Like Great Britain, Wales does not belong to the euro zone. The national currency of Great Britain is the
pound sterling (British pound), or GBP for short.
The following banknotes are valid and in circulation in the country:
- 50 pounds sterling
The current exchange
rate to the euro can be found at the following Internet address: www3.forium.de
It should be noted, however, that the rate mentioned is not the one that you actually get when exchanging money. It differs, for example, depending on whether you are exchanging in your home country or in the travel destination, whether you are exchanging cash or withdrawing money from the machine. In addition, the rate differs when exchanging for the foreign currency and when exchanging back.
Bank opening hours
The ATMs, which work just like in Germany, are available around the clock and can also be operated in German. In order to withdraw money with the EC card, however, you have to find one of the international ATMs, which are usually located in train stations or airports. You can also pay with a credit card in almost all shops and restaurants (from around 10 GBP also in most pubs). Since February 2006, in almost all shops you can only pay by entering your PIN number.
Bank opening times vary from bank to bank: in larger cities they are usually open a little longer and are often open on Saturday mornings. It is advisable to avoid lunchtime between 12 noon and 1.30pm as there are usually very long queues in the banks. Also note the numerous bank holidays in the country (see public holidays) on which banks and public institutions such as post offices and libraries are closed.
- Monday – Friday: 9 a.m. – 4.30 p.m./5 p.m.
- Saturday: 9.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Sunday: closed
Shop opening times
The shop opening times in Great Britain and therefore in Wales are not required by law and therefore vary greatly with regard to the different regions and businesses. In the larger cities, the shopping centers and shops on the High Streets are usually open from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and until around 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. In smaller districts or towns, however, the shops are often completely closed on Sundays. Groceries can usually be bought around the clock. Most supermarkets are open Monday through Saturday until 8:00 p.m. or even 10:00 p.m., on Sundays mostly until 4:00 p.m. There are also very large supermarkets outside of the cities such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s or ASDA, which are open 24 hours a day. The typical corner shops are also popular, whose opening times are very individual: in the big cities they are often open around the clock, in more rural areas they are sometimes closed on Sundays. Since the repeal of various laws governing the serving of alcohol, you can often buy alcohol late into the night with so-called off licenses. However, it is advisable to inquire about this beforehand, as many shops still have a curfew to sell alcohol.
Cheap or country-specific goods, souvenirs
Some country-specific foods are popular souvenirs from trips to Wales, as they are difficult to find in Germany or very expensive. You can buy particularly fine British groceries in London at Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly, as well as in the excellently equipped grocery departments of Harrod’s or Selfridges department stores.
- Tea (Earl Gray/Darjeeling/Assam)
- lemon curd
- Mince pies
Units of measurement
Because of their island location, residents and a number of other countries have retained numerous non-metric units. The most important are shown here:
1 mile = 1,609.344 m
1 foot = 12 inches = 0.3048 m
1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches = 0.914 m
1 inch = 25.4 mm
1 inch = 25.4 mm
1 gallon) = 8 pints = 4.546 liters
1 gallon (US) = 8 pints = 3.785 liters