We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Carry cash or use ATM?

Fremont, California
Level Contributor
146 posts
32 reviews
Carry cash or use ATM?

What do you guys generally suggest? My wife and I are visiting Italy for a week. We have to pay the hotels during check-out and also the train tickets, apart from the restaurant bills. I have heard that one might get a cheaper rate if he/she pays by cash since there is some fee attached to a credit card transaction.

How much cash should we carry with us? Are ATMs available easily? Where can we exchange money to get the best rate?

Thanks to all

Likely To Sell Out
Waking Up the Vatican: VIP...
81 Reviews
from US$ 369.70*
Best Seller
Skip the Line: Vatican Museums, St...
24,266 Reviews
from US$ 72.90*
Best Seller
Skip the Line: Ancient Rome and...
12,180 Reviews
from US$ 57.60*
Level Contributor
2,812 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Carry cash or use ATM?

We were in Italy for a month and used a combo of cash, credit cards and the ATM (called a Bancomat in Italy). We used credit cards for paying Hotels and train travel (the longer distances such as Florence to Venice). Used cash for all other purchases. Bancomats are readily available.

Stavanger, Norway
Level Contributor
4,153 posts
208 reviews
2. Re: Carry cash or use ATM?


I never travel with a lot of cash. I just get a bit before I travel and then I use ATM's when I arrive at my destination. I normally use credit card for hotels, shopping and restaurants when that is possible. I have a Rome trip report that I can share with you (or anyone else) if you are interested. Send me an e-mail on gardkarlsen@hotmail.com and I'll send it to you :-)



Destination Expert
for Rome
Level Contributor
40,167 posts
18 reviews
3. Re: Carry cash or use ATM?

ATM's are very easy to find in Rome. Just carry as much cash as you will use per day. Do not carry a lot of extra cash on you. Take out the daily limit each time you use an ATM to cut down on the fees the banks will charge.

You can ask your hotel about paying in cash and if you can get a discount for doing it. If it is a smaller hotel, they may say yes. I would not bring dollars to Rome to exchange them. Go to your bank and get 100 euros for the trip over then use ATM's as needed. This will get you the best rate. There is an ATM at the airport in Rome that you can get additional money from. If you are a member of AAA you can go there for euros also. The money changers at the airport are notorious for having high fees. You can use a credit card in the machine at the train station for your tickets.


St Paul, MN
Level Contributor
21,429 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: Carry cash or use ATM?

ATMs give yu the best exchange rate.

I pay what I can with credit cards (including the hotel bill when I can). I get some cash before I go (sometimes when I rent an apt that must be paid for on arrival a lot of cash) and I carry the euros in a moneybelt under my clothes. I replenish the euros out the the ATMs during the trip.

for $1000 the 3% currency translation fee on a credit card is $30. YOu have to ask yourself if it is worth it to you to save $30 on you hotel bill by getting a lot of cash and carrying it around with you and extra trips to the ATMs to get that much? You can raise your ATM limit at your American bank, but the Italian bank who owns the ATM also imposes limits on what can be withdrawn.

I put my train tickets on my credit card. Those self serve Trenitalia ticket machines take credit cards.

5. Re: Carry cash or use ATM?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 February 2010, 11:49