Finland Currency: A Complete Guide to Money in Finland

771 finland currency a complete guide to money in finland

Finland Currency: A Complete Guide to Money in Finland

Official Currency of Finland

The official currency of Finland is the euro (EUR), which is the common currency used by many member states of the European Union. Finland adopted the euro in 1999, replacing its previous currency, the Finnish markka. The euro is divided into 100 cents and is issued by the European Central Bank.

Finland is one of the 19 countries in the eurozone, a group of EU member states that have adopted the euro as their sole legal tender. The euro is widely accepted throughout Finland for all transactions, including cash payments, credit card purchases, and bank transfers.

Euro Introduction in Finland

Finland joined the European Union on January 1, 1995, along with Austria and Sweden. However, it wasn’t until January 1, 1999, that the country officially adopted the euro as its currency. During the transitional period from the Finnish markka to the euro, the euro was considered “cheque book money” and was used for accounting purposes.

The physical introduction of euro banknotes and coins took place on January 1, 2002. From this date, the euro became the sole legal tender in Finland, and the Finnish markka was gradually phased out of circulation. The exchange of Finnish markka banknotes and coins for euros continued until February 29, 2012, at the Bank of Finland.

Euro Banknotes and Coins

Euro banknotes come in seven denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, and €500. Each banknote features a different architectural style from various periods in European history. The designs are intended to symbolize the unity and diversity of the European Union.

Euro coins come in eight denominations: 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, €1, and €2. Each coin has a common side, which features a map of Europe, and a national side, which varies depending on the issuing country. Finnish euro coins feature designs inspired by Finnish nature, culture, and history.

Finnish Markka – Finland’s Former Currency

Before adopting the euro, Finland’s official currency was the Finnish markka (FIM). The markka was in use from 1860 until 2002 and was issued by the Bank of Finland. The currency was divided into 100 pennies and was known for its colorful and distinctive banknotes featuring prominent Finnish personalities and landscapes.

History of the Finnish Markka

The Finnish markka was introduced in 1860 by the Bank of Finland, which was established in 1811 as the country’s central bank. The markka replaced the Russian ruble as the official currency of the Grand Duchy of Finland, which was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire at the time.

Throughout its history, the Finnish markka experienced several periods of inflation and devaluation, particularly during the 20th century. Despite these challenges, the currency remained an essential part of Finnish identity and culture until its replacement by the euro in 2002.

Finnish Markka to Euro Transition

The transition from the Finnish markka to the euro began on January 1, 1999, when the euro became the official currency of Finland for accounting purposes. The fixed exchange rate between the markka and the euro was set at 5.94573 markka to 1 euro.

During the transitional period, prices were displayed in both markka and euro to help consumers adapt to the new currency. On January 1, 2002, euro banknotes and coins were introduced, and the Finnish markka ceased to be legal tender. The exchange of markka banknotes and coins for euros continued until February 29, 2012, at the Bank of Finland.

Finnish Markka (FIM) Euro (EUR)
1 FIM €0.168188
5 FIM €0.840939
10 FIM €1.68188
50 FIM €8.40939
100 FIM €16.8188

Currency Exchange in Finland

Although Finland has adopted the euro, visitors may still need to exchange their home currency for euros when traveling to the country. There are several options for currency exchange in Finland, including banks, currency exchange offices, and ATMs.

When exchanging currency, it’s essential to be aware of the exchange rate and any associated fees. The exchange rate determines how much of the local currency (in this case, euros) you will receive for your home currency. Exchange rates can vary depending on the provider and can fluctuate daily based on market conditions.

Tips for Getting the Best Exchange Rates

To get the best exchange rates and minimize fees when exchanging currency in Finland, consider the following tips:

  • Know the mid-market rate: The mid-market rate is the exchange rate between two currencies without any added fees or markups. Use online resources like XE or Google to check the current mid-market rate before exchanging currency.
  • Choose to be charged in euros: When using your credit or debit card in Finland, always choose to be charged in euros rather than your home currency. This option ensures that you get the best exchange rate and avoid dynamic currency conversion fees.
  • Avoid airport and hotel currency exchanges: Currency exchange services at airports and hotels often have less favorable exchange rates and higher fees. Instead, opt for bank branches or reputable currency exchange offices in the city center.

Where to Exchange Currency in Finland

There are several options for exchanging currency in Finland:

  • Banks: Many Finnish banks offer currency exchange services for their customers and visitors. Some of the largest banks in Finland include Nordea, OP Financial Group, and Danske Bank.
  • Currency exchange offices: Specialized currency exchange offices, such as Forex Bank and Change Group, can be found in major cities and tourist areas. These offices generally offer competitive exchange rates and a wide range of currencies.
  • ATMs: ATMs in Finland, known as “Otto” machines, are widely available and accept international debit and credit cards. When withdrawing euros from an ATM, you’ll typically receive a favorable exchange rate, although your home bank may charge a foreign transaction fee.

Using Credit and Debit Cards in Finland

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in Finland, making them a convenient alternative to cash for many transactions. Most Finnish retailers, restaurants, and service providers accept major international card networks like Visa and Mastercard.

When using your credit or debit card in Finland, you may be asked whether you want to be charged in euros or your home currency. Always choose to be charged in euros to ensure you get the best exchange rate and avoid dynamic currency conversion fees.

ATMs in Finland

ATMs, known as “Otto” machines in Finland, are widely available throughout the country. These machines accept international debit and credit cards, allowing you to withdraw euros directly from your bank account.

When using an ATM in Finland, be aware of any fees charged by your home bank for foreign transactions or cash withdrawals. Some banks may also impose daily withdrawal limits, so it’s essential to check with your bank before traveling.

Wise Euro Card for Travel in Finland

The Wise Euro Card, formerly known as the TransferWise Borderless Account, is a multi-currency debit card that can be an excellent option for travelers visiting Finland. The card allows you to hold and exchange multiple currencies, including euros, at the mid-market rate without any hidden fees.

Benefits of Using Wise Euro Card in Finland

  • Mid-market exchange rates: The Wise Euro Card uses the mid-market exchange rate for all currency conversions, ensuring you get the best possible rate without any markup.
  • Low fees: Wise charges a small, transparent fee for currency conversions and international transactions, which is often lower than the fees charged by banks and traditional currency exchange services.
  • Multi-currency functionality: The card allows you to hold and exchange over 40 currencies, making it easy to manage your travel expenses in Finland and other countries.
  • Easy top-up: You can quickly and easily top up your Wise Euro Card using a bank transfer, credit card, or debit card.

How to Get a Wise Euro Card

To get a Wise Euro Card, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Wise website and create an account.
  2. Verify your identity by providing proof of identification and address.
  3. Order your Wise Euro Card from within your account dashboard.
  4. Once you receive your card, activate it online and start using it for your travel expenses in Finland.

By using the Wise Euro Card during your trip to Finland, you can enjoy the benefits of low fees, mid-market exchange rates, and multi-currency functionality, making your travel experience more convenient and cost-effective.

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