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How to Change a 500 Euro Notes in France

The five hundred (500) Euro note is the highest denomination note in circulation legally but its practically is disastrous! Almost no merchants in France, or perhaps Europe will accept a 500 note despite its legality, what more on breaking it to smaller notes for you. Any money exchange who gives you a 500 note is doing you a great ordeal, and you should put them on your blacklist if they never warn you about its practicality. Unfortunately, we were given a 500 Euro note in a money exchange in Penang prior our trip to Paris without its unusability and landed ourselves with huge problems.

Source from Wikipedia

Fortunately, we managed to break down the 500 Euro note into smaller denomination after numerous attempts. You can do that at Banque de France (central back of France) without any charges in Paris. Not sure about the other central bank in other Eurozone countries but you could give a try.

How to Change a 500 Euro Notes in France

In Paris, Banque de France is located at 39, Rue Croix des Petits Champs, nearby to Le Louvre. Simply take metro to station Palais Royal-Musee Du Louvre and the bank is within walking distance. They only operate on weekdays, 9am to 12pm and 1:15 to 3:30pm.

Remember to bring along your Passport or government issued identity card to the central bank as they practise strict security protocol. You will have to place your Passport for scanning (just like immigration auto-gate) before allowing entry to the bank. Thanks to a nice French guy who helped us to communicate with the bank's staff and showed us the proper way to do it!

At the counter, you will need to furnish your Passport and fill up a form which detail on how you get the 500 Euro notes and your personal particulars. Upon verify on the notes authenticity, the bank staff exchanged the notes for us graciously and even checked with us which notes we prefer. Thanks to them!

In fact, Banque de France also allows you to exchange damaged Euro notes as well. Check out their official website here for more info.

This is our experience at Paris and luckily we managed to overcome it. We have heard other method to break down the 500 Euro notes but not sure it will work, but in case if it was a weekend then you can try below method:

1) Go for a shopping splurge at high end shops, or pay your hotel bill equivalent to the 500 euro value.
2) Buying tickets at Louvre Musuem. There is a chance they will accept it.

Anyway, cashless is pretty easy in France and almost all merchants accept credit or debit cards. Petty cash will come in handy if you were to enter a toilet or buying some snacks at food trucks.

We had a wonderful 11 days travelling across France and hope to be back there again! A bien tot France!


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  2. Hi, Greetings. You both dropped a gracious work that is surely very helpful for those who are in France as a traveler or foreigner.The money exchange experience you shared is really very educative and authentic. France is a popular travelling country in the world and some stunning beauties are available in Paris. I admire your great helpful work. I believe everyone visiting this wonderful site will be benefited. Here I would like to share a site that are related to currency exchange bali money exchange. May be helpful for someone.

  3. I had already sent a thank you before but this article helped me greatly when I went to Paris in Aug 2019. Thank you for this! I learned my lesson with the 500 Euro Note

    1. You are most welcome. We miss travelling to France now..