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What is the currency in Cape Verde?

The currency for this enchanting group of islands is the Cape Verde escudo, a little-known form of money unique to this part of the world.

In this guide, we’ll help you familiarise yourself with the notes and coins you’ll encounter when visiting Cape Verde, as well as how best to buy and spend your currency on your travels.

The Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)

The escudo, the currency in Cape Verde, has an interesting history [1]:

  • Because Cape Verde was part of the Portuguese empire for many years, its currency was originally the Portuguese real, which was first circulated in 1430.
  • Portugal adopted the escudo in 1911, and the Cape Verdean escudo became the islands’ official currency in 1914.
  • The escudo was also the main currency of Portugal, until it was replaced by the euro in 2002.
  • The Cape Verdean escudo is not used as legal tender in any other country or region - it is exclusive to the islands.
  • Escudo banknotes feature prominent figures from Cape Verdean history and culture. The designs showcase important landmarks, traditional music and the island’s wildlife and plant species.
  • The Cape Verdean escudo is subdivided into 100 centavos, but due to inflation and economic factors, centavo coins are no longer in circulation. All prices are rounded to the nearest escudo.
  • The symbol for the escudo is $.

Cape Verde escudo denominations

Cape Verde currency, the escudo, is available in both notes and coins. The commonly used denominations include:


  • 5000 CVE
  • 2500 CVE
  • 2000 CVE
  • 1000 CVE
  • 500 CVE
  • 200 CVE


  • 100 CVE
  • 50 CVE
  • 20 CVE
  • 10 CVE
  • 5 CVE
  • 1 CVE

Larger notes (2000 CVE and 1000 CVE) may not be readily accepted in smaller establishments. It’s usually helpful to carry a mix of smaller denominations for day-to-day transactions.

Where can I buy Cape Verde currency?

Cape Verdean escudos are not available for purchase outside of Cape Verde. Euros are usually accepted to exchange for Cape Verdean escudos when you arrive.

Can you use euros in Cape Verde?

Although the euro is not the currency of Cape Verde, it is widely accepted.

There is a fixed rate of exchange between the euro and the Cape Verdean escudo, so you don’t need to worry about currency exchange fluctuations when bringing euros.

What is the Cape Verde exchange rate?

The fixed exchange rate between the Cape Verdean escudo and the euro is 1 EUR = 111 CVE. The rate makes it easy and simple to exchange and spend money during your stay in Cape Verde.

Exchange rate correct as of June 2024.

Can you use credit cards in Cape Verde?

Credit cards are accepted in many establishments throughout Cape Verde, especially larger hotels, restaurants, and tourist-focused businesses.

Popular card providers like Visa and Mastercard are widely used. As in many countries, however, smaller establishments and market traders may not accept credit cards or any bank cards.

Remember that transaction fees usually apply when using credit and debit cards abroad. It’s also a good idea to let your bank know your travel plans so that your card isn’t blocked.

A good solution to these potential snags is to use the Travelex Money Card. You can load with pounds or euros before travel. Then, you can use it in Cape Verde to withdraw escudos and make direct payments at point of sale.

Are there ATMs in Cape Verde?

ATMs are readily available in Cape Verde, especially in larger towns and tourist areas. They can make it easy to withdraw local currency during your trip, especially as an English language option is usually available.

Some ATM operators may charge withdrawal fees, and your bank may also add a transaction cost. Check possible costs with your card issuer before departure if you plan to use a credit or debit card in Cape Verde.

If you’re heading to smaller, more remote areas of the islands, stock up with cash before you go, as there may not be a working ATM in your destination.

Buy euros online for your trip to Cape Verde

Get ready for your trip to Cape Verde - order your euros today, with competitive exchange rates. Order online for home delivery or delivery to a Travelex store near you. We are the currency experts you can trust.

You might prefer to buy your euros directly on the Travelex Money Card as an alternative to taking euros in cash to Cape Verde. Not only is it a convenient way to manage and spend money while abroad, it comes with added benefits including security and 24/7 customer support.

You can also withdraw cash from your Travelex Money Card whenever you need it at no extra cost. Travelex does not charge ATM fees but some operators may do so, check before you withdraw cash

For more inspiration and ideas for your upcoming trip, read our complete Cape Verde travel guide.