There is excellent news for US citizens who are keen to travel Europe. As of Wednesday 20th July 2022, the US dollar and Euro are now equal (a 1:1 exchange rate) for the first time since 2002 – handing US travellers the keys to unlock Europe and explore with a 5% discount on purchases (compared to last year’s exchange rate).
Specifically, these 19 Euro-using countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.
With adventurous energy still in the legs post-pandemic, this is prime time to cash in on European travel. So whether it’s spending an extra day on a sun-kissed Greek island, securing front row seats to a Viennese concert, or sipping endless Tuscan wine from countryside vineyards – your new Euros can take you far.
And since you’re blessed with options, here are 6 hot destinations to start:
The US dollar and Euro are equal – 6 places to cash in
American actress, Mariska Hargitay quotes: “Italian culture is so deeply soaked in an appreciation of the good things in life.”
And we’d have to agree. Italy’s roaming countryside hills, gladiatorial Roman past and quaint towns are even more appealing in light of the US dollar and Euro news.
US locals craving Italian life can now shout ‘ciao bella’ to extra time basking in Sorrento’s sun, unwinding on the Amalfia coast or searching for the best bolognese ragù alla bolognese in Bologna. And don’t forget to pick up some Tuscan truffle oil to take home (it will change the way you eat spaghetti forever). So whatever your taste for Italy, the strength of your new Euro is too good to waste.
GET INSPIRED BY: Italy destination guide (and tours)
Portugal’s stunning coastal viewpoints, pastel-hued streets, soulful Fado music and iconic pasteis de nata (custard tarts) stick in the memory of all who experience them.
And guess what? A few extra Euros lets you immerse yourself deeper into the country’s heart. From the colourful capital Lisbon to sleepy coastal fishing villages and foothill towns, you can leave no stone unturned. So venture off-the-beaten track for a stud ranch lunch in rural Alentejo, where Lusitano horses were once reared by King João VI in the 18th century. Gaze at Gothic architecture Batalha monastery. Stroll through bright green vineyards where Port is made and purchase a bottle to share with friends back home. Or journey to Nazaré to picture tsunami sized waves.
We could go on: so discover more ideas on our Best of Portugal tour.
The Republic of Ireland may not be the first destination that springs to mind after the US dollar and euro parity. But ‘The Emerald Isle’ is full of natural bliss, historic sights and local charm – making it ‘good craic’ for all first-time visitors. Especially those in the mood for a creamy Guinness (or 3) at a traditional Irish pub.
Nature-lover or not, we recommend heading over to the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare. Stretching 14 kilometres long and standing over 700 feet tall in the Atlantic ocean, you can marvel at its spine-tingling aura and pinch yourself coastal views.
Back in Dublin, St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral (founded in 1191) demands a visit. As do the local shops on Grafton street. Here, you must pick up a locally-made tweed jacket, hat and scarf to add some culture to your winter wardrobe back home.
Opportunities are endless in Ireland – and there’s only one way to find out.
GET INSPIRED BY: Amazing Ireland tour
Spain is even more sensual with freedom to explore. US travellers can savour Antoni Gaudí’s famous La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell to their heart’s content, before basking on Barcelona’s beaches to reflect it on all. Elsewhere, sample regional wines and world-famous dishes restaurant-hopping on San Sebastián’s a calle 31 de Agosto street. Or venture into Madrid’s Prado Museum (home to the largest collection of European art in the world). Here, we suggest spending your Euros on some authentic espadrilles (as you won’t find cheaper and better quality ones anywhere else)
Elsewhere, know that quaint market towns, monasteries, ancient pilgrimage routes and crumbling medieval fortresses also present limitless exploration. And that’s right: the 1:1 US dollar and Euro ratio makes it wonderfully stress-free.
Germany and Austria
History and music lovers hit heaven in Germany and Austria. Perched in a 13-century castle above Germany’s Rhine Valley, you can enjoy tales of
knights and feuding lords and ladies (told by locals) over lunch. Plus uncover World War secrets at the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.
If that wasn’t enough… you can tread the footsteps of the Von Trapp family in Salzburg, Austria, where the ‘The Sound of Music’ film was born. Or explore Salzburg’s 76 glacier lakes and mountain-side towns, which hang tantalisingly into the green scenery below. And before you leave, remember to sit in one of Vienna’s magical concert halls to hear the world’s best renditions of Mozart. And buy a German beer stein or Austria lederhosen to star in future parties home and abroad.
GET INSPIRED BY: Germany and Austria tour
Every traveller dreams of an island escape. But now, the US dollar and euro news means your sunny retreat can actually become reality.
Sprinkled white-washed buildings, spotless shiny beaches, coastal views, and gorgeous alfresco dining – the Greek islands fit the bill for some headspace. We suggest exploring Mykonos’s winding labyrinthine lanes, beautiful beach walks and historic churches. Before sauntering over to Santorini, where you can learn about the art of winemaking and gobble up delicious Greek dishes. Or (for a true bucket-list experience): choose to swim in hot springs on the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Before you pack, pick up some delicious Greek coffee, herbs, spices and Cretan mountain tea to take a slice of Greece home with you.
GET INSPIRED BY: Greek Island Hopper tour