I'm planning a two week tourist trip to Hanover, Germany. I'll be landing in Paris for a connecting flight and will most likely have to go through passport control there and they always ask you those "why are you here?" questions.

I've heard that you need some money on you to be eligible to enter; is this true?

If so, will cash money in my home currency, USA dollars, be sufficient or will I need to exchange it for Euros?

Is there a minimum amount of money needed to enter?

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    @o.m. Highly suspicious? This is hyperbole. Like a great many people, I am card-only in my home country (UK) and if for some reason I need cash on arrival in a foreign country, I will go to an ATM after I clear immigration. Last time I went to Germany I don't think I used any cash.
    – Calchas
    Nov 25, 2016 at 9:20
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    @o.m. Also, card payments are extremely common in Western Europe. In most places you can do almost everything without cash.
    – Fiksdal
    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:29
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    I agree with the practical advice by @MartinBonner, but I would not be worried about the hotel. And make sure that you do not have American Express as your only card. Also, your card is more likely to be accepted if it has a chip. But all of this is off-topic for this question.
    – Carsten S
    Nov 25, 2016 at 12:18
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    @Fiksdal: It varies hugely by country. UK and France almost everywhere will have card readers. Switzerland less so, but you can probably manage without cash. Germany (at least in the south where I live), card readers are much less common. As I said, if you want to buy a sandwich from the bakers (or a beer in a pub), you will probably need cash. Nov 25, 2016 at 12:34
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    A lot depends on the card you are carrying, and you. Passport, Amex, Tickets was and still is always enough. Some people don't step out of the suite that much.
    – mckenzm
    Nov 25, 2016 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


It need not be in cash. Germany would expect you to have at least Euro 630 for a two week stay (plus return ticket) but, frankly, nobody ever checks a passenger that looks presentable. US dollars and cards are quite good enough to satisfy the monetary requirement.

However arriving without any local currency is to take a high and unnecessary risk. You will very likely be spending some Euros at some point during your stay so obtaining Euros 100 or so before arrival should not be a waste. But it is contingency should your card get swallowed by an ATM or you mobile lose charge just at the wrong time. You will be a long way from home without people around you to sub you a small sum.

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    Also, German airport exchange rate is probably as bad as American airport exchange rate. Nov 25, 2016 at 8:58
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    @SimonRichter good comment but it is irrelevant. OP is not asking about conversion rates at German airports
    – Ali Awan
    Nov 25, 2016 at 9:20
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    I'm not sure why going to a foreign country without cash is any higher risk than going to another town without cash in one's home country - especially between Schengen countries. I do it all the time for countries I know well, carrying several credit cards & debit cards.
    – abligh
    Nov 25, 2016 at 9:43
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    @abligh If you are in your own country you are more likely to find a branch of your own bank in the city you are in, so you can go to their office, show ID and get cash from your account.
    – Fiksdal
    Nov 25, 2016 at 11:27
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    @anotherdave in my bank in Norway, they actually didn't even ask for ID. They just checked my appearance and signature against what was in their database.
    – Fiksdal
    Nov 26, 2016 at 10:37

They always ask you those "why are you here?" questions.

This is very common question Schengen countries immigration can ask you upon your arrival "why are you here". You can simply answer you are here for that purpose (a justifiable reason for your travel) also you have connecting flight to your destination which is Germany.

I've heard that you need some money on you to be eligible to enter, is this true?

Yes you have to have at least 50 to 60 Euros per day if you are planning to enter into Schengen zone plus your next or return ticket as just @pnuts answered. They usually don't ask about money, but on the safe side you should always be ready to provide at immigration if asked by an immigration officer. Also it doesn't have to be cash only, it can be cash, travelers cheques or credit card/debit card (preferably available credit in form of statements) which could convince the Immigration officer that you can maintain yourself in Schengen countries.

If so, will cash money in my home currency, USA dollars, be sufficient or will I need to exchange it for Euros?

Proof of sufficient financial resources can be asked to support yourself during your stay.Cash money can be in any form of any currency. It can be USD, EUROS, GBP or any major international currency, but should be equivalent to at least match with your duration of stay.

Is there a minimum amount of money needed to enter?

If you have a passport which needs a Schengen visa, then you must have 50 to 60 Euros or equivalent for your entire duration of stay in Schengen countries.

You can carry up to 10,000 Euros. If arriving directly from or traveling to a country outside the EU: amounts exceeding EUR 10,000.- or more or the equivalent in another currency (incl. banker's draft and cheques of any kind) must be declared to customs.

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    You do go on to say this, but the first sentence of your last paragraph is misleading. Legally I don't think there is a limit to how much you can carry (although expect to be asked questions if you turn up with a million dollars in your suitcase). The limit is on how much you can carry without having to declare it. Nov 25, 2016 at 9:04
  • The person you meet at the immigration desk is an immigration officer, not a visa officer. You say that "cash [in foreign currencies] should be equivalent to at meast match with your duration of stay" but this is nonsense. As you've already said, access to funds is enough. If you have cards, you don't need to turn up with the whole amount in cash. Nov 25, 2016 at 11:03
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    It's there any country's immigration service that doesn't routinely ask visitors the purpose of their trip?
    – phoog
    Nov 25, 2016 at 15:38
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    @phoog no idea, about any country:), but far eastern countries I noticed they just look at your visa and passport, also in Turkey for eg never asked me why r u coming here. So far Usa, UK and EU countries have asked me all the time"why are you coming here"
    – Ali Awan
    Nov 25, 2016 at 15:39
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    If you have a Visa, you are often not asked why you are coming, because it is clear from your Visa (especially with a tourist Visa). If you are asked or not is somewhat random. "Tourism" is a perfectly acceptable answer, btw. you don't need to lay out your travel plan in detail.
    – Tom
    Nov 27, 2016 at 7:47

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