I'm a Bank Manager, and without a doubt, the airports have the best exchange rates. The banks will rip you off, as will hotels. Use Debit/Credit Cards as much as possible for purchases, and be careful when using ATMs, as less reputable banks can rip you off, as they can essentially charge you whatever exchange rate they please. Also, European Banks don't recognize savings accounts linked to ATM Cards, so make sure you have any money you plan on using in your checking. Finally, it can't hurt to call your credit & debit card banks to let them know you'll be traveling to Europe. Often, when they see purchases that are out of the ordinary on your account, such as those made in a foreign country. They will try to contact you to verify the purchases, but if they can not reach you, they will shut down your card. If they know you'll be there, it could save you some trouble.