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Exchanging Money in Frankfurt and Budapest and afterwards


Aug 7th, 2013, 10:40 PM
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Exchanging Money in Frankfurt and Budapest and afterwards

Everything I've read has suggested using my bank card at an ATM. When we land in Frankfurt, we will need to get some Euros at the airport so we can reach our hotel. Is there an ATM at the airport or do we need to use a money exchange booth. Only cash we will have is Canadian $. Could get $US. We have two days to explore Frankfurt and will be able to find an ATM for a better rate. I don't mind having extra € as we will need Euros during our river cruise and for a few days after.

We then fly to Budapest and will need that currency for a taxi to our hotel. I have no idea how much this will be. Opinions on this. Again will there be an ATM or money exchange at the airport? Am I better drawing on my bank card or exchanging Euros for the Hungarian currency?

At the end of our days in Budapest and then Paris, where do I exchange back to $Can or $US?

trvl_ing is offline  
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Aug 7th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Unless you like flushing money down the toilet, ALWAYS USE YOUR ATM CARD

The Frankfurt airport has ATMs all over the place. They are called Geldautomat. As a matter of fact, as soon as you pick up your checked bags and walk out of the customs area, if you turn right there is a ATM there.

Here is a list of ATM locations on the public side of the Frankfurt airport: http://www.frankfurt-airport.com/con....0.before.html

As you can see, there are A LOT.

Just do not use Reisebank ATMs -- they give a poor exchange rate (they are essentially the next generation of currency exchange places like Travelex that prey on the ill-prepared and unfortunate).

And, unsurprisingly, there are ATMs at BUD as well (but not as many):

On the arrival level in the baggage claim halls we have 1 ATM in Terminal 2A and 1 ATM in Terminal 2B. On the arrival level in the landside waiting hall we have 2 ATMs in Terminal 2A and also 2 ATMs in 2B.

In the departure check-in halls we have no ATMs. Departing passengers can find an ATM in SkyCourt, walking towards Terminal 2A, underneath the escalators. All ATMs are orange coloured.


As for what to do with leftover Euro and Forint, unless you have more than $50 worth then it's not really worth exchanging. With that in mind, try to plan ahead so you don't have more than $10-15 worth of Forint when you leave Hungary (buy souvenirs!).

And finally, do carry $50-100 with you when you fly into FRA just in case your bank didn't properly process your notification that you would be traveling.
sparkchaser is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2013, 02:56 AM
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You can use HUF or Euro for a taxi in Budapest. (if and when asked, always demoninate in HUF in Hungary to get the best rate - ATMs will prompt if you want the transaction in HUF or dollars/euro, the taxi people will ask, etc). They make money off the conversion, so the local currency is always the better choice.

I digress...

To get a taxi, stop at the kiosk just outside the airport doors and arrange the taxi. The woman will direct who and how to pay. She gave me a receipt with a fixed price and a taxi number. I waited 30 seconds right next to the kiosk and when that specific taxi pulled up, I got in. Could not have been easier.

Since I did not want to use a credit card, I do not know if I pay by CC to the woman at the kiosk or to the driver. But she asked if I wanted to pay by cash or CC - so clearly an option if needed.

I paid euro cash as I was returning from Ireland and had extra Euro, (HUF would have been slightly cheaper). I paid the driver directly upon arrival at my apartment. I gave him 24 Euro (set fare) plus 1 Euro tip. I live fairly close to the city center - and the price will be a flat rate.

Once in town, you will find ATMs (though not all over the place - so when you see one, use it).
centraleurope is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2013, 04:59 AM
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General advice: Your Canadian credit card, and ATM card, will probably charge a transaction fee any time you pay by cc or withdraw cash from ATM in Europe. Mine certainly does.
If you use plastic all the time at home, you will find it an expensive habit while travelling. For instance, if you withdraw $50 from an ATM with a $2 transaction fee, that's 4
%. However, if you withdraw $200 plus $2 fee, that's only 1 %. Same thing applies to small amounts charged to a cc. So the cheapest tactic is to withdraw a substantial amount and use cash for everything except the biggest purchases such as a hotel bill.
I'm talking fees here, not the rate of exchange, which is still likely to be best at an ATM. The exchange rate, cash or credit, always adds on a couple of percentage points above the published wholesale rate when you buy it and subtracts a couple of per cent when you redeem the currency. The only away around that profit-making bank policy is to negotiate in millions of dollars.
It makes sense to try to budget the cash in your pocket so you don't have a lot of bills to trade for Canadian $$ on departure. But I always want to have enough local currency to cover a taxi to the airport in case cheaper transport doesn't work out. I lose money when I trade it (I just keep the euros for next time) but that's the cost of having a fall-back at the last minute.
Southam is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2013, 08:42 AM
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Thank you for all the wonderful detailed replies!

Great to have the details about exchange rates. Never would have thought of some different ATMs to beware of. I'm copying location into my tablet. Also glad to know about the flat rate and tip for cab driver.
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