The Lion

What confuses foreign travelers often is the fact that not all countries in the European Union use the Euro as their currency (and that not all countries using the Euro are part of the European Union). Romania is part of the EU, but still has its own currency, the Leu.

Leu means Lion, which is a bit surprising as Romania doesn’t have anything today with lions. It is believed that this animal was taken from a formerly circulating currency from the Netherlands that was decorated with a lion. One Leu (plural Lei) is divided into 100 Bani, but as 1 Leu currently corresponds to 0.20 Euro you won’t get much Bani. The Leu notes are colourful and show important personalities from Romanian history.

Romania intends to introduce the Euro but failed in a first attempt. It is expected that the country will succeed in the current decade. For travelers this is no problem. It is easily possible to withdraw cash at ATMs with EC cards and credit cards. Additionally paying by card is very much common in today’s Romania.


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