Currency in London

The official currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling, known as the pound (£, GBP). Each pound is divided into 100 pence (100p = £1).

Banknotes and coins

The most common banknotes are £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100. £1 notes also exist, but these are extremely rare, as only notes printed by The Bank of Scotland remain in circulation, and printing of new £1 notes ceased in 2001.

The coins in circulation are 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 and £2. Sometimes, special editions of £5 coins are released, but their circulation is merely theoretical.

Here are some examples of banknotes:

Billetes de Londres

How to pay?

The best way to save on commission is to pay by credit card. When paying by card, the exchange rate is current and the maximum fee, depending on the issuer of the card; is usually 1%. 

Where to exchange currency?

The easiest and usually cheapest option is to withdraw money once you get to your destination, but there are other options:

Withdraw money from the ATMs

The easiest option is to withdraw pounds directly from any ATM in London. This is also the cheapest option, since it has a lower exchange rate. However, it is important to keep in mind that cash machine transactions abroad have several fees and your bank might charge you up to $5 each time you use a foreign ATM, so it is always a good idea to take out a substantial amount instead of having to go several times to an ATM and being charged a fee every time you take cash out. 

Exchange money before travelling

If you prefer to exchange money before travelling, you can either do so at a bank, where you will normally be charged up to 10% commission, or you can head to a bureau de change, for example, Ria Currency Exchange or Global Exchange.

If you request the exchange at any of these bureaux de change, they will send you the money to your address without any surcharges. Currently, Civitatis has an agreement with Ria, so if you wish to exchange your money with them you can get a discount with the code “civitatis”.

Currency exchange in London

If you prefer to exchange money once you get to London, you can do so in any bank or any bureau de change. We recommend you compare the exchange rate and the commission since it can differ from one place to another or else simply ask how many pounds you will get.