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Goodbye Koruna: Slovakia joins the euro club

Posted in: Slovakia

7 comments

Slovak koruna
Slovak koruna

On January 1, 2009, Slovakia switched its circulating currency from the koruna to the euro, making it the 16th European Union member state to join the “euro zone”.

The country was granted permission by the European Union to make the switch during the summer of 2008, when the exchange rate was pinned at 30.126 koruny to the euro. The currency, however, didn’t switch until January 1, 2009.

In the months leading up to its circulation, Slovakia hosted Euro-themed events to raise awareness and entertain, and also pay tribute to the exiting currency. (Among these, chocolate euro coins were thrown to children, and a theater troupe staged a play about the demise of the koruna.  Sad clowns.)

What it means

The introduction of the euro in Slovakia could mean that Cheapos heading to Bratislava or other Slovak cities will notice restaurant prices and hotel rates listed in both currencies (euros and Slovak koruny), a trend that will last until January of 2010.

Others may notice that prices have jumped a bit. According to a piece in Slovak Today, consumer prices increased 0.5% in the 10 days following the changeover.

In case you’ve got a koruna or two hanging around the house, banks in Slovakia will still exchange banknotes through the end of 2009 and coins through June 2009 (although they may charge you for it!).

Need help with your own euro conversion? Check out xe.com to see today’s euro exchange rate.

Traveler? Check.

Slovakia’s switch to the euro is just another great excuse for us to shine the spotlight on Bratislava, a city well-poised for day tripping. Check out our city guide articles for info on the hotel scene and for tips on finding hearty Slovak cuisine, and a whole lot more.

Then, get packing!

About the author

Sarah Silbert

About the author: Sarah joined the EuroCheapo team as an intern while studying languages and writing and Sarah Lawrence College. Upon graduating, she became a listings editor (and occasional hotel reviewer). She’s currently contemplating a move to Berlin, her favorite European city.

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7 thoughts on “Goodbye Koruna: Slovakia joins the euro club”

  1. Andrej is correct — This is from the National Bank of Slovakia website:

    Exchange of banknotes and coins after the end of dual circulation

    Commercial banks National bank of Slovakia
    Coins until 30 June 2009 until 31 December 2013
    Memorial coins until 30 June 2009 no time restriction
    Banknotes until 31 December 2009 no time restriction

    Until 19 January 2009, their exchange in banks will be free of any charge and restrictions. After 19 January 2009, the exchange of up to 100 banknotes or coins in banks will be free of charge.
    Should you find Slovak banknotes, even years after the cut-off date, the National Bank of Slovakia will exchange them under the same terms as those applied on 1 January 2009, i.e. at the Conversion Rate and free of charge.

    — The European Central Bank says the same thing. Here are the links to the ECB and NBS websites and press releases:

    http://www.nbs.sk/en/euro/exchange-of-banknotes-and-coins-after-the-end-of-dual-circulation

    http://www.ecb.int/euro/changeover/slovakia/html/index.en.html

    http://www.ecb.int/euro/changeover/shared/data/PressKit_EN_Specimen.pdf?f12cb86b76877e5746bd6a942bc040bc

    Reply
  2. Meredith Franco Meredith Franco Meyers

    We appreciate your comments Susanne and Nicky. While this became “news” on January 1st, we do feel it’s still relevant for many of our readers, some of whom may not yet be familiar with Slovakia’s monetary transition.

    Reply
  3. That good you changed it Meredith, but Eurocheapo could and should do better. This was a very tired piece of ‘old’ news, and – as Andrej (above) says – very ill informed. We wonder if the author had really been to Slovakia. Prices have simply not flutuated at all against the Euro. That is the whole point of the monetary integration policy that Slovakia has assiduously pursued since it joined the EU.

    Reply
  4. Meredith Franco Meredith Franco Meyers

    Thanks for your comment, Andrej. We’ve updated the reference to the theater troupe, however our source cites that banks will exchange koruna (koruny) to euro(s) through the end of 2009.

    Reply
  5. Hi, a few weird points in your article:

    1. The theater troupe you mentioned did not perform anywhere near Bratislava – they performed for the Slovak Roma minority, especially in Eastern Slovakia.

    2. Linking out to xe.com for current Euro/Slovak koruna exchange rates makes little sense, since the rate has been fixed firmly at 30.1260 korunas per Euro since July 2008.

    3. If you do have a koruna or two hanging around the house, shops have stopped accepting them on January 16, 2009. Coins can be exchanged for free only in banks until June 2009, bills until the end of 2009.

    The National Bank of Slovakia will continue to exchange Slovak koruna coins for another five years and bills indefinitely.

    Reply

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