British Money

The UK's currency is the pound sterling (£ / GBP). Despite being a member of the European Union, the UK has not adopted the euro.

There are 100 pence (p) to the pound (£). Notes come in denominations of £5, £10, £20 and £50. Coins come in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.

Currency Exchange in London

The pound is generally a stable currency. You can find the current exchange rates at www.postoffice.co.uk

There are numerous bureaux de change in London – often located inside banks, travel agents or Post Offices, as well as at London's airports and major train stations. It's worth shopping around to get the best deal – compare the exchange rates on offer and don't forget to ask about commission. A good tip is to ask how many pounds you will receive in total after all charges have been deducted. 

The Post Office's Bureaux de Change network is the largest provider of foreign currency in the UK. The Post Office is consistently voted "Best Foreign Exchange Provider".

Credit Cards and Cash Machines in London

Credit cards – especially Visa and Mastercard – are widely accepted in London's restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. American Express and Diners Club cards are less commonly accepted.

There are plenty of cash machines (also known as cashpoints or ATMs) dotted around London. Most accept international cards with the Visa, Plus, Mastercard, Cirrus or Maestro symbols. Some other systems are also recognised, but it's a good idea to check with your bank or card company before you travel. If you have a non-UK account you will almost certainly have to pay a charge when you withdraw cash. Again, contact your bank before travelling to find out details.

You might see cash machines in some corner shops and small supermarkets. Check before using them as they are likely to charge a fee for every transaction. Many cash machines also provide the facility to top up your mobile phone credit.

Money Talks: Speak Like a Londoner

You will usually hear British people say "pee" rather than pence, as in 50p (50 pee). More colloquially, a pound is known as a "quid", a five pound note is a "fiver" and a ten pound note a "tenner".

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