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Money Question for Southeast Europe

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We are doing Amawaterways Gems of Southeast Europe in September. We will be in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. Has anyone done this before and are Euros widely accepted in these countries. I know they would prefer their own currency and I know the exchange rate using Euros won't be as good but was wondering if I had to get a little local currency for each of these countries?

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It is helpful to have local currencies. You can make purchases using Euros, but you get change in the local currency. We were on a Viking River cruise earlier this year. Since we were going to be in Bulgaria and Hungary for several days, we obtained local currency at ATM's. We used the leftover currency to tip some of our waiters and cabin steward. They said these currencies were no problem for them to use, since the cruise started and ended in these countries.

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A lot depends on how much time you're going to be in each country and what you plan on doing/buying in each country and what is included in your cruise fare.

 

Last year I did Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, and Hungary on Uniworld. Because it's all inclusive, I didn't need local currency for tours or tips. We spent 2 days in Bucharest, so I got some local currency from the ATM in the hotel lobby because only breakfast was included in the land portion, and many local places don't take credit cards. I gave my leftover currency to a minister here who does mission trips to Romania. I used my credit card in the airports going over and coming back.

 

Roz

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It is helpful to have local currencies. You can make purchases using Euros, but you get change in the local currency. We were on a Viking River cruise earlier this year. Since we were going to be in Bulgaria and Hungary for several days, we obtained local currency at ATM's. We used the leftover currency to tip some of our waiters and cabin steward. They said these currencies were no problem for them to use, since the cruise started and ended in these countries.

 

Not always!! To accept euros or even credit cards is up to the merchant and if they don't want to accept them, they don't have to.

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We will be in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria for a day or less. We will be in Vienna, Austria and Bucharest, Romania for a few days (beginning and end) and plan on getting the appropriate currency for both of those countries. If I see something I want to buy I would either hit the ATM or try to use my credit card. Mostly, I was thinking about post cards, ice cream or some other small type souvenir. I am thinking of getting the US equivalent of $20 for each country but if I could just use Euros it would just be easier. Not worried that the exchange rate would not be good or that the change would be in the countries own currency. So what do you think? Get around $20 of each countries currency or take my chances with Euros?

 

Also, for those that did this cruise (or similar) before, did you like it? We have done the Danube (Budapest to Nuremburg) and the Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel). We thought this would be all new places to see and we get to see Transylvania and Dracula's castle! What was a highlight for you on this cruise? Any do's or don'ts's?

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We did this cruise in early June on the AMACerto and loved it. We bought Euros from our bank prior to leaving. For the other countries, we just used an ATM to have spending money for ice cream, etc. Some stores said they accepted Euros, others had big signs saying it was illegal to accept foreign currency. We didn't try to use Euros anywhere except Vienna. We used our credit card to pay for dinner in Vienna, Rostov and Bucharest without any issues. We also bought souvenirs at several places with our credit cards without any issues. YMMV.

This was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it. We did the pre and post cruise package with AMA, and the hotels were top class. Our cruise director, Nikola, was superb. They really did a great job taking care of us.

I hope you enjoy your cruise.

Mike

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We did this cruise in early June on the AMACerto and loved it. We bought Euros from our bank prior to leaving. For the other countries, we just used an ATM to have spending money for ice cream, etc. Some stores said they accepted Euros, others had big signs saying it was illegal to accept foreign currency. We didn't try to use Euros anywhere except Vienna. We used our credit card to pay for dinner in Vienna, Rostov and Bucharest without any issues. We also bought souvenirs at several places with our credit cards without any issues. YMMV.

This was our first river cruise and we really enjoyed it. We did the pre and post cruise package with AMA, and the hotels were top class. Our cruise director, Nikola, was superb. They really did a great job taking care of us.

I hope you enjoy your cruise.

Mike

 

 

Thanks Mike, we are looking forward to it.

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