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I'm from Spain and I will be backpacking around Eastern Europe next month. I will visit some countries where Euro is the official currency (like Slovakia) and I'll also visit some other countries like Hungary or Serbia where they have a different currency.

I thought that it might be possible to pay using euros in all those countries because they receive a lot of tourists from Western Europe and they share borders with some euro-countries.

I think that I will be visiting only major cities.

So, my question is: Is it possible to pay using euros in those countries?

In case the answer is no or it is not recommended to do so (for instance, because is much more expensive to do so than to pay using the local currency), what would you recommend me to do?

P.S. I found this question which was helpful to me but I don't know if the situation has changed from the time it was asked or if the situation is different in some other countries.

EDIT: The countries that I'm planning to visit and don't have Euro as their currency are Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and possibly Romania. The situation in Hungary is now clear for me thanks to this question. But I would be still interested to know if the same applies in the other countries that I've mentioned.

marked as duplicate by Tor-Einar Jarnbjo, JonathanReez, CGCampbell, Mark Mayo, Gagravarr Aug 21 '15 at 17:39

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    We also have a very recent question about the situation in Hungary. I would say that most of what I wrote in my answer there apply to Serbia as well, although shops in Serbia are perhaps even less likely to accept euros at all. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 21 '15 at 10:33
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Thanks, the situation in Hungary is now clear to me. I have edited my post to specify clearly which countries I plan to visit, because it might be different in some of them. I was expecting Hungary and Croatia to be the places where it should be easier to pay using euros. – A. A. Aug 21 '15 at 10:38
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    Make sure to read about service fees and tip in your destination countries. Especially Budapest is very tricky in ripping off hungry tourist. If the waitress asks you if you want this or that extra never agree. It will be very expensive! I ate the most expensive lettuce leafs there - one Euro per leaf! As everywhere else don't go to the restaurants playing music or looking particularly "traditional". – user937284 Aug 21 '15 at 11:26
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This depends where exactly you are and what you will pay for.

I haven't been to Serbia but in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria you can pay in Euro in bigger cities often. But it heavily depends where and what you will buy. Paying the Hotel/Hostel/B&B will most likely work. Same for some bigger food stores and tourist attractions. Often there is also a price declaration in restaurants in Euro too. Sometimes you'll be charged with an extra fee for paying in Euro. Also people in local markets selling vegetables or fruits are happy if you pay in Euro. I made the experience that people running independent businesses are quite happy if you pay in Euro and in general people in eastern Europe even in rural areas "prefer" Euro - but don't rely on this too heavily. Paying in Euro is always a bit more expensive sometimes much more.

Note that in general you will always need some change in local currency if you want to use public transport.

Don't use currency exchange offices. Prefer banks instead. If you have to use the offices make sure to check the amount you got by the clerk.

My solution for this is to have two German online bank accounts. At DKB and ING-Diba you can sign up for an account for free. You'll get a credit card for free and can use it to get cash at every ATM in Europe or in case of DKB worldwide without paying fees. You can get the local currency from the ATM at a reasonable or good exchange rate. Traveling with two cards with not too much money on each was a always a good solution for me, especially in eastern Europe where a card can "get lost" easily (never happened to me). You can pay with your card or get cash nearly everywhere without worrying about exchange rates. But make sure to check your transactions when you are back home. Sometimes there are some transactions "accidentally" booked wrong to your disadvantage. My bank was always very obliging to compensate this.

I don't know about Spanish online bank accounts but may be this is an option for you to go.

EDIT: Note the comment by Szabolcs. He has a different point of view regarding Romania.

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    -1, in the vast majority of stores you cannot pay with Euros in Romania, and definitely not in most local markets. People don't prefer to be payed in Euros. Source: I am a Romanian citizen. – Szabolcs Aug 21 '15 at 14:00
  • This is just my experience from several trips to Bukarest/Romania. I paid in Euro quite often. Espacially in the small local fruit markets I did. Anyway I will add a note to the answer pointing to your comment. – user937284 Aug 21 '15 at 14:11
  • Using the ING-Diba credit card outside the euro area is not free of charge as you state, but incur a 1.75% fee. Why do you recommend not to use exchange offices? They often or mostly offer better exchange rates and/or lower fees than banks. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 21 '15 at 17:01
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Sorry I confused DKB with ING-Diba. DKB in my case is worldwide and ING-Diba is free of fees in europe only. Note that this is for using the ATM only not paying in a store. I made rather bad experiences in central/eastern europe with exchange offices. – user937284 Aug 21 '15 at 17:20

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