Does Switzerland use euros? The short answer is “no”. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still spend euros in Switzerland.
In this article, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about the Swiss franc and its relationship with the euro.
Most importantly, we’ll be telling you what you should know about spending euros in Switzerland.
Of course, we’ll also answer the most common questions we receive from individuals looking to spend foreign currency in Switzerland while visiting.
This article is part of our free series on opening a foreign currency account which you can access here.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Does Switzerland Use Euros?
- What Is the Official Currency of Switzerland?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening Bank Accounts?
Does Switzerland Use Euros?
No, Switzerland does not use euros. The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc with the currency symbol fr. and the ISO 4217 code CHF. The franc has been the national currency and only legal tender within the Swiss Confederation since 1850.
However, visitors to Switzerland can pay in euros at a wide range of establishments, including restaurants, retailers, and other merchants. That said, the exchange rate offered directly by merchants is often unfavorable. With this in mind, it’s best to exchange your euros to francs prior to spending.
Unlike much of Europe, Switzerland is not obliged to use euros because it is not a member of the European Union, Eurozone, or European Economic Area. Therefore, Switzerland was not required to proceed with euro adoption. As a result, Swiss monetary policy rests wholly with the Swiss National Bank, instead of the European Central Bank (ECB).
That said, there was a point in time where it looked like Switzerland would join the EU. The country went so far as to sign the EEA agreement. However, following a negative referendum, Switzerland chose not to move forward and ratify the agreement.
Today, the Swiss franc remains one of the most valuable currencies in terms of foreign exchange and international exchange rates. And while it is not necessarily used for international payments or financial transactions, it is viewed as a stable currency for investing and storing wealth.
What Is the Official Currency of Switzerland?
The official currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc with the currency symbol fr. and the ISO 4217 code CHF. The franc has been the official currency of Switzerland since 1850.
The introduction of the modern franc was largely driven by the need for a centralized monetary authority, replacing a fragmented system of cantons directly issuing their own coinage and bank notes.
This was a necessary change to promote stability, security, and consistency, replacing a system where more than 8,000 individual notes and coins were in circulation across the country.
Where Can You Can Exchange Money into Swiss Franc?
Today, you can exchange money into Swiss francs at most major currency exchange counters and commercial banks around the world. In short, as one of the most valuable currencies in the world, the Swiss franc is widely accepted.
That said, if you are looking to exchange money into Swiss francs outside of Switzerland it is always important to confirm with a financial institution before visiting. This is important because international vendors may not have francs on hand for immediate sale.
Of course, if you are looking to buy Swiss francs while you are in Switzerland, you will have a wide range of options to choose from. This includes the ability to exchange francs at commercial banks and currency counters. Alternatively, you can also withdraw francs from ATMs or pay in euros and receive francs in change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people looking into if Switzerland uses Euros. If you have further questions you would like to ask our team, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Are US Dollars Accepted in Switzerland?
No, US dollars are not accepted in Switzerland. That said, you can exchange US dollars at commercial banks, currency exchange counters, and prior to entering the country. Alternatively, if you have a US credit card that does not charge for foreign currency transactions or add a premium to the exchange rate, you may want to consider this method of payment instead.
Are Euros Accepted in Zurich?
Yes, euros are accepted in Zurich at a wide range of vendors, retailers, and restaurants. However, it’s important to note that the exchange rates offered on foreign currency at retail locations are often unfavorable. Whenever possible, individuals should exchange funds at a commercial bank, exchange counter, or prior to visiting Switzerland.
What Currency Can You Spend in Switzerland?
The primary currency that you can spend in Switzerland is the Swiss franc. However, you can also spend euros in most locations. That said, when spending physical currency, you will always receive Swiss francs in change.
Why Doesn’t Switzerland Use the Euro?
Switzerland does not use the euro because it is not a member of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). Instead, Switzerland has a number of agreements with the European Union and member states that offer Swiss citizens rights and freedoms across Europe. This approach allows Switzerland to maintain its independence and neutrality in all matters.
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