On the 1st of January 1999, eleven European nations – after years of intensive preparation and controversial discussions – introduced the Euro as the official European currency. Germany was one of the major driving forces behind this currency union and the German Mark was replaced by the Euro.
There are seven different Euro notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros. Plus coins of 1 and 2 Euros and 10, 20 and 50 Euro Cents.
The Euro proved to be quite volatile against the US$ initially, but has stabilized eventually. The Euro currently trades at around 1:9,5 to the South African Rand. You can check the daily rate on theReserve Bank website.
Due to the current SA foreign exchange restrictions, South African residents may only buy Euros at South African banks, if they are in possession of a flight ticket and valid passport. You may exchange up to 100,000 Rand per person, however, not earlier than 60 days prior to departure. By the way: you get more Euros if you change your money in South Africa.
Means of payment
Cash is the preferred mode of payment in Germany. There is a dense network of automatic teller machines, where you can draw cash. The ATMs are mainly located at the banks. There are four major banks in Germany: Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Commerzbank and Sparkasse.