choose to be charged in the local currency (in this case, euros).

Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges

Services in hotels and airports are good for their convenience, but not for their prices. As they cater to a captive market, the currency exchange services can charge higher fees and offer poorer rates. Use exchange services which are located in a more competitive area, or withdraw cash directly from an ATM.

Spend your money before leaving

If you return home with any leftover euros, you’ll be paying conversion fees twice to change it back. Budget well to avoid having too much leftover change, or spend your cash (especially your coins) before leaving Vienna.

Where to exchange money in Rome

All currency conversion services will charge a fee, whether this is quoted upfront or disguised into their exchange rate. Check their offered rate against the live mid-market rate to spot the fairest deal. Below are some in-person exchange services operating in Rome:

Currency Bureau Address Contact Information
Forexchange Via del Caravita, 6, 00186 Roma +39 800 305 357
Rome Exchange Via del Tritone, 78, 00187 Roma +39 388 115 1449
Ria Exchange Piazza della Rotonda, 66, 00186 Roma +39 06 2039 3994
Best and Fast Change Piazza di Spagna, 54, 00187 Roma +39 06 6929 0138

The bottom line

If you choose to change cash at an in-person exchange store, understand where to look for hidden fees. While it sounds enticing, there’s no such thing as ‘zero commission’. The commission will be wrapped up in their exchange rate. You’ll get a fairer exchange rate withdrawing cash directly from a trusted ATM operator. Choose to be charged in euros, instead of your home currency, to avoid extra fees. As you’ll pay a fee each time you use an ATM, plan ahead so you make one or two larger withdrawals instead of many smaller ones.

Better yet, if either you or a friend have access to a EUR bank account in Rome, 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 Europe, all those nasty international bank fees magically disappear.

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

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