What are the countries in Europe that use the euro as their currency? Why do some countries use the euro as their currency and others don’t? Did you know that euro is also used outside of Europe? And just how many EU countries are there where the euro is used? Let’s find out here.

Countries in Europe using euro eurozone

Countries in Europe that use the euro – The euro sign in Frankfurt

What is the euro?

The euro is the official currency of 19 of the 27 member states of the European Union as well as a few other countries/territories. 

The group of countries in Europe that use the euro is known as the eurozone and it includes about 350 million citizens. But euro is also used as a currency in countries, not part of the European Union and even territories outside of Europe.

Today the euro is the second-largest and second most traded currency globally, falling only behind the United States dollar.

When did the euro start?

On 1 January 1999, eleven European countries started using the euro as their accounting currency. Actual physical notes and coins were used from January 2002 and the euro replaced their national currencies. More countries join the Eurozone in the following years and the group of countries in Europe that use the euro is still growing. 

The idea of a common currency in Europe emerged back in the 60s but it took some time to implement it.

I still remember having euros and being able to cross from Germany to Austria and pay with the same currency. It was exciting and I honestly thought that within a decade most European countries will adopt the euro as well.

European Countries that use the euro – The complete list

Countries in Europe that use the euro, adopted the euro at different times. See the complete list below with the year they have started using the euro as their currency,

List of countries using the euro in the European Union and the year they adopted the euro:

  1. Austria (2002)
  2. Belgium (2002)
  3. Finland (2002)
  4. France (2002)
  5. Germany (2002)
  6. Greece (2002)
  7. Ireland (2002)
  8. Italy (2002)
  9. Luxembourg (2002)
  10. The Netherlands (2002)
  11. Portugal (2002)
  12. Spain (2002)
  13. Slovenia (2007) 
  14. Malta (2008)
  15. Cyprus (2008)
  16. Slovakia (2009)
  17. Estonia (2011)
  18. Latvia (2014)
  19. Lithuania (2015)

If you are getting countries in Europe mixed up, you might enjoy reading Slovakia vs Slovenia; What is the difference?  And, these posts explain the differences between Latvia and Lithuania and an explanation of the Baltics and Balkans. 

List of countries using the euro that are NOT in the European Union

6 countries use the euro but are not part of the European Union. 

Kosovo and Montenegro are two countries that use the euro but are not in the European Union. They have adopted the euro unilaterally, but both countries do not officially form part of the eurozone and do not have representation in the European Central Bank. In a nutshell, Montenegro is using the currency of Germany which happens to be the euro.

AndorraMonacoSan Marino, and Vatican City, four of the smallest countries in Europe have formal agreements with the EU to use the euro as their official currency and even issue their own coins.

Countries in Europe using euro notes

Countries in Europe that use the euro – The 500 euro note is the largest bill

Countries in the European Union not using the euro

These are countries where the euro has still not been adopted, but who will join once they have met the necessary conditions. 

Essentially, all countries that joined the EU were supposed to adopt the euro except for Denmark and the United Kingdom (which has now exited the EU). Some countries need first to meet certain criteria to adopt the euro and others have held back to join (Sweden held a referendum if to join in 2003 and the public voted against it).

  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia – Will adopt using the euro on January 2023
  • Czechia 
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Sweden 
  • Denmark (has opted out of the euro when signing the first treaty)

Where is the euro used on a map of Europe?

This map of Europe shows all the countries in Europe that use the euro as their main currency. 

Countries in Europe using euro on a map

Countries in Europe that use the euro on a map

How much is the euro worth?

Check current exchange rates on xe.com.

How many European countries are there?

Great question! There is a never-ending debate on just how many European countries are there in Europe? I wrote a detailed blog explaining why the answer can be complicated: How many countries in Europe are there? 44, 45, or 49?

How many countries are in European Union?

There are currently 27 countries in the European Union. Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Albania hope to join the European Union in the next years.

List of countries in Europe that are not in the EU

The following countries are located in Europe and are not part of the European Union:

  • 4 in Western Europe: the United Kingdom (Brexited from the EU), Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland
  • 5 Small Countries: Lichtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, and Vatican City
  • 10 Countries in Eastern Europe: Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Moldova, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Kosovo.

You may also enjoy some of our other blogs:

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