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Spend your old Deutschmark (DM)
The Euro was launched in 2002, completely replacing the German Mark (Deutschmark or DM) by the end of February that year. Since then Euro coins and notes are the only generally accepted currency for cash transactions, leaving a lot of people with piles of old change and even the odd banknote. According to the Bundesbank, Germany's state bank, only half of all Deutschmark coins were recovered following the introduction of the Euro, leaving the equivalent a massive 3 billion Euros in in circulation.
Fortunately for piggy-bank owners, the DM - while not technically legal tender - is still exchangeable for Euro, and will remain so indefinitely.
Unfortunately banks and exchange bureaux are generally not interested in exchanging small amounts of DM, especially coins, or will charge you a high commission. However, if you want to convert your hoard of old currency in to nice shiny new Euros, your best bet is to visit the local branch of the Bundesbank which will happily give you their equivalent value in Euros.
The Berlin branch of the Bundesbank is located at:
Kurstraße 40Open Montag - Friday, 8:30am - 1:30pm
Tel. +49 30 3475-0
Fax. +49 30 3475-2890
near U-Bahn station "Hausvogteiplatz (Station)" (U2)
For Bundesbank branches outside of Berlin, see this page.
More fun than dragging yourself over to the local Bundesbank though is actually spending your DM directly. Some shops have realized that consumers are still finding Deutschmark in old pockets, under the mattress, in piggy banks etc. and will accept DM for purchases. Fashion chain C&A is one such store.