Crete, the largest Greek island, is a popular destination for tourists from around the world. When traveling to Crete, it’s essential to have local currency in hand to make transactions more convenient. One of the most convenient places to exchange money is at the airports on the island. In this article, we will explore the options and procedures for exchanging money at Crete airports.
1. Arrival at Crete Airports: Crete has two major international airports: Heraklion International Airport (HER) and Chania International Airport (CHQ). Upon arrival at either airport, you will find several options for currency exchange.
2. Currency Exchange Services: a. Banks: Both airports have banks or bank branches that offer currency exchange services. Banks usually offer competitive exchange rates and provide a secure and reliable way to exchange your money. It’s advisable to check the bank’s opening hours in advance as they might have limited hours of operation, especially during weekends and holidays.
b. Exchange Offices: Numerous exchange offices, also known as currency exchange kiosks or bureaux de change, are available at the airports. These offices cater specifically to travelers and provide a convenient option for exchanging money. However, it’s important to compare the exchange rates and fees at different offices to ensure you get the best deal.
3. Timing Your Exchange: Timing is crucial when it comes to exchanging money. Exchange rates can fluctuate, and it’s important to keep an eye on the market rates. If you have flexibility, consider monitoring the rates leading up to your trip and exchange your money when the rates are favorable. However, keep in mind that sudden changes in rates are hard to predict, and it’s not advisable to spend excessive time trying to time the market.
4. Exchange Rates and Fees: Exchange rates and fees can vary between banks and exchange offices. Banks generally offer more competitive rates, while exchange offices might charge higher fees. It’s essential to inquire about any fees or commissions involved before conducting the transaction to avoid any surprises. Compare the rates and fees offered by different providers to ensure you get the best value for your money.
5. Payment Methods: Most currency exchange services at Crete airports accept major international currencies, such as the Euro, US Dollar, British Pound, and Swiss Franc. Additionally, some offices may accept other popular currencies, but it’s always best to have euros or the currency of your destination country for convenience.
6. ATMs: Another option to obtain local currency at Crete airports is through ATMs (automated teller machines). ATMs are widely available, and you can use your debit or credit card to withdraw cash in euros. However, be mindful of any foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees that may be charged by your bank.
7. Prepaid Travel Cards: Prepaid travel cards are becoming increasingly popular among travelers. These cards allow you to load multiple currencies onto a single card, including euros. They are convenient, and secure, and can be used for transactions at ATMs, shops, and restaurants. Consider obtaining a prepaid travel card before your trip to Crete for added flexibility.
8. Additional Tips: a. It’s advisable to exchange a small amount of money at the airport to cover immediate expenses and then explore other options in the city for better rates.
b. Inform your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans to ensure smooth transactions and prevent any potential card issues.
c. Keep a record of exchange receipts for reference and potential reimbursement purposes.
Exchanging money at Crete airports is relatively straightforward and offers a convenient option for travelers to obtain local currency. Whether you choose to exchange money at banks, currency exchange offices, or use ATMs, it’s essential to compare rates, fees