The Netherlands, like 19 other countries in the 28-member European Union, uses the euro as its official currency since 2002. Prior to that, the guilder had been the Dutch currency as far back as 1680.
The euro is the common currency for the Eurozone—most countries in Europe. It eliminates the headache that European travelers had experienced prior to the euro's introduction when it was necessary to convert from one currency to the next each time a national border was crossed. The euro is subdivided like the dollar into 100 cents.
Euros come in both coins and banknotes. The coins are issued in denominations of 2 euros, 1 euro, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents, and 1 cent. The banknotes are issues in denominations of 500 euros, 200 euros, 100 euros, 50 euros, 20 euros, 10 euros, and 5 euros.
The value of the euro versus the American dollar fluctuates continuously. It is the second most traded currency on the foreign exchange after the U.S. dollar. For the latest rate, check a reputable online currency converter such as XE. Note XE, like other currency exchanges, charges a commission to convert your home currency into euros.
The Euro in the Netherlands
Coins minted in the Netherlands from 1999 to 2013 feature the Dutch Queen Beatrix on the reverse. After 2013, when the Queen abdicated the throne, euro coins minted in the Netherlands feature King Willem Alexander (with the exception of some special-issue coins).
To avoid the use of the two smallest coins, some cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents in the Netherlands and Ireland (by voluntary agreement) and in Finland (by law). Visitors should expect this practice and not be taken aback when it happens. So, 1 cent, 2 cents, 6 cents, and 7 cents are rounded down to the nearest 5 cents. Whereas, 3 cents, 4 cents, 8 cents, and 9 cents are rounded up to the nearest 5 cents. As members of the EU, 1 and 2 cent coins are still accepted as payment, so travelers who have collected these denominations elsewhere in Europe can feel free to use them in the Netherlands.
Also, note that many local businesses refuse to accept banknotes over 100 euros, and some even draw the line at 50 euros; this is usually indicated at the cash register.
The Netherlands' Former Longtime Currency
Most Dutch residents and tourists who visited the country before 2002 will remember the guilder, which was officially retired that year. Guilder coins had been exchangeable for euros until 2007. Now, guilder coins retain no worth other than its (mostly subjective) collectors' value. If you still have guilder banknotes, they can still be exchanged for currency until the year 2032.
The guilder had been the Dutch currency since 1680. The Dutch name "gulden" derived from the Dutch word meaning "golden." As the name indicates, the coin was originally made of gold. The symbol "ƒ" or "fl." for the Dutch guilder was derived from another old currency, the florin. Traces of the former currency survive in popular expressions, such as "een dubbeltje op z'n kant," which literally translates to mean "a dime on its side." That expression means "a close call."
A little-known piece of trivia is that the Dutch electronics company Philips invented the CD, and the size of the center hole in a compact disc was modeled after the ten-cent guilder coin, the dubbeltje.