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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.
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!