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The latest on pounds to euros exchange rates
One British pound is currently worth EUR
To see the latest exchange rate and compare historic rates year on year, head over to our exchange rates page.
If you want to learn a bit more about the history of the euro, you'll find everything you need below.
And if you're planning a visit over the Channel to the continent, be sure to take a look at our Europe travel guide before you do!
The lowdown on the euro
On 1st January 1999, the euro was officially born in 11 states of the European Union. For the first three years of its life, it was only used for bank transfers, travellers’ cheques and online transactions, but in January 2002, the shiny new euro notes and coins were finally introduced into the 12 participating countries (Greece had joined in by this time!). A Europe-wide currency had been the goal of the European Union and its predecessors since right back in the ‘60s, so there was plenty of time to get things right.
After the switchover, most participating countries in the EU were allowed to carry on using their old currency for another two months, after which it was no longer considered legal tender. However, if you head on over to Austria, Spain, Germany and Ireland, coins from the old currency can still be taken to banks and traded for euros – so you know what to do with all those leftover pesetas!
Right now, 19 of the 28 members of the EU use the euro as their currency: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, as well as the non-EU countries on Kosovo and Montenegro and the four microstates of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. It’s the second largest reserve currency and the world’s second most traded after the US dollar – pretty impressive for a currency that’s less than 20 years old.
Here’s a fun fact to bring out at parties: the very first purchase using euros was on the French Island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean, and was for one kilogram of lychees.
A look back at British pound to euro rates
The euro made its debut in January of 1999 at a rate of 1.42 euros to one pound.
Since late 2008, the euro has been caught up in the European sovereign-debt crisis, leading to a drop from 0.77 pounds to one euro in October to 0.70 pounds by the end of December 2008.The
European Financial Stability Facility was created, aimed at stabilising the currency and after this, the rate began to improve, reaching £0.93 t0 €1 by 13th October 2009.
The recent euro
Over the last few years, the euro has fallen against the pound, which is actually great news for your travel money. The 0.93 rate of October 2009 meant that to get 10 euros, you would have had to spend £9.35, whereas this had fallen to just £8.43 by October 2013 and £7.34 in September 2015.
Planning a trip to Europe soon? Take a look at our essential guide to the ultimate European trip.
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