how much currency to carry on Christmas markets tour?

We are taking the Danube Christmas markets tour on 6 Dec 2015 and we are curious as to how much cash (Euros) to take. Any information will be helpful, especially with the exchange rate being what it is! Thanks!


  • There was some discussion about this recently. Generally on a river cruise you don't need much local currency - 1-2 hundred dollars worth should see you through obtained at a local ATM. Bigger purchases can be charged on credit cards - chip/pin or old style mag strip if your card hasn't already been replaced with the newer cards by then.

    However, some people have reported problems at the Christmas markets with vendors that can't process any credit card transactions. The same as many US craft shows, farmers markets, etc.

    Here is Tauck's advice on the "Before You Go" page for your cruise:

    Although it is not necessary for you to exchange money prior to your trip, it may be useful to have a small amount of local currency with you when sightseeing. If upon arrival you require local currency, you may visit one of the many currency exchange facilities at the airport or use an ATM. The riverboat does not exchange currency, but does accept euro, American Express, MasterCard and Visa as methods of settling shipboard accounts.
    In Germany and Austria, the euro is the official currency. Major credit cards and travelers’ checks are widely accepted, and ATMs are found in most tourist venues.
    To obtain the most current exchange rate, you may want to check your local newspaper or log on to by clicking here.

  • We are taking the Danube Christmas markets tour on 6 Dec 2015 and we are curious as to how much cash (Euros) to take. Any information will be helpful, especially with the exchange rate being what it is! Thanks!

    This is a wonderful trip, as is the counterpart cruise on the Rhine to Christmas Markets! The Euro is quite low right now ($1.12 per Euro...good reference is the IMF site which posts daily exchange rates at: Since there are ATMs all over the place in Europe the best plan as Claudia recommends is to just get 100-200 Euros at a time.

    When we've stumbled on a larger purchase than anticipated at a Christmas Market vendor, we've always been able to find an ATM nearby to get more cash.

    Another consideration, if you plan on returning to Europe in the next year or so is that the current exchange rate is the lowest it has been for a decade. So, left-over Euros will probably still be a good deal for the next trip.

    Currency exchanges at airports or in towns are usually a poorer rate than the ATMs.
  • We went on the Xmas Market Danube Cruise 2 yrs ago. Most vendors (food & craft) at the Markets want cash. We didn't have trouble finding cash machines at most of the places - esp in Vienna and Nurnburg (Melk and Passau are small, so have cash before you arrive in those towns) - if you want one associated with your bank for the cheapest situation, you may have trouble, but teller machines are abundant. Remember the teller machines associated with a bank are the best and most cost efficient way to get cash . . . NOT the money places in the airport. We also got abut 500Euros from AAA before leaving the USA. We spent more cash than we thought we would while we were there - ornaments, gingerbread, scarves, food - it is so incredible over there. We found ourselves taking about 400Euros out every couple of days, but we bought lots of gifts. Today the rate is down to 1.07 --- FANTASTIC!! We have signed up to take the Rhine Xmas Cruise Dec 2016 and we are contemplating taking out a lot of Euros now because the rate is so good, when we went in 2013, it was 1.35. Just remember to use your debit card in teller machines to get money out of your checking acct. Use your MC/VISA in stores/restaurants that will take them, but we found cash is best in the smaller, old European towns like you will be in. It's truly magical over there during the markets.

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