welcome to americans in leipzig for the wave-gotik treffen  

Frequently Asked Questions



How should I get cash?

Usually the best way to get cash while traveling in Germany is just to use an ATM. ATMs are very common in Europe - just about any bank will have ATMs available, and in most cases, they will be participants in networks that will allow you access to your accounts in the US. The ATM will make the currency conversion based on current rates, so it is more advantageous than doing a currency exchange with cash. As far as I know, no German ATMs will charge you a service fee, but check with your own bank to see what they charge for international ATM withdrawals. Taking more cash each time and reducing the number of transactions you make will help limit the fees that you are charged.

A note on using ATMs: in Europe, the keypads do not have letters on the buttons. If you remember your PIN from the letters on the keypad, make sure that you memorize the numbers before going to Europe!

If you bring over travelers checks or cash in US dollars, you will need to take it to a bank to be exchanged to Euros (we have found few stores and restaurants accept traveler's checks). The bank will either charge you a flat fee for the service, or will give you a less-favorable exchange rate. Keep in mind that the Treffen takes place over a holiday weekend, and banks will not be open on Saturday afternoon, Sunday, or Monday.

Do they take credit cards?

Credit cards are accepted less frequently in Europe than they are in the US, but most major stores and restaurants do accept credit cards. Credit cards will generally get you the best exchange rate with minimal fees, but be sure you check to see what fees your company charges. Visa and MasterCard each add 1%, and then the bank usually adds an additional fee - 2% is common. One major card issuer that doesn't charge an additonal fee is MBNA (make sure you check - this could change!). As a general rule, be prepared with cash, or make sure in advance that credit cards are accepted.

At the Treffen, there are very few places that take credit cards (you can't even use your credit card to buy your Treffen tickets). The great exception to that is the Xtra-X booth in the marketplace at AGRA [and, recently, a few other vendors - but not many]. However, other restaurants and shops around Leipzig, and certainly major hotels, will accept credit cards.


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