Canary Islands - currency

Travelling abroad can be daunting, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Exchanging your Sterling for the local currency is essential, but learning how and where to use it on your holidays can be just as important! If you aren’t familiar with things like exchange rates or where to get hold of cash while you’re on holiday, here’s everything you need to know about the Canary Islands currency. You can also order your currency straight to your door, with Thomas Cook travel money.

What is the official Canary Islands currency?

As part of an agreement with the EU, the Euro is the only form of Canaries currency that’s accepted as legal tender. You’ll see it represented as either ‘EUR’ or €. Before the Euro, the Canary Islands currency was the Spanish Peseta. This was taken out of circulation on January 1st, 2002. Pesetas are now worthless and cannot be changed up in banks or used in any financial transactions.

Finding the low and the high notes

Euro notes in the Canaries each depict something from Spanish culture, both ancient and modern. They're all different in size, so that the visually-impaired can feel which note is which. The smallest note is worth the least, starting at €5 and increasing in value and size, up to €500. Euros are also different colours, making it easy for both the fully-sighted and the visually-impaired to distinguish between them. It’s worth remembering that many shops simply don’t have the change to deal with the larger notes, so you can make your life a lot easier by carrying only smaller denominations of Canary Island currency.

Using Euro coins

Much like the British pound and pence, one Euro equals 100 cents. These are available as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50, before you get up to the Canary Island currency equivalent of the one and two-pound coins, the one and two Euro coins. Much like the notes, the Canaries currency carries pictures of Spanish culture, such as famous sculptures, buildings or pieces of art. While the currency the Canary Islands uses might be unfamiliar at first, paying for items with the right change can help you avoid coming home with a load of useless tender. Euro coins are too small in worth for banks to convert them back into Sterling.

Cards and bank charges

Traveller’s cheques were once an easy way to get Canary Islands currency, but they’re much less common now. Credit, debit and prepaid travel money cards are a much better bet. There are plenty of ATMs in the larger towns and cities. Some British banks charge commission on cash withdrawals in other countries, so it’s worth checking with yours what they charge on Canary Island currency, before you go.

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